What Is Ethical Gold?•
Posted on March 10 2023
New gold mining often causes local pollution, harsh working conditions, and health hazards for local people. One such problem is the mercury used to separate the gold. Gold mining is the largest source of mercury pollution. The mercury vapor produced when gold is extracted from ore travels through the atmosphere to reach fish that live in the water. Then, when humans eat the fish, mercury accumulates in the human body. Mercury can destroy the kidney and nervous system functions, and can have a negative impact not only on miners, but also on the underwater ecosystem and local residents.
Against this backdrop, MIYAMA chooses a sustainable option that is more environmentally and people-friendly. This is because we believe that the beautiful earth and people's health should come first.
MIYAMA is committed to ethical sourcing and environmental sustainability in all aspects of its business. This includes responsible sourcing and the use of 100% recycled materials in our manufacturing processes.
All gold, silver, platinum, and palladium used in MIYAMA jewelry are made from 100% recycled precious metals certified by SCS Global Services. SCS Global Services is an international leader in the development of third-party certifications and standards for environmental and sustainability claims based on global standards.
MIYAMA uses 100% recycled precious metals because they are a more environmentally friendly choice as they do not require new mining. It is for the same reason that we only deal in moissanite and lab grown diamonds. There is no need for mining, and therefore a much smaller environmental footprint.
Environmental Pollution From Gold Mining
Gold mining has a negative impact on the environment. It consumes large amounts of water, destroys forests, and generates chemical pollution. It can also be ethically problematic, including poor working conditions.
Concerns about mercury pollution were the focus of the Minamata Convention Conference on Mercury, which took effect in 2017, and mercury, a toxic chemical, is often used to separate gold from its raw ore. In fact, researchers estimate that the amount of mercury pollution from gold mining amounts to about 1,400 tons annually. This represents nearly 40% of total annual mercury emissions. Moreover, according to Noelle Selin, a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the damage caused by mercury goes far beyond the miners. According to Selin, mercury can move through the atmosphere, reach the subsurface, and then move to another location. She says this cycle can continue for decades or centuries.
Indeed, the Fairmind Certification label has contributed to a significant improvement in the humanitarian aspects of gold mining just as the Kimberley Process, established in 2003, has played a major role as an international certification system to ensure that diamonds do not finance conflict. However, these do not guarantee that no harmful chemicals are used in separating gold from rock, nor do they take into account issues such as local pollution. Water pollution from mining and excessive mining are not without their problems, as it is undeniable that mining can destroy ecosystems and make it impossible for local residents to live on the land.
According to the World Gold Council, about 200,000 tons of gold have already been mined worldwide, about two-thirds of which was mined after 1950. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are approximately 57,000 tons of gold remaining on Earth.
Gold, like other precious metals, is a limited resource of the earth. Plus, gold has the wonderful feature that it is not only infinitely recyclable by melting and transforming, but it is also refined into a pure element and thus has the same high quality as newly mined metals.
There is already enough gold on the planet. We need to consider whether we really need to mine new gold. As the new generation of jewelers, we have chosen to use 100% recycled gold, as well as silver, platinum, and palladium, in our beautiful jewelry with responsible craftsmanship.