Bario-Neal

 

Ethics

 

Ethics

Fairmined Metal
Our Fairmined metals are extracted by empowered and responsible small-scale and artisanal miners.
Reclaimed Metal
We use recycled metals processed by refiners in the United States that share our vow to minimize environmental impacts.
Diamonds
To us, an ethical diamond isn’t just certified as conflict-free. We go deeper; working with a fully traceable supply chain, from mine to market.
Colored Stones
Our colored gemstones are traceable from mine to market. We work with established mines and support new efforts in responsible mining.
Pave Stones
Traceability is often deemed too difficult for small stones. We believe that every stone matters, and we were the first to bring traceable, ethical baguette diamonds to the market.
Responsible Labor
We’ve made a commitment to support healthy and happy working conditions for our entire supply chain, from miners to jewelers, and the larger communities that support them.
Jewelry That Reflects Our Values
Bario Neal began as the collaborative work of designers Anna Bario and Page Neal who began working together with the shared idea that our most precious things come with a story. Disillusioned by industry standards that turned a blind eye to metal and gemstone mining’s environmental and human tolls, the designers began to envision how to make jewelry of lasting value and ethical origins. Today, Bario Neal is an industry leader in ethical sourcing and progressive manufacturing. A belief in the right to love and marry whomever and however you choose is one of the core principles of Bario Neal’s jewelry.
Love Is For Everyone
Bario Neal is a longtime supporter of LGBTQIA rights and worldwide marriage equality. The choice to marry is a human right that must be protected for all people. In the U.S., the history-making Supreme Court decision that paved the way for marriage equality has not ended discrimination, as the legislation coming out of statehouses across the country has shown all too clearly. At Bario Neal, we work to undermine and eliminate the presumption of heterosexuality that pervades much of the wedding and jewelry industry. Supporting unity and advocating for human rights within the jewelry industry is a non-negotiable part of our mission.
Heavy Metals, Small Footprint
Bario Neal jewelry is crafted with precious metals that have been carefully sourced to reflect our commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. Bario Neal was one of the first jewelry companies to participate in the Fairmined Assurance label, and we now proudly offer Fairmined gold extracted by empowered and responsible small-scale and artisanal miners. The Fairmined certification is supported by a third party auditing system that ensures that all participating miners meet rigorous environmental and social standards. We also work closely with US refineries that share our vow to minimize environmental impacts while producing recycled precious metals.
Gems That Outshine Conflict-Free
When we began making our jewelry, there were few resources available for ensuring that stones could be traced back to mines that shared our commitment to environmental responsibility, fairness and human rights. Through persistent research, industry outreach, and direct support for sustainable mining organizations and initiatives, we have forged higher standards that we are proud to adhere to with all of our diamonds and colored gemstones. Our search for ethical excellence has led us to pursue industry firsts, from custom-cut ethical origin baguette diamonds to traceable pave diamonds and colored gemstones. We guarantee our diamonds are fully traceable and primarily of recycled, Australian, Canadian, and Namibian origin. All of our recycled gemstones have been repurposed from old stock or other jewelry, which requires no industrial processes and avoids further human or environmental impacts.
Conscientious Design and Craft
Bario Neal jewelry is made by hand in our Philadelphia studio. Our progressive design process allows us to create objects of lasting value with minimal environmental impacts, from mine to market. We strive for our beliefs to shine through all of our business practices – from incorporating environmentally low-impact practices in our studio and stores, to supporting our fellow artisans on Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers’ Row, to encouraging sustainable local economies globally through partnerships with other organizations, many of them women-owned and operated, like our own business. Our impact is not limited to our own operations; we work to introduce ethical principles and solutions to the industry at large through sharing best practices and research. Owners Anna Bario and Page Neal are founding members of both the Ethical Metalsmiths Jewelers Directory and the Ethical Sourcing Consortium, and Anna serves on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths.
 

Glossary

Namibian Diamonds
Responsibly mined and traceable

Bario Neal offers traceable diamonds that are responsibly mined on a small scale in Namibia. Each diamond comes with a Namibian Sol brand certification card verifying the mine of origin as well as the cutting and polishing facility. In order to provide jobs to those who live near the mines and cutting facility, and to regulate environmental impact, the diamond mining industry in Namibia is highly regulated. All Namibian mines must have a rehabilitation plan in place that goes into effect once a mine has closed. The environmental team that monitors the mines works closely with external stakeholders, researchers, mining operators, and support services to ensure the viability and longevity of the environmental management at each mine. Namibian mines are certified according to the ISO 14001 standard, or the International Organization for Standardizations system for environmental management.

