Brilliance has recently joined the growing number of jewelers and retailers who support the Golden Rules; a set of social, environmental and human rights criteria pushing for more responsible mining of gold and other precious metals. The Golden Rules by Earthworks focuses on the protection of the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development.
Gold-mining, while a lucrative industry, poses a great risk to the environment and may create serious human rights issues, especially in third-world countries where they are abundant. The ecosystem where a mine is located can be severely disrupted by its presence; gold is also traditionally a very dirty metal to mine and process. In addition toxic chemicals are used to extract gold from the earth, which are often dumped into pits and waterways, poisoning the ground and water supply. Ultimately, gold mining damages the quality of life for organisms around the mine, and the damage is often left behind for the host country’s government to clean up after a mine closes.
In Third World countries mining is often coupled with human rights issues. Gold can be mined in very dangerous conditions by workers who have few protections and rights. Moreover, the land in which a mine is situated in is often seized from the indigenous peoples that reside in them, leaving them homeless, with nowhere to go once their native lands are taken from them.
“We’re really glad to be a part of the No Dirty Gold (campaign)”, says Jonathon Ohayon from Brilliance. “We’re always looking for new ways to contribute to society and it’s the right thing to do. A diamond engagement ring symbolizes a future couples’ hopes and dreams. It’s something you build a relationship on and not something that they should feel guilty about.”
“We would like to encourage other diamond and jewelry retailers to join the (No Dirty Gold) campaign as soon as possible,” added Jonathon. “Consumers can also show their support by patronizing businesses which sell ethical and environmentally-conscious jewelry.”
A product of the combined efforts of two organizations, the Mineral Policy Center and the Oil & Gas Accountability Project, the Earthworks organization also seeks to reform government policies, improve corporate practices, influence investment decisions and encourage responsible materials sourcing and consumption through nationwide campaigns such as No Dirty Energy, Recycle My Cell Phone, Save Bristol Bay and Mining Reform Campaign. Click here to visit the Earthworks official website.