India among lowest cost producers of jewelry

Also probably most of us have not even visited / know enough about,
China or India to judiciously comment on the issue. 

You’re right most of us have not visited there ourselves, but many
people have and many reports have been written about what is going on
in these countries. Saying that because we haven’t been there we
don’t know enough to make a decision is like saying there is no moon
because we haven’t actually been there to see it.

The child labor is no more than what we have here in Macdonalds. 

I’m sorry but this statement is a load of you know what. MacDonald’s
does NOT employ children under the age of 14. It is illegal in my
state (I’m not sure we have a national age, but most states are
either 14 or 16) for anyone under that age to work. There are also
specific laws here about how much time teenagers can actually work.
When “families” produce together and keep their children at home
making money (because the wages paid for any individual member of the
family to live on) instead of in school then something is wrong. And
if the heads of the families got paid a decent wage for what they do
they could afford to support the whole family without the need for
the children to work. So it all comes back to the fact that the level
of pay in these countries is unreasonably low, unfair to the workers
(and their children) and needs to be brought up to higher levels
that can support the people in a reasonable manner. All the rest is
just excuses to support the exploitation of both the workers and
their families.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

the level of pay in these countries is unreasonably low, unfair to
the workers (and their children) and needs to be brought up to
higher levels 

can the wage be brought up in a country that has existed like this
for hundreds of years?, isn’t the whole system set at this level,
including buying food, clothes, property, villas, etc., are the
executives in these countries paid proportionally more than u.s.
executives in our country, and are wealthier proportionally than
execs. here, and up the chain, or are their executives "underpaid"
also?, how does that all work??


I wish this forum could be used without patronizing or “talking
down” to that someone disagrees with someone else. This forum seems
to be mostly used by people in the USA. Therefore, all the views we
hear are from the USA.

Would Hanuman please let a civilized discussion about social
interactions in the production of gemstones and jewelry take place?
We see only the bad things in our world reports in the USA. Never the
good. It is a common perception in the USA that all the wealth from
the production of gemstones and jewelry in the countries of India,
Thailand, and Sri Lanka is hoarded by a few people who enslave the
rest of the population to produce these products. Is that true?
Please respond so people in the USA can learn and not take for
granted that what we read is true. It is also a common perception
that children from the ages of 5-13 are used to produce gem and
jewelry products using the most rudimentary of equipment under the
most dangerous and dirty conditions. It is also a common perception
that males and females of the age 5-13 that are attractive are often
sold into the sex trade. It is also a perception that children once
they reach an age were thier eyesight is not able to work unaided are
turned onto the streets to fend for themselves. Often these children
end up as prostitutes or worse sold into bondage in other industries.

If Hanuman will not let this discussion go on, please at least let
the people read my request so that they can respond to me personnally

Thank you,
Gerry Galarneau

Gerry wrote:

Would Hanuman please let a civilized discussion about social
interactions in the production of gemstones and jewelry take

We have some barriers to such civilized discussion taking place.
What we all have in common on this list is an interest in the
technical aspects of gemstones and jewelry. It has been demonstrated
repeatedly, though, that interest in the social implications of our
craft is not shared by all. Moreover, the topic seems to incite flame
wars, particularly, I think, when someone percieves their own ox
being gored.

I think discussion such as you describe SHOULD be taking place
between those of us who care about the social implications of our
craft, but since it does not seem to happen on this list without
degenerating into flame wars and censorship, perhaps Hanuman would
consider sponsoring a second list, maybe humanorchid @,
which would be dedicated to social and environmental issues in
jewelry. This way, those who wish to entertain such ideas can discuss
them openly and those who do not wish to be troubled with such
thoughts need not subscribe.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry

My respected Orchidian friends.

I am from Mumbai, India. I am an Orchidian from India since last more
than three years now.

I am regularly reading most of the mails posted at Orchid, since
last three years.

I have learned a lot from all you guys and thank you very much you
are all invauable human beings, always trying to help…

I will give some facts and figures of the Export Jewellery
manufacturing units in Mumbai.

A typical case of one jewellery manufacturing unit in SEEPZ Mumbai.(
export processing zone )

Monthly wages (192 hours a month)

A 7 year experienced Rubber Mold cutter gets Rupees 7500.00 -
10000.00 (less than $200) total production workers is 300.

