Hand holding fairmined gold

Why we use Fairmined gold to make ethical engagement rings and wedding rings

Posted by Caelen Ellis on

Growing up you could almost always find me outside somewhere. Running around the neighbourhood with friends or playing with rocks and ‘treasures’. I’ve always been drawn the beauty and allure of gold - a timeless treasure


As a child of hippies, environmental sustainability and ethics has always been a critical part of my core values. When I became a parent, this took on even further meaning. I am always thinking about how to tread softly through my journey on this planet, wanting to contribute to a healthy, thriving planet for my sons. My love of jewelry continued, but what I learned about the industry didn’t sit well. I began to explore what other more ethical and sustainable options existed.

I discovered that many jewelers used recycled gold as a way to offset the harm inflicted on the environment and society through mining. This was an improvement, but not at the point of origin. The metal was still originally entering the supply chain through a mining industry plagued with significant ethical, social and environmental issues. It still didn’t seem like enough.

Further research led me to find Fairmined. I was so thrilled to find that there was a way to continue in my trade working with an organization with aligned values. A decade ago I became one of the first 50 licensed jewelers in the world to use Fairmined gold.

Here is the story of why I made that choice and what it means for gold to be Fairmined - where, how and by whom it is mined.


What Is Fairmined Gold?

So what is Fairmined? Fairmined is an assurance label guaranteeing origin and traceability of gold and silver. Created in 2007 by the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Fairmined is part of the Sustainable Mines Program which aims to support small-scale miners to work in ways that support social development without harming the environment in line with the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Conflict-Free Gold

Fairmined certified gold comes from artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who are certified to the Fairmined standard, which requires the gold to be extracted in a way that supports the surrounding environment and community, human dignity and sustainable development. Fairmined gold is ethical, conflict free gold.

“Fairmined Precious Metals is for everyone who wants responsibly sourced gold and seeks to make a positive economic, social and environmental impact in mining communities.” Fairmined.org


Why We Need Ethical Gold Mining Standards

Outside of Fairmined, the mining industry lacks standards. Many mines operate without reasonable safety practices in place, cause environmental destruction, contribute to child labour and support corruption and conflict.

Fairmined certification creates necessary compliance standards in an industry otherwise really lacking in mechanisms to ensure social accountability, environmental protection and safety.


How Fairmined Certification Ensures Supply Chain Integrity

Fairmined provides certification all along the supply chain to support traceability, starting with the mining organizations. The certification process for Fairmined Certified mining organizations can take many years, requiring mines to commit to the highest level of responsible mining to meet Fairmined Standard’s strict requirements.

Once certified, these mining organizations are able to sell Fairmined-certified gold to the market. These mining organizations receive a premium, the Fairmined Premium, in addition to receiving a fair price for their gold. This premium supports continued improvement and development of the mining operations, and supports projects that contribute to human rights, gender equality and environmental improvements in the local communities.


Fairmined Licensee Compliance Standards

Fairmined Authorized Suppliers are the refiners, traders, manufacturers and casters who transform the gold into products like alloys, wire, sheet and casting grain. To trade in Fairmined Gold and make claims about its use, you must become a Fairmined Licensee and comply with the requirements outlined in the Fairmined Standard, License Agreement and Mark Manual to ensure credibility.

Fluid Jewellery is a Fairmined Licensee. To maintain this licensing, we are required to complete a compliance audit every three years.

Sustainable Jewelry and Our Values

At Fluid Jewellery we are always thinking about our contribution towards the betterment of the greater community. After the birth of my children, I became even more focused on ethics and sustainability - always thinking about the interconnection of all living things on earth. These core values align with the goals of Fairmined - improvement of mining organization, miners welfare, development and well-being of the local community, environmental preservation.

The accountability ensured through Fairmined standards supports the interconnection from the earth, plants and animals at the place of origin, through the many hands involved in extraction, processing and production, and on their broader families and communities. This alignment in values led me to the decision to only use Fairmined gold for my jewelry. The cost of the gold comes with a premium, but the alignment in values and ethics makes this worthwhile.

Ethical Jewelry as a Symbol of Love and Connection

The jewelry trade depends on a mining industry often rife with conflict and unsustainable, unethical, unsafe practices. Fairmined provides an alternative to this, using standards and certification to provide a way to know where your gold comes from and the impact along the way. Fluid Jewellery was one of the first 50 Fairmined Licensee jewelers in the world, and we now only use Fairmined gold. Our ethical jewelry is a symbol of love and connection.


Shop Ethical Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings

At Fluid Jewellery we produce ethical engagement rings and ethical wedding rings using gold that is guaranteed to be ethical, sustainable and conflict free. Fluid Jewellery, a Fairmined Licensee, gives you the confidence to know that your special purchase has been grounded in love and connection throughout its journey from mine to market. Shop our collections today!

Close up of thecluster Maeve womens wedding band by Fluid Jewellery in yellow gold 5

Want to learn more? Check out these websites:

Fairmined - Fairmined.org

Alliance for Responsible Mining - responsiblemines.org

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - sdgs.un.org/2030agenda

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