Marriage Equality News from Utah and New Mexico

By admin on December 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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We celebrate many victories for marriage equality this year. Currently, there are still 32 states that ban same-sex marriage, including our own Pennsylvania. There is still work to be done. As this year comes to a close and we celebrate marriage equality victories throughout the US, we look forward to more victories in 2014, celebrating the right to marry.

New Mexico Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

New Mexico became the 17th state last week to allow same-sex marriage through New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruling:

The court said in an unanimous decision that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

“We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law,” Justice Edward L. Chavez wrote in the decision.Many counties in New Mexico had already been issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, setting up the state Supreme Court to decide whether it was legal or not. The state didn’t explicitly ban or allow same-sex marriage, leaving the issue in limbo.

New Mexico becomes the 17th state to legalize gay marriage (map here) and the first in the American Southwest. Illinois and Hawaii did the same last month. Gay marriage is also legal in the District of Columbia.

 

Gay Couples in Utah, Surprised but Glad, Rush to Marry After Ruling Permits it

Utah became the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The ban on same-sex marriage was rightfully deemed unconstitutional.

“We knew it was just something we had to do,” Mr. Gomez said. “This is my home, and I never thought I’d be able to get married here. I feel like a real person.”

 

Enamel

By Elyse on December 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Many Bario Neal pieces feature enamel work. Up until very recently, we only worked in glass enamel, and are now happy to offer resin enamel on a selection of our boutique pieces as well. This short article will discuss the differences of the two types of enamel.

 

Glass enamel, also known as hot, vitreous, or true enamel, is essentially glass fused to a metal surface. Most often, the glass is a blend of silica (or sand), soda, lime, and borax. This mix creates a clear, colorless enamel called flux. Enamel can be transparent, opaque or opalescent (translucent), and an enormous range of colors can be made by adding metal oxides to the flux. Joan Strott Alvini, our enamelist who has worked with fine jewelry & enamel for more than 25 years on Philadelphia’s Jeweler’s Row, reminds us that many of the colors used today are the same as those used by early Byzantine artists.

 

 

Glass enamel’s color range and classic quality make it a beautiful and long lasting addition to fine jewelry as well as more casual pieces. Because the glass binds to the metal when fired, glass enamel can only adhere to specific alloys of precious metals.

 

Resin enamel, also known as cold or epoxy enamel, is a more economic alternative to glass enamel.  It is made out of epoxy resin and does not require being heated with a kiln or torch. It is also lighter weight and scratches more easily than glass enamel.  Resin enamel can be used on a wider variety of metals, including bronze, making it ideal for everyday jewelry.

 

 

We just released these fun bracelets which use resin enamel to create a marbling effect.

Enamel pieces may require maintenance over time, due to everyday wear and tear. Since enamel is made of either glass or resin, there is the chance it may crack with wear. If you work with your hands a lot, we would not suggest wearing your enamel pieces during very laborious hands-on activities. If something should happen, we offer re-enameling services if you need to repair your Bario Neal jewelry.

Sunday Readings on Climate Change and the Environment

By admin on November 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

 

The acidity levels of the ocean are rising, affecting the most fragile ecosystems, including corals, and set to wipe out 30% of the ocean’s species by the end of the century. The potential impact is yet another example of climate injustice:

“Nearly 500 million people depend on healthy coral reefs for sustenance, coastal protection, renewable resources, and tourism, with an estimated 30 million of the world’s poorest people depending entirely on the reefs for food.”

More on Ocean Acidification here.

Emissions of CO2 Driving Rapid Oceans ‘Acid Trip’, BBCNews

From the article:

“Since the start of the industrial revolution, the waters have become 26% more acidic. ‘This is the state of the art,’ said Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso, from CNRS, the French national research agency. ‘My colleagues have not found in the geological record, rates of change that are faster than the ones we see today.’ What worries the scientists is the potential impact on many ocean species including corals. Studies carried out at deep sea vents where the waters are naturally acidic thanks to CO2, indicate that around 30% of the ocean’s biodiversity may be lost by the end of this century.'”

Growing Clamor About Inquities of Climate Crisis, NYTimes

The recent devastation from the catastrophic Category-5 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines highlights the issue of climate injustice written about in this article. Poorest nations are the hardest hit by climate change, and it is important for developed nations who produce the most emissions to decrease their climate impact.

From the article:

“From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call ‘climate injustice.'”

Japan Backs Off From Emission Targets, Citing Fukushima Disaster NYTimes

From the article:

“Japan took a major step back on Friday from earlier pledges to slash its greenhouse gas emissions, saying a shutdown of its nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster had made previous targets unattainable. The announcement cast a shadow over international talks underway in Warsaw aimed at fashioning a new global pact to address the threats of a changing climate.

Under its new goal, Japan, one of the world’s top polluters, would still seek to reduce its current emissions. But it would release 3 percent more greenhouse gases in 2020 than it did in 1990, rather than the 6 percent cut it originally promised or the 25 percent reduction it promised two years before the 2011 nuclear disaster.”

