Podcast Episode: Cristina Villegas

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) expert and activist Cristina Villegas joins the show from Washington, DC. The conversation starts with a discussion on how the world of ASM employs 40 million people globally, a third of which are women; as Cristina describes “in most cases they are rural villagers trying to make a living.” Cristina then provides the story of Moyo Gemstones, a successful colored gem mine-to-market collaboration that she spearheaded in Tanzania. Through Moyo, the miners, of which 60% are women, receive 95% of the export value of their stones, which compares to a range of 10-20% or less for typical ASM miners. Next, Paul and Cristina discuss the ASM Supply chain, how jewelers can properly source ethical gems and examples of large industry players, including De Beers and Swarovski, getting involved with ASM initiatives. Next, Christina passionately expresses her disappointment with Pandora’s recent move (and posturing) to only carry man-made diamonds. The episode concludes with Christina explaining why “sourcing small is beautiful” and how backing ASM initiatives can strengthen the diamond and gem industry and its reputation longer-term.
This podcast can be streamed below but is also available for download on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Please share and subscribe!
Hosted by: Paul ZimniskyGuest: Cristina VillegasGuest plug: www.pactworld.org, www.moyogems.comDate recorded: June 24, 2021Date published: July 1, 2021Length: 27:29
More information on PZDA’s State of the Diamond Market report can be found here.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this podcast includes observations and opinions and the information should not be considered investment or financial advice. Consult your investment professional before making any investment decisions. Paul Zimnisky and the guest does not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this content. Third party use of the content is only permitted with permission.