Skip to content

A Brazilian Jeweler Sets Out on a Mission to Promote Ethical Mining

Ara Vartanian grew up in the closed-off gemstone mining industry. Now he’s trying to open it up by showcasing the companies that are doing it right.

A bangle bracelet featuring rubellite from the Cruzeiro Mine.

A bangle bracelet featuring rubellite from the Cruzeiro Mine.

Photographer: Gabriel Cabral

Brazil is home to many beautiful things, not least its exquisite natural gems, including rubellites, emeralds, and the famed Paraíba tourmalines. Independent Brazilian jeweler Ara Vartanian loves to showcase his country’s stones in his pieces, and now he’s spreading the word that the process of extracting them can be a thing of beauty in its own way: Responsible mining has the potential to dramatically improve lives and even combat deforestation. In 2020 he launched the Conscious Mining initiative to highlight Brazilian mines that invest in their communities and produce stones that can be traced back to the source. 

Instagram: A post shared by Ara Vartanian (@ara_...