Out of South Africa
Who better to introduce a gold jewelry line with a transparent chain of custody than a refiner and manufacturer from the same country? That’s what Cape Town, South Africa–based manufacturer OroAfrica had in mind when it debuted its Certified Responsible Gold line of Absolute wedding bands with gold sourced from Germiston, South Africa’s 92-year-old Rand Refinery.
The 68-year-old OroAfrica introduced Rand metal bands two years ago, garnering five South African stockists. In 2012, it reached out to the European market at the VicenzaOro Winter fair. Now, the firm is coming to America and making inroads in China. Available in yellow, white (nickel-free), and red 14k and 18k gold or pure 24k gold, the pieces provide an authentic “ore to store” opportunity, says marketing manager Madrie Scott: “Retailers who buy this jewelry can position themselves as socially responsible jewelers.”
At VicenzaOro in January, Scott told JCK previous industry efforts to offer ethically sourced gold (e.g., Wal-Mart’s Love, Earth) lacked teeth because there were “too many people in the chain.” OroAfrica gets its gold from Rand through the RandPure Certified Gold program, which guarantees traceability; Rand—which maintains that it produces a third of the world’s gold—is a member of the World Gold Council steering committee (responsible for the WGC Conflict-Free Standard) and donates portions of sale proceeds to the communities where the metal is mined. OroAfrica, meanwhile, is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Rendering of engagement semi-mounts in RandPure Certified Gold (debuting at JCK Las Vegas)
The Absolute Wedding Band Collection is made on-site at Rand Refinery. “It never leaves the traceability line,” says Scott. Each ring’s sealed packaging features a quick response (QR) code and gold batch number that wearers can scan with mobile phones (or by logging on to absoluteluxury.co.za) to verify origins; a unique gold batch number also is stamped on the shank’s interior. According to OroAfrica, RandPure Gold meets conflict-free gold requirements set by the WGC, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the RJC, the London Bullion Market Association, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Martin Ross Group is the exclusive distributor of the Absolute Collection in Canada. A new line of engagement semi-mounts is set to debut at JCK Las Vegas. See the pieces and meet OroAfrica reps in the Bridal Pavilion, Booth No. S10152.