Stone setter gets around $100, a trainee stone setter gets $40.00.

Stone setting in wax, worker gets around $65, setting aproximately
500 diamonds or more.

A production Manager handeling a work force of 300 gets
aprroximately $ 500 - $1000.00 or less, some are fortunate to get
some more.

A superviser gets approximately $250.00

An experienced CAD designer gets approximately $200 - $300.

The cost of diamond jewellery production is approximately 5% of the
cost of diamonds

And In this 5% also the Manufacturer wants to squeez and pay less
wages to the workers.

We In India call these kind of Diamond traders who have set up the
Jewellery Manufacturing factories to make huge profit to keep for
themselves, as Bood suckers and thieves and Beggers stealing
invaluable of life’s time, from workers and keeping for themselves,
as rats do, eat little and gathere 1000 times more.

I do not want to critisize any body form India or any other country,
since as we call in India that, one will find Crows black, in any
part of the world one goes.

The ideal solution to the problem faced by Artist and Craftsmen from
every country is, In this 21st century Government of every country
should make the law, that no goods (finished or unfinished Jewellery
or other products) should be imported or exported, only skills and
knowledge (science) should be exported and Imported.

I am dreaming that one day government of all the countries will come
together and form only one Government of the Earth, where there will
be no visas and all the artists and craftsmen of the world can
travel and work where they wish. Like the Birds, they donot require
visas to travel from USA to India, or the other way round…

Wishing all my Orchidian friends a total health -Physical, Mental,
Spiritual and Social. Let us strive to be happy under all kinds of



Everything is not good here in the USA either. In Los Angeles the
last quote I had for setting stones was $.60 per stone for inlay and
channel, and $6.00 per stone for center stones. This puts a finished
product in my hand for the cost of the stones and mounting plus about
$10.00 to mount the stones and finish the mounting. As you have heard
others post on Orchid this amount of pay is in the poverty level for
the US and Canada. Yet they still operate in Las Angeles, California,
USA. Large manufacturers are so greedy that they are not even willing
to pay even that amount. Which is why the large manufacturers have
moved to India.

A couple of other interesting processes are occurring in the USA.
Several jewelers here in the Phoenix, Arizona, USA area have found
ways to get thier entire inventory from Thailand. They even use the
internet to order special mounts and gems directly from Thailand.
These are large stores which have only sales employees, no bench
jewelers or one only hired for the holiday rush season. Secondly one
of the major suppliers of colored stones in our valley informed me
last week that he has no need for any stone cutters. He gets all his
supply through a “pipeline” with China. Jobs lost in the USA, skills
unused, people forced to find other employment in jobs they do not

Gerry Galarneau


I don’t think that a separate list is necessary. Do you read every
email from Orchid? I look at the subject line and if it does not
interest me I hit the delete key. I don’t think that we should shy
away from controversial subjects. This group certainly should be
mature enough not to get involved in “flame wars”. Controversy can be
healthy. Perhaps those of us here in the USA should be talking about
the fact that real wages have actually been falling despite record
corporate profits. Read Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in yesterdays’ NY

Where ever we live, we should all be concerned about a living wage
for people, not only in our industry, but in all industries. Joel

Joel Schwalb

Ok gang, it has been a few weeks of me sitting back reading these
posts About India and over seas production and those of you that know
me know that when I travel I usually end up in a metalsmithing
village in a third world country making short films for my crucible

first of all I am very thankful for the forum and those you write in
with insight and passion about what they do.

I also would like to thank Mr. Umesh for feeling so comfortable that
he could share his insight with us and not taking offence.

I have spent plenty of time in the metalsmithing areas of Egypt,
Turkey, Thailand, Sumatra, Java, And Bali. just to name a few but
never India or China. I go there, do some filming, learn alittle
about a specific technique and come home and share the films with
friends and students…I write the trip off on my taxes.

