The high-end jewelry trade is filled with designers who care about people and the planet, and market their jewels as reflections of their lofty ideals. But proving those credentials is another story.
Many designers, for example, proudly proclaim that the gold they use is 100 percent recycled, but offer precious few details about how that gold has made its way through the supply chain.
A smaller subset of fine jewelers has done the hard work of finding suppliers who offer traceable, trackable guarantees — such as gold bearing the Fairmined assurance label, which certifies gold from responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations that meet stringent standards for responsible practices.
Below, we’ve highlighted seven luxurious gold jewels whose makers walk the walk, backing up their claims with research and documentation.
Ana Khouri Delphine Earrings
In February 2020, New York City-based designer Ana Khouri posted a manifesto to her website proclaiming her commitment to Fairmined gold, the material used to craft these Delphine earrings. “It is a way of ensuring that the gold on which we rely is mined and processed in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible,” Khouri wrote. “Above all, it means that our work generates a positive impact in the world, not as a gimmick, but as a long-term strategy.” $10,240, Anakhouri.com
Futura Jewelry Elena Bracelet
Futura Jewelry Elena Bracelet Futura
At its workshop off Madison Avenue in New York City, Futura Jewelry recreates treasures from the ancient world in 18-karat certified Fairmined Ecological Gold, a quality standard administered by the Alliance for Responsible Mining denoting gold that’s been mined responsibly, without the use of toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide. Based on an ancient Greek design dating to 1600-1200 BC, the Elena bracelet features a palmette motif that is likely to have originated in Egypt or West Asia. What’s old is, indeed, new again. $17,500, Futurajewelry.com
Azlee x Ocean Diamonds Hoop Earrings
Azlee x Ocean Diamonds Hoop Earrings Azlee x Ocean Diamonds
Los Angeles-based Azlee introduced these 18-karat gold earrings as part of a capsule collection with Ocean Diamonds, a company that sources diamonds from the ocean floor off the coast of Namibia and South Africa. “The process of garnering ocean diamonds is so natural and non-invasive, and doesn’t require any mining,” says Baylee Zwart, Azlee’s CEO and designer. “They naturally flow through rivers, eventually making their way to the ocean and settling on the seabed. The diamonds are discovered by local divers in caverns…and are then cut locally to ensure a short and transparent supply chain.” So transparent that each diamond comes with a certificate of origin. $11,389, Matchesfashion.com
Generation Collection Handmade Legacy Necklace
Generation Collection Handmade Legacy Necklace Generation Collection
Former Silicon Valley executive Boryana Straubel founded Generation Collection to make 24-karat gold jewelry accessible, while at the same time teaching women about value: Gold is an age-old investment vehicle. “I’m also designing for circularity — 24-karat is very easy to melt,” she says. The classic pieces in Generation’s debut collection, such as this handmade legacy necklace, are made from upcycled e-waste and scrap gold, a method that significantly reduces energy, water and carbon dioxide. Approx. $7,560, Generation-collection.com
Dana Bronfman x Muzo Eternity Band
Dana Bronfman x Muzo Eternity Band Dana Bronfman x Muzo
Designer Dana Bronfman’s new Love collection, her first bonafide bridal line, uses 100 percent Fairmined certified gold, vintage and antique diamonds and sapphires, as well as contemporary sapphires from Montana and Australia, and Muzo Colombian emeralds — as in this hammered eternity band, set with nearly 3 carats of the sought-after green gems. $4,550, Danabronfman.com
Shakti Ellenwood Golden Eagle Ethical Necklace
Shakti Ellenwood Golden Eagle Ethical Necklace Shakti Ellenwood
In July 2015, U.K.-based jeweler Shakti Ellenwood became a full licensee with the Fairtrade Foundation and committed to only using Fairtrade Gold, a mark of quality indicating gold that’s been sourced exclusively from small-scale mines that meet the Fairtrade Gold Standard, an internationally recognized marker of best practice for workers’ rights and environmental protection. Her Golden Eagle Ethical necklace channels the qualities symbolized by the majestic eagle — including courage, swiftness and wisdom — into a dramatic pendant made of Fairtrade gold from small-scale miners in Peru. $6,200, Shaktiellenwood.com
Sandrine B. Petal Stud Earrings
Sandrine B. Petal Stud Earrings Sandrine B.
Showcased exclusively at Space 85, an online gallery featuring the work of independent jewelry designers, these petal stud earrings by Sandrine B. are handcrafted in 18-karat Fairmined yellow gold and set with rubies. As with all the pieces that belong to the gallery’s summer collection, a portion of sale proceeds (10 percent) will be donated to the International Association For Human Values and Art of Living in India to provide aid for the Covid-19 crisis. $850; Sandrine B. Jewelry at Space 85