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The plight of the Rohingya

“A textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” These are the words used by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein describing the treatment of the Rohingya people. What is happening right now in Burma (Myanmar) may very well go down in history as genocide should the world fail to act.

The number of Rohingya fleeing the brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s military has now
topped 370,000 and is expected to grow. Were these atrocities targeting a minority
religious group committed by an entrenched dictatorship, it would be horrific enough.
But this is in a country whose de facto leader is Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi,
a woman who was once revered as a champion of the struggle for human rights.

International condemnation is widespread. Aung San Suu Kyi’s fellow Nobel laureates
have spoken out, including Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai. In the US, Senator
Dick Durbin has introduced a resolution in Congress, “condemning horrific acts of
violence against Burma’s Rohingya population.”Thus far, Aung San Suu Kyi has been unresponsive to the widespread reproach. Her official office has been dismissive, calling news reports of mass rape by the military “fake news,” claiming the Rohingya are burning their own villages, and accusing international aid workers trying to assist fleeing refugees of helping “terrorists.”

Despite international outrage over the genocidal acts committed by Burma’s military, one other major group has remained mute; the large number of western corporations that quickly moved into Myanmar immediately following the cessation of sanctions, at a time when Burma had not yet established a stable path toward democracy.In the face of the violence being directed against the Rohingya people, it is the moral responsibility of business leaders, especially those western companies now working in Burma, to use their voices and their economic influence. They have the means to strongly encourage Myanmar’s government to immediately cease this ethnic cleansing operation of the Muslim population in Rakhine state.

In this calamity now unfolding, silence makes one an accomplice. For every company
that remains silent to the suffering of the Rohingya people and continues forward with
business as usual in Burma, they will find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Rose gold. Pink gold.

05.16R13965RoseGoldHaloTwistIMG_5444Rose gold. Pink gold. Call it what you will. This newly rediscovered hue of a time-honored gold color adds another option in the creation of your own very special engagement or wedding ring.

In some ways, the copper-ish tone adds an almost vintage feel to a ring. Not unlike a sepia-toned photo, it has a hint of the antique from another era. When combined with a design from the Earthwise Jewelry Collection, becomes something brand new.

Available in both 100% recycled 14k and 18k with every design we make.

American gemstones

AmericanGemsWe reach to the farthest corners of the globe to bring you the most exquisite gemstones, but sometimes there’s beauty in our own backyard.

From Arizona peridot to Wyoming ruby, there are a wide variety of colored gems that are made in America, geologically speaking of course! In a veritable rainbow of color, every stone we sell is both fair trade and responsibly sourced. Simply pick your favorite color and your favorite setting from the Earthwise Jewelry Collection and we’ll help you on the path to creating a piece you will cherish for years to come.

A Tribute from US Senate floor

03.17DurbinCongrsnlRecordIMG_1648We are both honored and flattered that Senator Dick Durbin recognized our work in support of responsible sourcing, human rights and the environment on the Senate floor on February 28th. We believe that taking a stand on any of the subjects we tackle and engaging where we can is the least we can do, both as business owners and more importantly, as citizens.

We offer our deepest gratitude to Senator Durbin for his steadfast commitment and unyielding determination in taking a stand on more issues than we can count. 

You can read the full text from the Congressional Record here.

Montana Sapphire

montana-sapphires-blue-green-dark-4_0At Leber Jeweler, we love ethically procured gemstones, especially those that are truly unique. One of the finest sources we use for our sapphires that grace rings in our Earthwise Jewelry Collection comes from Rock Creek, Montana. Stunning minty blue-green sapphires unlike any you’ll find from any corner of the globe.

Our partner with these stones is at the forefront in setting the standard for fair trade and responsibly sourced. From the mining to the cutting, every step of the process strives to be an example for how all gemstones should be sourced.

Did I mention, they’re also beautiful to look at?

We offer our Montana sapphire in a variety of shapes and sizes to work with any of our designs, both in our regular collection as well as with our custom design.

Trump EO would allow the sale of conflict minerals

CongoThe Trump administration has prepared a draft Executive Order that will suspend the requirement that US firms need to carry out due diligence to ensure that the products they sell do not contain conflict minerals, including gold, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In what reads like a story from the farcical newspaper The Onion, the draft claims the obligation to prove that no conflict minerals are in a company’s supply stream “caused harm to some parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” (Who? Congolese warlords profiting from the sale of conflict minerals?)

We have worked with both Democrats and Republicans on a variety of human rights issues. In over two decades of these efforts we have found that, when it comes to human rights concerns, both sides of the aisle have traditionally found common ground and a shared willingness to take a stand. We are at a loss to understand how the White House can justify this proposed action that, if signed by the President, would undercut a powerful tool to help the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and undermine efforts to end the trade in conflict minerals.

America: A country of immigrants

album1For many years we have stood up to dictatorships and oppressors throughout the world. From Angola to Zimbabwe, the Taliban to the Tatmadaw. For our work, we encountered obstacles and navigated threats to our personal safety, yet remained steadfast in the belief that wrongs need to be righted at any cost, lest we lose what we treasure most. But in over two decades of direct engagement we never once thought we’d be taking on a similar struggle here in our own country, the United States of America. Now we stand, a nation founded and built by immigrants, on the precipice of a cliff where the values we hold most dear and long considered vital to who we are as Americans, are threatened.

In 1910, the founder of our company, Franz Anton Lebr left his home in Baroun, Bohemia, bound for America in the steerage class of the SS George Washington. He apprenticed for a jewelry maker in Chicago and, in 1921, opened his own jewelry business that still continues today. This story is not unique for it has been repeated thousands of times, as each new generation of immigrants from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa, representing countless religions and traditions, have added to the fiber that comprises these United States. That is, until this week, when President Trump, forbade entry to tens of thousands of individuals and families from Muslim-majority countries.

Simply put, to turn away an entire class of human beings, many of whom are refugees fleeing violence, is mean-spirited. It is unacceptable. It is irresponsible. It is also un-American.

At Leber Jeweler Inc, we stand firmly opposed to the travel ban, immigration and refugee freeze implemented by the President. We condemn his actions as harmful to both our country and to the world. We beseech all who are not citizens of the United States, especially those in and from the Muslim world, to know and understand President Trump does not speak for all Americans.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will continue our work on behalf of human rights and the environment, in defense of kindness and humanity, in a quest for a better country and world. We know this struggle is never ending, but it is the duty of every person and of every company to commit to this greater cause. We may not accomplish this immense task in our lifetime. But as long as we do not surrender, as long as we do not succumb to the darkness that is pervading the world, spread by those who thrive on hatred, distrust, and anger, we will not lose.

Extended Holiday Hours

LJIXmasStarting December 14th, we have extended hours for the holiday season!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 12pm to 6pm, Thursday 12pm to 7pm, and Saturday 11am to 5pm.

On Saturday, December 24th we will be open from 11am until 2pm. We will be closed on December 25th and 26th, reopening on Tuesday, December 27th.

We will be closed from Saturday, December 31st through Thursday, January 5th.

December’s Birthstone: Blue Zircon

12-12r12916petuniabluezirconlrDecember is here, which means winter is close at hand. Nothing captures the color of this season quite like the steely blue sparkle of blue zircon. Possessing a refractive index higher than even diamond, this exquisite gemstone is perfect in a necklace, earrings, or a ring.

Our Petunia is one great example. Available in white gold, yellow gold, or platinum, this simple graceful necklace is a perfect compliment to this lovely gemstone.

A thought for the future

“All who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague