Blog Archive: World

New BNStories and Custom Rings

By Constance on June 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Celebrating our favorite couples and custom rings go hand in hand, so this week we introduce our latest roundup with a pair that inspires tons of pride. Created for the lovely Kim and Meghan, (pictured below), these two custom rings couldn’t be more different. But like every great couple, each complements the other in a way that creates a perfect pairing.

 

Kim and Meghan made incredible custom rings

“The fun thing about that picture – we had only known each other for like 6 weeks, that was taken at the wedding of Meghan’s cousin and friend. When I saw it I was like – that looks like an engagement photo.” Photo Credit: KRA ImageDesigns Photography

 

Both Meghan and Kim were able to create completely original looks that are both bespoke to the wearer and unlike anything on the market with the help of our knowledgeable staff of designers and gemstone experts. What ties them together is the bonding experience of creating your dream rings as a couple and the one-of-kind center stones each chose to anchor the designs.

 

“Our personalities came through [so well that] people who don’t know us can pick up on it.”

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Kim’s Custom Emerald, Black and White Diamond Ring.

 

Right off the bat, both knew they didn’t want something mass-produced that would celebrate their marriage without hurting someone in the process. Kim’s choice of a crazy-unique, vintage emerald, complemented by ethical white and black diamonds, formed a design that fits her personality and style perfectly. In fact, when she came to pick it up, our Customer Service Associate instinctively knew it was Kim’s, without even having met her.

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Meghan’s gorgeous Grey Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Ring.

 

Like Kim’s unusual emerald, Meghan’s choice of a one-of-a-kind, grey rose cut diamond speaks to the wearer’s originality and a non-traditional approach. The stone fuses a re-emerging antique cut with the modern style of embracing a gem that is an alternative to the typical perfect “rock” most want to achieve.  The ethically-sourced, imaginatively matched and placed sidestones in various cuts and hues, complement the color and vibe of the non-traditional diamond perfectly.

 

Though the above pair may seem like a tough act to follow, the next ring in our round-up has been described about the BN studio as “The most beautiful ring I have ever seen.” ‘Nuff said, just gaze…

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

We are all in love with this Rose Cut, Custom-shaped Diamond Cluster Ring.

 

The next two custom rings are actually “Personalizations” ie. changes clients make to pieces already in our collections, but they were too great not to show off.  Notice how a small customization, like adding an opal or a gemstone, can take a design to a new level of perfect match for your personality.

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

Our Andalusite Cluster and Linear Diamond Rings Personalized with Ethiopian Opals and Sri-lankan Sapphires.

 

Last on our list is another special BNstory:  A custom “Twist Tie” Diamond Band designed in 18kt. gold in collaboration with a couple to commemorate their proposal.

 

“A month ago, I was laid off due to budget cuts and my fiance was driving me home and helping me cope with the second most crap-tastic day of my life. When we pulled into our driveway, he fished around the car, found a twist-tie, twisted it up into a ring, and put it on my finger. So I’d like to design a ring that looks like a twist-tie with a diamonds in it. He’s not suspecting that sort of thing and he’s perhaps the most romantic man alive and it would make him super thrilled. We’re both so happy with it.”

 

Custom rings from Bario Neal

This Custom “Twist Tie” Diamond Band makes the mundane memorable by recreating a couple’s romantic engagement.

 

Need more inspiration? See more of our latest batch of Custom and Personalized rings, then fill out a Custom Design Questionnaire when the time comes to start creating your own.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Every Day is Earth Day

By admin on April 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Behind the scenes images of plants and jewelers in the workshop studio. Earth Day

The annual Earth Day buzz is back, kickstarting Spring and a season of environmental support. Here at Bario Neal, we try to maintain the earth-loving fervor year-round by reading, watching and listening to stay informed, caring for our own green life in our home and work spaces, and visiting our favorite outdoor spots for a breath of fresh air and celebration dance. We took some time out to compile a few of our Philadelphia favorites to share with you.

READ:

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014.

Anna | It’s one of the best environmental crisis books I’ve read in years. I listened to it as an audiobook three times.

Green Philly, an environmentally-minded blog promoting a sustainable Philadelphia through local connections and posts on news, events, lifestyle, food + recipes, recycling, health + beauty, biking, and more.

Hidden City Philadelphia, an online publication and organization committed to revealing, celebrating, and improving our city’s most remarkable places.

Constance | Great for some urban exploring.

