Reflective Images, the parent company of Artisan Wedding Rings, is proud to be the sole North American distributor of Fair Trade Rubies from Tanzania.
These rubies are mined by a small company founded in 2008 by the international photo journalist Gary Roberts and Pete Brown. Gary and Pete Brown were friends at Leads University in the UK, where they met while studying zoology. Together, they joined Tanzanian friend Vedasto Kujwalire to form a partnership.
Vedasto had a small claim high in the southern mountains of Tanzania for over 10 years, but being retired could not afford to develop the site. Gary, who owns a home in Tanzania, agreed to finance the venture, operating on fair trade principles to support a small rural community's economic development.
Mythology Of Ruby
Our Fair Trade Rubies Are Natural
Heat treatment and filling agents are common in ruby production. The majority of ruby from Burma and Sri Lanka have had some form of heat treatment to enhance the stone. This greatly reduces the value, compared with a natural gem. Gems from Ruby Fair are not artificially enhanced in any manner. The color you get is as it came out of the earth.
At The Mine
The general area in which Ruby Fair operates has been mined for many years. Ruby fair's policy is to leave a claim no worse, and preferably better than when operations began. Rubyfair.com takes the welfare of its workers seriously. Safety equipment and procedures are strictly adhered to.
No Child Labor
Children are not employed in either the mine or in the cutting process. They do have a 16 year old who helps in the kitchen and apparently makes very good cakes.
Strict Environmental Consideration
Before any exploration takes place, an environmental impact statement is conducted. During the mining process, recommendation of the study are strictly followed.
Mining is done horizontally on a hill and erosion is controlled at all times. Top soil is removed and placed adjacent to the pit. As sections are complete, rock soil, followed by top soil, is replaced. A horizontal, terraced area with top soil has been created which local farmers utilize for crops which are rotationally planted.
Miners are fed, housed and paid above the standard wages for skilled craftsmen. They also share in bonuses. Safety: Ruby fair takes the safety of its workers seriously. Workers are given protection and procedures are strictly adhered to.
Blasting takes place about once a month. The community is notified in advance and safety procedures are in place. The sub aqua electric pump is driven by new generator housed in natural pit with bamboo roof covering. The only real audible working sounds are normal chatting and vocalization of the ruby mining team. Walkie talkies were introduced to save shouting across mine site plus a lot of leg work!
Rubyfair.com is a proud sponsor of the Ukwama children's Home and Orphanage by offering them food supplies, toys and books.