Valentines Day and Jewelry

I love jewelry and respect the workmanship of jewelers who turn raw metals and stone into beautiful, symbolic objects. Jewelry is like an art. Art that many wear on their body and that tells a story. But this Valentine's Day it was worth remembering that many jewelers betray that love by ignoring the rights and safety of the people who supply them with their raw materials. Too often, jewelers don't do enough to find out where the precious metals and stones they trade in come from. Precious metals and stones are sometimes mined under terrible conditions. In many countries, artisanal and small-scale gold mines use child labor. I've covered the subject before and explained how dangerous it can be for children to be in mines. The industry has gotten better at monitoring for Child Laborers but still sometimes it is ignored. For example, Ghana prohibits child labor in mining, but the government has done little to enforce the law. In fact, the government's own gold trading company buys gold from local traders who get their gold from illegal mining sites where child labor is common. The company then sells the gold on to international refiners, who trade the gold further until it reaches the jewelers. What does this story make you think about? Would you rather the children be safe or save on your jewelry? Let us know!?

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