Have you ever wondered where your gold comes from? Who mined it and how it got from the mine to your workshop?

If you have, you have probably heard about the Fairmined Label for responsible gold from artisanal and small-scale mining. But how did it come about and why?

Gold is mined all over the world either in highly mechanized industrial mines or by artisanal and small-scale miners. While artisanal and small-scale mining is responsible for an estimated 10-20% of global production it employs 90% of the workforce behind gold extraction. It is often performed in rural communities, using simple tools or technologies. It is hard manual work and often a poverty driven activity. Worldwide, approximately 10 million gold miners and their families are dependent on this economic activity to make a living. The problem? These miners often work under hazardous and exploitative conditions in mines that contaminate the water and soil of their local communities with no possibilities to change their reality.

In 2004, a network of sustainability and mining experts, miners, jewelers and NGOs founded the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) with the aim of promoting responsible standards for artisanal gold mining to transform the sector and improve the quality of life of mining communities in developing countries. Drawing on the experiences of the Oro Verde initiative in Colombia, ARM began working on its first standard, Standard Zero. A standard that years later would make the basis for the Fairmined Standard.


The Standard is backed by a rigorous third party certification and audit system that ensures that small entrepreneurial mining organizations meet world leading requirements for responsible practices. The organizations who get certified have worked hard to organize and reach certification. Fairmined empowers them to change their own conditions and improve their operations. It drives better environmental management, like safe handling of chemicals and protection of water supplies. It promotes the wellbeing of families and children in mining communities through greater social security, gender equality and the elimination of child labor and it brings with it improved labor rights and safer working conditions for miners and workers. The result is Fairmined certified gold. Gold to be proud of whether you are the miner mining it, a goldsmith transforming it, or you wearing it as a reminder of the respect, responsibility and love it represents.
There are currently 10 Fairmined certified mining organizations in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Mongolia, each with their own special story to tell, and over 100 businesses worldwide that use Fairmined Gold.
Be part of the story as well. Visit www.fairmined.org.