We believe jewelry should be beautiful from beginning to end. That means working hard to source and select responsible materials, and working with designers and producers who use responsible practices.
We also value the relationships we have established with people around the globe who are in the business of jewelry — from miners to makers and on to you, our customers. So we seek opportunities to meet and collaborate with like-minded people who want to make jewelry even more beautiful by making the world a more beautiful place.
The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.
In order to maintain membership, jewelers in the American Gem Society agree to:
We must adhere to all applicable laws related to work hours and compensation, and we must conduct business in an environmentally responsible manner.
Gem Legacy is a 501c3 nonprofit whose vision is to create thriving colored gemstone mining communities. ... 100% of donations return directly to East Africa where we equip colored gemstone mining regions for growth and success: education, health, tools, training, and more.
We have been partners with Gem Legacy since before their official founding in the autumn of 2018. In 2018, Melissa traveled to Tanzania and Kenya to visit gem miners and see their operations first hand. There she visited the Mwtate Children's Home, the Arusha Gem Faceting School, and the Precious Women's Mine, which employs widowed women.
The Arusha Gem Faceting School trains young adults the trade of gem cutting. This skillset is sorely needed. Most African-mined gems are shipped to other countries for faceting, taking much of their finished value out of their origin countries. Training Africans to cut gems closer to the source will help distribute the profits of the supply chain more equitably, and allow African artisanal miners to reinvest in their communities as they so want to do.
Steve Quick Jeweler provides scholarships to the Arusha Gem Faceting School. We also provide scholarships, clothing and support to the Mwtate Children's Home and sponsor meals for the students at the Kitarini School.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been very hard on artisanal mining communiities. Demand for color gemstones has been reduced, and their communities are suffering from both isolation and illness. Providing support to those communities during the pandemic has been very important. SQJ ensured all of the miners and their families from four separate mines had sufficient food throughout the month of December, 2020.
The jewelry industry benefits so much from the beauty and economic benefit of gemstones mined in Africa. It is only right that we do everything we can to support the communities at the beginning of our supply chains, and work to create equitable wealth distribution throughout.
You can be part of this story too! If you love and wear color gemstones, or simply want to contribute to the wellbeing of artisanal miners, their families, and communities, you can donate here.
Nearly 40% of global mercury pollution comes from artisanal gold mining. The Mercury Free Mining Challenge aims to bring that down to zero.
The Mercury Free Mining initiative aims to educate the jewelry industry about the health and environmental impacts of mercury, encourage development and deployment of innovative methods of separating gold from its associated methods, and align the industry in support of responsible mining.
SQJ has been donating to the MFM initiative since its inception, and will continue to support this important work.
The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference was formed by a Chicago-area designer, Susan Wheeler, to bring the international jewelry supply chain together for the purpose of shared learning and initiative building. It is an action-oriented conference that serves as the breeding ground for some of the most exciting international initiatives to improve the individual, community, and environmental health of participants in the jewelry supply chains.
Each year since it began in 2017, SQJ has suppored the conference by speaking, helping gather resources, and hosting/sponsoring the event's main social gathering.