When you purchase jewellery from Ethica Diamonds, you have the option to choose which metal you prefer, for most of our rings, and many other products as well.
A short lesson in where gold comes from first!
Approaching 3,000 tonnes of gold is produced every year, across the world, with roughly 90% of that coming from gold mines, and with 10% produced by artisan gold miners, who make up 90% of the workforce involved in gold production. An estimated 100 million people reply on small-scale gold production for their livelihoods.
Small scale gold production is backbreaking work, hazardous, usually poorly rewarded, often exploitative. The mercury or cyanide used to extract the gold carry serious health risks, and in some areas entire families work together to extract the gold. In addition it can be difficult to sell the gold for a fair price, working with middle-men, exporters, and the like, who may take an unfair percentage of the proceeds.
The Fairtrade Gold initiative seeks to protect these small gold producers, ensure they are fairly paid for their gold, and enhance their communities.
Under the Fairtrade Gold scheme, miners receive a guaranteed Fair Minimum Price, which protects them against unscrupulous middle-men, and fluctuations in the global gold price. They also receive a Fairtrade Premium, which is handled through the exporters, and is invested into their communities, to support families, and develop education, medical care and environmental projects. While this is not paid directly to the producers, the projects on which it is spent are decided by those communities.
In addition to being paid fairly, Fairtrade gold producers also must follow strict regulations regarding working conditions, health and safety, including handling hazardous chemicals, the rights of women and children, and environmental protection.
Choosing to buy Fairtrade Gold means you know that your gold was mined by small-scale artisan miners, who received a fair price for their gold, and who are not exploited. At Ethica Diamonds, we are happy to vouch for all our Fairtrade Gold, and want you to be sure that if you choose it, it is ethically and environmentally sound, just like the Ethica Diamonds we use in our jewellery.
We should point out that any gold we use that is NOT Fairtrade comes from recycled sources, and isn’t standard-issue environmentally questionable, ethically dubious gold.