Our Ethical Celtic Jewelry
The creation of our jewelry is an expression of our deepest values and love of the Celtic culture, which was rooted in respect and love for the earth. The knots themselves, in the most general sense, symbolize interconnectedness. Every piece we manufacture is made with recycled precious metal. Apart from the recycled gold and silver, we are one of the only companies in North America that can offer designs custom made with fair trade gold, which is available upon special request.
All our materials are conflict free. Many of our gemstones are made either fair trade or purchased from small scale mining cooperatives at fair prices. We source our larger diamonds from conflict free Canadian mines which are highly regulated and inspected for environmental responsibility. These diamonds are traceable right to the mine. The Kimberley Certification process, which jewelers use to assure ethical diamonds, is completely ineffective and fraudulent to the public. Up to twenty percent of diamonds entering the supply chain may be from conflict or black market sources. Our smaller diamonds are from certified recycled sources.
Unfortunately, the typical way that jewelry companies source materials destroys the very biosphere that we need to preserve for future generations. The gold in just one Celtic wedding or engagement ring , or even the silver in a bracelet, may result in up to tons of toxic sludge. Precious metal mining is linked to massive human rights abuse and child labor. Mercury and cyanide utilized to leach gold from ore continues nefariously to impact people and places, even in the US. In 2011, our company, Reflective Images, was given an “A” rating for their ecologically responsible sourcing, by the NGO, Earthworks Action, sponsors of the “No Dirty Gold” campaign.
The A grade is the highest rating of any company in the entire jewelry sector and we received it not only for our sourcing, but also for our activism in promoting the ethical sourcing.
We not only produce ethical Celtic jewelry, we are and activists in the international sustainable jewelry movement. We are central in supporting jewelers and producers around the world in ecological and socially responsible jewelry sourcing and manufacturing. The President of our company, Marc Choyt, founded and directs Fair Jewelry Action, a human rights and environmental justice organization that focuses on supporting the ethical jewelry community worldwide. Marc regularly lectures, and publishes articles that promote ethical jewelry practices in the US and around the world. In June, 2010, Jewelers That Care honored Marc Choyt, the co-owner of our company in 2010, for his global impact on ethical sourcing issues in the jewelry sector. In 2012, he was honored as one of New Mexico four top leaders in green and sustainable practices.
Our Manufacturing Practices
We work in our own studio using the most environmentally responsible methods possible. We have state of the art ventilation systems on all our soldering stations, each individually controlled by our jewelers in order to conserve energy. We use non-harmful chemicals and solders as much as we can in the day-to-day manufacturing of our jewelry. We dehydrate and filter our waste fluids from our fabrication processes and pay a premium to purchase "green power. We recycle cardboard, cans and glass. We use compact fluorescent lighting in our studio areas and compost our kitchen waste. We have invested a great deal in making our working space beautiful for all of us to enjoy, and are constantly looking for opportunities to create a more comfortable workplace with a lower environmental impact.
Our studio, which we remodeled in 2001, is light, colorful and full of art. In front of our office we removed a ten by thirty foot monolithic concrete slab and planted a beautiful street facing flower garden. We constructed a small central garden courtyard where we enjoy gathering for lunch, break times and special occasions. Our jewelry studio is so exceptionally clean that major resorts in Santa Fe use our workshop for studio tours. Next time you are in Santa Fe, we invite you to visit us and take a studio tour for yourself!