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 ‘tranparent supply chain’ we know for each stone.
What does our promise mean?
Transparent Supply Chain
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. Synthetics are fine – but you may want to know what you are paying for. We only use gems and stones from the earth at this time.
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. We will label our jewelry with the Fair Trade nomenclature developed by Columbia Gem House, Inc.
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 many of the lesser quality stones found on the market.
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 think we know the working conditions. Much has been written about the source of diamonds, and today, even though stringent laws are in place to ensure the source, people have a way of circumventing the law. If in doubt, we don’t buy.
We will let you know what we know and what we don’t know about the stone’s history.
While honoring 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. However, science does not answer every question. Nor can it explain everything that we know. Science and historical research can, however, 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.
We will do our best to present you with beautifully designed jewelry that is well made and that has information about its materials and source. We aim to make you happy with your purchase and to provide you with an object that provides many years of pleasure and 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 during this period, she picked up beautiful mineral beads for herself, and, now, she has put her artistic aesthetic to work, pairing steel, silk, and stone for these special collections.
Many stones have for millennia been identified with certain months, days, and even hours. In our commercially driven culture, it is relevant to recognize these time-honored traditions. For example, a person does not need an expensive diamond to hold a birthstone for April – why not recognize your birth month with a much less expensive sapphire, maybe one from the United States, or a mineral crystal of sapphire?
The information about birthstones on our website comes from Kunz’s well researched book, The Lore of Precious Stones, written in 1912. Susan Eriksson’s blog will provide more information on various stone attributions over the months to come.
A ‘stone with a hole in it’ has been one of the earliest form of human adornment. The oldest bead discovered to date is about 108,00 BC. Aside from personal adornment, beads have been used in ceremonies, political contracts, offerings, and personal touchstones. From a simple stone on a cord to elaborate works for the body, beads feed our sight, touch, and even sound.
Beads are an economical way to hang a stone on a person’s body—so SusanEriksson can make rare and special beads available at a reasonable price.
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.