Consumers remain key drivers in the demand for gold, as a matter of a fact in 2013, 2,968 tonnes of gold were extracted from the earth, which accounts for over two thirds of the world’s total gold supply. 2,209 tonnes were used to make jewellery.
Illegal gold mining is more common than one might think. The practice has been problematic in countries such as Colombia, Perú and Bolivia, and regardless governments moves to crack down on illegal miners, it can be difficult to get things under control.
As one poignant example, a devastating collapse took place in May 2014 at an illegal gold mine in Colombia. The mine, located in San Antonio near the town of Santander de Quilichao, is one of 14,000 in the country operating without proper permits.
At least 10 people died as a result of the collapse. However, the landslide certainly isn’t the only disaster to have hit Colombia — a week earlier, four miners died in an illegal mine after inhaling toxic gas, according to an article published by the Telegraph last year.
Gold is believed to be a new engine in the Colombian conflict also, supporting the activities of many rebel groups, Moreover , modern mining techniques can be extremely harmful to the environment because of the nature of the equipment and chemicals used during the mining process which can have huge negative impact on the ecosystem.
All that glitters doesn't have a certification label as a fair trade and/or fair mined gold, it´s clear that tracing gold from buyer to jewellery manufacturer to refiner is notoriously difficult despite the gold industry slowly opening its doors to scrutiny. The lack of transparency makes it virtually impossible for consumers to know where and under what conditions the gold in their jewellery was mined.
There are a few Fair Trade Gold authorised suppliers , who can probably recommend to you a brand or designer transforming the precious metal into astonishing pieces. Otherwise you can extend the Fashion Revolution to your accessories choosing alternatives to accessorize your style within the bijoux and costume jewellery categories, using a variety of materials including seed beads, textiles, fibres and non-precious metals transformed into valuable and striking fashion accessories.