Policies & Issues

Gem Legacy Delivers Tools and Machines, COVID Relief in Africa

Policies & IssuesAug 02, 2021

Gem Legacy Delivers Tools and Machines, COVID Relief in Africa

The team behind the nonprofit has been on the ground to support several initiatives this summer.

This summer, Gem Legacy delivered 68 miner tool kits—tailored to the needs of each miner—across Tanzania and Kenya, made possible through industry donations.
Royal Oak, Mich.—The team at industry nonprofit Gem Legacy is traveling again, spending time this summer on the ground to support several of their initiatives.

Gem Legacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to education, vocational training, and local economies in small, artisanal gemstone mining communities in Africa, launched in 2018.

The first stop for the team in East Africa this summer was the Gemology and Gem Faceting School in Arusha, Tanzania, where they gave graduation certificates to eight students whose gem-cutting education is being funded by a 2021 grant from the JCK Industry Fund.

They also welcomed seven new students who are beginning their studies.

While at the school, Gem Legacy also delivered two new faceting machines that it purchased with donated funds. Updating the school’s machines has been a project the nonprofit has been working on for a few years. 

The Gem Legacy team also visited communities and schools in gemstone mining regions affected by the pandemic, which brought trade to a near standstill.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Amid a lack of government-sponsored lunches as schools closed during the crisis, Gem Legacy took on the responsibility of providing breakfast and lunch to 800 children attending the Kitarini Primary School, most of whom are the children of ruby miners. 

“A $21 donation pays for a year of meals for each child,” said Rachel Dery, director of communication and outreach for Gem Legacy.

“We know that the breakfast and lunch program is key to keeping students in school in a place where there are many disincentives to attendance, such as the demands of family farms. The food also keeps the kids alert during class.”

Lastly, Gem Legacy delivered 68 miner tool kits across Tanzania and Kenya, made possible through industry donations. 

Underwritten at a cost of $125 each, the kits are customized to the needs of specific miners based on the gem type and mining style. 

They were created in partnership with local governments, which surveyed miners to make sure they understood which supplies would meet the greatest needs. 

Among the kinds of supplies provided are: shovels, chisels, hammers, pickaxes, hand drills, blasting tools, helmets, head lights, gloves, and sieves.

“Tools are absolutely essential to small gem miners’ success,” Dery said. 

“We know that over 90 percent of East African miners are, or were, farmers first. Once they found gems on their property, they began gem mining, but most of them simply use farming implements to mine, which are mostly ineffective. The Gem Legacy Miner Toolkit provides them with more efficient set-ups that will allow them to be more productive in their mining.”
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

MajorsSep 24, 2021
Brilliant Earth Is Now a Public Company

CEO Beth Gerstein said she believes in the jeweler’s omnichannel approach as its retail rollout continues.

Events & AwardsSep 24, 2021
These 3 Companies Will Receive Business Grants from PGI USA

PGI created the program to accelerate the growth of the platinum jewelry market in the U.S.

CollectionsSep 24, 2021
Zales Introduces Elvis Presley Men’s Jewelry Line

From its curb link chains to statement diamond rings, the new collection takes inspiration from the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Brought to you by
Bringing Sexy Back: The Allure of COUTURE, Italian Style

Take a tour of Italian designers at COUTURE 2021.

TrendsSep 24, 2021
Piece of the Week: Mateo’s Initial Pendant

It’s a trendy take on personalization.

Weekly QuizSep 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Sept. 20-24, 2021.
Take the Quiz
CrimeSep 23, 2021
5 Men Who Fenced Stolen Diamonds Get 15 Years in Prison

They bought and resold jewels from a South America-based gang that targeted traveling salespeople across the United States.

SourcingSep 23, 2021
Joanna Hardy Completes Gemstone Trilogy with ‘Sapphire’ Book

It’s the follow-up to “Emerald” and “Ruby.”

Brought to you by
What is your Health Care Coverage Strategy?

Health care coverage is a big expense for small businesses - find out how to lower costs long-term instead of every 12 months.

GradingSep 23, 2021
Another Diamond With Fake GIA Inscription Surfaces

Graders at HRD Antwerp found this one, a HPHT-treated natural diamond inscribed with the report number of an untreated stone.