Obama Protects Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Oil and Gas Drilling, NY to ban Fracking

By Roxy on December 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Obama Protects Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Oil and Gas Drilling, via the LA Times.

“This is one of the most important ocean protection decisions that this or any president has ever made,” said Marilyn Heiman, U.S. Arctic program director for the Pew Charitable Trusts. “This is a victory for the people of Bristol Bay who have fought for more than 30 years.

“There are just some places that are too special to risk,” she said. “Bristol Bay is one of those places.”

But Tuesday’s action is only a partial protection for the remote region. Federal officials are expected to decide in coming months whether to allow the largest open-pit mine in North America to be dug in the Bristol Bay watershed.

This year, a study by the Environmental Protection Agency reported that the proposed Pebble Mine would have a devastating effect on the same fishery that Obama acted to preserve Tuesday.

This is huge victory for conservationists, fishermen, and Native Alaskans. I’m very happy to read this news today, even though there is still work to be done to protect the Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine, which would cause devastation to the landscape and economy.

Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks, via the NY Times.

That conclusion was delivered publicly during a year-end cabinet meeting called by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.

See other posts about:

New Engagement Rings From Bario Neal

By Roxy on December 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm



002_DSC9379  _DSC8916 _DSC8938


Our New Engagement Rings. Available to purchase instore and online.

See other posts about:
New Work

Feliz Navidad: Bario Neal Holiday Party & Benefit 2014

By Roxy on December 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm



Feliz Navidad! Please join us for our annual holiday party and benefit.

Bring an art supply benefiting Congreso After School program and receive 25% off select jewelry.

Congreso has compiled this wishlist of art supplies:

Earring, bracelet, and necklace findings
Comic drawing pages and books
Drawing paper
Construction paper
Drawing pencils
Colored pencils
Tie dye kits
White tee shirts
Tissue paper
Pipe cleaners
Modge Podge
Elmer’s glue
Paint (tempura and acrylic)
Small paint brushes

We can’t wait to see you there. We will have seasonal cocktails and snacks.

See other posts about:

TreePhilly and Bario Neal Yard Tree Giveaway: November 15th

By Roxy on November 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Tree Philly and Bario Neal


TreePhilly will be hosting a yard tree giveaway at Bario Neal Jewelry on November 15th from 11-2PM. Quantities are limited.
Yard Tree Giveaway and sign up from 11-2PM
25% off ALL Bario Neal boutique pieces ALL DAY + 20% boutique sales go towards TreePhilly
TreePhilly is a new greening initiative led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation that directly engages all Philadelphians in improving their communities by planting and maintaining trees and enabling others to do the same. We hope to see you there.
See other posts about:

Sunday Reading: The Importance of Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold

By Roxy on November 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Deadly mercury is used in small-scale gold mining processes. Photograph: Eduardo Martino/Eduardo Martino / Documentograph via the Guardian

The Harsh Reality Behind the Glamor of Gold, via The Guardian

“The miners bring rock containing the metal ore to the surface where it is crushed by hand into a fine powder in the search for gold – work mainly carried out by women.

Then, controversially, the deadly metal mercury is used to help separate the gold. Gold clings to mercury which is burnt off in open cooking pans, the vapours filling the atmosphere, sometimes with children close by. Severe risks to health are caused by exposure to mercury which can lead to brain and nervous system damage, gastroenteritis, kidney complaints and more, yet the workers do not know this and swill the mercury with their bare hands.The mercury also pollutes local rivers and the food chain.

For all of these efforts, the miners receive sometimes less than $1 a day from middlemen, unaware of the gold’s value. As Tina Mwasha, Tanzania’s first female mineral processing engineer says, “If a broker walks into your compound and offers to buy your gold and you haven’t eaten for two days – then you sell.”

Fairtrade has already brought signs of hope. Several mines in Latin America are working to Fairtrade standards. A Fairtrade minimum price is paid for the gold plus a $2,000 (£1,200) per kilo premium, often invested in better equipment.”

See other posts about:

NEW Black Diamond Eternity and Channel Bands

By Roxy on November 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm



Our new Black Eternity and Black Channel Bands, made with ethically sourced, melee black diamonds.

Jeweler’s Row: Artisans in Action

By Roxy on October 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm

We work with a handful of artisans in historic Philadelphia’s Jeweler’s Row. We took some video of them in action.


