Susan Crow, founder of Susan Crow Studio is recognized as a leader in integrating sustainability into her design process. She is on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths and is dedicated to creating change. Susan was an early adopter in 2013, becoming licensed to make and sell jewelry from FAIRMINED gold and silver by the Alliance for Responsible Mining.
“As sustainable artisan jewelers, we are dedicated to incorporating ethical and environmental principles into East Fourth Street’s design and production.
Responsible Sourcing of Supply Chains
What are responsibly sourced precious metals?
Susan Crow Studio uses Fairmined or recycled gold because it is important to Susan that she sources her precious metals from trusted suppliers to assure that it is as non-impactful both environmentally and ethically sourced as possible – benefiting artisanal and small scale mining communities.
Fairmined is a globally recognized certification assurance for gold mined from empowered responsible small-scale and artisanal mining communities around the world. It creates positive change in mining by implementing and supporting social development and environmental protection.
Susan Crow Studio is licensed by The Alliance for Responsible Mining to sell Fairmined Gold. The Fairmined label is backed by a 3rd party certification system, that rigorously ensures that the artisanal mining communities are meeting the standards set forth for safe and responsible practices. The extra monetary premium that is collected for Fairmined Gold is then paid directly to the mining communities. They use it for improving their mining work conditions and social development for their local communities. The Fairmined Certification has routine assessments that ensure the miners maintain their certification and are consistent with their social improvement.
There are multiple mines in different countries, including Mongolia, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia which is pretty cool considering that when East Fourth Street Jewelry (now Susan Crow Studio) was a first adopter in 2012, The Alliance for Responsible Mining started with just one mine in Peru.
“I’m proud of being a Fairmined licensee working with Fairmined Gold, because beautiful jewelry should have a clean background story that speaks of solidarity and global support.”
– Susan Crow, Susan Crow Studio (formerly East Fourth Street Jewelry)
What is a reclaimed or ethically sourced mined diamond?
The mined diamonds we source come from certified reclaimed post-consumer diamond vendors. These diamonds have been removed from existing jewelry, resold and certified by GIA to assure that they are of the graded quality that you want. By using reclaimed, we eliminate the additional environmental and possible ethical problems surrounding newly mined diamonds.
We don’t believe there is a ‘conflict free’ diamond and we don't rely on the Kimberly Process Certification. We believe that more due diligence has to be done to assure that diamonds do not come from conflict regions of the world. The Kimberly Process only certifies raw, uncut diamonds as non-conflict if they are not coming from rebel conflict nations. Unfortunately they cannot control the smuggling of conflict diamonds into non-rebel conflict nations, mixing them with Kimberly Process certified diamonds and being sold to the public as conflict free diamonds. They also do not address ethical abuse or child labor at the mines that are certified by the Kimberly Process. Because of this, the newly mined diamonds we offer are reclaimed/recycled. We do our due diligence and only offer diamonds from trusted suppliers so our stones don’t come from conflict regions of the world and do not involve forced labor. Our diamonds are GIA certified and are within 0.05ct of the listed size.
There is no such thing as a Fair Trade, Fairtrade, fair-trade diamond or conflict free diamond. If you encounter a jeweler that makes this claim, please ask them for certification other than the Kimberly Process to back this claim.
What is a Sustainably Rated Lab-Grown Diamond?
As of 2022, Susan Crow Studio became one of the first in the U.S. to be accredited through SCSglobal to sell SCS 007 Sustainably Rated Lab-Created Diamonds.
Each Certified Diamond is accompanied by a detailed Certificate that explains how its Sustainability Rating was earned, including origin traceability, conformance with rigorous ethical and environmental requirements, progress in reaching Climate Neutrality and zeroing out other production-related impacts, and sustainability investments.
Certification under the SCS 007 standard incorporates revolutionary diamond testing technology that can trace a diamond back to its source. This testing is further backed up by a series of checks and balances throughout the chain of custody, including laser inscription and random sampling and testing, to ensure that your diamond comes from a well-known, highly reputable source.
What is an ethically sourced gemstone?
What is an ethically sourced gemstone? Gemstones are very difficult to trace from mine to market to assure that they have not been mined illegally or have come from conflict situations. It is very important for us to know that no children have been used in the mining or cutting of our gemstones. Our colored gemstones are sourced from some of the most reliable ethical gem suppliers in the country. Suppliers that have established programs that support the mining and cutting communities where they have come from. We believe that it is important to support ethical treatment of workers and to involve them in the mining business to assure that they are receiving a fair market price for their valuable natural resources.
ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS STUDIO
What is an environmentally conscious studio environment?
Susan Crow Studio's jewelry is designed and made in Minnesota after we have gathered together the most responsibly sourced precious raw materials we can find. Tracing our raw materials and producing with minimal environment impacts is the backbone of the Susan Crow Studio label. That means we strive for mine to market sourcing, zero waste, low energy use and responsible chemical use. Owner Susan Crow is on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths and their Responsible Sourcing Committee. We encourage partnerships with other local organizations that support the empowerment of the people, many of them women, that work and live in the mines.