People purchasing ethically conscious jewelry from KBH Jewels help to eliminate the need to mine for natural resources. Both the diamonds and gold that are used in the fine artisanship of this jewelry are 100% conflict-free and sustainable. Everything that KBH produces, supplies, and ships - from jewelry to packaging - is sourced from ethical, sustainable, and reclaimed methods.
The Facts: Gold Mining
While it is widely reported that gold mining occurs in much of the world, such as China, Australia, and Russia, the U.S. rarely seems to be mentioned as part of the equation. All of the gold that is mined abroad finds its way into the market and into the United States. However, gold mining happens on U.S. soil as well, with domestic gold mining production estimated to be about 245 tons in 2017. This is 10% more than what was produced in 2016 at a value of about $9.9 billion.
Gold mining has taken place in the U.S. since 1799 when gold was discovered on a farm in North Carolina. This marked the first commercial production until large scale production started with the California Gold Rush in 1848. While gold mines were closed during World War II, production increased in the 1980’s. Using a method called heap leaching, gold was extracted using several chemical reactions, including the use of cyanide to absorb the gold and then divide and re-separate it from other materials found in the earth.
Most of the gold in the United States is garnered using this large open-pit heap leach mining process, as well as lode mining or hard rock mining. This makes the U.S. the fourth largest gold-producing nation, behind China, Australia, and Russia. The 10% increase from 2016 to 2017 was due to a production increase in mines in both Nevada and Colorado, as well as the startup of new mines in South Carolina and Nevada. The top ten gold producing mines are located in Nevada, Alaska, and Colorado.
According to the USGS (United States Geological Survey - 2018), the following states participate with over 40 mines in gold production:
Similar to diamond mining, gold mining relies on unethical human methods, while producing enormous amounts of toxic waste, destroying landscapes, and displacing animals. Dirty mining practices leave water heavily polluted with mercury and cyanide. While mercury is more efficient and essential to the gold mining industry, global mercury pollution is one of the greatest threats to our society as mercury never breaks down to a non toxic state. About 1,400 tons of toxic mercury are released into the environment each year. This amounts to about 8,000 pounds a day.
KBH Jewels is a proud supporter of Earthworks and member of Ethical Metalsmiths, Mercury Free Mining, and MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America).
Protects people and the environment from destructive mining, drilling, and fracking. We are also proud signatories to the “No Dirty Gold” campaign's Golden Rules.”
Inspiring responsible jewelry practices through education, connection, and action.
Mercury Free Mining
Transforming artisnal and small scale gold mining for the health of the world.
The association for jewelry makers, designers, trade supplier, and custom designing retailers.