ETHICS & TRACEABILITY  

Read time: 5-7 mins
Audio version available here   
Each gemstone, diamond, or piece of jewellery means something different to everyone. For some, it’s a symbol of a significant moment of importance - the start of a family, a memorable milestone, or a way to reconnect with a moment in time. For others, especially those working in the business, it’s their entire way of life - a substantial pillar to their generational legacy. 
 

Consider the journey of just one single gemstone. Each time the gemstone changes hands, it becomes something different for the person who currently has it in their possession - every time it belongs to a new person, the gemstones significance alters and becomes distinct to the intention of its holder. Are they looking to keep it for an investment? Perhaps resell it for a profit? Or is it a gift for a loved one?

Sri Lanka rough sapphire mine

Let’s start from a stone's roughest form, an uncut crystal recently unearthed from a mine. Once it’s removed from the earth, it’s then transported by a mine worker, to the mine owner, and then into the hands of a buyer. New hand, new vision. From here, the stone could go anywhere in the world. If it’s in Cavalier's hands, it goes to an experienced cutter to which its beauty is enhanced into a freshly cut stone, ready to be set for jewellery. As a brand, we are very proud of our international relationships with extraordinarily talented premium cutters around the world. Our goal is, and will always be, to achieve the highest outcome of a single stone's pure or potential beauty.

However, the stone could take a different route altogether. If the stone goes into a competing market with a different owner, different priorities may result in a different outcome. Various cultures around the world have alternate objectives and interests for the future of their stones; size and weight can often trump cutting quality and overall brilliance in certain regions around the globe. 

With that said, someone with the right skillset can harvest a “castaway gem” into something very special. Finding these particular gemstones, and enhancing their beauty for our clientele, is one of the most rewarding aspects of Cavalier’s operation. It’s a skillset all in it’s own. Every now and then, the previous owner misses the true potential of a gemstone. Enhancing that stone with a recut or re-polish, can give it a new and previously unknown allure.

Context 

Without understanding the history or the culture of the person who is mining the stone, cutting the stone, or reselling the stone in the marketplace, it can feel nearly impossible to apply a code of ethics derived from North American cultural standards. Our business is rooted from participating in another culture’s economy, sourced directly from their land, making it our responsibility to understand what their life looks like with our own eyes. 

We make our purchasing decisions based on the information we see first hand, and we encourage those interested to visit these countries, observe these communities, listen and understand their stories - it will solidify how rare and precious these stones truly are, and how much stones can mean to the identity of a country, it’s economy, and ultimately its people.

Chivor mining region of Colombia.

Perspective 

Oftentimes we get so caught up in a buy/sell industry, our global economy practically runs at full speed with monetary motivation as its primary driver. Where the truth lies for us, is in the value of the product - its complex history and it's incredibly telling journey. This is what’s precious, this is what truly makes gems stand out in such a fierce and competitive global marketplace. 

The quality of life we experience in North America is fortunate in many ways. Our team at Cavalier feels privileged to be able to experience firsthand the stories of these stones and their people. Deciding what stone you want is not just about how it looks when you come into the shop, it’s an opportunity to appreciate the journey it went through up until that moment, and to carry its history forward into your journeys ahead. 

Chivor mining region of Colombia.

Trust 

Cavalier is built off a lifetime of trust, community and family. We are very proud to shed light on the people and the land to which our stones come from. We want to share their fascinating cultures with our followers, tell their story through our first-hand experiences, and allow for the quality of our collection to speak with curated confidence. 

In Cavalier’s case, these relationships have thrived for more than three generations. They have set the foundation for each of our stones’ journeys, from mine to showroom and ultimately, to our clients’ hands and beyond.

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All images captured and shared here were documented on our sourcing trips to the Sri Lankan Sapphire mines and in the Chivor mining regions of Colombia.