I have seen my share of children working in dirty workshops. I have
seen European and American designers taking advantage of cheap labor.
I have also meet amazing craftsmen and women who live in shacks and
sell to tourist who come looking for deals. they are happy to have
jobs, they love there craft. On the same note I have seen shops here
in the states full of immigrants working for minimum wage. In this
world of globalization it is just part of the game. We as designers,
jewelers, teachers or customers have to live with our decisions of
what we buy or how we have it made. international trade is not going
away. The rich countries will still employ the poor countries to
manufacture things to compete in a market place. Yes Mr. Umesh is
right, there are blood suckers all over the world. Anyone who works
in silver jewelry in this country knows that it is very hard to
compete with overseas labor. Any one who works with gold or platinum
as a specialty or art related item knows that there job can not be
exported as easily.

I have never imported anything or contracted anything from overseas.
Mainly because I am a member of the American Craft Council and I know
I can be blacklisted if such things show up at a craftshow. It
doesn’t mean my work is any better than someone who is from India or
anywhere else. It is just part of playing by the rules of the game.

HOWEVER, I want to share something with you. a few weeks ago I was
at a show. I meet a nice man that worked for a bead company called
lund trading, they sell troll beads. this is one of the oh so hot
'add a bead ’ lines of jewelry. He wants to hire me to do some
designing. I design a bead, they have it made in India or China and
sell it here in the states. I could also get a commission on each
piece sold. they give credit to the designer on there website and so
on. So a lady calls me from the company the other day, she is a
graduate from the Savanna School of art and design, a Great Art
school. She is wondering if I could start designing a bead for the
new line. I expressed my concern about overseas production and the
fact that it could ruin my career. She states that if I wanted to get
my name out there this is how it is done in this day and age. She
seems to think I am a fool or an ego maniac…NO, I AM THE

Thank You all for letting me get that off of my chest.

wayne werner


With all due respect, I don’t believe that Orchid is a list devoted
only to technical aspects of jewelry making. Part of Hanuman’s
description of his website and Orchid is (this is a direct quote):

Ganoksin also provide various platforms and forums for the exchange
of and opinion; with contributors from all over the world
speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences,
covering a full range of topics of interest to the jeweler and the

I have very little interest in the technical discussions because,
while at my advanced age I can occasionally learn a new trick or two,
that isn’t my focus at the moment. Plus I have absolutely no interest
in certain topics (I never have and never will do any enameling for
example) so I do the same thing that I always recommend to someone
who is against watching sex and violence on their television: I don’t
look at the stuff. It is quite easy to tell, usually within the first
two or three words (if not just from the heading) what a topic is
going to be. If you don’t want to pursue that topic, then just don’t
read the rest. Because of the way the jewelry trade has grown,
changed and developed in the last two centuries there are a myriad of
ethical, human and moral issues that are closely intertwined with our
trade. It is just as important, for example, that someone understand
the issues of non disclosure of gem treatments as that they
understand how to satisfactorily make a hollow sphere.

Also, while there is an occasional outburst from some participants
(myself included) the reality is that you are not going to have a
list with so many free thinking, opinionated people as Orchid does,
without some amount of disagreement. Disagreement does not
necessarily mean that you are flaming someone. It means that there
are at least two sides to an issue and some people are on one and
some are on the other.

Additionally, if the only thing Orchid became was a list on
technical aspects of jewelry making, I could provide a list of 6-8
books that would answer virtually every technical question ever
raised on Orchid that would eliminate the need altogether for a forum
like this. But where would the fun in that be???

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi Gerry,

I believe the general media is managed. They taught me at
university, “if you torture the data long enough, it will confess to
anything” These stories may be true, but I believe they can happen in
any country and a largely dictated by the character of the

I operate business in Kashmir (Indian Occupied Territories) Anyone
of my guys, or gals, may be taken for interrogation or kidnapped
anyday. I treat them as if everyday may be their last. We are making
the Kashmiri carpet, gift cards, paper product, and sourcing
Yes, the children of these family go to school, but may
help with work after school. Yes, I pay a fair wage based on the
country’s economy, not minimum wage based on America’s economy. No,
we don’t sell our women into slavery and will find work for people
regardless of handicap.

We believe character is linked to destiny. We are one example of
millions, all over the world, conducted business and bringing value
to the society in which we work.

