For thousands of years, gold has been coveted by human civilizations. Etched into history as the essence of luxury; its beauty and immortality has placed it on a godly altar to be coveted and revered, shaping the memoirs of humanity.

We have adorned ourselves with it since prehistoric times, sculpting its soft sheen into breastplates, beads, headpieces, earrings, necklaces, scepters, rings and trinkets. The most ancient gold jewelry discovered thus far was found in the prehistoric graves of Varna Necropolis, dating back 6,500 years to 4,600-4,200BC. In the excavation, 3,000 gold artifacts were uncovered, anchoring our gilded enchantments to depths deeper than even recorded history delves.

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GOLD

From ancient civilizations to the modern day, gold has driven empires to rise and fall and enticed countless treasure hunters to explore remote areas of the planet in its pursuit. Gold has acted as an emissary in pledges of devotion, forged powerful alliances, and for the lucky few, telegraph top-rung status on the ladder of success.

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Since antiquity, gold has been used to decorate buildings, monuments, and statues and create coins, sculptures and jewelry, outlasting all other materials with its distinction, ductility and durability. Today, 78% of the total yearly gold supply is made into jewelry, sealing its place to ornament our frames for futurity.

THE TRUTH ABOUT GOLD

Yet, through all its sophistication, glamour, history and power, gold has hidden beneath its brilliance some deep shadows.

Of the 20 million small-scale artisanal gold mines in the world, only ONE has both ecological and humanitarian regulations in place. While Fairmined and Fairtrade gold can be accredited with improving the treatment of miners and their living conditions, neither certification directly deals with the harmful effects of the chemicals used to extract gold from ore. 

These harmful chemicals, namely mercury and cyanide, impact the immediate local environment and beyond, accumulating in water-laid sediments from the mining communities, through the food chain, to our very mouths. Carried by our rivers, oceans, and winds, it corrupts the environment from within, spreading like a disease across the globe.

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According to the United Nations Environment Programme, up to 15 million men, women, and children risk mercury poisoning daily as they toil in the gold mines of developing countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Tanzania. In adults, mercury poisoning can result in everything from memory impairment, muscle weakness, and trouble seeing and hearing, to brain, lung, and kidney damage. In children and babies, these effects magnify tenfold, impairing their development. In some cases, even before birth.

To combat the multitude of issues faced by this chemical, The United Nations created a treaty which went into effect in 2017, signed by 128 of the 195 countries in existence. It is called the Minamata Convention on Mercury and specifically addresses the human activates which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution. The artisanal gold mining sector is the largest source of atmospheric mercury in the world, contributing to one-quarter of mercury emissions worldwide.

While industries such as fashion, food, beauty, and health have begun making transitions to transparency, ethics and sustainability, gold has flown under the radar. The single mine on the planet which reaches the standards set by this convention is the only one certified to produce and sell Fairmined Ecological Gold. But without stronger purchasing demand for pure (clean, fair, ecological) gold, miners will have no financial incentive to adjust their processes, and it will remain alone.

THE FUTURE OF GOLD

Finally, there is a sustainable alternative that elevates luxury and gold itself to new heights. 

The solution is a new premium jewelry brand called FUTURA, which was created as a progressive marriage between social enterprise and luxury jewelry. With exceptional quality, legendary designs made with the purest certified toxic-chemical-free gold in the world, FUTURA represents the future of fine jewelry. 

“Our modern values reflect who our customers are and our values define what we stand for – we are collaborative, liberating, transparent, and compassionate,” FUTURA founder Robert Donofrio says. He made the decision to no longer work with brands that contribute to damaging the environment and humanity through their secretive and destructive choices. Donofrio has spent the last two years to assembling a better solution for the conscious and discerning consumer. 
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Donofrio, in collaboration with some of the world’s leading artisans, jewellery historians, and women who represent the compassionate premium customer, created FUTURA with the intention of shining a solution into the dark shadows of the gold industry, by procuring all FUTURA gold exclusively from the sole mine currently certified as Fairmined Ecological  The certifications held by every ounce of FUTURA gold guarantees a traceable supply chain, fair working conditions free of child labor, while also ensuring environmental and safety protection for the planet, mine workers, and their communities. It’s a story of luxury forged in dedication to circularity.

FUTURA'S commitment to Fairmined Ecological Gold is intended to encourage the transition to mercury-free artisanal gold mining for all mines, a shift which would reduce the total annual global mercury emissions into the environment by 30%. It will help diversify and reinforce local economies while protecting human health and the environment, and contributing to the effort to achieve the goals set by the United Nations’ Minamata Convention on Mercury, and beyond. 

For the first time, there is a pure gold jewelry brand offering adornments we can be proud of to gift, wear, and treasure.
YOU CAN SHOP FUTURA'S EXTREMELY CONSCIOUS COLLECTION HERE
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** this post was sponsored by FUTURA, I was not paid for this post, but had previously written this piece (which I was paid to write) for their blog. We have since decided it would be best shared here. I hope you enjoyed it. It took me the better part of a week to research and write!