The silver used to create these jewels was not obtained directly from the exploitation of mines, but was recovered through the recycling of industrial products. The metal was recovered by electrolysis from the solution of the film for medical radiographs and for analogue photography and cinematography.
A jewel is a gift, a talisman, a treasure from the deep, which speaks of value and worth.
Obviously, any activity carried out by human beings will always have consequences. Even if jewellery making is carried out by hand or in limited production runs, its characteristics and the raw materials used make it an activity that is directly related to mining, one of the most damaging industries for the planet.
The truth is that the jewellery industry is capable of having a much more negative impact than other sectors do. That impact affects both the environment and social conditions.
Mining, which is linked to the jewellery sector, is destructive, polluting and cruel industry. The impact of mining affects both the environment and social conditions, and it can be found throughout the supply chain.
The most frequently used noble metals in the jewellery world are gold and silver. The industrialized extraction of these involves mines that are created through excavating or exploding rock, which always takes place following a geological study carried out to ascertain if the rocks contain the metals.
This has a big impact on the areas and regions where the mining operations are set up, since huge quantities of the earth are removed and polluted. River courses are altered and farming activities are curtailed. The development of indigenous communities is also affected, and they are forced to abandon the place where they were born and raised, something which leads little by little to the disappearance of many aboriginal cultures and populations.
Moreover, the extraction of metal always brings with it a high risk of pollution of the land and water through toxic elements, since the use of acids and cyanide is a standard practice for separating gold or silver from other minerals.
It’s our responsibility to inform and guide the lovers of jewellery to ask the right questions when they buy a jewel. This collective awakening has to make us talk more and more about the need for ecological and ethical solutions.