Posted on in Sustainability

The long value chain of the jewelry industry

Raw stone, faceted stone, laboratories, treatments, jewelers, traders... It is not easy to find one's way through the value chain of the jewel industry. It is not easy to find your way through the jewellery industry's value chain, and for good reason: it is made up of a huge number of players, which makes it complex. In this article, we propose an overview to clarify it, from the mine to the finished jewel.



The raw stone


Before building a mine, you need to know where to place it. This is the first step, the prospecting phase. All stones are not found everywhere, but only in certain specific rock formations at particular depths. Prospecting consists of determining the sites where gems are likely to be found.


Precious stones are formed deep underground, so it is necessary to dig to recover them: this is the extraction phase. Two main types of mines exist: small-scale artisanal mines - very common for colored stones such as sapphire - and large-scale industrial mines, which are very common for diamond extraction. The production of artisanal mines, which are much more dispersed than industrial mines, means that it is more difficult to control the stones that come out of them and sometimes pass from hand to hand in a rather opaque value chain.

The stones extracted in this way are in the raw state of crystals, which enter the trade of rough stones.


From stone to jewelry

The rough stones are then cut, this is the work of the lapidary craftsman. He will preform the crystal (i.e. give the crystal the shape of the stone he wants to cut), then facet and polish it. This is a complex job, since the stone must reflect the light as much as possible, while ensuring that it has a beautiful color and minimizing the loss of material due to the cut. At the end of this process, the raw crystal will have become a faceted stone, ready to be set into a piece of jewelry.


These stones integrate the market of the faceted stones then are mounted, it is the work of the craftsmen jewellers who will create a setting, beforehand imagined and drawn by a jeweller designer, then set the stone on it. It is a work of precision which will sublimate the stone, sometimes by associating it with others. The jewelry creation is ready, put on sale to the final customer.


Additional steps

To this already long chain of value are sometimes added other steps such as treatment and certification. The treatment aims to make the stone more attractive by enhancing its color, eliminating inclusions considered as defects ... A good example is sapphire, which is mostly heated to intensify its color. Certification is provided by independent laboratories such as the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) or the Laboratoire Français de Gemmologie (LFG), and will guarantee the variety of a stone - for example that a ruby is a ruby and not a garnet. This is the job of the gemologists who identify, evaluate and value the gems.

This value chain is difficult to control because of its complexity and opacity. This is why Nascendi Paris is committed to making it more transparent: as traders, we are present from the beginning, directly from the cutting centers. We are able to ensure the quality of our stones, verified by our expert gemologists, as well as the respect of the standards and the fair redistribution of the value all along this chain; because we follow the route of our stones to the jeweler's craftsman who is going to give shape to your unique creation, born from the alchemy between the stone and the metal.


Discover without delay our selection of gemstones available on Nascendi Paris.

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