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FairMined Gold

So, you make an effort to purchase fairtrade coffee, compost, recycle, buy local, and eat organic. And now, you can make the ethical choice when purchasing that special ring you will be wearing for life.

‘Fairmined gold is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of’.

For more information visit the Fairmined gold website at www.fairmined.org

Recycled Metals

Keen to make an ethical choice with an economical benefit? Beg, loot, or steal from your parents, grandparents, or your great aunts jewellery box and you may have found the answer! Bring in gold jewellery of any karat and colour,  and let us give you an idea of the usable or exchangeable gold you might have.  Either that, or choose from our collection of recycled metal rings below.

Our Diamonds

Has Leonardo DiCaprio got you sweating on your brow for reasons other then his looks?  ‘Blood diamonds’ was, at one time, a very lucrative option for the diamond industry. Thanks to numerous politically motivated initiatives, awareness on the issue of unethically sourced diamonds has rippled huge effects in the mining community. Today, many countries will only accept certified diamonds into their country. This doesn’t mean that the ‘unclean’ diamonds, gemstones, or metals do not exist. It only implies that they have a harder time finding a suitable buyer.

At HEIST, we educate ourselves and our customers on all purchasing options, as well as the impacts this has on our local and global economy. Please see the frequently asked questions below. For more information, please make an appointment with one of our knowledgable sales staff to discuss.

What is a blood diamond?

Blood diamonds (also called conflict diamonds, converted diamonds, hot diamonds, or war diamonds) is a term used for a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity. The term is used to highlight the negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas, or to label an individual diamond as having come from such an area. (Wikipedia)

How do I know if my diamond is conflict free?

On July 19, 2000, the World Diamond Congress adopted at Antwerp a resolution to strengthen the diamond industry’s ability to block sales of conflict diamonds. The resolution called for an international certification system on the export and import of diamonds, legislation in all countries to accept only officially sealed packages of diamonds, for countries to impose criminal charges on anyone trafficking in conflict diamonds, and instituted a ban on any individual found trading in conflict diamonds. The Kimberley Process attempted to curtail the flow of conflict diamonds, help stabilize fragile countries and support their development. As the Kimberley Process has made life harder for criminals, it has brought large volumes of diamonds onto the legal market that would not otherwise have made it there. (Wikipedia)

Where do our diamonds come from?

We purchase our diamonds through reputable Diamond suppliers that are certified through the Kimberly process.  However, due to inconsistencies and loopholes in the Kimberly certification process, we can not 100% guarantee the ethical source of any of our diamonds outside of those of Canadian Origin.

The Government of the Northwest Territories of Canada has a unique certification program. They offer a Government certificate on all diamonds that are mined, cut, and polished in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Canadian diamonds are tracked from mine, through the refining process to the retail jeweler with a unique diamond identification number (DIN) laser inscribed on the diamond’s girdle. To obtain this certificate one must cut and polish the diamond in the NWT.

How do I know I have a good quality diamond?

Every diamond is unique, and there are a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond. Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value. This might be a very different diamond than someone else with a similar budget would choose.

Diamond quality is often divided into distinct categories: carat weight, clarity, colour, and cut.

Carat:

The carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams (about 0.007 ounce avoirdupois). The point unit—equal to one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg)—is commonly used for diamonds of less than one carat. All else being equal, the price per carat increases with carat weight, since larger diamonds are both rarer and more desirable for use as gemstones.

The price per carat does not increase linearly with increasing size. Instead, there are sharp jumps around milestone carat weights, as demand is much higher for diamonds weighing just more than a milestone than for those weighing just less. As an example, a 0.99 carat diamond may have a significantly lower price per carat than a comparable 1.01 carat diamond, because of differences in demand.

Clarity:

Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and other organizations have developed systems to grade clarity, which are based on those inclusions which are visible to a trained professional when a diamond is viewed under 10x magnification.

