The Golden Promise: Making Sense of the Fair Trade Gold Market

Whether you know it as Fairtrade Gold or fair trade gold, ethically sourced gold is available—though jewelers in the United States may have a hard time buying or selling it“Even within the fair trade movement,” sighs Marc Choyt, president of Reflective Images, a Santa Fe, N.M., retailer, “there are a lot of politics.”When you’re referring to a metal that some call fair trade gold—and others, for reasons you will see, don’t—those politics tend to involve nomenclature.No one doubts that the Fairtrade insignia holds considerable power, particularly in Europe. Sales of goods with that label hit $6.6 billion in 2012, according to Fairtrade International (FLO). And many in the jewelry industry have long felt that if you attached the fair trade brand to a jewelry product—especially with all the issues that surround jewelry materials (see sidebar, “The Brewing Conflict Over

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