Behind the Glitters of Jewellery
Gold and silver, diamonds and precious gemstones Jewellery mining industry has always been one of the most profitable industries influencing lives of many people and creating and serving the rich, famous and elite. Gold and diamond jewellery is very popular with affluent people as a status of wealth and power. And even diamonds have been quoted as women’s best friend, for it has driven desire and passion.
But, behind the shimmer and glitter of gold, silver and diamond jewellery hides a very shocking reality, a reality that most of us are unaware of. The jewellery industry faces perilous problems that affect not only the people in the gold and diamond industry but also our environment. And the question that we need to ask ourselves is “Are the prices of our gold and silver jewellery and diamonds worth the cost of the lives and environmental damage caused by the jewellery mining industry?”
A lot of researches have been conducted on the gold and diamond industry since the issues of “Dirty Gold Mining” and “Blood Diamonds” have been raised. Gold mining has been associated with violence and conflict and became one of the dirtiest industries in the world because of the environmental and human rights violations, land and waterways toxicity, displacing many people from their land and livelihoods. This does not only happen in the gold mining industry it also applies to the diamond industry. Perhaps one of the most popular ethical issues in the jewellery industry was in Zimbabwe regarding the so called “blood diamonds” which have referred to by International inspectors because of the human rights abuses it caused to miners in this country.
It is our social responsibility to do business in accordance with human rights and environmental awareness. Thus, jewellery retailers over the world initiated campaigns against malpractices in gold and diamond mining industry and pledged to source gold and diamonds jewellery in accordance with human rights, social and environmental standards and guidelines. However, the effectiveness of the programme still depends on the efficiency and benevolence of the governments, police and the forces across all the territories in which it operates.
Jewellers and retailers will suffer the consequences of unethical and irresponsible practices in the jewellery mining industry If consumers see them in complicit with unethical and irresponsible practices in the trading and sourcing of “blood diamonds” or “dirty gold”. One of the International programmes that promotes ethical and responsible trading and sourcing of gold and diamond jewellery is the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The council initiates and sets guidelines and standards in giving certification on looking after the issues on environmental performance, social aspects, labour, human rights and business ethics.
We too can help in cleaning up the gold and diamond jewellery industry by not buying from jewellers who patronise dirty gold and blood diamonds mining. It is our own small way to make a big contribution in improving the quality of the gold and diamond industry and the lives behind the dazzling and shimmering gold, silver and diamond jewellery that you wear.
But how will you know that your favourite jeweller does not patronise dirty gold and blood diamonds? At the present it is impossible to know the real source of gold. Gold jewellery comes from various sources: two-thirds of the metal comes from gold mining and the rest from recycling with around twenty percent coming from old stock and thirteen percent from banks. The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international, not-for-profit organisation established to reinforce consumer confidence in the industry by advancing responsible business practices throughout the diamond and gold supply chain.
And with the case of diamonds, there is what they called the Kimberly Process Certification that monitors diamond mining and gives the assurance that the diamonds were not mined under abusive conditions. This refers not only to labour, human rights or social conditions but environmental performance as well. As a consumer, one way you can avoid buying and patronising blood diamonds is by requesting information about the source of the diamond from the jeweller, and by refusing to purchase diamond jewellery that sourced from Zimbabwe or mined under abusive conditions.
There are a lot of online store that sells high quality gold and silver jewellery and diamonds. Gold and Silver Jewellery Shop supports ethical jewellery trade practices and does not patronise abusive sourcing and mining of gold and diamonds. You can make a change in cleaning up the malpractices in the jewellery industry while enjoying the satisfaction and feeling of confidence, power and beauty with gold and silver jewellery and diamonds.
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