Our Process, Values & Ethos
Delphine hand carves her original designs in our New York City studio, casting, polishing and setting the jewels locally by hand with a team of skilled craftspeople & artisans.
We do our best to respect and minimize our impact on the magnificent earth that has given us so much beauty to work with. Without nature's gold and precious gems, and the people that help find them, we wouldn't be able to craft jewelry you can cherish for generations.
We have always used recycled gold in our castings, a not so obvious choice a couple decades ago, choosing to give another life to already mined gold to create jewelry without causing further damage to our environment.
More recently, Delphine has shifted her focus to finding responsible sources for gold. Why? Because she has become acutely aware that a lot of artisanal small scale miners (ASM) around the world depend on unearthing precious metals to make a living, as mining is often poverty-driven, and ignoring it will not make it go away.
So while still using recycled gold, she is increasingly supporting efforts such as Reciprocity (see below) and NGOs such as Pure Earth and the Fairmined Gold Initiative that help train miners in more responsible ways to extract the gold, preferably without use of the harmful chemicals commonly used in gold mining, such as mercury and cyanide. Our collective goal is to make this often destructive process as people and earth friendly as possible
We are proud now be to be FAIRMINED licensed and will offer this responsibly-sourced gold as an option for custom work and in a soon-to-be released capsule collection.
We strive for transparency in our studio & business practices and traceability in our supply chain, and partner with like-minded professionals & artisans in our industry as often as we can. It is a challenge given the traditionally opaque sourcing practices of the Jewelry trade, but things are slowly changing in terms of responsible sourcing for gold and gems.
Here's a concrete example of what that responsible gold sourcing means for Delphine Leymarie, in her own words:
Over the last 3 years I have supported Pure Earth, donating time and jewels for their fundraising efforts. They are an NGO teaching miners around the world to use a mercury-free method of mining, a more responsible way to extract precious gold, without damaging the health of the miners, their communities, our rivers and oceans. As a matter of fact, as these miners in the Peruvian Amazon are also replanting native trees to help regrow areas damaged by mining in the Madre de Dios region, they are helping make our planet a better place with their reforestation work.
It was a beautiful mine to market project that is perfectly aligned with my business ethos, and a wonderful way to stand for my values.
Reciprocity was the first time, ever, that I was able to craft a piece of fine jewelry that has this level of human connection. Because not only do I know that this gold is fully traceable to the Peruvian Amazon and a mining area called Madre de Dios, specifically from concession El Principe Dos, but I also know that this gold was mined responsibly, using mercury free methods by a miner whose name I actually know.
This tangible, real human connection here is linking us all across cultures and continents and jobs within the jewelry industry, helping everyone involved live from the ore as we create beauty without causing further damage to the earth.
It’s really weaving a beautiful story of human connection from the mine to the consumer. And Reciprocity will be back for NYCJW again in 2023.
I believe that such collaborations are the way forward, and coupled with proper technology and education, it can be a way to make the jewelry industry a better place for all, not only for gold sourcing but also for gems.
Increasing traceability, and connecting the jewelry value chain, is a game changer for the industry, and a goal I promise to keep working towards.
With love and gratitude,