Is the world changing to view ethical jewellery as the norm ?

photo miners sieving at ethical mine.

A recent article out on the news wires (link here) reports that the British government is aiming to make retailers and producers more aware of human rights abuses that take place in their supply chains . This should give a boost to both ethical gem suppliers and ethical jewellers.

Ethical Jewellers such as Rachel Sweeney, co-owner of Cox + Power, said: “I think there is much more awareness of ethics and fair trade in all fields – food, fashion, jewellery – and people are aware of conflict issues relating to diamonds as well.”

This is a great initiative by the UK government but recommendations and guidelines should be backed up with legislation. Unethical dealers will always ignore guidelines and attempt to undercut the ethical competition by using products sourced from those using child labour and unacceptable working methods.

The supply line of gemstones and other raw materials should be open and accountable and any supplier and importer who cannot satisfy officials should be refused the ability to import their stock into the UK.

With the ease of communication and the internet it is relatively easy for companies to become more transparent about their working methods and give their customers the choice. If the government is taking a step in the right direction with these guide lines it can only be welcomed but without teeth it is still up to the buying public to do their own research.




September and Summer is still here so why think about Christmas ?

With the sun still out and it set to get warmer in the UK why give any thought to Xmas ? Well if you are a Professional jeweller, home jeweller or just looking to make that extra effort with your gift then thinking ahead is what is needed. Choosing an ethical gemstone either as a gift or to make into a piece of jewellery needs some planning and time for design and manufacture .

Firstly what type of gemstone. Rubyfair only offers gemstones from its own mine ( Ruby, sapphire and spinel ) and from its co op mine Tanzanite. If you are looking for other gemstones sorry but we are not stone dealers we mine then sell direct to you. Do contact us for other gems and we will try to put you towards ethical gemstones from another company like Nineteen48 or other members of the FJA

We have most colours (just not green) so contact us to see what gemstone and budget is good for you. Remember thing ahead and get planning as to find the right gemstone for the right design can take time. Have a look at some of our sale items we are having a bit of a clear out before the next shipment so you can grab a bargain just click here and search with the word sale. And if you are the UK enjoy the sunshine but its only 3 more pay days until Xmas !

A post about another blog.

Very lazy blog I know but if you are interested in fairness in the jewellery industry ( and if you are not interested in fairness please go and try another business ! ) then this blog is well worth following

On another but linked note please take a look at this and like and share page Ivory poaching is not out of control and its use within and outside the jewellery trade needs to stop.

Tanzanite the story

We are often asked the story behind Tanzanite, what the country is like, the legend behind the stone and the terrain we must cross in order to reach our co op mine.

Well here is a TV show from the discovery channel which shows the background story of this rare and stunning gemstone

It seems that some of the major mining Tanzanite  areas are up for renegotiation currently which has slowed tanzanite mining so prices are rising.



Tanzanite is it about to become hard to get ?

On 14 April 2014, following a two year occupation at Merelani by armed illegal miners, Richland Resources announced the discontinuation of financial investment into Tanzania.  Since the announcement TanzaniteOne Mining and Tanzania State Mining Corporation have worked in consultation with Richland Resources to manage costs, increase revenue and improve operations at Merelani to prevent a temporary mine closure while the Government secures the area. Following interdepartmental restructuring, 229 out of 670 TanzaniteOne Mining employees were identified for possible retrenchment, dependent upon the outcome of negotiations with Government.

Stunning Tanzanite from

Stunning Tanzanite from

The Tanzanian government has re-approved the use of X-ray body scanner machines, which are anticipated to be  operational at Merelani by Q4 2014. The Government has also sent default notices to small scale miners to discontinue all illegal mining activities currently happening on Block C, at Merelani, as the mining license is owned 50:50 by TanzaniteOne Mining and the Tanzania State Mining Corporation. has a stunning range of Tanzanite.




Spinel becoming the go to gem stone.

Jewellery designers and their clients are featuring spinels of all colours in their latest designs today more than ever before. The increased availability of spinel in a variety of colours and cuts in recent years has given jewellers and their clients a greater choice. Recent articles such as this one in the FT have brought this gem stone more and more into the public view.

