Marc Choyt, the founder of Reflective Jewelry, talks with Earth911 about fair trade jewelry. He recently published an extensive and critical exposé on the ethical jewelry business. Sustainable and humane metal and gem mining has caught on in Europe, notably in the U.K, but has been slow to establish itself in the U.S. Learn what questions to ask when buying precious metal, diamonds, and other gems to ensure that the people who produce the raw materials are able to lead safe and increasingly prosperous lives.
Choyt explains the persistent presence of diamonds and gems produced under slavery conditions in war zones. If you are interested in making your jewelry a statement about your values, learn what to look for when shopping. Seeking out fair trade gold helps families and small communities, while industrial gold mining is a source of mercury pollution and causes environmental damage.