Do you know how many hands it takes to make a ring? Take a guess...
We envision a jewelry industry where a beautiful product does not bear a human or environmental toll.
Ethical Metalsmiths: Inspiring responsible jewelry practices through education, connection, and action.
Ethical Metalsmiths is a community of caring buyers, jewelers, designers, and suppliers. Committed to responsible, environmentally-sound practices for all facets of the Jewelry Industry, we strive to connect and educate people globally from mine to market.
Founded in 2004, Ethical Metalsmiths has made an impact on the field of Jewelry Design through education, connection and action.
Ethical Metalsmiths has pioneered and widely shared the Radical Jewelry Makeover - a collaborative effort between makers and market to bring awareness to recycled metals and gemstones.
EM hosts student groups throughout the university system in which college students are trained to be jewelers following responsible protocol.
Ethical Metalsmiths connects caring consumers with responsible jewelers. We have a database of jewelers who work diligently to make jewelry which leaves as little environmental trace as possible.
We connect jewelers to each other to share practices, to bring cleanly sourced gemstones to market, and to lead the way in responsible studio practice.
Leading the industry by bringing Fairmined Gold to market, EM has also helped promote recycled metals as the least impactful way to source metal for jewelry.
EM hosts industry summits for jewelers, designers, and corporations, bringing people up to standard on responsible industry methods and challenging them to improve upon embedded hazardous practices.
Join the Journey Towards Responsibility
It takes many hands to make a ring. From mine to market, the journey of a piece of jewelry is a complicated, dirty, toxic path.
It is often unsafe for metal miners (metal mining is one of the worst polluting industries in the world), dangerous for gem miners, sometimes deadly to gem cutters (repeated exposure to silica causes silicosis), extremely toxic to ecosystems (mining with cyanide), at times poisonous to refiners (often relying on toxic materials), and hazardous to jewelers (toxic fumes and chemicals).
Ethical Metalsmiths has worked to bring light to these atrocities and seek solutions for more responsible, sustainable practices in all the steps to making that ring.
Through raising awareness and leading the change in every facet of the industry, Ethical Metalsmiths is bringing jewelers and suppliers responsible mining practices, supply chain transparency, sustainable economic development, and verified, ethical, or recycled sources for precious metals and gemstones used in that ring.
Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM):
An Ethical Metalsmiths challenge which engages people through jewelry
RJM relies on local “mines” – stashed jewelry boxes of participating donors – as a source of “raw” material. People donate jewelry, and it is de-constructed to the original components, and reconstructed into wearable works of art by artists, students, and professionals.
Donated jewelry is rich with sentiment, and lends itself to conversation about source, future thinking design, and collaborative problem solving. The completed jewelry is auctioned off or sold through Galleries, Stores, or online to generate program funds and awareness.