Feb. 10 2014
The F&L Designer News Room

Chopard Raises the Profile of Fairmined Gold

Independent and bespoke engagement ring designers applaud Swiss luxury jewellery maker Chopard’s efforts to encourage the use of Fairmined gold across the industry.
028.365 Fool’s Gold by Reilly Butler, used under a Creative Commons licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/)

Fairmined gold is mined with respect for human rights and the environment.

Chopard, the Swiss luxury jeweller, has courageously taken the lead in raising awareness of the environmental and human costs of gold-mining. Independent engagement ring designers, who are already investing in the movement towards more ethical sourcing, hope the industry will follow Chopard’s example.

At this year’s Baselworld fair, held in Switzerland, Chopard launched the world’s very first timepiece made entirely from ’Fairmined’ gold. This bold move has surely been influenced by the growing demand amongst luxury consumers for expertly crafted pieces that have also been sourced with concern for human welfare and sustainability in mind.

This growing concern for more ethical practices around mining for precious materials has already been championed and embraced by many independent jewellers and bespoke engagement ring designers. Designer-makers, such as Amanda Li Hope and Anton Kata, both of whom are featured in the exclusive F&L Designer Guides, create exquisite bespoke engagement rings from ethically sourced materials at every opportunity.

The goal of the Fairmining effort is to encourage the development of small gold mining communities and their co-ops. The result is hoped to reduce the environmental damage of mining and improve the working conditions for the miners.

The Value of a High Profile

Although Chopard is not the first luxury jeweller to actively pursue the use of Fairmined gold, it is certainly the one with the highest profile. The Swiss jewellery-maker is hoping to spearhead and fuel the necessary change within the industry. Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, said: “we cannot demand others follow us, but would welcome anyone else in the industry to work with us. This is a journey we all need to make together. It will not be easy, but it is the right thing to do”.

In the end, consumer demand will most likely dictate the success or failure of Chopard’s efforts. However, as many independent jewellery makers and bespoke engagement ring designers have seen, the demand is out there. And the industry should take note, as it is growing.

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