I first met this supplier on the last day of the 2017 Denver Gem Show. I took one glance at their booth and realized that we buy from many of the same lapidaries. We also love the same size of stones and the same high quality. But while virtually every other source sells in bulk bags, this wholesaler allows me to handpick the best and leave the rest. At first, we played by the rules of the mineral industry and didn’t discuss sourcing. But I know where their crystals come from. And they know, I know. And I know, they know, I know. We’re a very knowledgeable cohort.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this relationship deepened considerably since I was able to restock with them when it was impossible to buy from my usual suppliers in South Africa and Hong Kong. The couple invited me to visit their home and allowed me to handpick for hours. After our business was concluded, we shared a bottle of wine and talked. Nowadays, we’ve been breaking the rules of the industry – we’re talking quietly but openly about ethical sourcing.