GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 153-2
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


ERIKSSON, Susan C., Eriksson Associates, 3980 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 80304 and OCHWAT, Naomi, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada

Jewelry involves gemstones, minerals, rocks, metal, fossils, found objects, and man-made, plant-derived and animal-derived materials. With access to jewelry from the internet to museum gem halls, mineral galleries, and gift shops – cathedrals to beach-side stalls - who is to know what jewelry is made of, where it came from, how it was made, and who was involved?

Geologists, mineralogists, petrologists, curators, educators, artists, and jewelers all deal in the materials of jewelry. Some people know much about the structure and geologic origin of a mineral but may not know the working conditions of people who cut the stones into gems. In a global industry which includes miners to high-end jewelers, much is ‘lost in translation’. Many different individuals and commercial and non-profit organizations are working toward transparent supply chains which address ethical and sustainability-issues.

For one particular, nascent jewelry endeavor, using social media to broaden the reach of a website and in-person contact has brought together communities interested in the product, the material and its source, the environment, and the working conditions of people who take the minerals from the mine to the consumer. This presentation documents these communities and the role of various social media in raising awareness of issues in the extraction and jewelry industries.