Living Room Session: Community Check-in

artisanal mining jewelry living room sessions social issues sustainibility Jun 12, 2020

Thank you for joining us in our most recent Living Room Session.

This Living Room was a Community Check-in: a less structured gathering to see how everyone is doing and talk about the topics on your mind.

We got to hear from Anna Moltke-Huitfeldt about her business and the Conscious Jewelry Campaign, as well as discuss different models of responsible gold flows, and our plans to change the hearts and minds of consumers.

Below, are some takeaways from this session.

 

Black Lives Matter. This week, we shared a statement on antiracism with our jewelry community. If you have recently joined our email list through this Living Room session and would like to see our statement, you can find it here.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Intentionally supporting artisanal and small-scale miners is essential work in striving to be a responsible industry. While using recycled gold can help reduce environmental impact, we must acknowledge that all gold is mined and that illicit gold makes its way into legitimate systems within our current way of operating.
  • There are different models for achieving responsible gold supply chains from artisanal and small-scale gold miners.
    Fully traceable model: Maintains separate gold flows from the source, to the refiner, all the way to the jeweler.
    Mass balanced model: Separate flows are maintained only until the point of the refining process, where it is then mixed with non-certified gold.
  • Both options provide miners with the same level of compensation. So in the Fairmined model for instance, the minimum price and premium are the same for either model. Be careful though! With the mass balance model - the end user cannot make the same claims as can be done with the full traceability model.
  • The work to raise awareness about what should inform jewelry purchases continues. Different approaches are working for different businesses. While some brands use responsible practices and tell an emotional story that consumers will resonate with, others do not market responsible practices and instead use the design phase to talk about the different options, which often leads to valuable one-on-one conversations and the customer choosing a material that will be more positively impactful.
  • Origin remains important within conversions between jewelers and consumers. “The hidden cost of gold is paid by people upstream” - Ana Maria Sierra. Illicit gold is still working its way into legitimate streams and while we grow our understanding of capacity considerations for small producers, we should still encourage transparency and due diligence.

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