Connect with us

Press Releases

African Gemstones and the Female-Owned Ethical Jewelry Brand Bringing Them to the West

She is the world’s first female owner of an African fine jewelry brand.

mm

Published

on

(PRESS RELEASE) The African mining industry has grown in reputation over recent decades, receiving it’s share of negative press as media attention and the film industry has shone a light on the darker side of gem mining and trade. With civil unrest and human rights exploitation often at the forefront of media coverage, the natural resource of stunning gemstones offered by Africa has arguably fell behind in the mining conversation.

Boasting a rich and plentiful source of gemstones, African mining locations such as Zambia and Mozambique attract gem dealers and jewelry designers from across the globe, vying for the natural beauty excavated from the continent’s rich earth. Africa is revered for its wealth of exquisite gemstones, including rubies, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires. So often, global dealers and designers deliver the gemstones sourced from Africa to Western customers, where prices can soar and any connection to the gems’ source as well as the communities whose livelihoods are dependent on them, are lost.

Jewelers Shine a Light on Distinctive Fixtures In Stores
Benchmarks

Jewelers Shine a Light on Distinctive Fixtures In Stores

2020 Jewelry Industry Obituaries: Farewell to the Ones We Lost
Photo Gallery

2020 Jewelry Industry Obituaries: Farewell to the Ones We Lost

Art & Soul Infuses Jewelry Gallery With Fine Art and Creativity
Photo Gallery

Art & Soul Infuses Jewelry Gallery With Fine Art and Creativity

This disassociation between African gemstones and the workers and mines producing them is one of the major factors driving Vania Leles and her brand, VANLELES. Leles is the world’s first female owner of an African fine jewelry brand, establishing her business in 2011 after an esteemed career working with industry heavyweights such as Graff and Sotheby’s. Inspired by her birthplace of Guinea-Bissau, Vania seeks to share the stories and rich culture of Africa through her collections, striving to establish a stronger association between luxury gemstones and the oft-overlooked content.

Based on London’s prestigious Brook St, the VANLELES atelier sits in esteemed company, just a stone throw from iconic jewelers Cartier and Harry Winston. The brand’s presence in London’s fine jewelry district is a statement, Leles insists, that African jewels and the stories they tell belong in the premier jewelry sphere. The Afropolitan implores young Africans to follow her lead in building the reputation of Africa’s creativity and gemstone authority.

VANLELES celebrates the beauty and landscapes of Africa, using Zambian-sourced emeralds, Mozambique-sourced rubies, rubellites and diamonds, Paraiba tourmaline and sapphires in collections such as Legends of Africa, Out of Africa and Enchanted Garden. Leles’ heritage is explored further in designs inspired by African prints and traditional desert dwellings.

Crucial to the VANLELES brand and ethos is the responsible sourcing methods employed. Leles’ unwavering commitment to ethical sourcing of gemstones and precious metals, and an unparalleled belief in responsible mining, is leading the way for a new era of mindful and engaged luxury. Dedicated to providing a fare wage and working environment, VANLELES source gems from Africa and mines that adhere to environmental and human rights, as well as pay local taxes and treat miners decently with fair wages.

Advertisement

This dedication to ending exploitation in her homeland also inspires Vania Leles’ philanthropic endeavors. This has seen her assist countless charitable campaigns to support communities and young women through education and health programmes, creating collections to fund essential aid and empowerment efforts in Africa.

Ultimately, Vania Leles is seeking to showcase the talents and resources from a culture and landscape that has been long-overlooked. Her work highlights the beauty and creativity of a strong and multi-faceted heritage.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe


BULLETINS

INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Facebook

Latest Comments

Most Popular