EAT: 

Greensgrow and Philly Foodworks, two of many incredible young Philadelphia organizations fueling the urban agriculture movement and supplying our city with urban farms, jobs, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), farmstands, community kitchens, and nurseries.

Hannah | It’s a win-win. Support Philly farms and food access by getting fresh produce delivered to your neighborhood in a box with your name on it.

LISTEN:

+ NPR’s Science Friday podcast, from Public Radio International. Educational and entertaining stories on science and technology.

Constance | Anyday.

WATCH:

Build a School in the Cloud, a 2013 TED Talk in which Sugata Mitra shares his vision for Self Organized Learning Environments and a learning lab in India.

Page | It’s about how we can change our ideas of education to adapt to our current reality & prepare the next generation of problem solvers.

GO:

Laurel Hill Cemetery is a beautiful stretch of green situated up above Kelly Drive and is considered a historical and horticultural resource of Philadelphia. Victorian picnic destinations with clifftop views up and down the Schuylkill… what could be better?

Forbidden Drive, or the Wissahickon Valley Trail, follows Wissahickon Creek through the length of the park and makes for a beautiful ride or hike through the trees.

Sara | Forever and beyond, all the way to the horse stables.

Washington Avenue Pier, FKA Pier 53, on the Delaware River. The ribbon was cut last August for the waterfront greenspace. Check it out for public art, panoramic views, and “places to touch the water.”

Sara | You’re in the Walmart parking lot and then what? It’s like a history show. First there was nature, then there was industry & immigrants, then not much, then campers and drinkers, then a path and replanting. You can still see all of it.

Belmont Plateau, an expansive grassy knoll in West Fairmount Park that offers a skyline view you feel like you should pay for.

Ridgway Pool at 13th and Carpenter is great for a dip on a hot day, as is any of the city’s other 70 outdoor public swimming pools open throughout the summer. There aren’t great resources for information on the pools but, like this article suggests, your best bet is to just show up.

Gray’s Ferry Crescent Trail Park is one of the best and only access points to the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philly. The space has open space for casual activities, trails for biking and running, a skatepark, and fishing locations.

Sara | The bridges remind you you’re in a city, the river and trees remind you of what was there first. Go at dusk. And go for the summer movies.

+ Get healthy, beautiful, organic plants from local garden centers Urban Jungle on East Passyunk and City Planter in Northern Liberties.

+ For a good run, start at Penn Treaty Park, head down the waterfront, and finish at the tip of Race Street Pier with a stretch. Even without the running, Penn Treaty is great for a picnic or a game of kickball. Check out the free yoga classes offered through the summer on Race Street Pier. Another favorite running/biking/walking route is any portion of the Schuylkill River Trail.

Constance | Especially excited to try the new University City connection (on the Schuylkill River Trail).

+ The expanse of Fairmount Park offers so much, it can be easy to forget some of the more hidden spots.  Surrounded by this green landscape, the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse is a mansion-sized dream-come-true for kids with free admission.  East Park Reservoir and it’s surrounding 13 acres, a thriving habitat for bird species, was reopened to the public this past December after 45 years and is the projected site for a 2017 opening of Philadelphia’s Discovery Center.

Bartram’s Garden, America’s oldest living botanical garden is in Philadelphia. A 45-acre National Historic Landmark.

Hannah | Their spring plant sale always takes my breath away because I get to bring so much green beauty back home with me. (Coming up: Saturday, April 30th)

Batsto River in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest for heavenly canoeing and kayaking. Part of the region’s Pine Barrens, the state forest is wonderful for hiking and camping too.

Page | I love the Pine Barrens. Such a magical & beautiful area between Philadelphia & the ocean.

Sedgley Woods, a historic disc golf course in East Fairmount Park. Public and free!

Emily | The trail goes all the way back into a bird sanctuary where you can often see a pair of hawks that call that place home roaming the skies. Its the perfect combo of outdoors, hiking, disc throwing fun, and meeting other Philadelphians in the park.

Studio_Shop_Jewelers_Plants-23_Web

We keep plants close for days we can’t go to the plants.

These are some of our favorite ways to enjoy our environment in Philadelphia and celebrate the foundation of Earth Day all year long.  We wake up with the earth every day and we know now more than ever how significant our hand is in helping or hurting it.  The Earth Day zeal of each Spring can turn into a year-round effort of motivating each other to take care of the planet.  Building a meaningful impact requires time, turning actions into habits that will resonate with everyone.

