Who would have thought that the production of gold jewellery was one of the dirtiest businesses in the world? For example, the production of one gold ring generates 20 tonnes of mine waste and the process can displace communities, contaminate drinking water and destroy pristine environments.
Gold mining displaces indigenous communities and destroys traditional livelihoods such as farming, fishing and herding. Mining pollutes the water with heavy metals and can leave the drinking water thousands of times more acidic than battery acid. Lands are becoming poisoned by toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury and public health can suffer, sometimes forcing families to spend significant amounts of income treating chronic asthmas, skin diseases, lead poisoning, and other ailments relating to the mine’s impact.
The No Dirty Gold Campaign seeks to educate consumers and the general public about the impact of irresponsible gold mining, and to enlist their support to pressure the industry to clean up its act. It also calls upon the mining industry to ensure that their gold was not produced at the expense of communities, workers and the environment.
The No Dirty Gold campaign is supporting the rights of communities to determine their own future and to ensure that it is not decided for them by corporations. Members of the jewellery trade are being asked to sign up to the Golden Rules which seek to uphold safe working conditions, human rights and environmental protection.
So What Are Beaverbrooks Doing About It?
At Beaverbrooks we support any changes that will improve human rights and the environmental conditions in gold mining areas. We joined the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) in 2009 and made all of our suppliers aware of the No Dirty Gold Campaign. We have now received written confirmation from all of our suppliers that none of our jewellery is produced at the expense of communities or environments. We have ensured that all our suppliers have made their own suppliers and bullion dealers aware of the campaign, and have received many letters from our suppliers giving examples of the positive actions they have taken as a result of us contacting them.
We are in regular communication with the UK arm of the campaign—who incidentally are delighted with the actions we have taken, and we also receive regular updates from the American arm of the No Dirty Gold Campaign. At Beaverbrooks, we love gold jewellery and want to celebrate its beauty and sentiment. We are confident that all our jewellery is “clean”, and you can be assured that the only things associated with your beautiful gold jewellery are your own special memories.
More information is available at www.nodirtygold.org