Blog Takeover

Jane Barnett of research consultancy firm, Levin Sources, speaks about commissioning ethically made jewellery

I work for Levin Sources which is a research, assurance, and capacity building consultancy that helps its clients integrate social, environmental, and economic sustainability into their mining and minerals operations and supply chains. It is through my work here as Office Manager, that I really learned about Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, and the impacts it can have, and so the story of my ring and earrings evolved.

Owning a piece of bespoke jewellery has always been a dream of mine, and that is a dream shared by many. I was, however, daunted by the reality of this. The potential cost alone was enough for me to keep this dream at just that, a fantasy, and nothing more. But it can be something more. I recently discovered that I was wrong to be quite so daunted by this process.

Harriet Kelsall, Fairtrade White Gold Ring with pink and blue sapphires

The stones in both the ring and earrings are all sapphires from Nineteen48 in Sri Lanka. I was incredibly privileged to be able to spend the day with Stuart and his team, visiting mine sites and witnessing the transformation of rough sapphires into beautiful gemstones, pictured below, by expert cutters.

Orange Sapphire supplied by Nineteen48Blue Sapphire supplied by Nineteen48

I then visited Hariett Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery and Amanda Li Hope at their respective studios at Halls Green and Hatton Garden. We talked about designs, and thought through the setting of the stones to truly profit from their shapes. We consequently arrived at these beautiful designs.

Amanda Li Hope, Cartesian Drop Earrings, Fairtrade Silver and Gold with orange sapphires

It was important to me that I matched my ethical gemstones with gold and silver that supported artisanal and small-scale miners. This way I could say that I knew the source of the entire ring; not just the stone.

This is jewellery that I am proud to wear, lucky to own, and grateful to have had created for me, and only me. This isn’t mass-produced, sitting-on-a-shelf, who-knows-where-it-came-from jewellery.

“This is bespoke and ethical and ultimately priceless.”

– Jane Barnett

Originally published on September 28th, by Emily MacDonald