Team Moose strives not only to provide the community of jewelry artists with authentic and unique cabochons, but we also are committed to being transparent with our customers in every way we can.
With this, we have responded to the most important questions you have in mind, especially when it comes to our cabochons.
SOURCING OF PRODUCTS
You asked: How can you assure your customers that your materials are ethically sourced?
We have tried but unfortunately, never able to validate all of the material we have is ethically sourced. The reason being is we source material from late old miners internationally and we believe that all cabochon dealers on the planet, can’t fully say or validate that every piece of stone from a million pieces has been 100% ethical.
However, all we can guarantee with full honesty are the following:
- We do our part to be ethical in our relationships with mines and our own process;
- Unfortunately, we aren’t unable to trace some of our old materials to say they are all ethically sourced, and;
- With all sourcing directly from the mine owners, we are positive that the material is most likely ethically sourced.
Nobody should ever in the jewelry industry say they are ethically sourced without tracing the single piece’s origins at the time of mining, handling, and cutting. Moose can guarantee we are ethical in the handling and cutting process. We choose to contribute our part by having 100% compostable packaging on all of the cabochons shipped out. This includes the box and the package itself.
You asked: Where do you get your products?
There are currently three ways we source our stones:
- From miners directly. Team Moose hand cuts them into cabochons;
- We source rough and finished cabs from old miners and collectors who bought in a lot of material decades ago;
- Lastly, from family mine owners or cutters who work directly at the mines. (For example, White Buffalo and Royston). We only source from miners' inner network ensuring the material we get is first-hand and authentic.
You asked: How do you price your cabochons?
Our pricing is based on three major things: pattern, weight, and cut or shape. We first price by visuals of the stone, whether or not it carries a picture or if it inspires a story of art. Then, we look at the mine and the weight of the stone. Lastly, we consider the shape or cut. Triangles and rounds consume a lot more rough turquoise than the other shapes, such as bars.
Our stones are priced at $1 - $20 per carat depending on the elements we use to price, as mentioned above.
TURQUOISE MOOSE QUALITY CONTROL
You asked: How does Moose select which piece qualifies to be included in the turquoise collection?
In order for a cab to be proved by Moose, there are a couple of steps that need to be followed.
Team Moose goes through a stringent vetting process before cutting a piece. First and foremost, we slab a piece of rough stone to make sure the center of it has character. In order to maximize the character and minimize waste, we make sure to abort the rough from the slabbing phase if it won't yield characteristic pieces later on.
Even though, during the time when a piece is being cut, there is a high chance the natural stone will be cracked from applying pressure against the wheel. We will need to end up cutting the cracked pieces into smaller pieces.
Once a piece of cabochon is made, we do our second layer of vetting by examining if the color, matrix, and cut are suitable to be listed. In addition, we also do two more rounds of quality control during our product photography session and final fulfillment.
The chances of a piece being broken at the time of arrival are close to zero. Moreover, we also polish a piece of stone from rough to finish at around 20 rounds of fine grids (going from 60 all the way up to 2000) to ensure the final look of the cab is perfect and ready to shine.
With regard to the backing of natural turquoise, we make sure that we back all the natural turquoise for stability. The backing material is there to support or prevent the natural stone from cracking during the bezel setting as turquoise is a relatively soft and porous stone.
We make sure the backing material is less than 25% of the thickness of the cab while maintaining a solid amount of support for artists to set.