Hacker Jewelers, Designers & Goldsmiths, Inc. is concerned about ethical issues related to the jewelry industry, and is committed to striving to continually improve the world in which we live. At the forefront of these issues, of course, is the “Blood Diamond” problem. The industry as a whole has done much to ensure that the sale of these diamonds has been minimized. As of February 2010, however, there are disturbing reports of “Blood Diamonds” originating from Zimbabwe which are passing the Kimberley Process and being sold as “conflict free”. Further, there are many other issues where we have to do better. The environmental impact of gold and platinum mining, and the wage and working conditions of gold and gemstone miners are examples of some of the broader issues ignored by most of the trade. We have joined forces with several groups to address these and other ethical concerns facing the jewelry industry today.
The 2006 Warner Brothers film, Blood Diamond, brought attention about this issue to the general public and had jewelers and others within the trade scurrying around to formulate conflict diamond policies. As is reflected in Our Conflict Diamond Policy, we began addressing the issue by requesting documentation from our diamond suppliers ensuring that our diamonds were conflict free as early as 2001. In light of new reports of “Blood Diamonds” from Marange Zimbabwe passing the Kimberley Process and being sold as “conflict free”, we are again asking our suppliers for assurances beyond the Kimberley Process. In addition, we have offered diamonds of Canadian origin since the late 1990s and continue to offer these beautiful gems today. More recently, we were among the very first jewelers to offer The Royal Diamond, a branded gem which is accompanied by a record of the diamond’s origin and weight in rough state. In short, we offer many options to our customers in order to make sure that their statement of love is not tarnished by a tainted history.
In January of 2008, we joined forces with No Dirty Gold, and signed “The Golden Rules” precious metals sourcing policy. This policy states that we will work to ensure that our gold sources meet the highest human rights, social, and environmental criteria. We have now finished the first wave of an audit of our sources, and will work with these sources to make sure that our suppliers share our concerns and act upon them.
In 2009, we were one of the first 15 firms to sign the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge, aimed at protecting this important Alaskan watershed from a proposed huge mine. Mr. Hacker was quoted in an AP article that was widely circulated. You can read the article, which ran in newspapers and other media around the world, here: Link to AP Story Mr. Hacker was also quoted in a Rapaport Diamond Report trade journal that focused on fair trade issues.
We have partnered with like-minded manufacturers, and can offer our customers a wide selection of rings and other jewelry that was manufactured with gold refined from recycled sources. For instance, we are authorized dealers for Trigem Designs and Columbia Gem House, who are industry leaders in providing quality fair-trade gems and in monitoring fair-trade issues from mine to market.
Further, as manufacturing jewelers we have the capability of directly using recycled gold (yours or ours) to create beautiful new jewelry with the absolute minimal negative environmental and social impact. We always keep a substantial inventory of good used gold specifically for this purpose, and encourage our customers to consider this option whenever possible.
To read about the progress in implementing clean gold standards, read the latest Tarnished Gold report from Earthworks No Dirty Gold Campaign here. In the report, our firm was rated as one of the top twenty retailers for ethical gold sourcing!
We have also joined in the efforts of The Madison Dialog, which addresses a broad range of ethical issues affecting the jewelry industry, including sustainable economic development. It is important that a reasonable amount of the vast sums of money spent on luxury jewelry goes to improve the lives of those living where the jewelry originates; i.e. where the gems and metals are mined. People and geographical areas producing the raw materials that go into jewelry making have been exploited over the years, and the time has come for the trade to insist on a fairer distribution of the industry’s wealth. Hacker Jewelers, Designers & Goldsmiths, Inc. is also committed to local causes, and annually returns thousands of dollars to the community supporting a wide range of efforts and non-profit organizations. Our commitment to give back is also reflected by our insistence that a portion of the proceeds of every one of our Christian Heart™ designs is donated to charity. This is true not only of the Christian Heart™ pieces that we sell, but also of those pieces that are sold at other jewelry stores throughout North America.
We hope that this section of our website addresses the concerns of our socially conscious customers, and provides insight into the kind of organization we are striving to be. To paraphrase Spike Lee’s movie of the same name, we always want to “do the right thing”. To that end, we are constantly looking for supplier partners that mirror our concerns.
For more information on topics addressed here, check out the links provided below.
|Take the Ethical Pledge|
|No Dirty Gold|
|Fair Trade Diamonds and Jewelry|
|Fair Trade Gems|
|Ethical Metal Smiths|
|Fair Trade Jewelry|
|The Circle Manifesto|