Over the last 25 years or so, there has been between 2000 and 2500 Tons of gold mined per a year and over 50% of that gold goes towards making jewellery. The jewellery industry is a massive one and a lot of money changes hand each year in the purchase of both the raw materials for jewellery and also the finished product. So where does this gold come from and who mines it?
The Source of Gold
Although you can find gold throughout most of our planet, some countries have much more resources than others. The top ten gold producing countries are:
|2. United States||7. Indonesia|
|3. Australia||8. Canada|
|4. South Africa||9.Uzbekistan|
|5. Russian Federation||10. Ghana|
The majority of the gold that is mined each year is done by big corporations, but there are also many small and independent mining operations that exist all over the world. As with any industry, competing with the larger firms can be hard, so to help combat this, the Fairtrade movement was founded. It is good to learn more about the Fairtrade movement before buying your wedding rings, as you can source rings that come from ethical sources.
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade covers a lot of products that are produced by small independent sources and covers a wide variety of different products.
The idea is that the smaller producers can receive a fair price for the products that they produce, rather than have the larger retailers try to cut all of their profits so that they can gain more. When you purchase from a Fairtrade supplier you are helping to sustain the local economy and the workers will receive a fair wage for the work that they do. So when looking for a something blue wedding inspiration in the form of a gold and sapphire, you will want to make sure that the gold comes from a Fairtrade supplier. By doing this, it will allow you to feel at ease knowing that you are helping others, and letting the smaller and independent businesses compete against the conglomerates and corporations.
We all like to get things for as cheap as possible, but you need to remember that the people that often make and supply all of your favourite luxuries are often living in close to poverty conditions. Many large corporations will also force indigenous people from their land to make a new gold or diamond mine, which is not the case when you purchase Fairtrade gold.
The concept of Fairtrade includes sustainability which is why the producers of the goods that sell within the system own 50% of Fairtrade. The system provides a big incentive for producers which allows the owners of the firm to pay the workers a higher salary, often making them more productive if also offered other incentives. Money is pumped back directly into the local economy right where it is needed, at grass roots level and not into the back pocket of corporations!