Supply Chain: Materials & Sourcing

We are committed to the responsible procurement of precious gemstones and metals and all materials that we work with. This commitment requires adherence to and close attention to best practices in human rights and the environment.
To meet our values, Temple St. Clair will suspend or discontinue engagement with upstream suppliers where we identify any risk such as links to any party committing abuses of any kind, and where measurable, reasonable attempts at mitigation are not successful. At the same time, we will engage with suppliers, central or local governmental authorities, international organizations, civil society and affected third parties, as appropriate, to improve and track performance with a view to preventing or mitigating risks of adverse impacts.

Gold

At Temple St. Clair, we are known for our fine gold work. A fascination with this precious metal and its history are what first inspired Temple to explore jewelry. Maintaining the highest possible standard of gold sourcing is extremely important to us.

We are currently in the process of verifying that our supply chain for gold and alloys, including silver and copper, is operated responsibly with regards to human rights and the environment.

Most all our jewels are made in 18K gold, meaning 75% (or more) pure gold alloyed with a 25% alloy mix of silver and copper to obtain our signature yellow gold. To verify the integrity of our pieces and protect our clients, we regularly test our gold (a process known as “assaying”) to make sure our manufacturers are adhering to the correct level of pure gold in each jewel. We require that all our gold is “750 plumb” meaning just over the 75% pure gold content. Each of our gold jewels is marked with our “temple” hallmark of authenticity and “750” to indicate 18K gold.

Find out more about Temple’s love of gold and the history of this magnificent material here.

Colored Gemstones

At Temple St. Clair, we are also known for our use of color in the way of beautiful colored gemstones. We are extremely discerning when it comes to the color and quality of our gems, both cabochon-cut and faceted. We have a very high rejection rate in our procurement of gems, choosing each gem individually for cut, color, saturation, brilliance, and minimal to no treatment.

Gem Treatments

Certain gemstone treatments, such as heating, are accepted industry wide. At Temple St. Clair, we allow as little treatment as possible to our gems; we never use gemstones treated with chemicals, radiation, or other unnatural forms of color treatment. For that reason, you will not find certain gems in our offerings such as blue topaz (always radiated) or colored quartz (artificially dyed). At most, we accept heat treatment to stabilize color (typical for sapphires and many tourmalines), heat to enhance color (typical for all tanzanites) or mild natural oil application (primarily for emeralds). Whenever possible, we use gems with no treatment whatsoever. Our signature blue moonstone is an example of a gem that is not treated in any way.

For specific information on the care and treatment of the gemstones we use, please see our Temple St. Clair Gemstone Guide.

Transparency & Sourcing

Transparency around gem treatments is particularly necessary since certain treated gems may require special care; we adhere to U.S. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Guidelines to provide our clients with the information needed to protect their gems for a lifetime.

Regarding sourcing, colored gemstones are often difficult to trace, since most originate from small-scale, artisanal mines. While verifying provenance can be challenging, Temple St. Clair requires its gem suppliers to identify the country of origin or probable country of origin, and to disclose any form of treatment on every gemstone that we use. Gemstones provided to us are sent out to be laboratory tested on a cyclical basis.

Diamonds

At Temple St. Clair we use only natural, untreated, Kimberley Process certified diamonds. Our minimum requirements of diamond quality for clarity and color are VS1 and G-H respectively; we rely on these industry-standard classifications to accurately communicate the high quality of our gems. Our diamonds are conflict-free and sourced only from suppliers that adhere to the guidelines established by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Our suppliers must participate in our vendor approval program that requires signed agreements confirming that all diamonds presented to us for purchase are Kimberley Process guaranteed. In addition, our suppliers—as with all our partners—must pledge to comply with our high standards for human rights and fair labor practices.

Along with larger leaders in the jewelry sector, we recognize that it is vital for us to come to terms with the significant risks associated with the extracting, trading, handling, and exporting of minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRAs). CAHRA’s are identified based primarily on human rights threats associated with labor conditions, abusive governance, conflict, or mineral flows where undeclared high-risk sources may enter a supply chain. Accordingly, we have implemented a thorough risk-assessment management system for responsible sourcing of minerals from these areas and have established policies that we widely disseminate and incorporate in agreements with suppliers. We will continue to research and communicate with other organizations such as the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) as we strive to go even beyond the Kimberley Process to ensure the quality of our sourcing.

In the past few years, a challenge has arisen throughout the jewelry industry: synthetic diamonds have made their way into the supply chain of even the most reliable suppliers. At our home office, we have acquired instruments for testing diamonds to ensure that no synthetic diamonds make their way undetected into our jewels; we test every gem ourselves adding this additional layer of security and assurance to our customers.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Temple St. Clair founded her eponymous company in Florence, Italy and has continued to work with Florentine master goldsmiths, setters, chiselers, and engravers since the 1980’s. As Temple St. Clair has grown and expanded, we have sought out some of the greatest artisanal hands worldwide. We have extended our reach to other jewelry centers in Italy; to Italian goldsmiths who have set up workshops in Thailand; and to individual craftsmen in Sri Lanka (ancient Ceylon). Each of these countries has a rich tradition of fine gold work. We have also brought some work home to the United States; many of our wonderful chains are made domestically.

Temple St. Clair is now headquartered in New York City and being a U. S. based company, we follow U.S. importation and product disclosure regulations for all our jewelry. According to U.S. customs and importation guidelines, Country of Origin of a finished piece of jewelry is defined by the country “where a piece undergoes significant transformation”, meaning where a piece becomes a ring, earring, pendant etc. An individual pendant may include an 18K gold angel coin made in Florence but if that coin is made into a ring or pendant in Sri Lanka, the country of origin is Sri Lanka. The same applies to a jewel with a gemstone: for example, we send a beautiful green tourmaline from Namibia to Florence to make a ring; the resulting country of origin of the ring will be Italy where it is made, not where the gem is from.

Our goldsmith partners in Italy, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States are like family to us. We have known and worked with them for decades. We visit the workshops regularly to review our expectations and to communicate our vision. Each one of our goldsmiths knows, respects and is proud to fulfill our uncompromising demand for quality. Together we strive to maintain the millennia-old, cross-cultural traditions of fine jewelry while seeking to define leadership in responsible practices for the future.