Gold is the latest commodity vying for the ethical “Fairtrade” seal of approval, reports Reuters in a feature on Britsh/Canadian Greg Valerio and his quest to reduce exploitation—both environmental and human—in the jewelry market. He’s currently selling “green gold” (that term really needs some marketing help) from a small jewelry store in Chichester, England, but is working with the Fairtrade Foundation and the Association Responsible Mining—a trade group he helped found—to figure out how to certify gold as Fairtrade by 2009.
Since [his store] Cred started marketing ethical gold and platinum jewellery, its sales have grown fast, with online orders flowing in from around the world, notably the United States, Valerio said.
Cred’s wedding or engagement rings typically cost about 10 percent more than average prices but are about 15 percent below the top luxury brands such as Tiffany.
A bespoke Cred 18-carat gold wedding ring might cost from 195 to 800 pounds ($390 to $1,600) depending on its size and design — the cheapest engagement ring one could expect to buy in a standard British store would cost about 80 pounds ($160).