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Where are your gems from?

i am interested in using gemstones that have been aquired
through the least environmentally destructive process. I have
found a bit of about certain types of stones usually
being found in streams or as pebbles, whereas others are almost
always mined. does anybody have any relating to

thank you,

Our Vietnamese rubies & sapphires have been mined in an
environmentally responsible way. The gravels collect at the base
of the mountain ( Luc Yen area of North Vietnam). We then bring
the gravel up a ramp where it is sprayed with water and shaken
through a screen. No dynamite or chemicals are ever used.

Check to see if you have any “rock-hound” clubs in your area.
When I lived in British Columbia, Canada the Fraser River was a
great source of naturally tumbled stones (jade, red jasper,
green jasper, etc.)for my pebble collection. Any local club can
probably direct you to an area where Mother Nature is willing to
share her wealth.


I hope you’re up to a shot of reality. Simply because stones are
purchased in the form of water worn pebbles does not mean they
were not mined. Many gemstones are found in placer deposits. For
example corundum (sapphire and ruby), topaz, agates etc. etc.
Most of this material is not simply washed out of a stream bed,
but is dug from the gravels of ancient stream beds which may be
several hundred feet beneath the surface of the ground. To mine
them, you dig a big pit. The country around Chantaburi, Bo Rai
etc. in Thailand is covered with red dirt sandpiles around lots
of small holes dug to shallower deposits. Some of the villages
have been undermined in the search for sapphire and ruby. But
let’s say you only take material that has been taken from the
beds of running streams. You can’t mine a streambed like that
without doing damage to fish habitat , silting the lower reaches,
etc. Of course you can minimize the silting problem by carving
out settling ponds and so forth. The fact is that if you mine you
have a significant impact on the environment. I don’t know what
you are planning on setting the stones in , but if you plan on
using gold or silver, they come from the same place. Your tools
use metal, plastic , wood, leather, stone …you use oils, gasses
etc. that have been obtained through exploitation of the
environment. You can go on and on. The fact is that if you live
on this planet you are having an impact. Whether the impact is
positive or negative depends on your own perspective. Most
gemstones come from the “third world”. Some decry the conditions
under which the miners work and the “damage” they do to their
environment. They say we should boycott materials that are
obtained thereby. I’ve spent a healthy number of my 66 years in
the developing nations of Central America and Southeast Asia and
I can tell you that there are a lot of people whose very
survival depends on these pebbles. Would you deprive them of
that? Make your pieces in the knowledge that you are doing
something that people you can not imagine are benefitting
thereby. Jerry in Kodiak

Kudos Jerry.

Couldn’t agree with you more. The same thoughts could apply to
electric and natural gas powered automobiles which are getting a
lot of play here in California. Or for that matter just about
anything we use or consume.

It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical
need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as
some kind of recreational activity.