Gardens of the Sun sets up a traceable supply chain for ethical gold

One of the women miners looking for gold

Traceable gold supply chain - gold miner

Ibu Leni showing the gold she mined today.

Traceable gold supply chain - female gold miner showing finished gold jewelry

Ibu Gineng, secretary of Pendulang Pamuan Jaya, showing off a Gardens of the Sun Hidden Gems ring made with gold that she mined.

The Bali-based jewelry brand establishes a fully traceable supply chain for mercury-free gold mined by indigenous women.

DENPASAR, BALI, INDONESIA, July 19, 2022 / — Gardens of the Sun is a Bali, Indonesia-based small jewelry company raising the bar for supply chain transparency. It was founded by former sustainability consultant Meri Geraldine.

Meri explains her desire to connect directly with people in her supply chain: “I want to work with indigenous people, with women, and make sure we’re not contributing to the mercury problem.

The ethical jewelry brand now works with a group of indigenous Dayak miners in Gunung Mas district, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Mercury free
“Most artisanal gold miners in Indonesia use mercury,” says Evi, sourcing and sustainability manager at Gardens of the Sun. The women miners participating in this partnership have signed a pledge not to use mercury. “A single gold engagement ring made with our traceable gold avoids 15 to 22 grams of mercury pollution. To date, our partnership has avoided the release of approximately 44 kg of mercury pollution. »

Fully traceable supply chain
So what does a fully traceable, single-mine gold supply chain look like? The gold is beaten by hand by a closed group of miners, all indigenous Dayak women. The raw gold is then sent to Bali to be tested for gold quality. Based on gold weight, current gold price and gold grade, Gardens of the Sun pays a premium price to female miners. In addition to this, Gardens of the Sun offers a quarterly bonus system and annual scholarships.

Once the gold arrives in Bali, Gardens of the Sun collects the gold until it reaches a quantity of 500 grams. This is the minimum quantity required by the Jakarta-based Bukitmas Refinery to refine gold in isolation from other golds.

Meri explains why isolation is important: “If we supply a smaller amount of gold, the gold will be mixed with gold from other sources. The gold returned to us now is exactly the same as the gold we send them. So our customers can be assured that the gold used in their jewelry does not contain gold from other dubious sources.

After the gold is refined, it is mixed with other metals to produce 18k yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. Then the gold is ready to be paired with gemstones and diamonds from known, conflict-free sources, and made into ethical jewelry.

What makes this gold so ethical?
Fully traceable supply chain
Treated and refined separately from other golds
Purchased directly from artisanal miners who receive a fair wage
Empowers indigenous Dayak women
Gardens of the Sun is offsetting the carbon emissions associated with mining this gold
No mercury pollution
No deforestation
Legal mining site

Many benefits for minors
The NGO Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta served as an intermediary to link the miners and the Sun Gardens. They provided technical capacity building and training to female miners and helped miners set up a formal entity.

The gold diggers are happy with the partnership and the benefits it brings to them and their families. Priskila: “I am happy not to have to use mercury, which is dangerous for our health. So it’s great to partner with Gardens of the Sun. Although we both earn an income, I no longer depend on my husband. We built a house with the money we earned from panning for gold.

She’s not the only one who used the extra income for bigger expenses. “The premium paid for our gold is excellent. I managed to save enough capital to open a small food stall that I run from home. Mini Maung, one of the gold diggers, proudly shares.

Traceability is a two-way street
Traceability goes both ways. Gardens of the Sun customers aren’t the only ones who are thrilled to know where the gold used in their engagement ring or wedding band comes from. Women miners also like to see finished jewelry and know where their gold ends up.

Gardens of the Sun now offers this gold to other jewelers in Indonesia.

Meri Geraldine
Gardens of the Sun
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