How to Shop for Jewellery Ethically: Guilt-Free Gold & Responsible Gems

How to Shop for Jewellery Ethically: Guilt-Free Gold & Responsible Gems


Not all bling is negative. You just have to opt for very carefully. Luckily, retailers, watchdog businesses and the huge suppliers on their own are producing this simpler for us by placing protocols for guilt-totally free gold and responsibly sourced gems in spot.

In trend, moral has develop into critical. We have noticed this evidently with dresses, the place sustainability and recycling, if not field norms, are getting viewed by more and a lot more people as crucial options that carry extra worth. But what about jewelry?

In point, properly before the mainstream vogue entire world was waking up to the moral troubles affiliated with making clothing, the jewelry globe was addressing some not-so-quite challenges in its very own yard: blood diamonds, for illustration, marketed to fund wars, and gold mining, ensuing in deforestation and drinking water air pollution and performed by badly paid personnel (often children) subjected to some of the worst doing work conditions on earth.

But anxiety not: Not all bling is poor. You just have to select cautiously. Thankfully, suppliers, watchdog corporations and the huge suppliers themselves are building this easier for us by placing protocols for guilt-absolutely free gold and responsibly sourced gems in place.

Border-totally free initiatives

Between the most crucial of the “clear conscience” initiatives is the Kimberley Process — a multi-stakeholder effort and hard work to eradicate trade in conflict diamonds by bettering intercontinental co-operation, transparency and oversight. It is now the business standard and followed by most dependable jewellers like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Maison Birks, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chopard and Louis Vuitton. Similarly essential is the Globe Diamond Council’s Procedure of Warranties (SoW) — an industry self-regulation plan comparable to the Kimberley System. A person essential distinction is that the SoW extends outside of rough diamonds to involve polished diamonds and diamond jewellery, which means the warranty can be utilized and passed on each time the diamond variations hands before it reaches the client. The Chain of Custody (CoC) certification of the non-revenue Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) permits prospects and suppliers to see how jewelry solutions and components are sourced, traced and processed by means of the offer chain. Other certifications to seem for when buying jewelry are those bestowed by the Swiss Far better Gold Affiliation (SBGA) program and the Fairmined and Fairtrade plans. Earthworks’s No Filthy Gold marketing campaign places strain on the mining business to lower its environmental impact and phone calls on people to insist that this be cleaned up.

Covid has impacted gems, far too

COVID-19 has set new stresses on the jewelry environment. To continue to keep the concentrate on accountable sourcing throughout the pandemic, Human Legal rights Observe is co-running with crucial companies and suppliers to make sure that they are complying with the Organisation for Economic Co-procedure and Development’s Because of Diligence Assistance and other very best procedures. It also displays what actions these corporations are taking to lessen their environmental impression and threats from local climate alter.


The important players in the jewellery game are compliant with efforts that observe a diamond’s each and every go in advance of it reaches the retail outlet — and they proudly say so. Many, such as Bulgari, Cartier, Pandora, Signet and Tiffany & Co., have issued codes of perform for their suppliers and designed them general public. Outside of that:

• The Arctic Canadian Diamond Corporation has a line of independently tracked diamonds identified as Canadamark each and every stone is completely traced from the mine to its last lower and polish.

• Maison Birks, a longtime adherent of the Kimberley Approach, was 1 of the to start with jewelry homes in Canada to completely use conflict-no cost, sustainably mined diamonds in its bridal collections. It has also supported a assortment of environmental programs, from protecting Canada’s boreal forest to city beekeeping.

• Chopard’s gold, diamonds and coloured gemstones are all sourced from moral mines that participate in systems like the SBGA or Fairmined and Fairtrade or are recycled from moral suppliers this kind of as RJC CoC-accredited refineries.

• Cartier only sources gold from suppliers that are associates of the RJC. Among these is a “model” mine in Honduras. Cartier buys its complete output of gold, which is then refined in Italy at a facility solely dedicated to processing its gold.

• Van Cleef & Arpels is a qualified member of the RJC and follows circular-economic system concepts in its routines, staying away from additional wasteful “take, make, dispose” models any time achievable.

• Tiffany & Co. has pushed to expand on the Kimberley Method needs to include non-conflict-related abuses. All of the rough diamonds it sources are 100 for each cent traceable from a acknowledged mine or a supplier with a constrained amount of recognised mines. It also has full CoC certification for freshly mined gold, which it exclusively sources from only one particular mine: the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah.

Examples of ethical indie jewellery manufacturers

Sandy Leong, in collaboration with Gemfields, a worldleading ethical gemstone supplier and the owner of Fabergé, has lately introduced a fine-jewelry assortment that includes responsibly sourced emeralds, recycled 18 karat yellow gold and conflict-totally free white diamonds. As element of the Wander for Giants capsule, these items also aid guidance conservation tasks in Africa.

Los Angeles-primarily based Washed Ashore utilizes only recycled gold and silver and post-client gems largely from next-hand sources in its creations. Its packaging is totally recyclable (you’d assume this would be the norm by now, but, alas, it’s not), all of its recycled metals are attained by way of an RJC-licensed refinery and some of its proceeds go to support its associate, CarbonFund, fight world warming. Also from Los Angeles — and a favorite amid the Hollywood A-listing — is Zoë Chicco, who only employs conflict-cost-free diamonds in her eponymous selection, together with 100 per cent recycled 14 karat gold.

Ottawa artist Chayle Cook utilizes sustainable resources of silver and gold, honest-trade gemstones and Canadian diamonds in her handcrafted jewellery.

New York-primarily based sisters Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon perform with community artisans for Agmes, their line of handmade jewelry. Practically all of themetals they use are recycled, and any scrap metal is melted down for reuse.

Malleable Jewellers in Toronto employs ethically sourced gold and recycled precious metals and stones anywhere possible in its Fairtrade-licensed jewelry.

Vancouver’s Poppy Finch operates largely with recycled gold and exclusively with responsibly sourced diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones. Each individual piece is handcrafted by community goldsmiths and craftspeople. Also from Vancouver is Wolf Circus, which hand-fabricates or casts “demi-fine” and “attainable” jewellery using the misplaced-wax casting procedure. Only recycled sterling silver or bronze is used, and the pieces are coated with 14 karat gold plating.

So, while all that glitters is not automatically fantastic and some diamonds are unquestionably not a girl’s very best good friend, it is uncomplicated enough to locate pieces that really do not have a shady earlier. The checklist of ethical and eco-helpful jewellery makers is only going to get longer as more consumers demand from customers jewellery that not only looks excellent but also will make them feel very good about putting on it.

Now that you have go through up on how to store for jewellery ethically, here are some guilt-no cost items to peruse:

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