Diamonds become increasingly rare when considering higher clarity gradings. Only about 20% of all diamonds mined have a clarity rating high enough for the diamond to be considered appropriate for use as a gemstone; the other 80% are relegated to industrial use. Of that top 20%, a significant portion contains one or more visible inclusions. Those that do not have a visible inclusion are known as “eye-clean” and are preferred by most buyers, although visible inclusions can sometimes be hidden under the setting in a piece of jewelry.

Most inclusions present in gem-quality diamonds do not affect the diamonds’ performance or structural integrity. When set in jewelry, it may also be possible to hide certain inclusion behind mounting hardware such as prongs in a way that renders the defect invisible. However, large clouds can affect a diamond’s ability to transmit and scatter light. Large cracks close to or breaking the surface may increase the likelihood of a fracture.

Colour:

The finest quality as per color grading is totally colorless, which is graded as “D” color diamond across the globe, meaning it is absolutely free from any color. The next grade has a very slight trace of color, which can be observed by any expert diamond valuer/grading laboratory. However when studded in jewellery these very light colored diamonds do not show any color or it is not possible to make out color shades. These are graded as E color or F color diamonds.

Diamonds which show very little traces of color are graded as G or H color diamonds. Slightly colored diamonds are graded as I or J or K color. A diamond can be found in any color in addition to colorless. Some of the colored diamonds, such as pink, are very rare.

Cut: The techniques for cutting diamonds have been developed over hundreds of years, with perhaps the greatest achievements made in 1919 by mathematician and gem enthusiast Marcel Tolkowsky. He developed the round brilliant cut by calculating the ideal shape to return and scatter light when a diamond is viewed from above. The modern round brilliant has 57 facets (polished faces), counting 33 on the crown (the top half), and 24 on the pavilion (the lower half). The girdle is the thin middle part. The function of the crown is to refract light into various colors and the pavilion’s function to reflect light back through the top of the diamond.[31]

Workshop Safety Standards

Heist Workshop Safety

Our Heist workshop and studio space is proud to be a safe, sustainable and welcoming environment for all jewellery lovers! We provide an intuitively safe space where, if you weren’t made aware, you might not see the safety net beneath you. From one-time workshoppers, to our regular hobbyists and full time goldsmiths, health and safety are the top priority on our benches.

Dress for success…

You will always find the proper safety gear at arms length: safety goggles, work aprons, dust masks, respirators and rubber gloves. We always tie back our beautiful locks in a ponytail, wear proper footwear, and remove scarves or any loose clothing.

Breathe easy…

We’ve equipped our studio with hepa-filters at our soldering stations and polisher to suck up the fumes and dust that you don’t want in your lungs.

We heart Mother Earth…

Why use chemicals when nature provides what we need? The jewellery industry is quickly changing, and we’re speeding right along with it by employing any natural alternatives available to us. However, there are still some products we can’t work without and we reduce our harm to the environment by using these chemicals minimally, safely, and by labeling, disposing and storing them properly.

Cleanliness is godliness…

Tools organized and in their proper places – check!

Large tools and equipment regularly cleaned and maintained – check!

Fire extinguishers verified and up to date – check!

Each workbench dusted, cleaned and tidied at the end of the day – check!

We take care of all cleaning and maintenance required to run a smooth and safe studio. Afterall, a clean workshop is a safe workshop!

A return to calisthenics…

Our health and safety starts with proper gear, but it’s up to the individual to employ good work habits. Sit up straight while working, get up at stretch every hour, relax your focus so as not to strain your eyes, get a breath of fresh air, wash your hands regularly: just a few tips we can provide to be sure you’re kind to yourself. The body is your most important tool, so be good to it!

Knowledge is power…

Unsure about workshop etiquette? Our goldsmiths are fully trained in studio health and safety and are always available to provide help and guidance. Our workshoppers are given the full onsite safety tour alongside a detailed outline of the tools, chemicals and equipment we use. Most importantly, questions, suggestions and concerns are always welcome: we are a community who works together to ensure everyone is safe, healthy and comfortable in our creative space!