Our Fair Trade Rubies From Rubyfair
Reflective Images, the parent company of Artisan Wedding Rings, is proud to be the sole North American distributor of Fair Trade Rubies from Tanzania.
These rubies are mined by a small company founded in 2008 by the international photo journalist Gary Roberts and Pete Brown. Gary and Pete Brown were friends at Leads University in the UK, where they met while studying zoology. Together, they joined Tanzanian friend Vedasto Kujwalire to form a partnership.
Vedasto had a small claim high in the southern mountains of Tanzania for over 10 years, but being retired could not afford to develop the site. Gary, who owns a home in Tanzania, agreed to finance the venture, operating on fair trade principles to support a small rural community’s economic development.
Mythology Of Ruby
Rubies are from the blood of the ancient Hindu demon, Vala. We associate blood and the color red with ardor, change, intensity, heart, love and vitality. Vala and the eggs of the serpent represent the cathartic forces, this primordial power of the earth. This is certainly true from a scientific, geologic view point: the geologic pressure and unique chemical conditions it takes over the eons to create the ruby is miraculous. Read More...
Our Fair Trade Rubies Are Natural
Heat treatment and filling agents are common in ruby production. The majority of ruby from Burma and Sri Lanka have had some form of heat treatment to enhance the stone. This greatly reduces the value, compared with a natural gem. Gems from Ruby Fair are not artificially enhanced in any manner. The color you get is as it came out of the earth.
At The Mine
The general area in which Ruby Fair operates has been mined for many years. Ruby fair’s policy is to leave a claim no worse, and preferably better than when operations began. Rubyfair.com takes the welfare of its workers seriously. Safety equipment and procedures are strictly adhered to.
No Child Labor
Children are not employed in either the mine or in the cutting process. They do have a 16 year old who helps in the kitchen and apparently makes very good cakes.
Strict Environmental Consideration
Before any exploration takes place, an environmental impact statement is conducted. During the mining process, recommendation of the study are strictly followed.
Mining is done horizontally on a hill and erosion is controlled at all times. Top soil is removed and placed adjacent to the pit. As sections are complete, rock soil, followed by top soil, is replaced. A horizontal, terraced area with top soil has been created which local farmers utilize for crops which are rotationally planted.
Miners are fed, housed and paid above the standard wages for skilled craftsmen. They also share in bonuses.
Safety: Ruby fair takes the safety of its workers seriously. Workers are given protection and procedures are strictly adhered to.
Water is sourced from a spring directly, and stored in tanks. After use in the mine, water with sediment is allowed to settle before it is recycled. Thus, local water supply is not degraded. The villagers also have access to the clean water supply from the tanks.
Blasting takes place about once a month. The community is notified in advance and safety procedures are in place. The sub aqua electric pump is driven by new generator housed in natural pit with bamboo roof covering. The only real audible working sounds are normal chatting and vocalization of the ruby mining team. Walkie talkies were introduced to save shouting across mine site plus a lot of leg work!
Rubyfair makes regular contributions to a local hospital.
Ruby fair has also invested in road improvement, allowing easier access to the village where the mining takes place.
Ruby fair allows the community to utilize the water from the tanks they installed.
The stones are cut and polished in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, benefiting the local Tanzanian economy from mine through the cutting process.
The cutting operation has been cutting gem stones since 1958 and uses SEAMIC (Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre) trained cutters. No child labor is used and recently cutting machinery has been replaced to improve the working environment.<.li>