SUSAN ERIKSSON promises to use stones with known provenance, high standards in fair trade and human rights, transparency in information, and excellent customer service. This promise is still a journey - and we will mark all stones with what level of 'fair trade' we are using at present.
What does our promise mean?
First, SUSAN ERIKSSON sources its stones from companies who pay attention to the origin of the stone. Synthetic stones and imitation materials are commonly mixed with natural stones to fulfill the needs of the jewelry industry. As a mineralogist, geologist, and lover of beautiful stones, Susan Eriksson believes that knowing your minerals, gemstones, and rocks is a satisfying experience and brings the opportunity to 'know the Earth' as well as have a piece of jewelry that bears integrity.
Second, the people who touch these stones deserve a living wage and to work in conditions that don't compromise their health. Arguably, some of the most egregious mistreatment of workers happens in the cutting industry. Children as young as 6 years old, working for 10-12 hours a day, in dangerous dusty conditions, actually cut some of the lesser quality stones. Outsourcing of cutting in the industry means that adults work in unregulated conditions, often in indentured or worse conditions.
It is a real process for this company to find sources in which we at least we think we know the working conditions. We will label our jewelry with the Fair Trade nomenclature developed by Columbia Gem House, Inc.
Third, we will let you know what we know and what we don't know about the stone's history. While honoring the people who believe that stones have magical powers, we believe that science, history, and lore have valuable information for us regarding the stones we love and wear.
Science is based on observations which can be replicated. Science does NOT answer every question. Nor can it explain everything that we know. Science can tell us much about a stone's origins, its fascinating journey before it even leaves the Earth, and why we might use its special qualities to enhance our lives.
Last, we will do our best to present you with beautifully designed jewelry that is well made and that has information about its materials. We aim to make you happy with your purchase, and provide you with an object that provides many years of wear.
This line of jewelry was born of the designer's love of the Earth. As a curator of gems and minerals for over two decades, Susan Eriksson visited gem shows as part of taking museum exhibits to audiences across the country. Although not collecting minerals, she picked up beautiful mineral beads for herself, and, finally, she has put her artistic aesthetic to work, pairing steel and stone for this special collection.
Unless otherwise noted, the images on this site were taken by the greatly talented Paula Gillen of Boulder, Colorado. Eriksson and Gillen are working on a collaborative project to photograph the women of Boulder to accentuate accomplishments and flair for using jewelry to enhance their presence in the world.
Header photo is the Kaikoura peninsula with the Seaward Kaikoura Range in the background. The Hope fault is at the base of the mountains. Photo courtesy of T. Gardner, copyright 2015.