Marriage Equality Victories Across the US

By admin on November 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm

We’re ecstatic the hear the news that Hawaii has passed same-sex marriage in the state. Governor Abercrombie signed the bill into law November 13, 2013.

In Illinois, the house voted in favor of the freedom to marry, and the bill is awaiting final approval from the senate and signature of the Governor.

The freedom to marry is gaining support across America and now 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. In the last month alone, three states have voted to legalize same-sex marriage, for a total of 7 states this year. This momentum alone is awesome and inspiring.

Read more here.

Greenland Rubies and the Exploitation of Greenland’s Natives

By admin on November 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm
Greenland’s ruby deposits

Greg Velario writes on his blog about Greenland’s ruby deposits and the disruption of its natives’ way of living.

“As this photo demonstrates Greenland is rich in Ruby yet through institutional bureaucracy, corporate collusion and ethnic stereotyping the Bureau for Minerals and Petroleum (BMP) have prevented local people from creating a livelihood for themselves […]

Until the documentation of valuable gem deposits in Greenland, Inuits were allowed to gather, polish and sell gem material. Once exceptionally valuable ruby was documented by True North Gems, the BMP issued completely new mining laws and moved to exclude local people from the ruby deposits.

[…]

Indigenous Greenlanders had always been permitted to hunt, mine and fish according to traditional methods and they have a unique historical and traditional relationship with the ‘Inik Amak‘ meaning the ‘eternal fire’ or ‘the flame that never goes out’ that is a beautiful way to describe the ruby. However when the local people became empowered and broke out of the Danish Colonial stereo type of using low grade ruby for native ethnic carvings and wanted to cut and polish stones of gem quality value and sell to the world market, the ethnic Danish administration (BMP) broke their own mining laws (section 32 of the previous mineral code) to stop Greenlanders from earning a living.

There is a serious moral disconnect in the current situation in Greenland. The fact that bureaucrats can dictate, based on European colonial legislation whether a local person can own a ruby picked up from the ground seems grounded in ignorance at best and at worst a cynical piece of racial prejudice. Even the new pro Inuit government seems to have been deceived by the so-called small-scale mining gemstone experts who by their own confession; ‘Have no knowledge of artisanal and small-scale mining in the gemstone sector‘ (Jorn Skov Nielsen Director of BMP). Last month the Greenland Ombudsman judged that the BMP had acted outside of their powers in ordering the arrest and the confiscation of ruby gathered by local small-scale miners.”

Read more here.

Visit FreeGreenlandRuby.com

Colored Gemstone Sourcing at Bario Neal

By Alyssa on October 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

photo by Thomas Kluck

Several of Bario Neal’s collection pieces feature colored gemstones, and customers often request them in custom designs. As with all sectors of the jewelry industry, sourcing for colored gemstones can be tricky, erratic, and sometimes unreliable. While traceability is difficult, since no valid third-party certification system exists, the colored gemstones we offer come with certifications provided by our suppliers. Bario Neal develops relationships with suppliers we trust in our efforts to achieve transparency, and uphold high standards of ethicality for our colored gemstones. This article discusses how Bario Neal addresses sourcing and traceability for colored gemstones, and describes the origin of each colored gemstone we use. Continue reading Colored Gemstone Sourcing at Bario Neal

Interview with Kerin Jacobs of The Raw Stone: Colored Gemstone Sourcing

By Alyssa on October 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Interview with Kerin Jacobs of The Raw Stone: Colored Gemstone Sourcing

 

What colored gemstones do you supply to Bario Neal?

Aquamarines, rubies, tanzanite, sapphires, zircon, amethysts, opals, emeralds.

What is the source for each of those gemstones?

Mostly TAWOMA, but on occasion, I will buy rough gemstones from someone who has purchased from a mine or a source I trust and then I have the stones checked by a gemologist.

Can you give a bit of background on each source?

TAWOMA – there’s a bunch of info on them on my site that you can use. Right now they’re trying to put together a library for member mines, so all proceeds of the sales of their stones go to that.

Other sources – like I said, I will purchase only rough from other sources then have them looked at by a gemologist. Often the gemologist can make an educated guess and confirm their origin. Continue reading Interview with Kerin Jacobs of The Raw Stone: Colored Gemstone Sourcing

Gay Marriage Now Legal in New Jersey

By admin on October 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

Panessidi and Bell were among couples waiting to tie the knot when same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey Monday.

Walpin and Shapiro (right) show off their engagement ring.

We’re very proud to say that another state has legalized same-sex marriage. New Jersey’s supreme court upheld a lower court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage. After this announcement, Governor Chris Christie withdrew his appeal of the marriage ruling, and his administration will no longer challenge the court ruling. Way to go, New Jersey!

Read more here.

Fairmined and Fairtrade Gold In Stock!

By admin on October 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

We now have fair-trade, fair-mined gold in stock. Coming in 2014!

 

Charles G. Taylor’s 50-year sentence Upheld

By admin on September 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

A panel of judges have upheld the 50-year sentence of Charles G. Taylor, former president of Liberia, who was found guilty on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including using child soldiers, acts of terrorism, murder, rape, and the mining of diamonds to pay for guns and ammunition.

Read more here.