Joan, our enamelist, working in her studio.

Our stone setter, Gabe, setting a diamond into our Allium Ring.

Lane, setting a stone into our Black Eternity Band.

See other posts about:

Sunday Reading: Deforestation and Ebola, Deep Sea Mining

By Roxy on October 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Industrial kimberlite diamond pit mine in Sierra Leone, West Africa owned by Koidu holdings, one of a number of international mining companies who have come to Sierra Leone in search of diamonds. Mining is among major factors driving deforestation of the region. Photographer: David Levene

How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic, via The Guardian:

Although bats have long been on the menu in West Africa, there are other transmission routes for the virus besides bushmeat. It is conceivable the two-year-old boy in Guinea thought to be the first case in this outbreak was infected after eating bat-contaminated fruit. This mode of transmission may also explain how the disease gets into wild gorilla populations.

The bottom line is that there is no public health without environmental health. Deforestation didn’t cause this Ebola epidemic, but did make it much more likely. The region’s legacy of war and poverty, its beleaguered health care systems, and a series of bureaucratic fumbles fanned a small and isolated outbreak into a full-blown epidemic fire, which has already killed more people than all previous 25 known Ebola outbreaks put together.

It is shocking to realize that a tiny virus with just a handful of genes can fracture families, shred communities, destroy national economies and destabilize whole regions in just a matter of months. But this is what are witnessing with Ebola.

Ethical Metalsmiths recently published an article an deep sea mining, which would be devastating to marine habitats, called A Close Look At Deep Sea Mining:

Intensive research, planning, risk mitigation and the advances of technology hope to decrease environmental degradation.   The risk to the environment is far greater, however, in the form of large scale disaster.  EM fears the potential of large scale environmental disaster similar to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  During the spill, British Petroleum’s fail safes were unable to stem the flow of oil gushing out of the sea floor.  The prospects of a rogue tank-sized robotic vehicle on the ocean floor gobbling up ecologically diverse habitats concerns us here at EM and it sadly is not out of the realm of possibilities.


The ROVs will remove some of the most biologically diverse and active vents and habitat on planet earth.  This concerns environmentalists even though the production area is much smaller than land based mining.  All that grinding and crushing of the vents will create noise pollution and large plumes of sediment that have the potential to spread over a larger area of habitat, impacting whales and possibly smothering other sensitive species in a larger swath of habitation.  Scientific research concludes that these ROVs will disturb and suspend 16% of the floor sediment in the surrounding water and predict it will take 20 years for sediment to regain its original density. This disturbance could destroy species’ environments and feeding grounds. Even after the slurry of ore is pumped up to the ship the environmental impacts do not stop.  The waste water is pumped back down to the ocean floor, and even if it is filtered prior to return, it could contain sedimentary particles and heavy metals that are harmful to ocean floor species and migrate to human consumption through seafood and shellfish and via water tables.

See other posts about:

Sunday Reading: California Drinking and Irrigation Aquifers Contaminated with Fracking Water

By Roxy on October 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater, via Reuters

Troubling news from California. Protected aquifers in drought-ridden California have been found to contain billions of gallons of fracking wastewater.

According to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California State Water Resources Board found that at least nine of the 11 hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wastewater injection sites that were shut down in July upon suspicion of contamination were in fact riddled with toxic fluids used to unleash energy reserves deep underground. The aquifers, protected by state law and the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, supply quality water in a state currently sufferingunprecedented drought.

The documents also show that the Central Valley Water Board found high levels of toxic chemicals – including arsenic, thallium, and nitrates – in water-supply wells near the wastewater-disposal sites.

Arsenic is a carcinogen that weakens the immune system, and thallium is a common component in rat poison.

“Arsenic and thallium are extremely dangerous chemicals,” said Timothy Krantz, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

“The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

See other posts about:

A Marriage Equality Victory

By Roxy on October 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Another marriage equality victory to celebrate that could potentially expand same-sex marriage to 30 states, up from 19.

Supreme Court Delivers Tacit Win to Gay Marriage, via the New York Times.

The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, which came without explanation in a series of brief orders, will have an enormous practical effect and may indicate a point of no return for the Supreme Court.
Most immediately, the Supreme Court’s move increased the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19. Within weeks legal ripples from the decision could expand same-sex marriage to 30 states.