By Michelle Graff
Here are five rings from Greg Valerio’s “Classic” bridal collection, which is made entirely using Fairtrade gold. Santa Fe’s Reflective Images has become the first U.S. retailer to sell the line.
Santa Fe, N.M.--A New Mexico jeweler has become the first U.S. retailer to sell a complete collection of bridal jewelry producing using Fairtrade gold.

Reflective Jewelry in Santa Fe has started carrying Valerio Jewelry’s “Classic” bridal collection, created by United Kingdom-based activist and bench jeweler Greg Valerio.

The line will be sold exclusively at Reflective Jewelry’s boutique in Santa Fe as well as on the retailer’s website.

While Reflective Jewelry, which is the only certified Fairtrade gold jeweler in the United States, already produced some wedding rings and the majority of their bi-metal earrings, pendants and bracelets in Fairtrade gold, the company said the addition of the Valerio brand will “bring meaningful progress to the ethical jewelry space in the U.S.,” which trails the U.K. and European Union in both industry awareness and consumer understanding of Fairtrade gold.

“When Fairtrade gold is as well-known as Fairtrade coffee and chocolate, consumers will be able to have jewelry that represents fair and ethical trading practices and, at the same time, hundreds of thousands of people in small-scale mines around the world will be empowered to live better lives,” Reflective Jewelry President Marc Choyt said.

Fairtrade gold is part of the London-based Fairtrade Foundation, which works to ensure better prices, decent working conditions and fair trade for small-scale workers in a variety of industries, from various types of agriculture to gold mining.

There are more than 4,500 Fairtrade products--Fairtrade coffee is probably the most well-known and well marketed--and any item bearing the Fairtrade mark has been produced by organizations or farms that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

Reflective Jewelry is a brand of Reflective Images Inc., which was founded in 1995 by Choyt and his wife, Helen Chantler.

The company’s business is built around ethical sourcing. It won a Sustainable Santa Fe award in 2014 and the 2010 Jewelers That Care national award for ethical leadership in the jewelry sector.

Choyt, along with Valerio, first met at the Madison Dialogue Ethical Jewelry Summit in 2007 and have worked together on campaigns and projects through the organization they founded, the Fair Jewelry Action network.

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