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.