Fairtrade, Fairmined, and the Ethical Gold Rush

A growing number of consumers are clamoring for jewelry that is ethically sourced. We examine the options for bringing ethical and sustainable gold and jewelry to your showcases.In the fall of 2013, Torry Hoover achieved a goal 10 years in the making: Hoover & Strong, the North Chesterfield, Va.–based metal refinery his family founded in 1912, made Fairmined-certified gold—that is, gold sourced from an artisanal mine that operates according to safe practices and leaves ­minimal environmental impact—available to Americans for the first time.But it wasn’t an easy process. The effort began in 2003 when ­Corvallis, Ore.–based jewelry designer Toby ­Pomeroy asked Hoover & Strong to provide a 100 percent recycled metal. That request gave rise to the 2008 introduction of the refiner’s Harmony brand of recycled silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. Last fall, Hoover, who

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