Jeweltree Foundation

By Alyssa on December 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

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Bario Neal is now a member of an organization called the Jeweltree Foundation. Founded in the Netherlands by Mike Angenent, Jeweltree provides a new model for the jewelry industry that guarantees supply chain transparency, social responsibility, and ecological sustainability while supporting small scale mining initiatives in developing countries. We are pleased to be a part of an organization that espouses a new and innovative model to help our industry improve its impact.

Before we get into the specifics of how Jeweltree works, here is a little background on the founder: Angenent resigned from the Responsible Jewelry Council when the Kimberley Certification Process Scheme (KCPS) continued to allow Zimbabwe to be a member despite the widespread knowledge that the country was using funds from its diamond trade to finance civil war and violence. Against what Angenent and many others believed to be the founding principles of KCPS, it continued to certify diamonds from Zimbabwe that were mined out of devastation and tragedy in the Marange diamond fields. Looking to increase the ethical standards of the jewelry industry, Angenent went on to found Open Source Minerals, an organization that supplies the industry with traceable, ethically-sourced diamonds. He also started his own brand called Wishes Jewels, which sells fully traceable jewelry made from metals and gemstones that are mined by small-scale artisanal miners and polishers whenever possible. Angenent then created the Jeweltree Foundation with friends and colleagues who had similar desires to reform the jewelry industry into a transparent, equitable, environmentally conscious trade. [1]

So how does Jeweltree work?

For jewelry consumers: Jeweltree enables you to track and trace your piece of jewelry from mine to hand. The track and trace system is available on Jeweltree’s online database. This is very exciting, as it’s the only organization that makes tracing your jewelry so easy. Here’s what will happen: your Jeweltree-member retailer will provide you with a Jeweltree certificate for one or more components of your piece of jewelry. You can then access Jeweltree’s database and look up your certified diamond, for instance, and view everything from the environmental and human rights information on the mine where your diamond was unearthed, on up the supply chain to the facilities where your diamond was cut and polished, to the supplier who bought your diamond, all the way to the store where you bought your diamond ring. Depending on which components of your piece of jewelry are Jeweltree certified, you may be able to look up just one part of your piece of jewelry, or more of its components.

For a jewelry store or supplier: you must pay an annual membership fee in order to be a Jeweltree license holder or Jeweltree affiliate, which enables you to issue Jeweltree certificates with your Jeweltree-certified products. Consumers can then use those certificates to track and trace their products.

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For Miners or polishers, buyers of artisanal mining sources, and manufacturers of further processes such as gemstone cutting and polishing: you must pass Jeweltree’s audit criteria in order to be considered Jeweltree certified. These criteria are based on the human rights and sustainability guidelines set forth by the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Jeweltree has also developed manufacturing standards for mines, polishers, and buyers, that focus on social and environmental issues and follow the objectives proposed by the Fair Jewelry Action workgroup in their Fair Trade Jewelry Manufacturing Principles and Standards document. Jeweltree created these manufacturing standards in cooperation with the International Peace Information Services (IPIS). [2]

Jeweltree integrates the entire jewelry industry and supply chain, enabling consumers, jewelers, suppliers, and miners that are members of Jeweltree to work together with the knowledge that all parties are following Jeweltree’s standards of ethics, concerning both environmental and human rights issues.

The jewelry industry in general has historically been fraught with horrendous environmental and human rights abuses, with so little transparency that consumers rarely knew if their diamond was a product of pain and suffering. Jeweltree is another milestone in the long road away from corruption and toward a reformed jewelry industry.

Learn more about Jeweltree here! And feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

 

[1]  Jewels of Social Change, Valentine Peace Project, 28 Nov 2010  http://thevpp.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewels-of-social-change.html

[2]  Jeweltree Foundation http://www.jeweltreefoundation.org/#index.html

 

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5 Comments »

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