It's a difficult position, being as ethical as we can in this field.
I agree with you, Rick, that we really never know with certainty
where a gem comes from, where the metal comes from.
Unfortunately, even in the US, the gifts of the earth are taken from
land stolen by the government...sacred land. Or they are mined in
such a way that they blow apart mountains from the top down, or the
ground up. They are taken in the least expensive way possible, even
when it is also the most damaging.
These things are shameful to me, taking from the world our
children's children's children will one day inherit. And we cannot
undo some of these things. What we do is the best we can to be
ethical, knowledgeable, and appreciative of what the earth gives up.
I agree with my husband. This is an interesting living, and we sure
are learning a lot. We have strong opinions, and we do our best not
to judge those who make different choices. We don't know if our
choices are 'correct' or not, they're just the lines we draw in our
sand on our beach. Lucky we all have a little sand and beach, or it
would be awfully crowded.
Thank you everyone for this wonderful discussion!