• Ethical gold: Why manufacturing methods matter

Oakley, Peter ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7876-8402, 2019, Conference or Workshop, Ethical gold: Why manufacturing methods matter at The Goldsmiths' company Jewellery Materials Congress 2019, London, 8-9 July 2019.

Abstract or Description:

The past decade has seen the appearance of a new material: ‘ethical gold’. Indistinguishable from other gold alloys in terms of physical properties, ethical gold is promoted as different and more desirable on the basis of specific claims relating to provenance. Ethical gold came into being on the basis of ideological beliefs regarding social justice and ecological responsibility. Yet ethical gold certification programmes have encountered frequent difficulties in operation, many of which can be traced back to their developers’ and overseers’ naivety regarding gold extraction, processing & forming technologies. Despite this ignorance, the programmes quickly came to rely on a cornerstone of the UK’s gold sector – the UK Assay Offices. By utilizing the Assay Offices’ goodwill, capacity to innovate and secure oversight systems the certification schemes were able to quickly become established and trusted in the UK. Through a series of event case studies, this paper will demonstrate why specific gold technologies have been barriers or beneficial to ethical gold certification schemes. By explaining why manufacturing methods matter to ethical gold, the papers’ insights will be of assistance to professionals working in any sector of the goldworking industry, as well as the current managers and stewards of ethical gold schemes.

Official URL: https://www.assayofficelondon.co.uk/events/the-gol...
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L600 Anthropology
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W720 Metal Crafts > W721 Silversmithing/Goldsmithing
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: AHRC
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethical gold; material culture
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 10:11
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2020 10:25
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4009
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