Jade symbolizes courage, amethyst enhances concentration, and rose quartz embodies love. In recent years, the demand for quartz and gemstones has surged, largely driven by social media influencers. However, the reality behind the mining of these beautiful materials in the Global South raises serious ethical concerns.

While rose quartz is touted for its stress-relieving properties, the beauty industry has long incorporated gemstones into its products, claiming they offer natural healing benefits and help individuals unwind from the pressures of modern life. Yet, the sourcing of these gemstones paints a starkly different picture, with workers in mining regions often facing harsh conditions and exploitation.

Investigative journalist Nadja Mitzkat delves into the intricate supply chain of esoteric gemstone production, tracing the journey from the European beauty industry to middlemen in Asia and ultimately to the mining regions, notably Madagascar. Mitzkat’s on-the-ground reporting sheds light on the labor conditions faced by local workers, offering a sobering glimpse into the human cost behind the allure of these gemstones.

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