Ethical and Sustainable Jewellery
Beautiful jewellery should also be beautifully ethical
We believe that there is nothing more precious, more joy-giving than stunning precious metals and stones, transformed into something spectacular with inspired design and delicate workmanship.
Integral to the beauty of stunning jewellery are the raw materials. Since humans first saw a glint in the ground, we have been enthralled and spellbound by those rare stones and metals, driven to own or control a piece of the magic giving them incredible value; a value that has been exploited to fund some of the most devastating conflicts across the African continent over the past 40-years.
Conflict stones & metals – a global problem
International co-operation and initiatives like the UN’s Kimberley Process Certification Scheme have aimed to transform the international diamond trade.
In the early 1980’s, 19% of the global diamond trade was funding conflict, today than percentage is significantly lower but equally impossible to accurately determine – and that is one of the biggest issues.
Too many flaws within the system have allowed banned countries to bypass the scheme and filter their conflict diamond exports through other approved countries.
Put simply, not all certified conflict-free diamonds are close to being conflict-free and the illicit market is worth up to $10 billion (USD) per year.
It’s not just diamonds
Issues within the global diamond trade may get the most attention, but they are far from the only precious metal or gemstone that funds conflict and devastates communities.
Several key metals, including gold and platinum are on the UN warning list as conflict minerals that are often exploited to fund civil war and crime.
Precious stones are no different.
Many of these mining operations are run by the exploitation of people trafficking, child labour and modern-day slavery, destroying lives, communities, and the environment.
Illegal and illicit trade are the largest contributing factor for illegal mining that drives down the sustainabile and ecologically sound practices that governments and the larger industry try to instil.
Conflict stones and precious metals still manage to find buyers on the international market for one reason – a lack of appetite to conduct proper due diligence.
Due diligence is time consuming, lessens the amount of available material on the market and requires long-term cooperation and relationship building with suppliers.
At Opulenti, we are fastidious about the provenance of our raw materials. We have built up long-standing, transparent, and genuine relationships with our suppliers so we can be confident that only ethical, conflict-free precious metals and gemstones are used in our creations.