Nineteen48 Moyo Gems Material
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About the Moyo Gems Project:
"Responsibly sourced gemstones from the female miners of Tanzania"
These truly beautiful gemstones are all tracked and traced.
The challenges associated with creating a supply chain that’s transparent, traceable and ethical are myriad. Responsible sourcing, its obstacles and how to tackle them are among the industry’s hottest topics today, especially in the colored gemstone sector.
Moyo Gemstones, so named because it means positive things in several different African languages, designed to help gemstones extracted by female miners in Tanga, Tanzania, move from mine to market while improving the lives of the women along the way.
The pilot project is a collaboration between the non-governmental organization Pact, Anza Gems and Nineteen48, with input from the Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA) and a blockchain addition from Everledger.
The pilot took place in Tanga province, Tanzania, where TAWOMA had an active chapter of gem miners eager to learn new skills. The pilot was a runaway success, assisting the women miners to get between 3-5 times what they were earning before on their stones thanks to this new knowledge. Yet, the miners were still selling on a subsistence basis because of the asymmetric structure of the gem market.
ANZA Gems, Nineteen48, and Pact met at the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference in 2017 and decided that together they could create something new. Everledger, an emerging technology enterprise, then joined the group bringing its expertise in digital provenance traceability to the program. A few months later, the group visited the women miners in Tanga to propose the basic idea, solicit interest, and co-design the project with the miners themselves, with the leadership of TAWOMA, and with key local leaders.
Based on direct feedback from the miners, Moyo Gemstones decided to hold “market days” in which all the women travel to a central location to sell their goods, providing a regular, controlled system for Moyo miners to do business with vetted local brokers and traders. Each woman who wants to participate must be verified as a legal miner, among other considerations.
Building the Communities
The Moyo Gemstones initiative is intriguing not only because it’s helping bring gems from vetted local miners to market, but also because it’s working to improve mining directly.
They are partnering with Tanzanian engineering services firm MTL Consulting to improve health and safety, working conditions, and basic geological and engineering support for enrolled miners. The firm has experience working with the Fairtrade Foundation’s ASM gold miners in East Africa.
Pact is also working with the Alliance for Responsible Mining to adapt the Code of Risk-Mitigation for ASM engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT)—a global “entry” standard for due diligence in artisanal and small-scale mining—to colored gemstones.
There’s another interesting aspect to the project.
Pact has been working with Everledger, the same tech company that developed Gubelin’s Provenance Proof blockchain, to develop a blockchain suitable for these artisanal miners.
Moyo Gems Logo:
Moyo Gemstone Project Photos:
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