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Ed Bristol
WildFishGems supports the World Land Trust
Since 2012 we buy 1000 squares meter of rainforest to be preserved for ever gem we sell. This land is kept safe for your grand-grandkids by WLT.
Every customer gets a certificate from WLT in his/her name.

In 2013 we bought 28 acres in Columbia:

Last year's loot in protected rainforest.


supports the

Nonhuman Rights Project

with a monthly donation.

JEA about Wild Fish 


Jewelers Ethics Association

about Wild Fish.

Investor World 

The three essential rules of buying gems on the web:

1. Negotiate. Don't be shy.
- Gems have no fixed price.  
- In this trade, liquidity often tops margin. "Cash" is king. Make an offer.
- More than two gems should get a parcel price.
- Gem dealers are humans. Respect and honesty help.

2. If in doubt, pay by card.
- Credit cards are 100% protected by the banks. The banks are on the buyers side.
- Paypal is neutral at best.
- Money orders or checks are only for the tried-and-tested.

3. Enjoy.
- Collecting gems must be fun. If you are tense and nervous you are missing the point.
- Buy only what you can afford. Don't gamble. Gems are addictive substances.
- Inform yourself, learn and explore, but don't get obsessed. Objective truth is limited here.

Edward Bristol at WildFishGems.com

The International Jeweler Update

(photo: radiated topaz)


Natural Gemstone Jewelry

Natural? Why 'natural'?

Though already the Greeks are reported to have cooked colored gemstones for cleaning, technology has recently changed the gem market in its foundations.

Fact is, more than 95% of all gemstones in the market are not natural any more at all. Most have been ultra-high heated up to melting point, others have been radiated or bathed in chemicals. The high-end gemstone connoisseur has always been collecting strictly natural gemstones, but the jewelry-buying-public has had little access to untreated gemstones. In deed, once a stone is mounted it is hardly possible to determine whether it is natural or not.

Partly because industrial mass production does not allow the individual settings of natural stones, partly because untreated gemstones are rarer and thus more expensive, 99% of all jewelry is made with treated material. But since highly radioactive gems have appeared on the market, people worry about what has been done with the gemstones they wear every day.

Besides those that are thus worried about health issues and those simply prefering the real thing, people who wear gemstones for healing purposes also demand untreated stones. While the demand for natural stones continues to rise, production does not increase at all. As a result untreated gemstones have, besides their natural beauty, turned out to be a good investment amongst collectors.

In the last years two companies have specialized in offering untreated gemstones on the web: NSC in New York and Wild Fish in Colombo. While the latter sells untreated gems of all varieties from Sri Lanka only, NSC deals in sapphire only, but also has some treated stones in their stock.

This year, Wild Fish has taken the next step and now offers exclusively untreated gemstones to be mounted and have presented an exclusive line of inhouse designs. Because untreated gemstones are never calibrated (produced in standard sizes), every piece must be individually designed and handcrafted as one of a kind. The company displays a small stock under www.wildfishgems.com/jewelry.



Investing in beauty with good karma:

The hidden cost of sapphires


In the last decades gemstones especially sapphires have become affordable to a much wider audience. Centuries ago only the rich and powerful could afford or have access to a ruby or a star sapphire. Today one might by cheap sapphires for less than $20 a carat on the internet.


Two main developments have led to this price drop:

a)  Low grade corundum is nowadays treated with radiation, heat and chemicals to be then sold as "natural" gem-quality sapphire.

b)  The ruthless exploitation of natural and human resources in the, mostly 3rd world, gem mining countries is in no way reflected in the international market prices but is carried by the local communities and mine workers.


From a financial point of view it is not wise to choose treated gemstones as an investment because their prices have been falling for decades, while the prices for untreated stones have been skyrocketing. Furthermore most treatments are under heavy critic for their potentially harmful side effects, the reduced durability of the stones and their unnatural colors.


However, the treatment of low quality stones does no harm anybody except the buyer. But the more and more industrialized mining of gems in totally uncontrolled areas in Madagascar, Myanmar or Sri Lanka does long lasting damage to nature and its inhabitants.


In Sri Lanka for example the "Ihlam", the gem baring gravel, is traditionally washed in the rivers which releases an all life killing mud downstream. For centuries this was not a major problem since mining was done only on a small and unindustrialized scale.


Today since sapphires have become the No1 foreign currency provider, one can see the brownish suffocated rivers in all gem mining areas, which is practically allover Sri LankaNo fishes, no water animals, not even leaches survive the oxygen killing mud that comes down the rivers in tons every day.


With a government occupied fighting a civil war, the up-countries are turned into wasteland to satisfy the growing demand for dead cheap sapphires. The term "blood-diamonds" has been introduced to discriminate diamonds financing genocides, civil wars or governments violating human right, but the public is yet little aware of the social and ecological implication of sapphire mining.


For more on this topic see: http://www.wildfishgems.com/


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