The Commitment Behind the Design
We have a local commitment to ethical practices and socially conscious jewelry design.
We actively seek out gem sources that support fair trade pricing standards and offer an equitable return to the local communities. Those with ecologically advanced colored gemstone mining techniques, earth minded energy consumption and land reclamation. We work with like-minded gem faceters who monitor mining conditions and personally oversee their own cutting operations. We remain committed to promoting sustainable business practices, believing that it is of primary importance in an industry whose product are inextricably connected to the earth. We believe the deep significance of wedding and commitment jewelry can only become deeper with the addition of eco conscious business practices.
SE Oregon Opal and Sunstone Trip
T and two gem cutters, Tatyana and Sherris, took a trip to southern Oregon in May of 2013 to find opal and sunstone rough. They visited the Juniper Ridge Opal Mine, the Lava Tube Caves and the Spectrum Sunstone Mine. They came back with beautiful rough stones that T has been working with since. Some of the rough opal is as big as a softball!! For more on her trip and all of the adventures that came along with it, visit the shop and check out her book and the beautiful Oregon rough.
Wine Mine and Dine
In September of 2013 T and a group friends of the shop went to a gem lovers paradise. They visited Southern California for a week of mining for gemstone rough, wine tasting and enjoying delicious meals by the ocean. The Overview Mine in Pala, California (click here) allowed the group to get into the mines and dig for their own gemstone rough. Between enjoying the beautiful sights of Southern California, the group visited the Orfila Vineyards and Winery (click here), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and held a rough stone roundtable! Below are photos from the trip. It was truly meaningful to take part in this gem exploration. To see a stone go from rough and dirty in the mine to a sparking piece of art is our passion at T Lee. Knowing where our stones come from and understanding the process makes us and each piece of our jewelry truly unique.
In 2011 T took the trip of a lifetime to Africa. The memories and stones that she collected while on this adventure are priceless. Below are some pictures from the experience. To really get a sense for what T found on this life-changing excursion come into the shop and check out her East Africa 2011: A ‘Rough’ Journey Through Tanzania and Kenya picture book. Her story proves why ethical gemstone practices are at the forefront of her business.