origen

RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY

RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY

ORIGIN AND TRACEABILITY OF MATERIALS

ORGANIC AND ANIMAL-BASED GEMS

There are many organic gems (of fossilized plants and animal origin, such as crustaceans, reptiles, mammals…) that represent a mistreatment and abuse for the planet to which we must seek a solution and consider our actions. We believe it is important to demand the guarantee of traceability and responsible practices in the trade of organic gems, as we do with non-organic gems.

Hawksbill: These are pieces made from the scales of the shells of hawksbill turtles. These animals are critically endangered and their capture has been banned since 1877, although poaching of this species still exists for the hawksbill trade.

Elephant, mammoth, rhinoceros, narwhal ivory: Ivory or dentine is a hard, compact, white material that forms part of the teeth of vertebrates, the best known being from the tusks of elephants.Its commercialisation is forbidden in a large part of the planet, but as with tortoiseshell, poaching exists and its use must be avoided in order to eradicate these bad practices.

Coral: Corals are tiny marine animals that live in large colonies on a calcium carbonate skeleton, this skeleton is the one that has been used as a gem. Due to overfishing and increasingly acidic and polluted seas and oceans, this species is disappearing. For this reason we wish to avoid fishing for new specimens and we propose to promote its reuse and the recycling of old coral jewelry for new creations.

Bone: Bones of large mammals are often carved. We recommend avoiding animal abuse and exploitation whenever possible and if you wish to work with this material, that it be from non-endangered, local animals and from species that are bred for more purposes, such as food.

Mother-of-pearl: Mother-of-pearl or mother-of-pearl is the inner layer of mollusk shells, made up of a mixture of calcium carbonate and an organic substance. It is a material that produces characteristic iridescent reflections. It is generally extracted from excavations, but it should not be abused, since its natural degradation is what creates the sand of the beaches, in which many other living beings live.

Ebony: Banned due to a shortage of specimens, there is a certification so that a certain number of specimens can be felled each year, but we recommend avoiding its use and substituting it with other woods.

Seeds: We are committed to avoiding the use of seeds from endangered vegetation. If it is necessary to use them, they should be local and without aggressive treatments.

Amber: It is a fossilized resin of vegetable origin. We believe that it is a gem with which we can work without major problems. We should only worry about its traceability, to be able to know its origin and by whom it has been collected and handled.

Finally, we refer to pearls. Natural pearls are formed when a foreign body, such as a parasite, a small fragment of shell or a grain of sand, accidentally enters the mantle of the mollusc. But natural pearls hardly exist anymore and cultured pearls are most frequently used in jewellery. Unlike natural pearls, cultured pearls are not formed naturally, but are the result of a kind of surgical operation that can be considered as an aggression to the animal. A mother-of-pearl nucleus is introduced into each oyster and they are put back into the sea, in rafts or nurseries, and after some time the oysters are collected and opened to extract the pearl they have produced. This process kills the mollusc. It is true that in order to guarantee the life of the pearls in the rafts, the waters must be very clean and this favours the proliferation of a lot of fauna around these farms, but on other occasions they also represent an abuse for the local marine ecosystem. 

Within our collective there are different positions on the use of these gems in responsible jewellery practices. There are those who propose avoiding the consumption of new cultured pearls and promoting reuse, taking advantage of those already in circulation; those who consider that the use of cultured pearls is not sufficiently harmful; and those who are in favour of responsible extraction initiatives, whether natural or cultured, such as this example in French Polynesia.