Chicago—The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is returning with a new lineup of speakers, offering sessions on gold mining, single sourcing gemstones, indigenous management of mineral rights and more.

The event is slated for Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema on South Wabash Avenue.

A Responsible Gem Boutique is also lined up for the day before, Oct. 24, at the nearby Jeweler’s Row main building, where attendees can meet single-source providers and distributors of colored gemstones from around the world.

While some details, like the keynote presentation, are still being finalized, there are plenty of interesting talks confirmed for the 2019 event.

On the morning of Oct. 25, journalist Paul Tullis and Brian Cook of Nature’s Geometry will speak on “Global Mining and Deforestation,” offering a look at the impacts of deforestation and the new model for forest-safe mining.

This will be followed by a session from Perry Gottesfeld of nonprofit Occupational Health at Knowledge International (OK International) called “Public Health Impacts of the Jewelry Supply Chain: Challenges & Solutions,” educating attendees about the risks associated with common health hazards in the jewelry supply chain and successful pilot intervention programs reducing exposure in small-scale mining and gem cutting.

That same day, there will be a panel on “Illegal Gold: Where It’s Coming from and Impacts to Society and Your Supply Chain,” moderated by Brad Brooks-Rubin of Enough and featuring panelists Angel Camacho of the FBI, Alyssa Newman of Google Earth and Betsy Orlando from the U.S. State Department.

Friday also will include a screening—and the U.S. premiere—of “The Shadow of Gold” in the afternoon. Filmed in China, Peru, Canada, the U.S., London, Dubai, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the two-part documentary looks at the impact of gold mining and the gold trade on the economy, environment and conflicts.

Saturday, Oct. 26 will get going with a jewelry design panel moderated by the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Brandee Dallow and designer panelists Meri Geraldine and Dana Bronfman.
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The day will also feature such sessions as “The State of the Cottage Cutting Industry in India,” in which Jagdish Patel of the People’s Training & Research Center and Jo Becker of Human Rights Watch will talk about the working conditions of the country’s industry.

“Mine to Market: Single Source for Colored Gemstones and Gold,” featuring Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House, Moyo Gems, Anza Gems, Fairmined Gold and the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya, will teach attendees how and why they should create single-source supply chains for colored stones and gold.

There will also be a conversation with the chiefs of the Paiter-Surui Tribe regarding indigenous management of mineral rights.

The conference will close with a cocktail party on the evening of Oct. 26 at Chicago retailer Steve Quick Jeweler.

For more information or to register, visit

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