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Coming Soon: Fairtrade Gold

Coming Soon: Fairtrade Gold

Buoyed by the success of the 2006 film, "Blood Diamond", and a recent increase in awareness concerning the conditions under which most of the world's precious metals and stones are mined, ethical jewelry now makes up about one percent of the market. It's only a start, but with the Association for Responsible Mining and the Fairtrade Foundation working together to establish the first fairtrade certification for fine jewelry, it shouldn't be long before ethical jewelry commands a similar market share to ethical alternatives in other luxury markets.

January 14, 2008

Handmade Makes a Comeback

Handmade Makes a Comeback

The online crafts dealer Etsy.com has more than 70,000 registered merchants, offering items like hand-knitted mouse cozies, clocks made from recycled circuit boards, and thousands of different jewelry styles. Whether or not you view D.I.Y. knick-knacks as our best defense against an economy based on disposable mass-produced goods, you can be sure that nothing you buy on Etsy has been made in a sweatshop.

December 19, 2007

The Dirty Truth about Gold

The Dirty Truth about Gold

I look down at a beautifully wrought gold band, perfect for my girl friend’s birthday, and I am struck with a fact: it takes an average of twenty tons of earth waste and toxic chemicals processed to create one gold ring. Landscapes are turned to craterscapes. Then, I realize there are workers involved in this processing.

September 19, 2007

Blood in Your Bling?

Blood in Your Bling?

It's a romantic moment that the magicians of Madison Avenue have taught us to anticipate: man on bended knee tenders a hinged, velvet-covered box along with his profession of eternal love. The ads never show this little casket erupting with scarred children and the ashes of 9/11 victims. Sounds harsh, but that's exactly what we pay for when we purchase a diamond.

August 30, 2007

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