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No Dirty Gold Wins New Pledges From Major Jewelry Retailers

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

No Dirty gold wins new pledges. Several large jewelry retailers in the US have made the pledge with the No Dirty Gold.

No Dirty Gold

A few weeks ago, we’ve written about Congo Gold and the horrible war in the Democratic Republic of Congo fueled by the world’s insatiable need for Congo’s minerals. It was a subject that was also thoroughly discussed in the CBS’ 60 Minutes report “Congo’s Gold.” We’re happy to note that as of November of this year, several large US jewelry retailers have made a pledge, with the No Dirty Gold coalition, to only trade jewelry that has been manufactured from gold ‘mined and produced through humane and eco-friendly methods.’

Congo, in central Africa, is the richest country in the world in terms of precious minerals. It is also a country under fire. Since 1996, a civil war has raged unabated in this country – claiming an unthinkable 5.4 million lives to date. The deadliest conflict on earth today is being fueled by the minerals extracted from the rich mines of southeastern Congo where war factions control and enslave whole tribes to labor in the primitive quarries. The millions of dollars that these groups earn from conflict metals like gold, coltan, and diamond are then used to purchase weapons, medicines, and uniforms for these bandits to continue waging a senseless war.

The retailers include such venerable names in the industry as Sears, Kmart, and Blue Nile joining ranks with about 60 retailers nationwide in the No Dirty Gold coalition. These retailers have all signed on to uphold the The Golden Rules, a set of principles being promoted by No Dirty Gold, which includes assurances of humane and safe working conditions in the mines, environmental protection, and that source mines “are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict.”

No Dirty Gold is an initiative of the Earthworks, a non-profit organization working to protect communities and areas “from the destructive impacts of mineral development, in the U.S. and worldwide.

Unlike the diamond trade, in which suppliers are required to certify that the diamond they are delivering are not produced from conflict areas (the “blood diamonds”), there is no established certification process in place for the gold trade. The Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC), an industry organization composed of 140 member companies across the jewellery supply chain, has recently introduced a self-certification process for its members to comply with RJC’s Principles and Code of Practices. We sincerely hope that this certification process will become the standard in the international jewellery industry and would evolve to comprehensively cover all aspects of production and trade in the industry.

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