Stories shared from around the world by journalists, craftspeople, jewellers, investors and social and environmental organisations. Discover gold from every angle: its myth, beauty, power, investment and impact.
"Charlie and Dan Betts are brothers on a mission: to improve responsible sourcing in the jewellery sector, by changing the mining industry. Through their Single Mine Origin brand, the two Britons aim to provide a mass-market service that addresses the traceability of gold."
"One of the most inspiring things about the Betts’s policy is that when the mine is exhausted – as all mines eventually are – the communities who have worked at and around it will have the infrastructure in place to create new sources of income."
“In my opinion, it’s vital for my work to include traceability of the source of the materials. When you read up about jewellery, whether it’s what’s happening now or in the past, the story is mainly always about the designer. So many people who are a part of the making actually get forgotten about. But for me, without the miners of the gold or silver or gemstones, I can’t really create.” - Emefa Cole
“Several jewellery houses, from independent designers such as the UK’s Stephen Webster and Brazilian born Fernando Jorge, to big international names such as Messika and Bulgari, are transitioning to 100 per cent traceable gold. A new industry standard called Single Mine Origin (SMO), which first launched in 2018, is gaining traction, and responsibly sourced recycled gold is another potential solution.”
“Boodles commitment to using SMO gold is indicative of a luxury sector that is evolving at a rapid pace and adding compassion as well as aesthetics, integrity and profits to the list of essential corporate characteristics. By partnering with an innovative mining company, the firm has capitalised on the advantage of flexibility that family businesses have over listed companies in terms of operationalising ideas.”
“Having been running a family business in the jewellery industry for over a quarter of a millennium, spanning nine generations, I think our outlook is naturally very long term. I think we have brought this approach into the mining sphere as well by trying to consider the impact of our activities on communities and environments well beyond the lifespan of a single mine. SMO’s vision is to drive the jewellery and mining industries toward ever better accountability and sustainability over the long term.” - Charlie Betts
“The SMO label is not limited to jewellery. The Bettses said they have enough gold supply to expand the standard to gold investment products, and are eager to see it used by other mining companies, including those that supply the electronics and industrial sectors.”
“In 2017, the Betts Group, together with Hummingbird Resources, launched Single Mine Origin gold (SMO), which originates from the responsibly managed, mercury free Yanfolila gold mine in Mali. Refined separately to other precious metals and traced from mine to jeweller, Mr. Betts calls it ‘responsibly sourced gold without compromises."
“It is very easy for jewellers not to think about where the material comes from. I wanted to be a bit more considerate and respectful about the materials I was working with, to make sure that the whole chain from supply to production is completely clean. No child labour, no dirty chemicals.”
“Heritage British brand Boodles is one of the first brands to use SMO gold in all of its jewellery, and customers will not only be able to link to the source of the gold via the QR code, but also learn about the environmental and community projects the mining company is supporting. The Yanfolila SMO gold mine in Mali is already operating a thriving market garden thanks to the reinstatement of water bore holes by the company.”
“The most high-profile ring I’ve ever designed — the engagement ring I did for Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox — is made out of Single Mine Origin gold.” - - Stephen Webster
"Boodles knows where their gold comes from, do you? In a world where people want increasing transparency about where their products actually come from Boodles have now introduced Single Mine Origin (SMO) gold and all products will now be made from this."
"Single Mine Origin gold [...] is sourced from one mine which operates above and beyond the very best international standards, and is both socially and environmentally conscious – not only at the mine but in the refining and manufacturing processes too."
"Cheat sheet - DO: ask for Fairmined, Fairtrade, or SMO gold. DO: do your research on independent jewellers and their sourcing practices. DO: demand to know where the diamond is from. There is enough blockchain technology now to enable brands to trace diamonds back to the source. DON’T: assume that recycled gold and lab grown stones get you off the hook. DON’T: take “from trusted suppliers” as an answer to, “where is this diamond/metal/gemstone from?”. It’s not a good enough answer."