I always knew that my Gemstone Detective series could be controversial – after all not everyone wants to acknowledge that gemstone scams happen in their country. It’s an uncomfortable truth.
So, I’m not surprised that, while some tourist boards have privately assured me that they agree with everything I have written on gemstone scams in their countries, they’ve been too cautious to make their support and sponsorship public. After all, it’s completely understandable that tourist boards have to go with the government line. The job of tourist boards is to promote and encourage tourism to their countries and this means delicately brushing aside that anything that could be construed as negative publicity.
Now, you might think I’d be a little discouraged by this! But rather than letting it get me down, I know that it means I’m doing the right thing. I have the freedom to write independently, which I believe bestows on me a responsibility to my readers to tell the whole truth – not just the truth that looks good in advertisements.
And the truth is that every single country in the world has both honest and dishonest people. The truth is that a country that is fully developed according to some measures, may be underdeveloped according to others. The truth is that poverty can lead some good people to make bad choices and many bad people to make worse ones. The truth is that gemstone scams exist everywhere.
My books tackle these issues head on and I’m absolutely not prepared to change this in order to get more publicity from official channels.
I research each book carefully and spend time in the country to get a real feel for the gem trade there. It’s true that I don’t shy away from writing about the particular gemstone scams doing the rounds in each country, but I believe that’s a good thing – not only for my readers but for the countries themselves.
I’m a huge champion of the countries that I’ve visited. I want to encourage my readers to go there and to get off the beaten track, not just go into the first shop and buy a piece of tat. I want you to experience rich and fascinating cultures, to get in amongst the hustle and bustle of the gem trade and have the confidence to buy from the many hardworking, honest and dedicated traders I’ve met on my travels, thus contributing to the local economy.
So, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Knowledge is power!
Kim Rix GG (GIA)