White gold engagement rings are made from an alloying process that combines the pure yellow metal with other light coloured ones such as silver, palladium and nickel. However, nickel is rarely used anymore because of its deleterious side effects (dermatitis allergies, increased exposure to carcinogens). Like all precious jewellery pieces, the materials that go into making white gold engagement rings all originate from the earth. The alloyed metals that comprise the bands, as well as the gemstones set in the rings themselves, all move through a supply chain from mine to store. Because the jewellery trade is such a lucrative industry, it is often hard to regulate and know how products are sourced and created. Many couples these days demand that their white gold engagement rings be completely free from any unethical practices in the production process. To ensure that this is the case, be certain that the materials in your jewellery piece are FAIRMINED.
What is FAIRMINED gold?
FAIRMINED certified gold originates from artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) organizations that satisfy the FAIRMINED standard. This means the metal has been mined in a responsible fashion and that the miners have received a FAIRMINED Minimum Price and Premium, which aids economic, environmental and social development in the respective communities where the mining industry thrives. Buying FAIRMINED white gold engagement rings is equivalent to supporting responsible certified miners and their families who adhere to stringent policies for labour conditions, economic development, social development and environmental protection in their mining communities. FAIRMINED gold is the accomplishment of the world’s pioneering and industry-leading network of dependable artisanal and small-scale miners. It is a collective initiative and movement led by the miners for the miners.
What are the benefits of the FAIRMINED certification to miners?
The FAIRMINED Label guarantees that jewellery materials, including those in white gold engagement rings, have been extracted and processed through fair and responsible means. This ultimately indicates:
Miners may form collective groups to give themselves better bargaining power with buyers and traders, to get a more legitimate return for their materials, and to gain greater control over the industry supply chain. They are also required to contribute to the social development of their communities.
No one under 15 years old may be contracted to work in the mining organization. Those under 18 must not be exposed to work in hazardous or dangerous conditions.
FAIRMINED certification requires compulsory use of protective gear and health and safety training for all miners.
Miners’ organizations reserve the right of all workers to set up and join trade unions, as well as collectively negotiate their working conditions.
Miners must use safe and responsible practices for management of toxic chemicals, such as mercury and cyanide, in metal recovery. Added chemicals have to be reduced to a minimum, and where possible, they must be eliminated over an agreed period of time.