Local cutting and polishing adds real value

Our Namibian diamonds are cut and polished in a facility in Windhoek, Namibia's capital. The facility is modern, safe, and comfortable. Locals receive training at all levels, including managerial, to provide better employment opportunities that will help boost the Namibian economy. Workers are paid well and receive comprehensive health benefits. The facility works to minimize the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on its workforce--levels of HIV within this community are below the national average.

The sale of Namibian diamonds provides financial support, healthcare, and education opportunities for the people and communities surrounding the mines. Approximately $6 million USD, or Namibian $80 million, goes to mining communities annually in the form of bursaries, sponsorships, environmental funding, town maintenance, wellness, and financial support for the hospital and school local to the mining communities. Learn More

Australian Diamonds
Responsibly mined and traceable

Bario Neal offers ethical, traceable Australian diamonds from the Argyle Mine in the East Kimberley region of northwestern Australia, as well as rough diamonds from the Ellendale Diamond Mine in West Kimberley. Most large Australian diamonds we source are champagne, cognac, or yellow diamonds.

Environmental accountability

Diamond mining companies in Australia are held accountable for the social and environmental impacts of their operations, and are subject to strict labor laws that are comparable to those of the US. There is no denying that the large open-pit mining style that is endemic to Australia has a substantial environmental impact, but the environmental management program governing the Australian mines seeks to minimize environmental impact as much as possible while continuing operations, and rehabilitate disrupted areas as soon as possible. A basic outline of the environmental program includes conservation of natural resources, especially water and energy; protection of rare and endangered species; promoting environmental awareness among its workforce; protecting heritage sites of indigenous people; environmental monitoring; greenhouse gas emissions monitoring and reduction; and waste monitoring. As of 2011, Australia’s Mine Rehabilitation Program requires that all mining operations have a mine closure program, laying out the remediation steps that will take place once the mine has closed operations.

Fair labor and local employment

Those employed by Australian diamond mines are well paid and receive benefits including medical assistance, insurance, study assistance, healthy lifestyle programs, and more. Under its localisation policy the Argyle mine gives first preference for employment to residents of East Kimberley, and above all is committed to providing training and employment opportunities for indigenous people. Most of our Australian diamonds are cut and polished in a facility in either Mumbai, Valsad, or Surat India, and a small percentage are cut in Australia. We rely on first hand reports from our suppliers, who visit the cutting and polishing facilities to confirm conditions on site, as well as the Jeweltree standards to confirm their commitment to workers’ rights and health.

Many of our Australian diamonds also come with a Jeweltree certificate. Jeweltree Certified Australian diamonds come with the most stringent mining, cutting, and polishing standards, and are cut and polished only in Jeweltree-approved facilities in India that offer fair wages and working conditions that are comparable to those of the EU and US. Learn More

Canadian Diamonds
Certified Canadian origin

Like their country of origin, Canadian diamonds have a pristine image. They are considered one of the most ethical and environmentally conscious choices for diamonds. Bario Neal currently offers Canadian diamonds from the Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor mines in the Canadian Northwest Territories and Ontario. All of our Canadian diamonds come with one of five Canadian origin certifications--Canadian Rocks, CanadaMark™, Arctic Ice, Canadian Origin, or Arctic Fox. These certifications not only ensure that the diamond is of Canadian origin, but also that it has been responsibly cut and polished in Canada, India, China, or Belgium in approved facilities. Many of our Canadian diamonds also come with a Jeweltree certificate. Jeweltree Certified Canadian diamonds come with the most stringent mining, cutting, and polishing standards, and are cut and polished only in Jeweltree-approved facilities in India that offer fair wages and working conditions that are comparable to EU and US facilities.

