Signature Project 1 - Enhancing Gemstone Cutting (Pilot Area: Jaipur, India)

The Gemstones and Sustainable Development Hub is partnering with 'American Gem Trade Association' (AGTA) and 'Workplace Health Without Borders' (WHWB) in seeking to improve understanding of health issues in gemstone manufacturing and implementing suitable solutions. The pilot project will be carried out in Jaipur (India) at a number of different cutting facilities, starting early 2018.

Read More

Contested Claims of Wealth: Cubagua Island in the Early Modern Imagination

Before abundant sources of gold and silver were discovered in Mexico and Peru, pearls were the main riches that Spanish colonists exploited in the Americas. During his third trip to the Americas in 1498, Christopher Columbus discovered bountiful supply of pearls around the island of Cubagua, off the coast of today's Venezuela. The news about the existence of the highly prized commodity in the newly discovered seas quickly circulated inside and outside Spain. This gave rise to organized, and often conflict-ridden, ventures to harvest the Caribbean pearl beds.

Read More

Featured Project: Golden Rutilated Quartz Artisanal Mining Community

At the January 2017 Jewelry Industry Summit held in Tucson, Brian and Kendra Cook (Nature’s Geometry) discussed their efforts to promote sustainable mining in Brazil’s Bahia State. In cooperation with 2,500 miners from the region, the Cooks are developing a collective in Remedios, Novo Horizonte (figure 1). Plans to brand the region’s unique golden rutilated quartz will be supported by a warehouse and cutting facilities, as well as a visitor center. To provide food security for the population, the Cooks also intend to bring organic community farming to the area.

Read More