The foundation of our work at Bario Neal is seated in such environmental responsibility. Our conscious decision to create jewelry through a process free of harmful impacts to human or environment extends beyond the products themselves and on to the cause of improving the methods of the industry. Bario Neal works with ethically sourced stones, 100% reclaimed metals, and Fairmined gold whenever possible. Recent metals and gemstone mining industry initiatives, dedicated to improving transparency and accountability, have addressed the need to develop sustainable mining practices, conflict-free gemstones, and push for labor initiatives to improve quality of life for both miners and workers in the cutting and polishing industries. Because these initiatives are still new to our industry, we remain committed to further research on sourcing with the utmost accountability.

Happy Earth Day from Bario Neal.

 

How to Get Involved this Earth Day

By admin on April 18, 2016 at 11:14 am

outdoor_work02

 

Earth Day 2016 is fast approaching and if you are like us, you might be looking for ways to spend the occasion helping the environment. If so, all week in Philadelphia Earth Day volunteer opportunities abound. Consider one of the following:

Tuesday, April 19th:  Delaware River Clean-Up at Pier 68 at Pier 70 Blvd, hosted by United By Blue

A Philadelphia outdoor lifestyle brand, United By Blue gets us hype with pride for our city. Their flagship store in Old City and two other locations feature their environmentally conscious apparel and accessories and serve their edition of locally roasted Reanimator Coffee. For every product sold, UBB removes one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways- what a deal. They host clean-ups year-round and not just in Philadelphia- in states around the country.

Friday, April 22nd:  Hunting Park Clean-Up hosted by the Philadelphia Science Festival

The annual nine-day Philadelphia Science Festival is back with a ton of awesome events and activities for all-ages. Check out their site for more info on special exhibitions, lectures, and this clean-up in Hunting Park on Friday.

Saturday, April 23rd:  Darby Creek Clean-Up hosted by the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Tucked down by the Philadelphia airport, the Tinicum Marsh is a natural landscape of freshwater tidal marsh, mudflats and woodlands that support hundreds of animal and plant species.  The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge settled beside the marsh in 1972 to preserve and develop this natural area within its urban setting of oil refineries, industrial sites and city life.  The refuge operates sustainably in its management of the wildlife habitat and focuses on providing environmental education on location in their classroom facilities and in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.  They consistently involve the community in their cause, through events such as the Darby Creek Clean-Up on Saturday.

Saturday, April 23rd:  Naturepalooza! Family Earth Day Festival hosted by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Hosted by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, this Family Earth Day Festival will be an all-day outdoor event with fort-building, an animal show, two hikes and a pond exploration.  In partnership with the Philadelphia Science Festival, it’s bound to be fun and full of information.

Also, check out this great list of Philadelphia-area Earth Day events for the whole family at Metro Kids

 

Consider volunteering at Penn treaty park this Philadelphia Earth Day

Philadelphia’s Delaware River could use your help this Earth Day. 

More than just upcoming Earth Day events, this list features some of our city’s amazing environmental organizations to keep the charge going year round.  These orgs employ and engage hardworking people committed to improving the environment and helping others get involved here in Philly. They hold events and classes to educate us, remediate our water and land, improve animal habitats around us and are always looking for more hands on deck.

If you can’t help out this week, there will always be more opportunities. You can easily work a clean up into your daily routine, taking an afternoon off to volunteer along the Schuylkill with United By Blue. Or just get outside any weekend, spending a Sunday on a bird walk or taking a hike in Fairmount Park. If you just can’t find the time, consider making a monetary donation to support existing efforts. Whatever you choose, celebrate Earth Day by supporting those working hard to clean our environment right here in Philly.

This is Part 1 of our Earth Day 2016 series. Stay tuned for Part 2 this Friday.

 

Worthy Causes: Pure Earth and Planned Parenthood

By Constance on April 11, 2016 at 11:01 am

erzberg_mine02

The Pure Gold Auction + Benefit Bash

 

Happy Monday! This week we switch out the winter wardrobe for spring party attire to celebrate two of the most worthy causes we can imagine:  The Pure Gold Auction + Benefit Bash and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA’s annual spring fundraiser. 

First, we teamed up with Pure Earth’s Pure Gold Auction and Benefit Bash to prevent mercury poisoning caused by gold mining. You can bid from wherever you are on our “nuggets of pure gold,” the Bog Earrings in 14kt Fairmined, until the actual benefit on Tuesday, April 12.