In 2004, a new discovery of fine vivid red spinels from Ipanko, near the village of Mahenge in Southern Tanzania , quickly catapulted this under-appreciated gem to new status. These spinels, possessing an electric color that rivals and often surpasses the best from Burma, have brought spinel from all sources to the attention of designers and collectors. has continued mining a variety of colours and sizes of spinel from its ethical mine in Ipanko since 2008.

Coloured spinel and Tanzanite for spring colours.

As the Chinese economy continues to grow the demand for coloured gemstones continues with spinel and tanzanite being hot favourites. In some pieces these two relatively inexpensive gemstones are being used together as in these earrings by Carla Amorin.


Brinco Mosteiro esp fundo branco O.B.

Monastery earrings in 18k gold with 39.74 cts. t.w. tanzanite and 1.01 cts. t.w. lavender spinel, $14,000; Carla Amorim

Rubyfair has a range of spinel in various colours with a great choice of cuts and sizes all ethically mined. Tanzanite in all cuts and sizes right up to double digit ct stones are available all of the highest quality and saturation.

Tanzanite , Ruby , Rain and schools !

School children sponsored by

School children sponsored by

Back from mine and Tanzania. A few updates . Tanzanite is it running out ? Well no despite all the rumours Tanzanite is not running out but it is rare and prices are starting to edge up. The word from the mine is that buyers particularly from China and the middle east are buying top quality Tanzanite not the pale blue desaturated stones that you so often see on TV and in the cheaper end of the jewellery market but rich blue Tanzanite . Tanzanite is rare ( its only found in one place in the world ! ) but there is still plenty available have a look at our ethically mined stones here.

Our ruby mine was brought to a halt when the rains came early but Rashid our mine manager has worked hard and we have some nice new ruby stock both cabochon and facet. Rain has been the hot topic in the UK but its causing problems across Africa too the Maasai have had to alter their grazing routes and many lives are been affected.

The children that sponsor from the Ukwama orphanage have been dispersed to a number of schools to suit their ages but we are still keeping in touch and sending funds. The orphanage itself has suffered from large downpours but the new roof paid for by is holding up. Many thanks to all our clients who support us and help support this work. keep coming back for further updates why not join us on twitter and Facebook please like the page.

Investing in coloured gemstones.

The New Trend - Investing in Colored Gemstones!

Psssssst… “The smart money is going on the Colored gemstones.”

Money-MoneyIt seems that maybe, choosing a diamond for an engagement ring to give to your fiancé is beginning to look quite jaded, unimaginative and some what passé.

Most people in the industry are aware that the whole “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” phrase was just part of a huge and clever marketing exercise by De Beer in the 1930′s They used Hollywood movies and stars to promote diamonds as the number one choice for engagement rings.

It worked, and while diamonds are still the first choice for most people, the more discerning, thoughtful buyer is looking at his options and discovering a huge choice of beautiful (and expensive if so required) alternative gemstones.

It's a SecretDiamonds are not, and never have been, in short supply.

Burma produces 90% of the world’s rubies and it is common knowledge that large, unheated red Burmese rubies are extremely rare. This has been the case for many years.  Large unheated quality Burmese rubies sell, on average, for about $160,000 – $420,000 per carat.

These gems are hardly seen on the market. If you are in possession of one, keep it under wraps. If you know of the whereabouts of such a gem, buy it if you can!

Gem Traders in Myanmar (Burma) took a record $1.44 billion at a 2 week trade show in November 2010. 4,000 of the traders were from overseas. Earlier Trade Shows in March and October made 400 and 700 million Euros. This years Hong Kong Gem Show, in September 2011 was the biggest and most popular yet.

Foreign demand, particularly from Asia, for Myanmar’s natural stones is huge and increasing. The Chinese and Indian markets are the main buyers and are driving the demand for gemstones.

