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Guest Column by Jeff Baker

Even if you have a small home-based jewelry business, having proper insurance coverage is critical to make sure you fully recover after a loss. Protecting the jewelry industry since 1913, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has advice to help you choose the right insurance coverage so a loss doesn’t put you out of business for good.

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Guest Column by Martin Taber

Ethical Metalsmiths’ NEW Ethical Sourcing Consortium will be purchasing certified Fairtrade and FAIRMINED gold from Peru later this month.

April was a pivotal month with many significant strides in developing the Consortium’s interests.

Christina Miller presented a compelling presentation on Fairtrade and Fairminded gold as part of the Gold Conference panel on Conflict Gold.
Christina and I scheduled calls to speak directly with the miners at the two mines from which we are planning to make our initial gold purchase. We are so excited to finally have the opportunity to engage them directly.
Our letter writing campaign asking ARM/FLO to maintain 100% traceability in the FT/FM gold standards was largely responsibility for those organizations overhauling their standards review process to account for the needs of artisan jewelers.
Ethical Metalsmiths was invited to send a representative to London in May to help shape the new Fairtrade gold labeling standards.
We have secured a working agreement with a major US refiner to provide Consortium jewelers with mill product in Fairtrade and FAIRMINED gold.
We unveiled our special one-time Circle of Founders campaign established to successfully launch the Ethical Sourcing Consortium.

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Guest Column by John Rose

It is a necessary part of this trade that once an item is made it has to be documented for a variety of purposes e.g., inventory, sales promotion, exhibition and a portfolio record of the artist’s work. Very few craftspeople can afford to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of all the things they make, so most of us become more or less proficient at taking our own photos. Many of us do our own photography for the full range of purposes that images are needed for, and supplement our efforts with professionally done images for more important publicity work such as a magazine cover.

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Guest Column by Martin Taber

So why all this attention on changing the mining industry? Wouldn’t it be better to just stop using newly mined material altogether and work with the massive amounts of metal that have already been pulled from the earth over the past ten thousand years? More and more these days jewelers have options available to them to use recycled metals and findings. Some jewelers are even working directly with their customers to reclaim old, unwanted jewelry and repurpose it for new pieces. What could be more personally meaningful and ecological than this? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

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Guest Column by Martin Taber

As artisan jewelers those of us involved in the craft arts walk a distinctive path between entrepreneur and artist. While we have a definite interest in creating success for ourselves and those individuals with whom we share our businesses, we are also engaged in a labor of love, manifesting the gift of our creativity in substantive objects that have their own integrity and meaning. In his seminal work, The Gift, Lewis Hyde writes about the use of the term “gift” as having a multitude of different applications, especially as it relates to the arts.

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