By Alden Wicker
I’ve admired Bario Neal jewelry for some time. It’s a high-end jewelry line handcrafted in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals, ethically sourced stones, and low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. Their jewelry ranges in style from organic and raw, to refined and feminine, and modern and geometric. In short, something for every type of sustainable girl, especially a girl in love – their diamond rings are gorgeous. (Oh, and Bario Neal is all about marriage equality, too!)
Now they’ve released new 14K and 18K Fairmined bands: Milla Round Band, Dais Band, Reticulated Band and more. The Fairmined gold certification ensures that the gold has been ethically extracted by artisanal and small-scale miners who are certified under the Fairmined standard. The miners adhere to strict environmental, labor, and social and economic development standards, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and mining on a small, environmentally conscious scale.
Anna Bario, cofounder of Bario Neal Jewelry, attended the Cooperativa Multiactiva Agrominera de Iquira–Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) Workshop in Colombia in November 2014. Attending the workshop allowed Anna to connect with the miners to learn about their work and how Fairmined affects them. It’s true that you can get so many things in recycled gold, but Fairmined gold gives miners in places like Peru and Mongolia an incentive to mine clean, plus, the premiums paid by jewelers for this gold can fund services like schools. (This is what a non Fairmined gold mine looks like – it’s not pretty.)
Because Bario Neal’s jewelry is made to offer, you can get most pieces in their fine jewelry collection in Fairmined gold upon request. Fairmined gold carries a subtle color variation that become distinct when going from 14K to 18K gold, so if you’re going to go this route, Bario Neal can help guide you to your favorite gold color.
About the Author
Alden is the founder and editor-in-chief of EcoCult, covering all things sustainable in NYC and beyond, including fashion, beauty, food, and events. She’s been published in Refinery29, EcoSalon, xoJane, Well+Good, Huffington Post Green, Narratively, LearnVest, Societé Perrier, and Greatist. She also runs a blog about electronic music with her boyfriend called Under the Sound, and is a co-founder of the Ethical Writers Coalition. Check her out on Twitter at @AldenWicker and Instagram @EcoCult