Merry Christmas,
Ed Cleveland


Apparently Umesh has answered your question about wages, and by
insinuation working conditions (note his comments about the factory
owners). While I understand things are generally cheaper in India
than the US I still am not sure how anyone can live on $40/month
(trainee) or why someone with 7 years of experience at mold cutting
should be paid less than $50/week. While these wages might be
“livable” in India, I strongly doubt that any of the workers he
quoted wages for, have one tenth the number of items anyone on this
list living in the US takes for granted (things we consider
necessities, not our excessive toys). Until the standard of living
is brought up worldwide, we will all continue to suffer from the
problems closely associated with poverty.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hello Gerry,

This forum seems to be mostly used by people in the USA. Therefore,
all the views we hear are from the USA. 

I suspect you’d be surprised how international Orchid actually is. Of
course I don’t have access to the stats but based on my own
experiences (my blog for instance) I’d bet it works out to something
like 1/3 non-US or more. Perhaps the reason we “hear from the US” is
because Americans are a little more prone to step forward and speak
out. Don’t forget the “lurkers”, US and otherwise, I’d bet there are
a lot of them.

Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit at


Thanks for your enlightenment about the Indian Jewelry business. I
can’t help but wonder why your skilled laborers have not organized
and established unions? I have recently begun carrying goods made in
your country and I am grateful for the fine workmanship and design
that has emerged. You are now the dominant players in the diamond
buisness and you are rapidly gaining a foothold in the better quality
jewelry manufacturing. I suppose one could surmise that as your
involvement increases there will be ever greater opportunities for
your people.

In the grand scheme of things you might be surprised to know that
your counterparts here in America are experiencing reduced
expectations in many industries, jewelry included. There is a strong
trend amongst American corporations to reduce benefits, lower wages
and eliminate retirement benefits. The American dream of owning a
home is fast fading as real estate values continue to rise
astronomically. Here in California only ten percent of the public can
qualify for home ownership !

Realistically, as Dan has pointed out, no comparison of incomes can
be truly meaningful without considering basic costs of commodities
in a given locale. You might not have a fancy house in India, but
chances are that you would have servants. Then, of course, you would
have to consider what it costs to put food on the table. Sugar in
America is artifically elevated in price because the lobbiests have a
stranglehold on congress. We pay five times more for sugar than the
world price. The same goes for many other commodities.

Our loony distribution system causes us to pay more also. Locally we
grow nearly every vegetable available in any super market, yet we
import fruits and veggies from all over America and the world. I
went into a supermarket recently and asked the produce manager why he
didn’t have any Brussel sprouts and he said that the crop comes from
Arizona and was not in season. Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, a
farmer was bringing in a bumper crop of Brussel sprouts ! Another
anomaly in the American scenario is that we cling to a lavish
lifestyle simply because we expect so much and will splurge money on
things that are ridiculously expensive…things like eating out;
it costs five to seven times more for food in a restaurant ! Then
there are the gas hog vehicles. Who the hell needs a two ton behemoth
with four wheel drive and a 350 horsepower engine ? It is a crazy
world, but in the grand scheme of things, nature usually eventually
rectifies its’ mistakes…

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


Thanks for a well reasoned, balanced viewpoint with regard to
controversy and free discussion…Many of us DO have passionate
regard for what we believe to be the truth, yet none of us could be
considered to be messiahs. We all stumble along the same path seeking
the truth as we see and experience it. There is no basis for
believing that jewelers should exist in a vacuum that is apart from
general society. We are all parts of a wild and chaotic stew of
humanity going in all directions at once…Ron Mills at Mills Gem
Co. Los Osos, Ca.

And all due respect to you as well, Daniel :wink:

We have both been members of this list for a number of years. Over
that time, I have seen this and related topics introduced several
times. Often, the threads ended up being terminated or posts censored
either because the posts were too incindiary or because the topic
became too political. Haven’t you seen this happen as well?