“Mercury and gold mining are inextricably linked. A quarter of the world’s supply of gold comes from artisanal gold mining, which leads to the release of approximately 1000 tons of toxic mercury a year. Of the 20 million artisanal gold miners, an estimated 2.5 million are women and over 600,000 are children.” – www.pureearth.org 

To learn more about the dangers of mercury exposure through artisanal mining and our efforts to avoid it by using Recycled and Fairmined gold, read Pure Earth’s recent interview with Anna Bario and our existing blog post. 

Visit the  Auction + Benefit Bash page to see event details, bid, donate and watch a video detailing the hazards of mercury globally and mercury’s relation to gold mining.

 

12697215_10153304685591332_269194254566168329_o

Swing into Spring at the Young Advocates of Philadelphia

 

This weekend brings a chance to dust off the dancing shoes right here in Philadelphia at the Young Advocates of Philadelphia’s Annual Fundraiser in support of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. Women’s reproductive health is very personal cause for the staff at Bario Neal and we are so proud to be a sponsor for what is sure to be the event of the spring.

Please consider supporting Planned Parenthood at a local or national level, and if you are in Philly, maybe we’ll see you at the William Way Center on Saturday night?

See event details for the Planned Parenthood benefit here or on Facebook.

Ideas Form Actions at Jewelry Industry Summit

By Constance on March 18, 2016 at 10:21 am
Bario Neal team members pose with Anna at the Jewelry Industry Summit.
 Actions and the agents of change, BN team members at the recent Jewelry Industry Summit.
At last weekend’s Jewelry Industry Summit, stakeholders from across our industry came together to create a shared vision of responsible sourcing across our industry. The summit coalesced knowledge from our industry and others, as well as NGO and government organizations so that we can learn from an build on others’ experience.
Attendees separate their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions.
 Participants discuss and identify key issues. Photo courtesy of the Jewelry Industry Summit.
One of the summit’s greatest accomplishment was to support traceability, transparency and sourcing initiatives in order to produce materials in a manner that both protects and sustains the environment; and benefits the individuals and communities where our jewelry is mined, manufactured, traded, and sold.
Attendees separate their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions.
Groups separated their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions. 
Several groups at the Summit committed to advancing specific issues within the supply chain, including helping gem cutters in developing countries who need education and equipment to avoid silicosis, a disease that occurs from inhaling stone dust. Another specific initiative created an artisanal colored gem mining site project in Brazil that adheres to responsible social, ethical, and environmental practices.

 Anna Bario presents at the Jewelry Industry Summit.Anna Bario, key summit presenter and organizer, spoke of the urgent need for progress.

 

Overall, the summit was a spark– a much-needed first step toward greater transparency in our industry and greater benefit to the entire supply chain.  Anna reminded the attendees of the importance of a long-term investment in sustainable advances in her talk:

 “Time is the biggest investment. Not just to do it, but to tell the story.”

Big News for Your Monday Motivation

By Constance on March 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm

SCOTUS Unanimously Reverses Alabama Court’s Refusal to Recognize Same-Sex Adoption

The Alabama Supreme Court. Image from the Human Rights Campaign’s website.

Mondays can feel a little… meh, but with spring weather finally imminent, we turn to those breaking new ground for fresh Monday motivation.

First up on the docket, the unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of the United States reversing the Alabama Supreme Court’s refusal to recognize an adoption by a lesbian non-biological mother. From the Human Rights Campaign Statement:

“Any attempt to deny legal rights to our families is reprehensible, and this ruling establishes that bias and discrimination cannot be allowed to undermine the bond between LGBT parents and their children,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “The nation’s highest court today ruled in the best interests of these children, setting a firm precedent for others across our nation. These children have two parents, and should have the security that comes with legal recognition.”

Though it may appear to be a small affirmation, the decision could affect other states that challenge or deny same-sex adoptions– a big victory in the fight for same-sex couples to stand on equal ground.

 

From left, Anna Bario and Page Neal. Anna will be speaking this weekend at the Jewelry Industry Summit.

Next up, we turn to an even more personal motivation, that of welcoming back BN co-owner and new mom (!), Anna Bario, who marks her return with a special event she has been planning for a long time, the upcoming Jewelry Industry Summit.

From the Summit’s website:

Though a number of responsible sourcing programs exist, there’s never been an industry-wide consensus on what constitutes a vision ALL stakeholders can support. At the Summit, the group discussion will include all viewpoints, representing every category and all levels of the jewelry industry.

