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Ethical gold

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    24th Apr, 2019

The high-end consumers are now demanding not only the carats but how ethical the gold is. They want to know the origin of their treasure. For them the jewellers are ensuring responsibly sourced, eco-friendly and recycled gold.

Context

The high-end consumers are now demanding not only the carats but how ethical the gold is. They want to know the origin of their treasure. For them the jewellers are ensuring responsibly sourced, eco-friendly and recycled gold.

    About

    What is ethical gold?

    • It is the responsibly sourced, eco-friendly and recycled gold.
    • It is an attempt to codify responsible gold mining which does not cause degradation of environmentand take cares of the human rights of the workers involved.
    • Ethical gold is about 10 to 12 per cent more expensive than normal gold.

    What is its worldwide use?

    • The Geneva-based firm, which makes the Palme d’Or trophy for the Cannes Film Festival, says it now uses only verified suppliers of gold that meet strict standards to minimise negative environmental impacts of mining the precious metal.
    • Among the many certificates and standards claiming to codify responsible gold mining, two labels stand out:
      • “fairmined” gold - a label certified by a Colombian NGO and
      • “fairtrade” gold – a label launched by Swiss foundation Max Havelaar.
    • The French luxury group Kering, which says it has bought more than 3.5 tonnes of “responsibly produced” gold since 2015 for its Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo and Gucci brands, has committed to 100 per cent use of “ethical” gold by 2020.

    Why it is becoming an accepted trend today?

    • Ethical concerns: Concerned jewellers are keen to ensure they can trace the source of their entire supply to an ethical production cycle and to firms certified by the not-for-profit Responsible Jewellery Council, which has developed norms for the entire supply chain.
    • RJC members adhere to tough standards governing ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices across the precious metals industry.
    • Environmental concerns: Going a step further, jewellers are using the precious metal from electronic or industrial waste. They do not want to promote mining extraction or use recently extracted gold, so they are seeing suppliers who recycle gold used in graphics cards or computer processors.
    • In a mine, a tonne of terrain might contain five grams of gold, whereas a tonne of electronic waste might generate 200 grams.
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