My personal belief is that what we do, what we say, what we buy and
what we sell has an impact on the world around us, and it should be
OK to discuss the social impact of the gem and jewelry business.
Social issues will in turn impinge at least occasionally on the
political sphere. But if such threads end up being shut down on this
list, as they have been in the past, why not have a second devoted to
social issues in jewelry, where those who wish to explore the topic
can, and those who are offput by the concept can simply not

I agree with you, those who are opposed to or antagonized by such
posts could simply deal with it by use of their delete key or an
e-mail filter, but past experience indicates that they do not always
do so.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry

I have tried to stay out of this discussion but feel I have to put
in my 0.2 cents now…

  1. Thanks to Umesh for figures on the diamond jewelry industry in
    Mumbai, I would have no way of knowing them. But I want to point out
    that you need to take into account the lower cost of living in India
    vs the US and the fact that a US dollar is equivalent to Rs.46 - 47
    right now. $100 goes much furthur in India than here. When I first
    looked for employment upon arrival in the US almost seven years ago
    I never put down the salary I earned at my last job in India. It was
    quite a good salary and enough for basic living, but converted to
    dollars was barely $100 a month and sounded ridiculously low. My
    first job in the US paid me $32k a year. I am not saying that
    workers in India dont deserve to be paid more, just that the
    situation there is different than here.

  2. In my opinion Americans are not the only ones hurt by the
    outsourcing. I can only speak of India but there I know it is
    hurting the retired and those already struggling. The younger
    generation is paid far more by the multinationals that employ them
    than their parents ever were. This is especially true of the
    software industry. Since there is a section of society that can
    afford to spend more, everything has gone up in price. The cost of
    even basic commodities like bread & milk have gone up several fold.
    In the seven years since I came to the US, the price of bread has
    increased 3-4 times. The ordinary man has a hard time coping. I have
    personal experience of this with a brother in the software industry
    earning hand over fist while my retired father worries about
    managing on his savings. In the US older persons have atleast a
    theoretical chance of reemployment; in India it is very difficult to
    find a new job once you are older (by which I mean 40 years & up).
    The multinationals have also introduced the concept of health
    insurance to India so now the first thing the doctor asks you is “Do
    you have insurance?” If you do he can make more off of you. Doctors
    fees are increasing & so is cost of medications & tests. The focus
    has shifted from the traditional healing to money making. All this
    hurts the common man just as much there as it would here. Please
    know that the Indian who takes on those outsourced jobs has the same
    concerns you have - feeding & clothing his family, keeping a roof
    over their heads, educating the kids. He/she is not on a personal
    mission to deliberately destroy your livelihood. And just so you
    know, Indians have long complained about the US stealing our brain
    power by enticing educated youth (especially doctors & engineers)
    overseas after the Indian government & taxpayers have subsidized
    their education till the college level and so given them the
    foundations for success.

  3. Also, please know that the average parent in India, as over here,
    wants the best for his/her child. I have seen poor parents in India
    work several jobs round the clock to feed & educate their children.
    It is no coincidence that these very parents will do their level
    best to teach their children atleast rudimentary English. They
    recognize that speaking English opens doors to a better future for
    their kids. But food is a more basic need than education, a hungry
    child does not make a good student. Moreover a hungry child has no
    strength to fight disease and a lower chance of surviving any
    illness. So should a parent send a child to work to put food on the
    table that might keep them all alive for better times or send him to
    school while his siblings starve? Hard choice for any parent
    anywhere. If they could, yes, they would send the child to school.
    Wouldnt you? But life can be hard and I dont think anyone has a
    right to judge them without being in their shoes. I also think we
    need to remember that most artisan skills were traditionally handed
    down from parent to child. There have been discussions on Orchid of
    how skills and knowledge are being lost because there is no one to
    hand them down to. I am not saying that we should not strive to
    create a safer environment. But consider that it may not be a lack
    of desire but rather lack of finances and other reasons that stand
    in the way.

  4. The last thing I want to say is in response to Gerry. I want to
    thank him for being willing to doubt all the horror stories the US
    media puts out about other countries, for having faith in the basic
    goodness of human beings everywhere. When I announced I was marrying
    an American most people told me I was nuts. Didnt I know Americans
    divorced their wives almost as soon as they had married them? They
    had no family values, they were always unfaithful, my marriage
    wouldnt last even a year, on & on & on. (In case you are shocked to
    hear this, I should tell you that the only exposure most Indians
    have to American culture is Hollywood movies, MTV and third-rate
    soap operas). Yes, as an Indian married to an American I have had to
    face a good deal of bias/discrimination here. Including restuarants
    that did not want to serve me food and doctors who did not want to
    accept me as a patient. All because I was a colored woman with a
    white man. And after my son was born, people kept mistaking me for
    his nanny. It has been a difficult journey. But on the flip side I
    have made many staunch friends here, most people have been amazingly
    loving and generous with me. So please do continue to take media
    news with a pinch of salt, if not more. Not everything you hear is
    true and my people are not monsters. By and large they are
    good-hearted people more inclined to help than harm, just like the
    average American. They are not that different from you.

Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest, whew!

(who will be celebrating her 7th wedding anniversary in a couple

Fellow orchidians,

I wrote a while back, griping about the fact that many of my fellow
craftsmen over here in the UK are finding it hard to compete with
cheap imported goods and services from India. Today I read the
posting from Umesh in Mumbai (Bombay) India and Umesh quotes some
typical jewellers wages. If I read correctly a qualified stone setter
gets $100 wages for a 192 hour working month, this is equivalent to a
setter earning 52 cents an hour. Who in the USA or UK can compete
with these wages. Over here in the UK we have a legal minimum wage of
$8.50 per hour or UKP 4.80. in UK pounds and I know of no setters
that could work here for this minimum wage, with taxes and rental
prices. This is why I am concerned about the future of our trade.
Along with the steady increase in the price of gold. James Miller, an
ageing English goldsmith. One last thing, a big thank you to Noel and
Amy the busy people at Art Jewelry magazine for contacting me, then
adding an article about my work to their January edition.

Respected Gerry,

I am a designer, goldsmith,wax model maker, rubber mold maker,
caster, and jewellery manufacturing technologist of 15 years
experience now.

I was in US on 17th May 2002 to attend the 16th Santafe Symposium at
Albuquerque New Mexico.

After that I went to meet one of my Fathers friend at Atlanta, who
had shifted to US 25 years back from India Gujarat state.

Since after one week I wanted to attend the JCK Las Vegas show and
return back home to Mumbai.

During my one week stay in Atlanta, I visited one jewellery tools
shop near by to buy few Fordome tools which were not available in
Mumbai.The owner of that tools shop suggested me to meet one jeweller
in Stone mountain area who had a retail jewellery shop. I went to see
him at his shop after taking his appointment,and found him working
alone, he had 4 work benches in his shop, a master model cnc machine,
casting machines,wax injector,steamer,Magnetic polisher,buffing motor
with high power suction unit,Hand rolling mill, vulcanizing press,
Ultrasonic cleaner with heater, set of GRS tools and equipment for
setting and engraving and was a well equipped work shop. He seemed to
be a Gentleman, greeted me and saw my work which i carried with me,
He was very impressed, and during that meeting we decided that I
should come back to Atlanta after the JCK Las Vegas show and share
our knowledge, since I had 90 days Visiting Visa, and I decided to
stay for a month since i had $1500 left with me, and then return back
to Mumbai.

My fathers friend was very generous to allow me to stay in his
house, and it was decided that Mr. Gentleman would pick me up every
day in the morning to his shop and drop me in the evening, since
there was no public transport available in that part of Atlanta.

After 15 days of working in his shop, we decided to begin a long
term relation ship of mutual benefits, and he agreed that he will
employ me and apply to the Georgia labor department for a H1-B
working Visa for me, so I can officially start getting paid. Mr.
Gentleman took me to a lawyer, and extended my visa for another 6
months, and said that he has started the procedure of employing me
and we would get working Visa with in 3 months.

Mr. Gentleman called his former employee to give me two days
training on Model master CNC machine and Artcam software, but I
learned to operate it in one day only so he saved $400.00 on
training.In the first week I designed and made a wax pattern on Model
master of a customers pendant, made a rtv rubber mold from it and he
delivered it at the cost of $330. I started designing and making
custom jewellery ( rings, pendants ,charms, earrings,cufflinks,etc)
with the help of Artcam and Model Master CNC machine,I finish the wax
pattern, invested and casted the jewellery in 14K white and yellow
gold,filed, finished and polished it and made ready for setting.He
did some of the setting and then he employed one black jeweller to do
setting and repair work. I had finished my $1500 in three months, but
the work visa did not arrive, and I was told by Mr.Gentleman that it
would arrive in next month and it never arrived till 31st December.
Mr Gentleman was the President of the Rotary Club of Stone mountain
that year, and he religiously came for 6 months to pick me up at
9.00AM in the morning and leave at 7.00PM in the evening to my Dads
friend house where I stayed on my own expense, since as he reasoned
that he could not pay me because it was against the law to pay,since
I was not having a work Visa, but it was not against law for him to
get work done from me and to continue working free for him. So I
borrowed money from my dad’s friend and returned back to Mumbai in
Jan 2003.

