AZGem Gems

September 2015


gem stone and jewelry newslettergem stone and jewelry newsletter


The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company

and other visitors to the website who subscribe.




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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


Conflict Minerals from Africa


conflict minerals from Africa

Armed rebel, warlord, or gangster?


Conflict minerals from Africa is a subject foreign to most people. It is, however, of concern to those in the USA sourcing minerals from African countries. Some gem dealers deal heavily in gemstones from Africa… while a few never source gems from the entire African continent.



conflict minerals from Africa

Map of Central Africa


Conflict minerals from Africa are defined as any mineral financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), or neighboring country.



conflict minerals from Africa tantalum

Tantalum, a rare and useful metal


The term “conflict minerals” includes columbite-tantalite, also known as coltan (from which tantalum is derived); cassiterite (tin); gold; wolframite (tungsten); or their derivatives; or any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country.

Now I understand there are calls to add mineral crystals (gemstones), including sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds.



conflict minerals from Africa sapphires

Sapphire rough


Conflict minerals from Africa are a social concern in the United States and Europe. Laws and regulations of the US federal government impose stringent requirements on companies using minerals originating in Central Africa.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) lies in the heart of Africa. The DRC shares borders with a number of African countries.

    • South Sudan
    • Uganda
    • Rwanda
    • Tanzania
    • Malawi
    • Zambia
    • Angola
    • Republic of the Congo,
    • Central African Republic

The DRC is blessed with natural resource wealth, but is plagued by armed groups.


conflict minerals from Africa emeralds

Emerald rough


Some of these armed groups are simply motivated by economic greed, what we call criminal gangs. Other groups are more sinister. They are motivated by political greed, the quest for power.

Some of the armed groups are followers of local warlords, taking control of some territory within the borders of the DRC. They control the people and the resources within the territory they rule by force.


conflict minerals from Africa gold mining

Slave labor gold mining


Other insurgent groups use DRC territory as a base from which to strike at neighboring countries. These “rebel armies” are focused on overthrowing the governments of countries such as Uganda and South Sudan.

Conflict minerals are a prime source of funds fueling the various conflicts in Central Africa. These armed groups are also the source of some of the world’s worst human rights violations. Slave labor, rape, murder, and physical torture seem to be common tools used by these armed groups against the populace of the regions they control.


conflict minerals from Africa refugees

Refugees fleeing armed rebels


Refugees fortunate enough to escape with meager belongings tell of these atrocities.

Armed groups operating in the eastern DRC control many of the region’s mines and/or transit routes. They sell the minerals through intermediaries, and use the cash to fund their attacks on governments and civilians alike.

In response, the US federal government’s Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act, Section 1502 imposed requirements intended to minimize the trade in conflict minerals.

On August 22, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the final rule on conflict minerals.  All public companies must evaluate their product lines to determine whether they contain necessary conflict minerals and if so, file a Form SD by May 31 annually beginning in 2014, for products they manufacture or contract to manufacture in the year 2013.  While the burden of compliance is on the public companies who manufacture those products, members of their supply chains for those products are also impacted.


conflict minerals from Africa compliance flowchart

Compliance Flowchart


The entire Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is thought by many to be unconstitutional. Court challenges to the law… or various provisions of it, are working their way through the federal courts.

Conflict minerals from Africa and the Dodd-Frank Act are in the news again because a DC federal court has reaffirmed an earlier ruling that Section 1502 is unconstitutional, while upholding some other portions of the law. The court said mandating public companies to use the conflict-free wording represents compelled speech that violates the First Amendment.

Conflict minerals from Africa by any name represents a moral challenge to people of conscience. It is widely assumed that should Dodd-Frank be found to be unconstitutional, stand-alone legislation aimed at encouraging responsible sourcing of these minerals could be passed quickly.


conflict minerals from Africa diamonds

Small diamond crystals


gem newsletters


Photo Information


Top - Armed rebel, warlord, or gangster?

Next - Map of Central Africa showing the DRC and neighboring countries.

Next - Tantalum is a chemical element with symbol Ta and atomic number 73. It is highly corrosion-resistant and is used in electronics and a wide variety of other products.

Next - Multiple colors of Sapphire rough

Next - High quality Emerald rough

Next: -  Is he the protector of the workers, or their overseer?

Next: - Refugees fleeing armed rebels. Yes, that is a wooden bicycle... that you push.

Next: - Conflict minerals reporting compliance flowchart

Next: - Small diamond crystals

Next - Industry News - Bloomingdale's, New York City.

Next - Dealer Product Image - Amethyst Ring in Sterling Silver

Last - Dealer Program Image - Pink Spinel and Sterling Silver Earrings



$1.99/Mo. for 12 months of Economy Hosting at


A Google search for links or images using keywords such as dodd-frank consumer protection act or democratic republic of the congo can return some very interesting information and websites.




Gem Offer


gem special offer blue sapphire marquise


Here is this month's special gem deal. 


Gem:     Sapphire

Color:    Bright, lively, saturated blue

Quality:     VVS, diffusion treated

Shape:     Marquise 

Dimensions:     10 x 5 mm

Weight:     1.15 carats

Price:     $63, plus shipping ($5)

A gorgeous well saturated, lively blue sapphire in a well proportioned marquise shape.

Send me an email (with anti-spam) (carolynatazgemdotcom) and tell me that you want this fine gem.

We have other  shapes, sizes, and shades of gems available.

We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.


gem newsletters


Gem Industry News


Bloomingdale’s Expensive Boo Boo


bloomingdale's $10,000 earrings

File photo


Bloomingdale’s the high-end department store chain owned by Macy’s Inc. just made a newsworthy error. Someone at the company apparently confused Reward Points with store credit. An unspecified number of customers then received emails announcing store credit in amounts up to $25,000.

At least one customer walked away with merchandise worth many thousands of dollars before the error was discovered and corrected.

BuzzFeed News spoke to a 29-year-old man who received an erroneous store credit of $25,000. “The shopper, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was expecting a gift card after recently buying a pair of Ferragamo shoes, but certainly not in the amount he saw.”

He went to Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City. Using the erroneous store credit, he acquired a $10,000 pair of diamond earrings, a $5,000 watch, and a Louis Vuitton bag.

Bloomingdale’s has contacted him and requested that he return the items.




gemstone news


Jewelry Dealers


jewelry dealers wholesale


The sluggish economy presents an opportunity for independent jewelry dealers to serve their existing customers and recruit new customers this holiday season. Now is the time to plan and arrange

Most home-based jewelry dealers rely heavily on recommendations from existing customers for new customers and sales.

Your customer base and sales can be increased significantly by a little innovative marketing. For instance, organize a couple of guys-only jewelry parties at friends houses.

Have the host invite his friends. They will become your customers because you offer good deals (low overhead means low prices on quality jewelry).

Your cost for the snacks and drinks should be paid for with a single sale. Offer the host an incentive... $$ off a piece of jewelry for him (sell it to him at your cost).

Be The Quality Jewelry Discounter.



gemstone news


Jewelry Dealers Program


jewelry dealers program


Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?

Do you enjoy talking with friends and friends of friends?

Could you use an extra income source?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.



Carolyn Doyle

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