The ethical jewellery cemetery is full of tombstones of good intentions, inscribed with the words: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (i.e. “the more that changes, the more it’s the same thing”).
To help ensure a client selects the diamond/gold combination that is best for them, jewellers should consider approaching the process of ring selection from a different angle. Rather than starting with the gold or metal, ask clients to select their preferred natural colour diamond. From there, the colour of gold can be selected according to which nuances will bring out the best elements of the diamond(s).
The word “noble” is applied to a small handful of metals—silver, the “platinum group,” and, of course, gold. Metals in this category are found in their workable state in nature, and are not readily corroded, rusted, or degraded under normal natural conditions. This means gold cannot only be found in usable form, but, if it has been made into something, it will remain in this state forever.
Electroplating is the application of a very thin layer of metal onto a different metal using electrochemistry. The process uses a solution (called a “bath” when electroplating), which is a mixture of metallic salts dissolved in an acidic or a basic solution.
For author, educator, and master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain, both electroplating and electroforming have been instrumental in refining his voice and style within the world of jewellery fabrication. Specifically, he uses grids of fusion-welded stainless-steel wire to create structures, which are then electroformed.
In October 2021, Kyle Abram flew to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) project, a model for the future of ethical gold sourcing from small-scale mines.
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