Responsible jewelry made from gold and silver to be proud of

I believe that as a maker you should be aware of what you leave behind on the world. That's why I make jewelry from Fairmined gold and silver.

Worldwide, more than 10 million miners and their families depend on small-scale mining for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, working conditions in many of these mines are extremely poor. 

Child labour, poverty, poor housing, unsafe working conditions and major damage to the environment are just a few examples.

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is making the change. It sets strict requirements for safety, working conditions and the environment. The mining organizations that are affiliated with ARM receive a fixed price and a premium that is invested in better working conditions, housing, safety equipment, training, social development and protection of nature and the environment.

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Het verschil tussen Fairmined en Fairtrade.

Perhaps you are already familiar with the Fairtrade hallmark and wonder what the difference is with Fairmined. In a sense there is not much difference, but the Fairtrade organization in the Netherlands has decided not to promote Fairtrade gold anymore. That is why I choose gold and silver with the international Fairmined hallmark.

Why not recycled gold?

The recycling of raw materials has received a lot of attention in recent years. That's a positive development. Reusing materials before discarding them contributes to reducing the production of new products, which is beneficial for the environment. Gold, due to its value and excellent recyclability, has been recycled for centuries.

Why do I mainly work with new gold?
Recycling gold works in a different way than recycling other raw materials and is not always as sustainable as it seems.

Gold is not just a raw material for beautiful jewelry. It is a means of payment that also has influence at a political level throughout the world. Due to the value of this resource, mining for new gold will never stop. Illegal, unsafe and polluting gold obtained through robbery, extortion, forced labor and money laundering is seeping into the legal gold trade. Also in the recycled gold category. Also, the total supply of recycled gold is not enough to meet the general demand for gold. Transparency from suppliers about the share of new gold in their production process is often lacking.

Is recycled gold really recycled?

We recycle raw materials when the product containing the raw material is no longer used in its current form. Fibers from a worn-out sweater, plastic from a used shampoo bottle or a broken cardboard box.
The recycling process of gold doesn't exactly work this way.
In the gold industry, residual material from the processing of new gold also regularly counts as “recycled material”. This often includes gold that was mined incorrectly and never came onto the market as a product.

This is like buying a new sweater in a poor country at an unfair price. Or stealing one from someone else. You then take it apart and make another sweater out of it. Then you offer it as a handmade sustainable sweater made from recycled materials and ask the customer for a "fair price". The original owner of the sweater doesn't get a share of this.

Although many gold suppliers claim to offer 99% recycled gold, to this date they cannot guarantee that the above has not occurred.

Actively contributing to change.

In recent years, more and more companies have started to mention that they work with recycled gold. Yet the mining industry continues unabated. As far as I'm concerned, recycling gold is not immediately "wrong". But as long as this industry is used to greenwash bad gold you can't call it sustainable. That is why I choose not to focus on recycling, but to actively contribute to changing the mining industry.

When do I make use of recycling?

If you want to have your old gold or silver jewelry transformed into new jewelry, you've still come to the right place with me. I can melt down the material of your jewelry and turn it into new basic material. Or, for example, turn that one set of earrings into a beautiful pendant without losing the design.
Does your new design require more material than your old jewellery? Then I supplement it with Fairmined precious metal.

Old stock.

During my studies and for a number of years afterwards, I collected a lot of silver residual material. When I first started with Armoise and was looking for a way to make something with all that silver scrap, this is how the Ambrosios collection emerged. Today I still make jewelry in this line with the same stock of silver scraps. One day this will run out and then…. I don't know yet.