“There is more beauty in something fair.” Nadine Kieft
Aside from its intrinsic value, jewellery can be precious in many ways. It charms us with its beauty, and expresses much about our status and identity. As a keepsake it can be deeply meaningful; evoking memories and marking personal milestones. Precious handmade jewellery has been held in high regard throughout history, and its desirability remains undiminished. But with the demand for precious metals, comes the need for supply. Two thirds of the world’s gold is still obtained from source, and sustainability is an issue that some people in the jewellery industry are keen to address.
This month we feature GoLDFABRIK, a goldsmith studio based in Amsterdam, where jewellery craftsmanship and sustainability are perfectly combined.
GoLDFABRIK was initiated by jewellery designer Nadine Kieft to promote and market high-quality jewellery made using ‘Good Gold’ and other reliably sourced materials.
‘Good Gold’ jewellery bearing the Fairtrade stamp guarantees that gold miners meet standards on safety, worker’s rights and the environment. It ensures small-scale and artisanal miners are paid a fair price, giving them financial security. They also receive an extra amount of money to invest in building the future of their families and their communities, through education, medical care or environmental projects.
The Fairtrade and Fairmined ‘Eco’ logo ensures that gold is extracted without the use of chemicals. No mercury or cyanide is used to process Eco Gold; instead traditional mining techniques ensure a sustainable use of natural resources. Care is taken to restore vegetation after mining to encourage full recovery of the original terrain.
Nadine Kieft invites designers to the GoLDFABRIK studio to create jewellery in accordance with Fair Trade standard conditions. The GoLDFABRIK website provides a showcase for international jewellery designers licensed to work with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold. Other sustainably sourced materials such as silver, gemstones and pearls also feature in the GoLDFABRIK jewellery collection, and many of the works are unique, one-off pieces. Work created alongside Kieft in the studio is also made available exclusively on the website.
By featuring such a diverse range of designers, GoLDFABRIK offers an eclectic collection; ranging from retro, nostalgic and organic forms, through to geometrics and sleek modern lines. Some of the works are served with a playful twist and others make a statement. But they all share a high level of quality, which is evident in both materials and craftsmanship, and all bear the ‘Fairtrade’ hallmark.
Due to the nature of the materials and methods of working, many of the GoLDFABRIK jewellery designers create work in limited numbers, and many pieces are completely unique.
There is something magical about knowing an item of jewellery is a one-off. Perhaps it is the quality and character of the gemstone that gives a piece its personality, or evidence of the ‘mark of the maker’ in a hand-wrought piece that brings it to life. Commissioning a special piece of jewellery creates a sense of connection that cannot be matched by anything bought off-the-shelf. Jewellery that passes through the hand of the maker seems to have more soul, and knowing it has been made with fairly sourced gold and silver makes it ‘shine even brighter’.
Most of us buy precious jewellery for a special reason, and buying responsibly can make that purchase even more meaningful.
An increasing number of jewellers are offering responsibly sourced metals and conflict-free gemstones on request. Precious metals which are 100% recycled are also gaining in popularity.
When buying or commissioning sustainable precious jewellery you can ensure the materials can be traced directly to the source by seeking out licensed Fairtrade jewellers. It may cost more, but the ‘true cost’ is worth considering when purchasing something you will treasure for your lifetime.
Specialising in Fairtrade and Fairmined jewellery, GoLDFABRIK was initiated by Nadine Kieft from her goldsmith studio in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
GoLDFABRIK’s jewellery practices are controlled by the Dutch Fairtrade initiative, Max Havelaar, in accordance with the international Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO).
GoLDFABRIK jewellery is hallmarked with the Fairtrade logo – this stamp can only be used by official Fairtrade licensees.
Fairtrade gold certification is relatively new, so GoLDFABRIK is positively promoting ‘Good Gold‘ to independent jewellery designers and the customers who buy their work. GoLDFABRIK continues to grow and develop as new designers get on board, and due to the recent introduction of Fairtrade silver its collection continues to diversify.
Born in Leiden, the Netherlands, Kieft Studied goldsmithing in Amsterdam. Kieft launched her label Nadine Kieft Jewelry in 2007, designing fashionable, high-quality jewellery that combines classical elements, such as cameos and pearls, with modern settings, to create timeless works with a nostalgic feel. Kieft launched the GoLDFABRIK initiative and online jewellery store from her workshop in 2011.
- All Fairtrade and Fairmined jewellery featured in this article, can all be found on the GoLDFABRIK website
- Latest GoLDFABRIK jewellery updates and exhibition information on Facebook
- GoLDFABRIK images on Pininterest
- Nadine Kieft Jewelry website
Fairtrade Gold information
- Max Havelaar Fairgold Initiative
- Solidaridad: ‘Towards Good Gold’ campaign – promoting sustainably-sourced Fairtrade and Fairmined gold to the jewellery industry and its customers.
Photo credits: Nadine Kieft , GoLDFABRIK designers
- On 24th July 2013