Environmental impact monitoring

The mining and production of all Canadian diamonds is subject to the strict standards set by the Canadian Code of Conduct and the Government of the Northwest Territories, designed to protect the Arctic environment, mine workers, and local employees. As with Australian mines, Canadian mines are vast open-pit style mines and their environmental impact is undeniable. In response, Canadian diamond mines have undergone efforts to limit their impact through comprehensive environmental stewardship practices and community involvement. The environmental impact of the Diavik and Ekati mines in particular is monitored by independent organizations that are partnerships between the local and federal governments, the mine, and the local communities, who are well represented. Special attention is paid to monitoring water quality and caribou, as local communities rely on both for their survival. There is a government bond ensuring that if the mine should cease activity, there will be sufficient funds to remediate the mining site.

Fair labor and local employment

Canadian mines are dedicated to hiring from local and indigenous communities through a skilled apprenticeship program that offers specialized training. The program has helped increase the average income and decrease the unemployment rate in the areas surrounding the mines. Canadian mines are known for their state of the art facilities and rigorous health and safety programs. Employees are offered competitive compensation and benefits. Learn More

Reclaimed and Antique Diamonds
Certified reclaimed diamonds, no mining required

Bario Neal offers contemporary reclaimed diamonds and antique diamonds, which have been collected by jewelers, refiners, or other agents, cleaned, graded, and reintroduced to the supply chain, often with the same certification reports that would accompany a newly mined diamond. The appeal of reclaimed diamonds is that they require no new mining, which eliminates any possibility of further environmental degradation or human harm. However, most recycled and antique diamonds cannot be traced to their origin, so it is impossible to know the conditions under which they were mined.

Antique cuts, unique stones

Diamond cutting techniques have advanced greatly over the last century. Diamonds were usually cut by hand in the 18th and 19th centuries, lending a unique character reminiscent of that era. The specificity of antique diamond cuts clearly identifies them as diamonds were mined long ago and are creating no additional environmental or human impact. The Old European cut has a circular girdle, and features a high crown, small table, and flat culet. It has an impressive 58 facets, and is considered to be the precursor of today’s brilliant cut. The Old European cut dates to the 1800’s, and was used during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau eras. Old Mine cut diamonds have a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners, and possess a high crown, small table, and flat culet. The predecessor of today’s cushion cut, the Old Mine cut dates to the 1700’s and was most common during the Georgian and Victorian eras. Learn More

Heirloom Diamonds

Sometimes customers wish to set a family diamond into a new piece of jewelry. Because an heirloom diamond is similar to a recycled or antique diamond in that it does not create additional human or environmental impact, we are happy to set heirloom diamonds into a new Bario Neal ring. Learn More

Rough Diamonds
Uncut and one of a kind

Bario Neal offers fully traceable uncut and unpolished raw diamonds. Aside from their unique beauty, rough diamonds avoid the cutting and polishing processes. While the cut and polished diamonds Bario Neal offers are processed in highly regulated facilities where workers are paid fair wages and safety standards are rigorous, the cutting and polishing process is a step from mine to market where child labor and human rights abuses may occur. Purchasing a raw or rough diamond skips this step all together. Learn More

Pave Diamonds
Ethical sourcing for small stones

Bario Neal uses melee diamonds (diamonds under 0.18 ct) that we carefully source from suppliers who are dedicated to ethical and traceable diamonds. Historically, melee diamonds have been difficult to source ethically because they are less expensive due to their size. Without the economic incentive of a larger, more expensive diamond, suppliers are less motivated to invest in tracing melees to their mine of origin. Additionally, melee diamonds have historically been sorted according to similar quality and type rather than by origin. Bario Neal works with suppliers who are initiating the movement towards ethical sourcing in the melee market. Many of our suppliers are members of the Jeweltree Foundation, an independent organization that promotes transparency and international best practice standards within the jewelry industry. All our melee diamonds are traceable and either of recycled, Australian, or Canadian origin, and Jeweltree certified whenever possible. Learn More

Black Diamonds
Responsible sourcing is another measure of quality

While high quality diamonds have traditionally been of highest clarity with no coloration, black diamonds have gained popularity in recent years. They are still more affordable than traditional diamonds, as the rating standards have not changed. Because of their lower price point, there is less economic incentive for suppliers to trace black diamonds to their origin. As with melee diamonds, they are traditionally sorted by likeness and quality rather than by origin, making it difficult to trace them back to their mine of origin. Bario Neal has worked hard to find a source that meets our rigorous standards, and we now source our black diamonds through a trusted ethical buyer who travels to three different mines in Brazil, Canada, and Australia. These diamonds, like all black diamonds, are irradiated to make them consistently black throughout. Learn More