Blood crystals or ethical gems?
For centuries, crystals have been seen as a source of magic and power for shamans and other healers. Precious stones are minerals, naturally occurring inorganic materials with a constant chemical composition and regular internal structure. Sounds very basic and nothing but romantic, but above all, gems are incredibly beautiful. Blinded by the beauty and perhaps also the energetic powers of gems under the spell of magic, I want to ask you a crucial personal question. Have you ever wondered where your gems come from?
People, Planet, Peace
Unfortunately, not only diamonds, silver and gold, but also precious stones are mined under miserable conditions. Miners – often including children – work far many days too long hours and do heavy and dangerous work in the dark. Another downside is that mines are also quite environmentally polluting. When extracting stones, often chemicals are used which occurs damage to the environment. This is at the expense of the environment, the animals but also the people who have to work in these circumstances. From the love for the 3 P’s – People, Planet & Peace – we only want to make ethically responsible jewellery. No guilt, just pure good. At least we try, unfortunately it is not yet 100% possible, but the stones that do not come from our workshops are clearly indicated in the product description on our website. Read more about our sustainable honest jewellery here.
The most beautiful and clear crystals arise deep in the earth. It starts with magma that cools very slowly, sometimes for millions of years, and then turns into crystals. The crystals grow a bit like ice, an accumulation of very small crystals that eventually form a large crystal. When impurities such as metals such as aluminum and iron are mixed in, the crystals perform gorgeous colors. Due to landslides millions of years ago, these crystals were eventually pushed to the surface. And can therefore be mined or found by us.
Ana Dyla acts differently
We find stones, that is how we do it. In the months of March – June and September – December our team sets out to find the most beautiful stones. You can guess that we are very dependent on what we find and that is precisely what makes our process so enjoyable. We now know roughly which stones can be found but the shapes and composition of colors is always a surprise. The process of finding the stones on the land is longer than when mining would take place. And sometimes we are totally blown away or some days we can’t even find stones.
Once the stones are found, they go to the workshop where they are cut into shapes and sizes depending on the designs. The stones are cut by hand in the shape that we want to use in the jewellery. This too is a longer process than if it were ground in the factory. Ana Dyla remains unique because we use the stones in the purest form, without adding color. You are now wondering, color additions? You have gems in all shapes and sizes and also in different qualities. Firstly, one gem is more expensive than another, and then the quality per gem can also vary considerably. Unfortunately it is true that cheating on the colors of the gems regularly is a fact. Stones are sometimes copied and treated very often so that they look better or are equal to each other. Read here more about how do you recognize real gems.
Earlier I asked the question, “have you ever wondered where your crystals come from.” When I started my research I knew 1 thing for sure, everything (from raw material to the design) must be fair. That is our highest value. But what about the magically beautiful healing crystal industry? You know the movie Blood Diamond (you know with Leonardo di Capri,2007)? Unfortunately, that’s the painful reality.
Crystal booming business
In recent years, the business of precious stones has become booming (at least that’s how it feels to me and maybe it’s because I’m busy with it every day). The route of a gemstone before it reaches the “consumer” is long, very long. The process: the miner finds the stone. This ends up with a trader through the mine owner. The trader resells the stone to another trader often in China or India for shaping and machining in a large factory. From this factory the stone goes to a trader on trade fairs, where it is sold to consumers via a local retailer (online or offline). In this process you count at least 16 hands, regardless of the route. There is no control over the route that a stone travels, so you can imagine that the working conditions of all parties can’t be tracked. It is incredibly difficult to determine the route and the circumstances.
At Ana Dyla we do it differently. We are currently working together with two stone workshops where a total of 19 employess. From finding to sharpening, these colleagues are invested in, so that we can provide them with work fairly. Read the blog about my search for gems here. Read here more about my personal introduction to precious stones.
Law, mines & ethical conflicts
I (still) love the rule of law and I am grateful that it exists. I think it is extremely valuable that there is some mining legislation in Europe in the field of sustainability and labor. Countries like Canada, Finland, Argentina, Botswana, and the Philippines have relatively strict legislation when it comes to mines, which is at least better than no legislation. Unfortunately, it is very different in the countries where mining is mainly done. For example in the Congo where children of seven years old work in the mines in the merciful, fearful conditions, says Amnesty. Or Myanmar, where, according to a The New York Times survey, trade in jade has financed the bloody ethnic conflict there and triggered an epidemic of heroin use and HIV infection among the Kachin minorities working in the mines. The Lapis yacht is in the hands of the Taliban, just as painful. These kinds of messages make me sad and conscious, there is a wish to be part of a change.
We, Ana Dyla, sell less or no ruby, diamond and sapphire because these stones are at the top of the list of most corrupt stones. Occasionally we do process it in jewellery and then it is a unique piece with a stone from an earlier piece of jewellery that has been melted down.
Other side of the story
Of course there is another side to this story. No matter from which point you look at this story, the gem trade does create jobs created by the growing demand. At the same time consumers want improvement, more and more so the governments are taking action to improve the well-being in the mines. Unfortunately this is not as fast as we would like to see. The reason for this is that people are used to the ‘cheap’ price of gemstones but do not realize that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find these stones. We want more rocks than the earth can spew, which slows down the process and creates scarcity. So in this case supply demand certainly plays a significant role.
I (Hatice) doubted for a long time whether this blog should come online. It is a difficult process and with Ana Dyla we really want to highlight the positive side. It is possible, together we can realize change. Only possible if you also know what should be done differently and how it can be done better. You want ethically mined stones with a clean energy. Certainly, you can clear crystals from the energy but for me personally that is not enough.
Well, how do you know if a stone is fair?
- Pay attention to price-quality ratio, just like with clothing you can also read the quality at the price of a crystal. For example, citrine is a quartz that belongs to a family of amethysts, it is a precious stone. The cheaper variant is often a burned amethyst.
- Choice of the stone; listen to your feelings, if it doesn’t feel right it is not good either. (Read the blog: How do I choose the right gem)
- If you have questions about a stone, you can always send us an email and we will gladly help you further!
No matter how beautiful real gems are and it really is a part of our jewelry, it is much nicer for us if it is made peacefully and honestly – from raw material to iron design. I believe that a majority of people in this field have the best intentions and I realize that making this process transparent is incredibly difficult. That is why I am extremely happy and grateful that we have been working with a fantastic for three years now.
Ana Dyla is a ethical jewellery for the conscious souls. The essence of Ana Dyla is to shine with jewellery, let your personality speak and dare to make a statement for a better world. Take a look at our collection! We believe in a world where we have the responsibility to make the world a bit more honest, sustainable and better with our choices. With every purchase you help us create 100 fair jobs.
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Are you also drawn by the magic of gemstones? The sparkle, color, roughness and at the same time dazzling? I like to share my story of the search for gemstones. In this blog a short sketch of the first visit in one of the workshops that we are, fortunately, still...read more