What Are Earth to Market™ Gems?
Stuller’s Earth to Market gemstones are gemstones of known origin, a significant initiative for us. We have undertaken it because it’s good for you, our customers, good for your customers who will increasingly want this information, and good for the industry.
Benefits of Earth to Market Gems
- Help tell the story of that individual gemstone from its earthly origin to the wearer’s jewelry.
- Share the compelling story of small gemstone mines that leave a minimal environmental footprint.
- Support small-scale mining and jobs for individuals, families, and communities with no other means of livelihood.
- Available in Stuller Notable Gems™ selection and calibrated stones.
So Many Hands
For thousands of years, most gemstones reached major markets after passing through innumerable hands. This made it near impossible to know the original source of a stone. To demonstrate what we mean, let’s think back to the famed Silk Road, an ancient series of trade routes linking China’s extraordinary wealth of goods to Middle Eastern and European markets.
Traders and merchants took significant risks while crossing Asia’s vast, remote regions. They contended with attacks, disease, and even death. Today we might call them thrill-seekers or adventurers — but not entirely. They traveled in large groups and relied on their knowledge and the local contacts they had made on previous trips. And few traveled the whole distance — quite literally, many thousands of miles.
Caravans would go only so far, then trade and sell their wares to other traders to acquire goods they could sell on their way back home. The new caravan would move west with their caravans of donkeys, horses, camels, and yaks burdened with China’s finest silks, jade sculptures, porcelain, paper (invented by the Chinese), gemstones from Asia’s rivers and mountains, and much more.
En route, the merchants would buy or trade for more prized treasures. In the region we now call Afghanistan, they sought highly desirable lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and more. They looked for exquisite Persian turquoise, Egyptian emeralds, topaz, and peridots in Middle Eastern markets. They were anticipating their arrival in Venice, the most powerful Western trading market in the Middle Ages. Who knows how many hands the gemstones passed through to reach this destination and the people who purchased the gems. It’s impossible to count.
Even today, gemstones from all over Asia mingle in Bangkok and and other gemstone hubs, making it hard to say anything more than “origin assumed.” Many of these gems are cut and polished in Bangkok then move on to other places around the globe and large wholesalers. Fortunately, we have our own office in Bangkok, and our on-site buyers and graders keep a close eye on what they purchase and its origin story.
Our gemstone buyers and product directors travel more than 250,000 miles per year sourcing stones and visiting stone sources and operations, ensuring they follow our strict ethical standards.
By offering your customers our Earth to Market gemstones, you have the opportunity to share an ethically and environmentally friendly story and make them a vital part of it. You can be sure they’ll share the story with friends, and you’ll get more business as a result.
Learn more at Stuller.com/EarthToMarket.
See more features from the world of gemstones by viewing our recent Sell With a Story blog posts!