We are delighted to announce that Ingle & Rhode can now offer fair trade rubies from Tanzania. These are sourced through Ruby Fair, a company established in 2008 by Pete Brown and Gary Roberts. Their stones are entirely natural, and are not heat-treated or enhanced in any way. We will be holding a selection of these rubies in stock, and will also be able to source specific stones to order for use in pieces of bespoke jewellery.
Key ethical policies govern the operation in Tanzania; no child labour; replacement of top soil and rock soil; fair wages for workers, and a share in bonuses; strict safety procedures; sponsorship of a local children’s home and orphanage; financial contributions to a local hospital; and local cutting and polishing of the rubies.
Ruby is formed from corundum, the same mineral as sapphire. Corundum is colourless in its pure state, but trace impurities such as chrome give ruby its distinctive colour (the word ‘ruby’ derives from the latin word ‘rubens’, meaning ‘red’). On the Mohr’s scale, it has a hardness of nine, second only to diamond. While large rubies can be as expensive as diamonds, small and medium sized stones can be surprisingly affordable. Fair trade rubies can look fantastic set either by themselves, or next to conflict free diamonds.