An ethical jade roller is a roller in which the jade is ethically mined without the use of forced labour and with minimal environmental impact. Real crystal should be used and the crystal should never be chemically treated. Crystals last forever so a lifetime guarantee should be in place.
The Jade Roller Mining Process
Many people will have seen the stories in the new recently of the devastating impact of gemstone mining in Madagascar and other third world nations. Unchecked this type of mining will often employ slave or child labour.
Workers rarely receive a guaranteed wage. They are usually only reimbursed for gems delivered. This creates a precarious existence often haunted by poverty. It is strange to think that many crystal that are mined this way are bought in the West to bring positive energy to the holder.
Jade rollers are traditionally made from nephrite jade as opposed to jadeite. Nephrite is commonly found in Russia, China and Guatemala amongst others. White Lotus's ethically sourced jade is from China and it is this sourcing we will focus on here.
In China Jade face rollers have been a statement of luxury for hundreds of years. Jade has always held a special place in the culture and has often been more expensive than gold. In fact mutton fat jade a particular type of nephrite still is!
Nephrite jade stone has always been mined in China. There are four famous district that mine jade. The oldest jade mining site in China is dated around 3200 BC.
This is of course very interesting but how does it impact the ethical nature of the jade? Due to its value both financially and culturally jade mining is heavily regulated. It is observed by higher levels of government as an important cultural vestige. It is extremely difficult for mine owners to take liberties with the health and well being of their employees. Penalties are severe for those who do so.
The mines involved have also been in continuous operation for hundreds if not thousands of years. It is rare to sink a new mine and this greatly reduces new environmental damage. This is in contrast to many of the modern mining practices around the world.
No mining is perfect and all mining has an environmental cost but the mining of nephrite jade in China takes a far lower toll than most of its competitors.
Below you can view a video of one of the key nephrite mines in China.
Chemically Treating Jade Rollers
Once the crystal has been mined the next step is carving the jade into the correct shapes. Jade has traditionally been hand carved and for brands like White Lotus this traditional continues today.
Nephrite jade is not a hard stone. It rates between 6-7 on the Mohs scale which is much softer than quartz or amethyst. Despite this, a certain amount of skill is still required to accurately carve the jade head and jade handle. This has traditionally been a well respected skill in China.
This process however has been somewhat interrupted by the introduction of chemical treatment to the carving process. Crystals are treated with chemicals, usually acids, for two reasons. The first is that it enhances the colour on otherwise dull crystals. This can help make a cheap low grade crystal look like more expensive gems.
The second reason is that some chemicals can soften the crystal making carving easier. In the process of carving, crystals can often crack. This results in wasted crystal and losses for the manufacturer. To avoid these losses it has become increasingly common to first chemically treat the crystals. This reduces breakages and saves money. The softer crystal can also be carved by less skilled hands and so lower wages can be paid.
There are several issues with chemically treating crystals. The first as mentioned above is the lowering of skills and wages for the carvers. The second is that they are altering the chemical structure of the crystal.
In the West customers are buying the jade rollers because they believe they are made from real crystal. Would they be as popular if customers knew that most were carved from chemically altered crystal? Is this process really ethical? At White Lotus we do not believe so. None of our crystal rollers or jade Gua sha are ever chemically treated.
Jade Roller Lifetime Guarantee
No matter how carefully we monitor the mining process all mining takes an environmental toll. Not only crystal mining but the mining of metals in our phones, cars and everything else we take for granted.
Crystals are also a limited resource. They have been produced by tremendous geological pressures over millions of years. The supply is finite and should be respected.
Creating cheap poor quality jade rollers that break in a matter of weeks and are thrown away completely disrespects this rarity.
Poor quality thin metal brackets are the most common problem. Most are made from wire and are simply glued together and to the jade. This makes them very weak and results in regular breakages. These breakages can be dangerous to the skin as the wire underneath is often sharp.
By using thicker metal brackets and fitting them correctly to the jade most of these breakages can be avoided and you can continue enjoying the benefits of jade rolling for years.
To be sure we are honouring this process White Lotus offers a lifetime guarantee on all its crystal products. This ensures we only produce the highest quality jade rollers and the hard won crystals can continue to benefit our customers for the rest of their lives.