And a recent article featuring Anna in Rapaport:

“One of the biggest challenges the KP (The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) faces in expanding its scope to include human rights abuses is getting the various member countries to agree that it is a task worth undertaking. ‘I’m excited about the Jewelry Industry Summit in 2016,’ concludes Anna Bario, co-founder of Bario Neal, who is on the planning committee. The summit, an open forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry, will be held in New York City and is crowd funded. ‘I’m looking forward to the possibility of having a really open conversation about the challenges in the industry regarding responsible sourcing.'”

The forum is taking place at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City March 11–13, with an opening reception on the evening of March 10. Register here.

 

We are looking for a full-time Administrator for our Philadelphia location.

 

Lastly, if those two were not enough, we would like to announce an exciting opportunity to help us lead our growing team! We are looking for a full-time Design Administrator for our Philadelphia location. The position will require the candidate to work directly with our founders to promote and advance the ethical sourcing and marriage equality mission of the company, develop and oversee budgets, research industry trends, manage internal systems, develop and implement growth strategies. Other responsibilities include the management of the flagship Philadelphia store,​ book-keeping support, ​maintaining communication between the​ production, marketing, and customer service departments ​and ​assistance in organizing the bi-monthly staff meetings.

Skills required:
  • Strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • Self-motivated &  ability to multitask
  • Ability to handle detail effectively and accurately
  • Ability to organize and prioritize tasks
  • Excellent communication skills, including ability to write clearly
  • Command of google calendar system, Excel, Word
  • The ability to research and learn new programs quickly

Sound like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start with a groundbreaking company? Please send a cover letter and resume to inquiries@bario-neal.com.

Bling in the New Year with Alternative Engagement Rings

By Constance on December 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm

The Baguette Solitaire Ring, a little bling goes a long way

A little bling goes a long way with the understated Baguette Solitaire Ring.

 

This New Year, we celebrate all that glitters AND all that is gold, all for under a $3K price tag. This round-up of some of our favorite alternative engagement rings include tons of sparkle for those of you that love your bling, but still want to say “Yes” with a little more personality (and sustainability) than your average bride. From the industry’s first ethical baguette diamond (see above!) to alternative gemstones, like sapphires and quartz, we love to create rings that satisfy the non-traditional side, but remain as timeless as your love.

 

 

The Rose Cut Filigree ring has vintage appeal.

Our Rose Cut Filigree ring has timeless appeal and sparkle for days.

 

This contemporary version of an antique filigree ring features a bezel set, pink, rose cut sapphire for the offbeat bride with vintage elegance on her mind.

 

The Herkimer Ring is pure magic.

The Herkimer Ring: pure quartz magic for a crystalline union.

The Herkimer Ring is reserved for the most badass of betrothed. A low-set solitaire ring, featuring a double-terminated quartz, also known as a Herkimer diamond, mined in upstate New York. It also starts at just $750.

 

Sapphire Half Moon in Rose Gold, an alternative engagement ring

The Sapphire Half-Moon Ring is an alternative engagement ring that needs no diamond to shine.

Sparkle abounds in this alt-bride’s dream ring. It conjures Gatsby-era, custom-cuts, with a distinctly modern approach, featuring 100% sustainable white sapphires from Sri Lanka. This the newest of our engagement ring designs on the list, creating a new gold standard for gemstone and diamond-alternative engagement rings.

 

The Linear Diamond Ring: packing maximum bling for the buck.

 

Last on our list is our top seller of 2015, the Linear Diamond Ring. This ring says forever without the trappings of tradition. Modern brides know that a diamond doesn’t have to be a whopper to have impact, favoring instead to have a comfortable, low-set array of stones in various cuts and sizes. Further proof that diamonds can also be “alternative” by remaining low-key, sustainable and affordable– the Linear Diamond Ring starts at just $2,420.

Thanks for reading and following us as we share our news, successes and milestones, including the landmark legalization of same-sex marriage. Cheers to another year of creating beauty through new traditions!

 

Former Tiffany’s CEO Thinks Gold Isn’t Worth Cost to The Environment

By Constance on November 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Photo by Carl Johnson

Photo by Carl Johnson from www.SaveBristolBay.org

When Gold Isn’t Worth The Price, a recent New York Times OpEd, written by the former CEO of Tiffany starts in the pristine wilderness of Bristol Bay for a good reason. An off-contested swatch of Alaskan wilderness, prized by fisherman and sought after by mining and oil-companies alike, Bristol Bay is again a hot topic as House Republicans, backed by special interests, criticize the EPA’s decision to uphold an order of protection. Simply put, he states that as it stands, gold isn’t worth the impact it has on the environment. The second half of Kowalski’s piece gives a great summary of the overall strategy of what needs to be done in the industry, which coincides with the goals of the upcoming Jewelry Industry Summit. Read more about our involvement in the summit committee and stay tuned to detailed articles once it is underway about how we can make gold mining reduce it’s negative environmental impact.

