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Environmental Concerns – Gemstones Under Scrutiny

Debate on gemstones – revolving around issues as varied and diverse as price, quality, traditional uses and ethical mining – have been doing the rounds not only in the press but also in discussion groups related to the subject. Well, are these debates worth the attention they grab? Most likely, yes. Gemstones are, no doubt, precious and revered by many the world over. This article will discuss gem related issues currently in the media spotlight.

For many, tradition is an important part of everyday life. Innumerable traditions have associated different months of the year with different gemstones. The rationale behind this has, needless to say, been under heated discussion on a global scale. The basis for choosing certain gemstones to represent certain months has been under intense scrutiny. But since many people appreciate unity in diversity, feel free to choose gemstones that you like the most, and that portray certain significances as per your tradition.

Of late, interesting debate on birthstones has gained prominence. To correspond with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year, cultures the world over have designed birth stones for different periods. While some argue that the best way to assign gemstones is according to the months of the year, others suggest that it would be good if the astrological signs were matched with the right gemstones and not the month of the year. Would it not be more fun if you can have the freedom to choose the right gemstone for yourself?

Fair trade issues relating to gemstones is another hotly debated topic in circulation. A lot of pressure is being put on the gemstone trade to adopt socially accepted and environmentally responsible policies. Current policies focus more on sustainability and economical use of Aquamarin gemstones and other natural resources, which, in the opinion of environmentalists, needs to change. We have the world media to thank for bringing awareness of the impending doom of our planet into the homes of millions of gemstone users, IF environmentally friendly methods are not adopted. More and more questions are being asked about mining conditions and the welfare of miners.

Many gemstone consumers have shifted from focusing on economic issues to concerns over mining processes that conform to acceptable ethical, ecological and social issues. For example, if gemstone mining is bringing serious harm to miners, should it be supported? If the families living in a would-be mine site are forcefully evacuated to pave way for mining, should it be supported?

That said, there has been marked progress in ensuring that mining companies and producers of end-user jewelery make eco-friendly products. With current technology and innovation, new techniques need to be adopted that would promote a greener environment.

In conclusion: Debates on gemstones continue to make the rounds the world over. They range from issues varied and diverse as price, quality, traditional uses and ethical mining. Another hotly debated topic is that of traditions the world over associating different months of the year with certain gemstones. Of late, interesting debate on birthstones to correspond with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year has also gained prominence, but what has perhaps hit the homes of millions of gemstone buyers – thanks to the media – is awareness of the gravity of impending doom for our planet should policies to protect the environment and the welfare of miners not be adopted. These debates are regarded by many as necessary, not only for their informative content, but also for laying the foundation for the formulation of environmentally friendly policies.

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