Lately my Fathers friend found out from that lawyer,that it was a
routine work for him to get chinese worker who were working
illegally in US for Pittance at such Mr. Gentleman’s shop.

Who knows how many craftsman from other countries are exploited in
US by The Honorable US Citizens (Mr.Gentlemen).

I am providing only the facts and have nothing against anybody on
this earth whether they are living on the place called US or India.
Because I have gone through the same kind of experience in Mumbai
working with the so called owners of Jewellery factories in Seepzs

May god give them (Mr. Gentlemen) good intelligence, so they can
wake up from their sleep and see in the light of humanity, and stop
exploiting their own kind on their own earth.

May God bless us all with total health- Physical, Spiritual, Mental
and Social.



Now that you are back in the fray, I continue to find that your logic
and dialogue stretch the imagination. When you suggest that
manufacurers in the Los Angeles jewelry district charge such
miniscule prices for manufacturing procedures I can’t help but
interprete your inference as being suggestive that American
manufacturers are running sweat shops designed to compete with those
we have inferred about third world countries. What is your point ?
When you suggest that we have laborers who “love” to cut stones, but
won’t work cheaply enough are you also saying that if you love to do
something that you don’t have to compete ?. The fact is that
developing economies have highly qualified people who can better
compete in the world economy…and, we have to adjust to the fact
that we are now a part of the world economy, and, we have to compete
with the whole world ! The concomitant logic is that we must also
concede to reduced expectations. A world which we assume to be the
norm for consumption no longer exists…Ron at Mills Gem Co. Los


I strongly doubt that any of the workers he quoted wages for, have
one tenth the number of items anyone on this list living in the US
takes for granted (things we consider necessities, not our
excessive toys).

What makes you think that people in India would want the objects you
consider so necessary to live? Their society works on an entirely
different basis to ours - this is not necessarily ‘backward’ but it
is their choice and, to a large extent, just like the people who
choose to live in the ‘backwoods’ of the US, they would have it no
other way. Fortunately for the people of the Indies and the East, our
society is preoccupied with obtaining gadgets and baubles which are
not really necessary to life and of which we quickly tire - this
gives the workers in these areas employment which might not otherwise
be available and improves their percieved standard of living. At the
same time, however, such preoccupation is also jeapordising the
future of the planet for our grandchildren and their grandchildren by
making ever more demands on industrial processes which generate
unacceptable waste products. I grant that the working conditions in
parts of India are not up to our sanitized standards but they provide
very necessary services for the rest of the world. For instance, if
it were not for the workers in India, there would be virtually no
brass produced in the world. In the ‘developed world’ the Zinc
regulations have now made it virtually impossible to make brass and,
if the western world were to equip a factory to make it ‘safely’,
then it would probably be priced in the ‘precious metals’ category!

I’m not saying that we should condone exploitation of any worker but
you must realise and accept that other socities have different
standards and aspirations to ours and that our opinion of the lax
standards and lower working conditions in their factories may be
reflected by an opinion amongst their employers and politicians that
our factories are ridiculously over regulated and that our workers
are mardy wimps. In the 1960’s the UK and probably other parts of
the world experienced an influx of people from Pakistan - an area
which is despised by most of Indian society and whose workers were
usually given the most dangerous and detested jobs. Even though those
who emigrated here got very lucrative jobs in the steel works etc.
and there was, at that time, no bar to the number of people who could
come here, the number who did so was relatively small and the vast
majority of the population chose to stay at home in the conditions
they were happier with.

I think that, rather than condemning the abaility of other countries
to produce goods at a fraction of the price of our home society, we
should rather examine why we can’t do the same here - after all, if
there is another big war at some time in the future, where will our
’necessities’ come from then?

Best Wishes

Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK