The fashion industry is becoming more and more sustainable, but what about the jewelry industry? We show what is hidden behind the term ethical gold and what fair gold mining looks like
Text by Katharina Healing
It is just as much of an integral part of the everyday life of many, but the question of its production hardly ever arises. Is there such a thing as "fair jewelry" and ethical gold? A look behind the scenes of the jewelry industry and its production methods:
Related topics: Synthetic diamonds: Innovative gemstones from the laboratory
What does ethical gold mean?
Ethical gold comes from 100 percent ethical sources. After all, many jewelry productions use toxic pollutants to extract raw materials and let workers work under inhumane conditions.
In the Congo, for example, gold mining is illegal and outside state control. Poor working conditions, underpayment and even child labor can be the result. But in other regions as well, gold mining is not always ethically justifiable. More and more large companies want to claim the gold without thinking of the consequences:
Gold mining produces huge amounts of debris, including highly toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and cyanide, which enter the water cycle. Using dangerous methods, some gold miners try to dissolve the gold, releasing toxic gases. This is an enormous burden for nature and local people.
Sustainable jewelry made of ethical gold from fair mining
Fortunately, there are some initiatives that make it possible to mine gold in a responsible and ethical manner. This is recognizable, for example, by the "Fairminded certification", which is awarded only if, among other things, the following conditions are met:
- Strict work regulations must be observed
- Child labor is strictly prohibited
- There are special social development standards
- Environmental criteria for gold mining must be met
In addition, the workers must be paid a monthly fixed income, instead of just paying the amount found. Child labor is also strictly prohibited in this certification. Other ethical gold mining initiatives include the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), which is also part of the Fairminded and Fairtrade gold initiatives. Brands with certificates as such produce sustainable jewelry.
In addition, various companies and trade associations from the gold and diamond industries joined forces to form the non-profit organization "RJC Chain of Custody Gold". This advocates an ethical, socially and environmentally compatible as well as human rights compliant company policy and also promotes this along the entire supply chain.
Sustainable jewelry brands that offer ethical gold
The most well-known advocate of ethical gold is luxury manufactory Chopard, Since 2018, Chopard has been producing all of its 100% Ethical Gold watch and jewelry production.
Also offers great jewelry found Capolavoro, which creates its products exclusively from 2nd Life-Cycle Gold. The gold comes somites from Recycling processes of Secondary material. So waste from the industrial processing of precious metals, z. B. for jewelry and watch production, as well as old gold, previously to jewelry or Coins was processed. This means that resources can be saved and reused.
3. Lark & Berry
The Lark & Berry Not only does one find fair gold, but all diamonds are also produced in the laboratory. For the production of laboratory diamonds, the natural cycle of diamond formation is mimicked. Cultured diamonds are thus 100% real diamonds. With the naked eye or with the magnifying glass no difference can be determined. The quality corresponds to the highest purity, which only 2% of the worldwide won diamonds meet.
Image source: Lark & Berry
A look behind your pieces of jewelery is therefore worthwhile. Especially as there are so many companies that have committed themselves to sustainable jewelry as well as ethical gold and offer new potential favorite pieces.