Colored Gem Stones have always been “in vogue” amongst those with considered taste. Kate Middleton’s 18ct Sapphire engagement ring reinforced this fact. Received from Prince William, it had a huge impact on engagement rings with many gemstone internet sites crashing as people rushed to copy the royals.

Jackie O's Emerald RingWhen Jackie Onassis received an Emeraldengagement ring from John F Kennedy, the result was that Emerald engagement rings became one of the most popular choices for brides to be in the mid 1950′s.

The trend is being seen much more now in the world of the celebrity; Penelope Cruz recently received a huge blue sapphire as her engagement ring. Jessica Simpson was given a Burmese 4ct ruby and diamond ring.

Blue Sapphires from GemSelect

During difficult times, people look at alternative investments and at the moment there is a lot of talk about investing in gem stones. Many investors have left the usual paper investments alone and switched to hard assets. Having something real in your possession seems a much healthier and secure option than gambling on numbers and forecasts.

Good quality colored gemstones are hard to find. With supplies dwindling, they will just get rarer.

At a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong, in the autumn of last year, a 7.04 carat Burmese ruby sold to a private Asian buyer for $2.9 million. That’s $411,000 a carat.

That however is not the record! The world record was $420,000 per carat or $3.62 million for an 8.62 carat Burmese ruby.

Usually, the redder the ruby, the more expensive it is. However, sometimes a ruby will fetch a high price if it is free of inclusions, regardless of how red it is. An example is at Christie’s in 2005 when an 8.01 carat Burmese ruby sold for $2.2 million, or $274,000 per carat. This Ruby was only 65% red but free of inclusions.

Burmese Ruby ErringsThese Burmese Ruby earrings weighing 5.12 and 4.24 carats sold for $2.59 million at Christie’s Dec 2010.

Dealers are now being contacted by investors and asked to present a collection of stones for their perusal.

It’s true that gold has always been a favorable option but it’s not as easily transportable as gems and so, rubiessapphires and emeralds are now rising in value as smart investors expand their portfolio and the emerging Asian markets lead the way into the gem stone world.

Kashmir Sapphire EarringsKashmir Sapphires, 8.74 and 8.65 carat sold for slightly over $2 million, Christie’s Dec 2010

India and China have, of course, a long history associated with colored gemstones. They are a part of folk law and customs going back thousands of years, and are adjudged to bring good luck and good health. They are as much a status symbol in houses and at dinner parties as big diamonds are to western society.

These days, these countries have the financial clout to buy what they want. There has been a large increase in what would be seen as the “middle classes” in both India and China. Chinese dealers can pay a higher price for rare gems and still sell at a higher profit margin to the Chinese market. The present Yuan versus dollar scenario is also playing its part.

Meanwhile, in India, jewelry has always been classed as a solid investment and an alternative to money. The difference is that now a larger percentage of the population has the means to purchase it.

Rare gem stone prices are already going through the roof with dealers saying prices for high quality rubies have doubled in 2 years.

Even stones of average quality are up 20% this year according to some dealers. The price rises in precious stones have now filtered down to semi precious stones, especially gems such as spinel which have risen considerably.

It seems that history is indeed repeating itself. In years of old it was colored gem stones that ruled the waves, not diamonds

If colored gem stones were marketed as cleverly as diamonds were in the 1930′s then things would really take off.


Rashid’s Mine report.

Rashid has been with since its inception and has risen through the work force to become mine manager after being sponsored by to get his appropriate qualifications.

Coming from the mining village Mahenge, where ethical mine is based Rashid has very good knowledge of the local area and its people. He still lives in the village with his wife and family.rashid

Rashid’s background in mining and enables him to ‘read’ a seam and follow the line until he can locate a pocket which produces either Ruby or spinel. Rashid also helps select the finest Tanzanite form our coop Tanzanite mine near Arusha in the North. Latest reports from Rashid shows he has located some fine and extra fine ruby which is currently being cut by our in house stone cutter in Dar Es Salaam. Rashid also reports a fine seam of spinel. If you would like to view any of these stones or have any cutting requests please contact us and we will be happy to arrange a viewing.