10 February 2023
Fair gold is even more beautiful Gold. Gold is the symbol of love, status, prestige and health. However, when we look at the underlying story of gold, how, for example, this beautiful material is mined, it is often anything but loving and romantic. Fortunately, honest gold also exists! You can read all about mining (honest) gold in this blog!
An average of a few grams of pure gold comes out of a tonne of gold ore every day. This relatively small gold extraction quickly requires thousands of kilos of rock to be processed. This processing is done with large machines that use a lot of diesel. Since these large machines are on all day, a huge amount of harmful substances are released. In addition, gold mining uses a lot of water, cyanide and mercury to extract the gold from the rock. This all washes into the rivers and is obviously very harmful to the environment.
The conditions in which gold is mined are also often deplorable and unsafe. Around 25 million people worldwide work in gold mines. In the majority of these mines, working conditions are downright poor. We regularly hear that a mine shaft has collapsed somewhere and that there is insufficient safety equipment for all workers. In addition, people often work extremely long hours in an environment that is detrimental to their health. Many people think that slavery in gold mines is something of the past and that things are not like that these days. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Even today, the gold sector is still one of the highest-risk sectors for forced labour. Men, women and even children work in poor, remote areas. Often, there is no other way for these people to make ends meet. There is minimal compensation for the life-threatening work they perform.
Because people like to wear beautiful gold jewellery, it is very important that fair raw materials are used. With globalization, companies are becoming increasingly transparent about how gold is mined. Working conditions are also getting better and better. As a result, more attention is also being paid to fair-trade gold. The first global hallmark for fair trade gold is Fairtrade-Fairmined. What the Max Havelaar hallmark means for coffee, Fairtrade-Fairmined means for sustainable gold. This hallmark was achieved partly through the efforts of the Max Havelaar Foundation. In Fairtrade-Fairmined mines, miners receive a fair price for their found gold. In addition, miners can receive extra premiums when no mercury is used in mining. Unfortunately, there is not much of this gold available yet which means we cannot yet offer it for our standard production. Sometimes there are waiting times of several weeks to buy this gold.
The fact that fair-trade gold exists is very nice. However, at present there is unfortunately far too little fair-trade gold to supply all jewellers and goldsmiths. Therefore, there is an incentive to work with recycled gold. All gold taken in is reused. Recycled gold is also considered honest and good gold. DiamondsByMe therefore works 95% with recycled gold. Our suppliers are mainly gold refiners who specialize in making pure gold from old jewellery that has been handed in. This way, we as a company can also do our bit!
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has been set up to set standards in the jewellery chain. The RJC is a non-profit certification organization that determines the standard norms in the jewellery chain. More than 850 companies have now joined this organization. These are companies from the entire jewellery chain: from mines to shops. All companies that join the RJC must be certified and can thus demonstrate that they represent the interests of both the organization and the industry. Membership shows that the company in question operates responsibly and stands for the use of fairly mined precious metals.
We want to make people aware that in this day and age, gold is still very often mined the wrong way, endangering both human lives and the environment. We want to show that gold and diamonds can also be mined correctly. Child labour and hazardous working conditions must of course be prevented at all times. With love for our profession, we process honest gold in our jewellery.
So your designed jewellery is not only made with heart for the profession, but also from fairly sourced materials. Because let's be honest... a good piece of jewellery should also have a good story!