Sourcing

Jewelry Auction Aims to Build Diversity in the Maker Market

SourcingApr 18, 2022

Jewelry Auction Aims to Build Diversity in the Maker Market

Columbia Gem House will auction pieces from MJSA’s Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge to raise funds for the nonprofit Nest.

Columbia Gem House will donate proceeds from an upcoming auction of pieces from MJSA’s Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge to nonprofit Nest to build diversity and inclusion in the artisan market. Pictured is a rendering of a Design Challenge entry from Jamie Hollier, owner of Balefire in Arvada, Colorado.
Vancouver, Wash.—Columbia Gem House will host the Responsibly Sourced Design Auction and fundraiser again this fall, this time benefiting a nonprofit called Nest.

Nest supports the growth and engagement of the artisan and makers market economy to build greater gender equity and economic inclusion.

The auction will take place in November on ColumbiaGemHouse.com and feature the jewels submitted to MJSA’s Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge.

The challenge asks jewelers to design a piece based on a fictional scenario they’ve been given. This year’s prompt was to create a piece for a woman who’d been adopted and wants to learn more about her background.

Colored stone company Columbia Gem House has sponsored the design challenge since 2019 but expanded the project last year by inviting the designers involved to produce their designs and auction them for a good cause.

Proceeds from the 2021 auction went to help the Navajo Nation recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, proceeds will go toward Nest’s Jewelers United program, part of its Makers United initiative, which is focused on elevating BIPOC artisans and providing market access to ensure the maker movement in the United States is open to everyone regardless of gender, race, means, or ability. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

As the sponsor of the event, CGH donates gemstones to help the designers bring their renderings to life.

For the 2022 challenge, the company has donated hexagon-shaped Oregon sunstone, hexagon-shaped Montana sapphire, tapered baguettes of Australian sapphire, and Brazilian citrine baguettes.

CGH also donated silver to help produce the pieces.

In the months leading up to the auction, CGH will share designs submitted to the challenge as MJSA releases them. Submissions will be released through September.

In October, voting will take place on MJSA.org, and CGH will host the auction on its website the following month.

To stay up to date with auction announcements and designs, follow Columbia Gem House on Instagram or visit its website to sign up for the newsletter. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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