December 6, 2011

In Response to Rock Center’s Expose on Gold

Posted in gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , at 7:00 pm by rosediamonds

Last night, NBC featured the dirty side of gold mining on Rock Center with Brian Williams.  Here’s the link if you want to look it up before reading on…

http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/05/9213056-digging-for-gold-children-work-in-harsh-conditions-paid-with-bags-of-dirt

http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/05/9226111-tracing-your-gold-fair-trade-activists-fight-for-responsibly-mined-gold

 

What I found more interesting than the story was the comment section below.  Here is an excerpt from one:

So few people know about how or where jewelry is made. Why don’t you just ask the store where your jewelry is produced? Most high end manufacturers/designers actually make and produce their jewelry here in the USA.

BLERP!  This is incorrect.  Many “high end designers” including Tiffany & Co. & David Yurman produce their jewelry in countries like China.  This came up in an industry magazine because Tiffany an Yurman were fighting against legislation that would require country of origin marks on the jewelry itself instead of a paper tag (that is discarded by the shops before display).  

Most QVC/ KMart / Walmart jewelry is pruduced in China or India. If you buy low price point chances are that you are contributing to the child labor, destruction of environment , mentioned in the article above.

Yes & No.  The lowest end jewelry is many times completely mechanized in production, so there are fewer people actually touching it.  

Still , I think something along the lines of the Kimberley Process for diamonds in international law for gold might be helpful for consumers to purchase products that are free from child exploitation.

There are laws in place to help prevent the trade of conflict diamonds, rubies, etc.  The jewelry industry is held responsible for “fair trade” sourcing.  Most of your retailers purchase goods from a supplier who may purchase them from a distributor.  Many retailers trust that their sources are following the respective laws assigned with goods imports, and have little to do with the process.

I also think that the US should impose greater tarriffs on jewlry and other products that are manufactured overseas. That could be helpful in bringing more manufacturing back here.

Whoa there!  With the price of gold at an all time high, there is a very likely chance that this increase would be passed along to consumers.  While we disagree with child labor, this solution is not likely to stop the problem.  

Reasonable Alternatives to the Problem

You, Joe Consumer, have an options:

  1. Refuse to wear jewelry (I hope you don’t pick this one).  That’ll show em’
  2. Ask your local jeweler about fair trade sourcing (don’t expect a super long explanation here.  Many in the industry “trust” our vendors to be following the laws so we don’t have to get our hands dirty, so to speak)
  3. RECYCLE your old gold.  This is our favorite option here at the shop.  I don’t want this to sound like a plug, but I will explain briefly how we handle gold recycling at our shop.  Most jewelers that offer this do a similar method.

Gold Recycling at Rose Diamonds

  1. Get Inspired with an idea (from catalogs, magazines, etc) for a new piece of jewelry
  2. Bring in Trade in Gold (broken or in tact does not matter)
  3. Refine idea to include stone(s) (yours or ours)
  4. Sketch/rendering of design (yours or ours)
  5. Propose budget (because we are custom jewelers, we can scale the design to fit your budget)
  6. Send scrap gold off to refinery (we handle this for you)
  7. Wax model is a 3D version that you can try on
  8. Cast jewelry with refined gold
  9. Polish & Set stones in finished piece
  10. Take home & enjoy your custom piece

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Victoria L said,

    Beyond mining, recycling accounts for a third of the current gold supply. As far as gold demand, jewlry runs 57%, industry 11% and investment 31%. East Asia, India and the Middle East gold adorns slightly less than three quarters (or 70%) of the world’s jewelry.


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