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Ethical Trading Statement

Ethical Trading Statement

Most of our supplies are from individuals and small manufacturers, or agents of local cottage industries. Generally, work goes to uncapitalised individuals who extract crystals as their sole source of income, in areas where no other sources of income are available. Rough stone for cutting such as Rose Quartz and Jaspers, may be extracted by excavators but mineral/crystal specimens are carefully mined by hand, therefore retaining their value. It is in this way an ideal small industry providing much needed employment. 

Regarding a ‘rape of the land’ debate, most mining and quarrying is for bulk stones & minerals. Crystals are pulped in hundreds of thousands of tonnes for commercial use. This type of crystal/mineral extraction is not for our industry. Crystal/mineral mining that produces our products accounts for a maximum of 0.001% of the industry’s total output. 

Our suppliers have been selected for their reliability and trustworthiness. Over the last 30 years we have established a network of companies and individuals who we trust implicitly. From my experiences of travelling to meet and get to know our suppliers in Brazil, India, China, Madagascar and USA, I have never witnessed or heard any stories of unethical or exploitatative practices.

I recently visited our Chinese supplier’s lapidary in Shenzhen. The factory employs about 300 workers (small by Chinese standards), most of whom arrived from rural areas with little or no employment.  These workers have been trained to use the lapidary machines to cut and polish gemstones. The factory is owned and managed by a Chinese man and his Philippine wife who work long hours in their Hong Kong showroom. We have worked closely with Frank and Malou for 20 years and have never seen them exploit anyone.

I also import stones from Madagascar using a purchasing agent. The stones are brought to my agent's office by local self employed craft people where he selects and negotiates the price and pays the individual. This is a good example of how the crystal trade works.

The exploitatitive methods used by the commercial gemstone business do not apply in the crystal trade purely because of the small demand and value of the goods.

Jonathan Burhouse

Managing Director


Snow Chalcedony