Joining Ethical Metalsmiths

Did you know that it takes 79 tons of mine waste for every ounce of gold mined?*

Did you know that our annual consumption of "newly-mined minerals" in the United States is 21 metric tones; that's over 57 kilos a day?*

We've been aware of some of the dangerous aspects of precious metal and gemstone mining for many years, but we never really knew what to do about these issues. We've tried some things, but we weren't connected with others who thought about these issues the way we do.

Now, Paul and I are proud to announce that Designer Gold has joined Ethical Metalsmiths, Jewelers for Social and Environmental Responsibility. Its mission is to help jewelers and consumers become “informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources of materials used in making jewelry.”

What this means for us is that we can be much better informed about where our gold and precious stones come from. We are joining with many other jewelers who have been concerned with these issues, and together we will be looking for alternatives to the harmful mining and studio practices that this profession has relied on historically.

As I mentioned above, this concern is not new to Paul. For all the years that Paul has been in business in Hanover, 36 plus years, he has purchased only refined recycled gold for his jewelry. In 2002, he began selling Canadian Diamonds – diamonds which were discovered in Canada in the 1990’s and became available to jewelry makers in the early 2000’s -- giving his customers a chance to buy diamonds that are clear of the taint of "blood diamonds." Since 1984, Paul has collected all the materials he sweeps up off the floor each day and sends it off to his refiner, with a return of about $3,000 each year! Further, many of the jewelry pieces that Paul makes for customers he creates out of their unused and unwanted gold and gemstones.

All of this he had been doing on his own, so when we discovered Ethical Metalsmiths and the community of like-minded fine jewelry makers, we joined immediately -- happily. We will be sharing what we are learning through this enthusiastic group in this blog and in our E-Newsletter – please follow us here and sign up for our newsletter.  

 

*Dirty Metals; Mining, Communities and the Environment, June 2004, by Earthworks, Oxfam America

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Peggy Sadler