August 25, 2021 – The jewelry industry is at a remarkable moment, facing perhaps one of the most critical choices we’ll ever make.
There is an extraordinary opportunity hidden in the problem of mercury pollution in our gold supply chain.
15~20 million artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM) in 70+ countries release 12,000 pounds of toxic mercury into the environment every day because no easy, affordable, effective alternatives exist. They often earn subpar (to be kind) wages yet use the persistent neurotoxin to mine our gold.
Jewelers sell 53% of the world’s gold, and 20% of all gold is mined by ASGM, who use mercury.
The condition of mercury in our gold supply chain is a tremendous opportunity for the jewelry industry. By being courageous and authentic, informing the world of the issue, and committing to addressing this massive problem, we can capture the world’s attention and earn its respect.
Our customers prefer authentic and purpose-driven brands that stand for something and do good in the world. They are increasingly socially conscious and care deeply about inclusivity and social impact.
We can become a purpose-driven industry, declaring our commitment to discovering and implementing viable alternatives to mercury use in ASGM. We can stand up for a mercury-free gold supply chain, a vital and diverse environment, and millions of artisanal gold miners’, families’, and communities’ well-being.
We certainly can solve this. It’s a matter of commitment and resolve. If investors could see a way to make billions in profits by solving the issue, we would be well on the way to a solution.
There are billions to be made, and jewelers can be the greatest beneficiaries by reinventing who we are and inspiring our customers.
Visionary jewelry organizations and company leaders (the JCK Industry Fund, Lashbrook, and GIA) distinguish themselves by standing up for mercury-free gold, environmental sustainability, and the well-being of ASGM and all life.
We are beginning a tremendously exciting adventure. We invite you to join us in our commitment to mercury-free gold for the world.