Jewelers have traditionally had a sordid history of sweeping the origins of their materials under the rug, leading to some ethically dubious supply-chain issues. The industry has since evolved to meet customer demands for ethical sourcing in certain arenas, but there are still shortcomings.
I am committed to ensuring my supply chain is sourced fairly and sustainably, so you can be proud to own any piece of jewelry that I produce.
Rough.Jewelry Certificates of Origin
All of my pieces come with a certificate specifying as much information about the source of the raw materials as possible. These certificates are my personal guarantee that the raw materials did as little damage as possible to people or the planet, and in many cases, help local communities of miners, refiners, and other supply chain participants thrive.
The certificates are tied to my database of securely-stored supply-chain records, and can be audited as needed to prove origin.
I only work with suppliers for my metals and gems that can demonstrate they share my deep commitment to ethical sourcing.
The UN adopted the Kimberley Process in 2003 to ensure that conflict diamonds (diamonds sold illicitly to fund insurrections in war-torn regions) don't make their way into the mainstream diamond market, and since I only purchase rough gems, I have certificates from my suppliers guaranteeing their origins according to this process (cut diamonds are not subject to the Kimberley Process, and therefore it can sometimes be difficult to guarantee their origin with an untampered chain of certification).
Beyond the minimum of ensuring conflict-free certifications, I only work with passionate gem dealers that have close relationships to their suppliers and are knowledgable about the origins of their gems. I work hard to ensure the mines where my gems originate engender fair labor practices and ecological sustainability.
All my raw metals come from refiners that use fair practices to reclaim metal to avoid the pitfalls associated with additional mining. For each ounce of gold mined, up to 20 tons of waste is generated, often introducing harsh chemicals and toxic materials into the environment.
Utilizing precious metals that were mined for heirloom pieces no longer in use, from jewelers filings, from electronics, etc. ensures the best possible lifetime utilization of mined materials, minimizing the overall impact on the environment. This dedication to ecologically sustainable mining is critical to ensuring future generations have access to this planet and the beauty it affords us all.
Heirloom Suppliers / Upcycling
Some of my gems have unique origin stories, being recovered from antique jewelry pieces or long-time jewelers going into retirement. I spend a lot of time with antique jewelry vendors, and I like to be inspired by the unique story and feel of a gem, so this can be a great way to shake up the typical supply chain.
While the complex journey of these gems cannot be certified for origin down to the original mine, sourcing gems from heirloom pieces reduces the global need for additional mining.
Additionally, to offset any possibility of dubious origins, I donate 10% of proceeds from pieces containing gems of unknown origin to non-profit organizations that help provide aid and recovery to regions impacted by the diamond trade or prevent future abuses from occurring.
As always, I provide a certificate guaranteeing the extent of my knowledge for the origin of the raw materials, whether they were certified from a reputable dealer or recovered from a yard sale.
I source my tools and consumables from local vendors here in New York City, whenever possible. As a member of this artisanal community, I think it's critical to keep money circulating through the community, and not being siphoned off to faceless corporations owned by cabals of rich white men.