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What "Mine to Market" Really Means

Posted by Lee Milby on

For many people, the concept of Mine to Market blends in with the numerous buzzwords that surround green living. But what does it really mean?

To embrace the New Year, SOHO GEM highlights the Mine to Market philosophy, describing the process and giving you the knowledge to make informed investment decisions.

This article features exclusive images from Madagascar taken by Charles Macintosh for our Mine to Market partner, Prosperity Earth.

What is Mine to Market?

To be specific, it means that the product's journey directly from the mine to the retail outpost is direct and traceable. Does it matter how many hands the product comes across before it reaches the consumer? For a consumer who is seeking the greatest value in a gemstone, the answer is yes.

How can you be sure that the origin is accurate? Without a certificate from an accredited institution (i.e. AGL or GIA), it's impossible to know. Even with a cert, all you will know is the country or region of origin. But what about the mine? 

This gets a little more complicated. Most jewelers, designers, and gem dealers purchase their stones second, third, or fourth hand. The gems are unearthed, shipped to be 'preformed' (the intitial rough shaping of a stone) and cut, and then sold in the open market to wholesalers. Wholesalers will then travel to Thailand, China, India, Brazil, or even right here in the United States to find gem dealers. Or, they will go to numerous trade shows around the world where dealers gather to display their goods for sale to gemstone buyers.

The average consumer's likelihood of finding a gemstone that bypasses all the middlemen is extremely rare. Very few jewelry companies have the ability to trace or buy their product directly from the mine, which takes valuable time and energy. However, companies like Gemfields and Prosperity Earth are changing this.

Example of a typical Gemstone Journey:


In contrast, here is an example of a Mine to Market Gemstone Journey:

Today's younger generations care more about the ethics, origins, and value of their investments. As retailers, it is our responsibility to provide them with the information and knowledge they need to feel confident in their jewelry purchase.

Mine to Market streamlines the Gemstone Journey, saving time and money. SOHO GEM has partnered directly with Prosperity Earth gemstone mines in Madagascar, to bring the finest gems to New York from this exotic, mineral-rich island in an ethical, responsible way.

Madagascar has a multitude of high quality natural gems: sapphire, ruby, spinel, emerald, iolite, tourmaline, and garnet, to name a few.

Working with a company like Prosperity Earth ensures that the local people of Madagascar are employed in safe working conditions, paid above average wages, and their families and communities are supported with donations and infrastructure. For fine jewelry shoppers, either in SoHo, New York, or anywhere in the world, access to this kind of direct value and ethical sourcing is invaluable.

SOHO GEM believes in Mine to Market values, and we are very excited for our customers to enjoy lower cost jewels, at a higher ethical value