Our Ethical Sapphire Sources

Our Ethical Sapphire Sources

Author: Marc Choyt | Monday, May 23, 2022

Pictured is our Simplicity Engagement Ring with Sapphire, paired with our Simplicity Wedding Ring.


SPECIAL NOTE: Interested in a Custom, Unique, and Ethical Sapphire Engagement Ring? We can source for you a beautiful, ethical Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Malawi, or Montana. We’ll pair it with Fairtrade Gold — or reuse your own gold — and our unique artisan skillset. Get in touch, and we'll find the best stone to #ReflectYOU!

We’re a well-established small artisan studio, in business since 1995, with excellent cred! Call us at 888-733-5238 or email info (at) reflectivejewelry.com for a FREE, no-pressure consultation.  —Marc Choyt, co-owner

One of Reflective Jewelry's 5-star reviews


An ancient Vedic story describes Sapphires as originating from Vela, a primordial god. In the midst of a great battle, his body was ripped apart. His eyes — cobalt globes of fire and stardust — broke apart, shattering into a million pieces. These fragments became the famous sapphires of Sri Lanka.

Symbolically, the god Vela represents primordial essence from the fire, rock, and compression that formed the earth. Looking into a Sapphire, you can sense the elemental purity akin to mysterious blue Starlight.

The beauty of a deep blue Sapphire is unparalleled!

What do you see in the Starlight?


What Makes a Sapphire Ethical?

To us, what makes a Sapphire “Ethical” comes down to a few things.

One of these is labor conditions at the mine. This includes paying a fair wage, and ensuring safe working conditions.

Another is environmental impact. A beautiful engagement ring shouldn’t require environmental degradation.

And a third is cutting conditions. Again, this means fair wages and safe conditions.

Fortunately: As activist ethical jewelers in business since 1995, we’ve developed personal connections over the years with some truly stellar sources of ethical sapphires! These come from operations in Sri Lanka, Malawi, and Montana:


Ethical Blue Sri Lanka Sapphires

Our blue sapphires are from Sri Lanka. These “cornflower blue” sapphires are widely recognized as the most beautiful in the world. Most of our sapphires fall into the medium-dark range of these.

"Cornflower blue" sapphires, such as the one set in this ring, are widely recognized as the most beautiful in the world.

"Cornflower blue" sapphires, as shown in this Ethical Sri Lanka Sapphire Ring, are widely recognized as the most beautiful in the world.


We source these sapphires from a small-scale mining Sri Lankan cooperative — a tiny operation employing just eight miners and a foreman. They work cooperatively as shareholders, meaning each member of the group receives a percentage of every sale. Mining is done by hand, which means that the supply will support generations.

The sapphires are also cut in Sri Lanka by a local facility that has excellent working conditions. They pay above the going rate in order to attract, keep, and nurture highly-skilled cutters. Cutting in Sri Lanka provides additional downstream local economic benefits for the local community.

This is how sapphires are faceted and cut in Sri Lanka

In the foreground, you can see how a stone cutter uses a wheel to put facets on a sapphire.


The polishing factory funds a school, as well as the education of its employees. It also provides a subsidized canteen and helps to cover accommodations.


Ethical Pink Malawi Sapphires

Our pink sapphires come from Malawi, imported by an exceptional company that has pioneered fair trade gem practices in the jewelry sector.

These sapphires can be directly traced back to the small-scale mine, which has a significant beneficial impact on the surrounding communities.

In this case, the miners and brokers involved in generating the material for the gemstones agree to adhere to fair trade principles. The gemstones also meet health standards regarding cutting.


Ethical Montana Sapphires

Our Montana Sapphires are sourced from a small husband and wife team operating on the Eldorado Sapphire Bar along the Missouri River.

Here’s one example of a ring we recently made and set with one of their stones:

A custom teal montana sapphire engagement ring

This teal Montana Sapphire looks brilliant paired with 14K White Gold.


Supporting this small-scale operation puts money directly into the local economy. This team engages in land restoration for minimal impact on the Earth, and coexists with the natural wildlife.

Plus, they work with highly skilled craftspeople — both in the US and abroad — for their cutting. In this way, they support another set of skilled workers dedicated to their craft.

A range of montana sapphires — portuguese cut, cushion cut, trilliant and pear shaped in purple, orange, blue, and green

From this image, you get a sense of the wide variety of colors and shapes offered by the small-scale Montana Sapphire mine we partner with.


Our Montana Sapphires are available in a wide range of colors and cuts, shapes and sizes. They're an ideal choice for an ethical Sapphire Engagement Ring to Reflect the true You!

Find out more about our Montana Sapphire source here.


Choosing an Ethical Sapphire for Your Custom Unique Engagement Ring

To get started on your custom unique Sapphire Engagement Ring design, or to find out about choosing an ethical Sapphire to mount in one of our existing Engagement Ring designs, email info (at) reflectivejewelry.com, call 888-733-5238 during our business hours, or get in touch here.



Marc Choyt is President of Reflective Jewelry, a designer jewelry company founded in 1995. He pioneered the ethical sourcing movement in North America and is also the only certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the United States. Choyt’s company was named Santa Fe New Mexico’s Green Business of the Year in 2019, and he has been honored with several awards for his efforts to support ethical jewelry. His ebook, Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies and Conflict Free Diamonds, is available online. Choyt can be reached on Twitter at @Circlemanifesto or by email at marc(at)reflectivejewelry.com.

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Only Fairtrade Gold Jeweler in the USA 
since 2015

Santa Fe, NM Green Business of the Year

Catalyzing the Ethical Jewelry Movement

Winner of MJSA Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge

Founder of First-Ever Ethical Jewelry Blog

Collaborators of USAID Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project