Editors

You Can Now Buy Stones from Moyo Gems

EditorsOct 31, 2019

You Can Now Buy Stones from Moyo Gems

The faceted gems have been traced from mine—they were unearthed by women miners in Tanzania—to market.

Theresia is one of the miners taking part in the Moyo Gemstones project. The 50-year-old is a single mother of four and relies on mining tourmaline and sapphire in Tanzania as a source of income. (Photo Credit: Pact)

Good news for anyone who’s been following along as the Moyo Gemstones project progresses, or who simply likes the idea of buying gemstones from women miners in Tanzania—colored gems from the pilot project are ready for purchase!

Moyo launched earlier this year to help rubies, sapphires, tourmalines and garnets extracted by female miners in Tanga, Tanzania move from mine to market while teaching the women about gemstones as well as improving their health, safety and working conditions.

Moyo is a collaboration involving the non-governmental organization Pact, Anza Gems and Nineteen48, with input from the Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA) and a blockchain addition from Everledger. It is a fascinating project that could pave the way for building marketplaces for other small-scale and artisanal gemstone miners.

(For more in-depth information on Moyo Gemstones, read my blog post from April.)

After taking some time to work out the best method for facilitating sales, training and other considerations, the gems are finally hitting the market.

Moyo is currently selling faceted stones through the two international trading partners mentioned above, both of whom are strong advocates of social responsibility: Anza Gems and Nineteen48.

“The idea that we can trace a single gemstone back to an individual miner in Tanzania really resonates with buyers,” Anza Gems’ Monica Stephenson said. “The fact that these miners are all members of the Tanzanian Women Miners Association in Tanga, have attended basic GIA gemstone training, free occupational health and safety training in their villages, and are legally licensed as miners is another huge selling point.

“We are trying to add value to the miners’ lives in more ways than just the purchase of their gemstones. It is about participation in the global gem trade and empowerment.”

For more information or to purchase gems, contact Stephenson at monica@idazzle.com or Stuart Pool at Nineteen48 at stuart@nineteen48.com.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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