In February 2011 after the culmination of several years’ work, an official Fairtrade Fairmined Gold certification mark was launched. At the same time, EC One was selected to be one of 20 British jewellery companies to pioneer the use of Fairtrade Fairmined Gold; an option we are pleased to be able to offer our customers who may be looking for the ethical choice in their jewellery. The following information is available in full from the Fairtrade Fairmined Gold official website.
Years of work between Fairtrade International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) has resulted in this official Fairtrade Fairmined gold certification, which will improve the livelihood of artisanal and small-scale miners.
The two organisations have developed a set of standards for responsible mining, which the miners have to fulfil to ensure their mines are certified. Achieving the certification means that the miners will receive the following:
- A guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price for their gold: This is set at 95% of the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA’s), fixing at the FOB export point
- A Fairtrade premium payment, which is democratically reinvested in community projects and improving miners’ operations. This is calculated as 10% of the applicable LBMA fixing
- For Ecological Gold (gold extracted without the use of chemicals) an additional 5% is applicable to the LBMA fixing
- Development of long term business relations with their commercial partners
Fulfilling the Fairtrade and Fairmined standard means that certified miners will have democratic organisations formalising their work and safer working practices with regards to chemicals used in the gold mining process. They will also develop a respect and understanding of the environment and their natural surroundings and recognise rights for women miners.
All Fairtrade mines will be audited by the independent, international certification body FLO-CERT to ensure they are complying with the standards.
EC One and Fairtrade Fairmined Gold
EC One is recognised for certifying the first piece of Fairtrade Fairmined jewellery in the UK – a gold wedding ring made in February 2011. The first batch of Fairtrade Fairmined gold was refined by Patrick Schein in France and then sent to the companies who had put their names down to receive it. EC One received 20g on the morning of Monday 21 February 2011 and founder and goldsmith Jos Skeates set to work making a men’s wedding band. The finished ring was taken to the Assay Office at Goldsmiths’ Hall, where it was confirmed as the first piece of Fairtrade Fairmined jewellery to receive the certification mark in the UK.
EC One is delighted to be a part of this incredibly positive development in the British jewellery industry. Jos chose to make the simple wedding band to show off the beauty of the gold – which has a lovely, almost rose-gold hue – without taking away from the story of the Fairtrade Fairmined gold.
As the gold becomes more widely available, we will be able to design and make ethical wedding and engagement rings and other bespoke jewellery designs in Fairtrade Fairmined gold. Visit us in-store to find out more about what we could make for you, or contact EC One Customer Services.