Press Release: Miners of AURELSAMiners, jewelers and a U.S. refiner join together to support Fairmined certification standards as a consortium of U.S. jewelers working directly with artisanal mining communities in Peru to bring traceable, responsible, artisanally mined gold into the market.
Rosa Reyes, the president of AURELSA, Fairmined certified gold mine in Peru, leads her 86-member cooperative to put 100 percent traceable, artisanally mined gold into the skilled hands of a broad-base of pioneering U.S. jewelers for the first time ever. These pioneering jewelers, organized by non-profit organization Ethical Metalsmiths (EM), are using this premium gold to actively re-write the story of jewelry.
"The goal for responsible sourcing isn’t just to offer materials that lessen the negative impact of our industry, but instead to create alternatives that can provide a positive impact in the communities and environments where these resources are extracted. Fairmined gold is a material with a story we want to share," said Anna Bario of Bario-Neal.
EM is working with Hoover & Strong, a leading U.S. precious metals refiner known for its 100 percent certified recycled metals, to create a 100 percent traceable pathway from Relave, Peru to individual jewelers around the U.S., and ultimately into the hands of U.S. consumers.
Torry Hoover of Hoover & Strong said, "For over 100 years, Hoover & Strong has prided itself in our use of environmentally-friendly processes, energy conservation, recycling and our support of basic human rights around the world.
''To that end, we feel this is a great opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of artisan miners. Artisanal mining communities are often exploited and work in unhealthy, unregulated and dangerous environments. With the support of Hoover & Strong and the committed list of artisan jewelers, certified mining communities like AURELSA will be able to improve their lives significantly due to the generation of more wealth and improved working conditions.
''Hoover & Strong looks forward to our role in creating a 100 percent traceable pathway of artisanal mined gold from mine to market.
''All precious metal products manufactured at Hoover & Strong are currently recycled from non-mined sources and fall under the HARMONY brand. But, as we look to the future for responsible sourcing alternatives, our support of traceable, responsible, artisanally mined gold may be the next evolutionary step in Hoover & Strong’s Harmony brand!"
EM’s new Ethical Sourcing Consortium of Jewelers represents an unprecedented level of commitment from jewelers in the U.S. to collectively support a specific mining community and promote a level of sustainability that the miners and their families deserve. It is a significant opportunity for jewelers and their customers to cross the cultural divide and understand the complex economic, logistical and political issues miners face in acquiring these precious materials and reaching the market. The consortium’s pilot purchase of gold from AURELSA is just the first of many direct source jewelry material purchases planned for the group’s future.
Jeweler Martin Taber, an EM futuring committee chair, said, "This is about more than just replacing one material with another. It's about the relationships and the story this material represents. It's about reestablishing the entire way we think about the objects we purchase, and how we purchase them, the impact our businesses and our buying habits have on the world around us, and the meaning embedded at the very core of our most precious talismans and keepsakes. This is about living every day with a sense of responsibility for the legacy of what we are creating and the desire to bring beauty and humanity back to the forefront of everyday life."
Jewelers participating in the Ethical Sourcing Consortium share a sincere commitment, providing the creative bridge between responsible miners and consumers who want to know the true impacts and benefits of their jewelry purchases. In addition to educating the end consumer, member jewelers commit to paying the Alliance for Responsible Mining's 10 percent FAIRMINED premium, required when purchasing gold from any of their fully certified mines. This additional Premium gets earmarked for more long-term programs that help the mining communities address local community and environmental concerns.
The 23 jewelers participating in this first purchase include: Kara | Daniel Jewelry, Bario-Neal, Sharón Chandally Pedrini, East Forth Street, Erin S. Daily, Jennifer Dewey Jewelry Designs, Devta Doolan, VK Designs, Susan Drews Watkins, Judy Geib Plus Alpha, J.K Haiman Designs, Rx Rox, Edward Lay, Jan Mandel, Chris and Danielle Merzatta, Rosanne Pugliese, Amy Schilling, Taber Studios, Martin Taber Designs, Irene Weinz, Brilliant Earth, Allison Ullmer and McTeigue and McClelland.
Consumers looking for jewelry made with Fairmined gold by these pioneering artists participating in the consortium should look for a website to be launched in the new year by EM. The new site will highlight jewelry made by participating jewelers and offer the opportunity to learn more about the AURELSA mining community through a series of pictures, videos and blogs.
From Mine to Market To Home
The EM Sourcing Consortium initiative will not only be completely transparent, traceable and inclusive, it will complete the cycle of relationship from mine to market to home. Consumers will be able to trace the path of the gold in their own ring, bracelet or pendant, following it from the very location and date it was mined, through the supply chain, and into their own hands. This is empowering consumers to make a true difference in the world and support miners in being responsible stewards of their community, their region, and their environment.
Founded in 2004 Ethical Metalsmiths has been unfailingly working to educate jewelers and metal smiths about ethical issues related to the jewelry trade and connect them to the most responsible sources of materials available. Ethical Metalsmiths is committed to leading jewelers and consumers in becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources for gold, diamonds and other materials used for jewelry. To join the Consortium, please contact Ethical Metalsmiths at consortium-at-ethicalmetalsmiths.org.
About the FAIRMINED label:
FAIRMINED gold is ethical gold extracted by artisanal and small-scale miners certified under the FAIRMINED standard. Using FAIRMINED metals is supporting responsible certified miners and their families that follow strict requirements for social development, environmental protection, labor conditions and economic development in their mining communities. FAIRMINED gold is the achievement of the world’s pioneering and industry leading network of responsible artisanal and small-scale miners, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). An initiative and movement lead by and for the miners. To know more about FAIRMINED gold and the ARM, please go to www.communitymining.org or contact ARM's supply chain manager, Kenneth Porter, at kennethporter-at-communitymining.org.
About Hoover & Strong:
Hoover & Strong is a manufacturer and refiner of 100 percent recycled precious metals. Established in 1912, Hoover & Strong is the supplier of choice for metalsmiths, large jewelry manufacturers, diamond houses and distributors. Product lines include mill products, findings, diamonds, mountings, semi-mounts and finished jewelry. Services include custom casting, diamond setting, assembly, finishing and refining. Hoover & Strong's vision is to "Provide the world jewelry market with the most innovative, environmentally responsible products."
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