A wave of new jewelry retailers with nearly $1 billion in sales pledged Wednesday not to buy gold from the Pebble Mine proposed for the bay’s headwaters.
The four jewelers join 14 others, with combined sales of more than $3 billion, who have promised to reject gold extracted from the mine. More than 80 percent of gold demand in the United States is for jewelry.
Herff-Jones, Commemorative Brands Inc., Hacker Jewelers, and Birks and Mayors have taken this step at the invitation of local Alaskans who want to protect Bristol Bay’s wild sockeye salmon fishery. Bristol Bay supplies 50 percent of the world’s commercial supply of sockeye.
The four jewelers join more than a dozen other prominent retailers, including Tiffany & Co. and Helzberg Diamonds, who have pledged not to buy gold from the Pebble mine, a massive goldcopper-molybdenum mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay.