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The Road beyond Tucson. - Greg Valerio
First published in Gems & Jewellery, March 2015 edition. I climb into Marc & Helen Choyts car, ankle-deep in snow and as we skid round the corners of Sante Fe’s slushy streets, we set the ‘sat nav‘ to Tucson gem show, some seven hours south into the desert of Arizona. Tucson is one of the biggest gem shows in the world and a Mecca for all lovers of coloured stone. As we drive we talk. The Roman straight desert roads disappear over the horizons of New Mexico and Arizona, and as the Interstate unfolds, it is in someway a fitting metaphor of the ethical jewellery challenges Marc and Helen and the 1000’s of other SME jewellers will face in the USA. Here the corporate business culture of The Responsible Jewellery Council is trying to dominate ethical definitions and dialogue around ethical performance in jewellery, but currently does very little to serve the real rank and file of the industry with its one size fits all philosophy. It is simply to elitist to be contextual and appropriate. Our ethical jewellery destination is always just over the horizon, seemingly always just out of reach, but we take encouragement from the strides that …