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Just in time for Mother's Day —
70 jewelers have pledged not to use dirty gold

Washington, D.C, 6 May 2010 — Four jewelry companies today announced their concern over destructive gold mining, and their support for cleaner sources of gold and precious metals. Just in time for Mother's Day, Robbins Brothers, Meghan Connolly Haupt, D.NEA, and Bario Neal have joined the nation's leading jewelry companies in signing the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals.

The list of Golden Rules signatories now includes 70 jewelry companies representing over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total U.S. jewelry sales.

“We fully support the 'No Dirty Gold' campaign efforts to ensure that our customers' gift of gold purely symbolizes love and commitment, and is not tainted by either human rights violations or irresponsible mining practices,” stated Andy Heyneman, President and CEO of California-based Robbins Brothers.

Mother's Day is one of the top jewelry-giving holidays of the year, and jewelers are increasingly realizing that jewelry customers are concerned about the devastating effect of gold mining on communities and the environment. The production of one gold ring generates an average of 20 tons of mine waste. Gold mining has been linked to conflict and human rights violations, forest destruction, toxic pollution, and loss of lands and livelihoods.

The Golden Rules call on mining companies to meet basic social and environmental standards, including respect for human rights, protection of fragile ecosystems, and refraining for dumping and contaminating water and soil.

“Thanks to these jewelers, customers can choose to support companies that have taken a stand against irresponsible mining,” said Scott Cardiff of EARTHWORKS' No Dirty Gold campaign.

The jewelry companies have signed on to the Golden Rules at a time when mining companies are continuing to push irresponsible mining projects that will impact mothers and community members all over the world. Newmont's Akyem mine would displace thousands of people and destroy a quarter of the forest left in a tropical forest Reserve in Ghana. Infinito Gold's Crucitas planned mine has already destroyed tropical forest and would threaten waterways in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. And Anglo American and Northern Dynasty's Pebble project in Alaska would threaten fishing livelihoods in one of the world's last great salmon fisheries.

EARTHWORKS and partners from around the world launched the “No Dirty Gold” campaign in 2004 to educate and motivate consumers and jewelry retailers to push the mining industry towards more responsible practices. Since then, over 70 jewelry companies have committed to switching to cleaner gold sources when available, and more than 100,000 consumers have joined the effort.

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