“No amount of corporate profit or share price value could justify our participation, however indirectly, in the degradation of such indescribable beauty (…) The threat to Bristol Bay exemplifies a far larger issue: the enormous human and environmental cost of irresponsible mining.” –MICHAEL J. KOWALSKI

Learn more about how to protect the Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine.

LoveWins our BNstory Photo Contest

By Constance on October 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

grand prize Broad street proposal

LoveWins! A giant congrats to our Grand Prize winner of the ‪#‎BNstory‬ Photo Contest, Ashley Gyuriska

“It was important for us to find a jeweler and rings that were in line with our values and ethics. We heard of Bario Neal through the community and we fell in love with their jewelry. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage. It was on that day that Monica decided to propose to me with the Knottedrush ring. For my proposal to Monica, I decided it would be on August 21 at Broad and Walnut. A year ago on that day, I knew this was the perfect spot as we walked through the crowds at Dîner en Blanc. It was at that moment that I knew I had to spend the rest of my life with her. This picture captures that proposal, as I slipped the Baguette solitaire Ring onto her finger, passersby cheered us on, cars honked in celebration, and strangers congratulated us. We are so incredibly happy and cannot wait to get married in June 2017. We are absolutely getting our wedding rings from Bario Neal!”


We are feeling so much love and pride over here. Thanks again to everyone who participated, we are really honored you chose to share your incredible moments with us and our followers. Our BNstory page is coming soon to the Bario Neal website, in the meantime
 see the rest of the winners and featured stories on the #BNstory Pinterest Board. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about sales, contests and special offers.

Dirty Gold: Ojo Publica Exposes London Bullion’s Dark Secret

By Constance on August 11, 2015 at 11:29 am

gold bullion ojo publico

Image Courtesy of Ojo Publico 

The London Bullion Market is the union that sets the price of gold and concentrates

the biggest metal traders in the world.”

Ojo Publico, the well-respected online investigative journal based in Lima, Peru, recently reported on the companies financing the multi-million dollar trade of illegal South American gold in the article, Dirty Gold: Chasing the Trail Of the London Bullion Market.

These traders hail from the US, Switzerland, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates, and the kicker– some are ALSO members of the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC), which is the only real third party auditing system for large companies in the jewelry industry. RJC, you had one job.

Ojo Publico’s investigation traces the routes of illicit gold trafficking in South America. It also takes a deeper look into how the companies from Switzerland, the US, Italy, and the UAE are responsible for the pollution and destruction of riverbeds in Bolivia that also affect rivers in the Brazilian rainforest, rivers and forests in Colombia, the Namija mountains of the border of Peru, as well as other vast areas of Peru. The damning report documents the amount of illegal gold being exported, where it’s coming from, and where it goes. OP investigators traveled to illegal mining camps in Hueptuhe and La Pampa, the largest illegal mining camps and area of deforestation in Peru. A boat trip up the Madre de Dios, Beni and Madeira rivers, discovered that Bolivian and Brazilian gold dredged there was exported illegally, mostly to the US. They found their way to mines in the mountains of the Cordillera del Condor, near the Peru-Ecuador border, where the gold is smuggled to the US. Peru, listed as the world’s fifth largest supplier of gold, exports such a large percentage illegally, that it’s likely it should actually be listed as the second largest supplier, after China. They were able to get in touch with some higher-ups in the importing companies from the US, Switzerland, and UAE, but most requests resulted only in promises to provide more information.

That this corruption is public knowledge with no consequence to their membership with the RJC is particularly disturbing. From the RJC website:

“RJC Members commit to and are independently audited against the RJC Code of Practices – an international standard on responsible business practices for diamonds, gold and platinum group metals. The Code of Practices addresses human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and many more important topics in the jewelry supply chain.”

 

There are many questions still to be answered, but this report reveals an impressive amount of corruption still present in a highly destructive gold market.

 

Ojo Publico, reports on transnational organized crime, governmental corruption, threats to public interest, environmental issues, and human rights issues. You can read their in-depth report here.  If you want to join the cause, fill out this petition telling the RJC to clean up its act.

 

See other posts about:
Environment,Industry,Sourcing