Strip Mine

by Elaine Luther

I’ve been thinking about the trend of ‘green’ jewelry. I’m seeing two different incarnations of this — one is the use of recycle/reused/repurposed materials by indie crafts of the type you’ll see in Craft magazine.

The other type of ‘green’ jewelry has to do with the sourcing of mined materials including gems and precious metals.

You’ve probably heard about “conflict diamonds.” But you might not have heard as much about gold mining issues.

Susan Kingsley, and other metalsmiths have come together to create a group, Ethical Metalsmiths to raise awareness and try to bring about change on mining issues. Check out their website here.

Ethical Metalsmiths got the Madison Dialogue Ethical Jewelry Summit started, which was held last October in Washington D.C. You can read more about it, and see a full list of participants at MadisonDialogue.org.

The participants at the Dialogue agreed to this final declaration:

“We believe there is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives and communities of artisanal/small-scale minors and other margninalized workers worldwide, by develeoping and implementing robust standards for the production of ethical and fair trade metals, diamonds, gems and jewelry. We also encourage governments, where needed, to develope policies and regulations that protect these miners, workers and their communities.”

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