Our Gold

Our Gold

 

Unlike most gem and diamond mining, precious metal mining often creates toxic waste. Artisanal gold mining is the largest contributor to increasing mercury levels in our seas, not to mention the direct harm it causes to the miners and gold refiners that handle it. Its an environmental catastrophe that is building year on year at an alarming rate. Mercury is a neurotoxin and can be very harmful to brain development. You may have read warnings about eating fish during pregnancy, this is due to the ever-growing levels of mercury in the world’s seas, due in the most part to gold mining.

 

Its been our goal for over 15 years to reduce harm and increase joy, so originally we chose to use 100% recycled precious metals. It made sense, precious metals can easily be reused, and no new mining would be needed. While we still consider 100% recycled precious metals to be a more ethical alternative to standard, unknown origin gold, we no longer think it’s the most ethical choice for the environment, for our Earth. A good argument can be made to stop all gold mining and open the worlds vaults, so the tons of gold, hidden away can be put into circulation, however this is not the reality we have.

Gold and other precious metals are, precious. They are of high value and will always be recycled, so by choosing 100% recycled gold a jeweller isn't actually increasing recycling. They are in-fact removing the recycled content from normal gold refining practices and this gap in the market is filled with more mined gold. Gold will continue to be mined whether a jeweller chooses to use 100% recycled gold or not, so its clear to see that choosing 100% recycled gold is not the answer to reducing the harmful effects of gold mining.

 

Most of the gold we use now is Australian gold. Its mixed with some recycled content, refined using state of the art, EPA certified furnaces, sourced from Australian businesses that are members of the International Responsible Jewellery Council. Australian mining laws are some of the most stringent in the world and Australian gold miners continue to lower their Mercury waste year on year, having some of the lowest in the world. Supporting our local industry, working with this industry to create a cleaner and greener gold is the most ethical way forward for Australian jewellery manufacturing.

 

We also support the use of Fairtrade certified and Fair-mined gold, two programs that aim to lower mercury use and other harmful effects of artisanal mining. Better Without Mercury is an amazing initiative started by The Ethical Metalsmiths who we have been financially supporting through donations for over 15 years. The work all these groups are doing to lower mercury use in artisanal gold mining around the world is incredibly important for the world’s ecosystems.

 

 

Planning for the future.

While this is great news, we know Australia can do better. The CSIRO have been developing new clean gold mining technology that is going to be used by NuFortune, an Australian mining venture based in WA. This will be supported by a certification program called CleanMining, who will certify NuFortune mining and Jewellers like us if we purchase NuFortune’s gold. By using Australian gold we are supporting local businesses and jobs for remote communities.

 

We believe Australian gold to be the best choice for our customers, for our Australian jewellery business and for the environment. If, however you would prefer 100% recycled, Fairtrade certified, Fairmined or to reuse/recycle some of your own old gold please contact us and we can discuss different options. We are always available for discussion concerning Ethical/Sustainable jewellery as it’s our passion.