The Ringworks Studio Ethic:
In 1979, we were fresh out of art school, and began to make jewelry as a public business. It struck us that the jewelry industry, while speaking about the family and its values, really did little about the problems caused by our consumption of jewelry—especially for the countries that supplied the gold, diamonds, and other materials used in jewelry manufacture. No one in the industry seemed to be doing anything other than raising “charity” money at fancy events. What could we, as a small studio, do to make change for the good?
- We decided not to sell the South African Krugerrand—the main bullion investment coin of the time—because at that time apartheid was still the rule in South Africa. We hoped to connect our consumption of gold with its impact on South Africa both economically and socially. This idea was received well by our clients.
- We considered our studio's use of resources. What could we do to make our Studio, and the community, a healthier place? By example, we hoped to have a small impact on those around us. We searched to find less environmentally harmful chemicals for jewelry making, safer cleaning supplies, and eventually sourced our hot water and heat with solar technology.
- In terms of materials, we have always used recycled gold (in most cases, one simply can’t tell the exact percentage of "new" gold in bullion).
- We insisted on using Canadian, or "Kimberley Process* diamonds in our jewelry (see Conflict Diamonds page for more information).
The jewelry business has evolved along with us, and we are still learning to steward resources and give back to our community.