Are jewelry consumers aware of the origin of the gold they buy?
Are they willing to purchase responsibly sourced
artisanal and small-scale (ASM) mined gold?

A new consumer market research study on awareness of responsibly sourced, artisanally-mined gold was launched in January, 2021, to reflect on these and other questions about consumers’ consumption habits. The report was carried by MVI Marketing LLC (THE MVEye) and Christina T. Miller Sustainable Jewelry Consulting (CMC), with the sponsorship of the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Rio Grande.  

“This research study is a benchmark from which we will measure our progress as an industry… (it) shows that as consumers learn more, they will demand both transparent sourcing and improved conditions for the people doing the mining,” say Christina Miller about the report.

The study is an opportunity for the market to understand the consumers behavior and the challenges ahead, to strengthen more responsible and ethical supply chains where consumers buy goods not only for its beauty or their own needs, but also because with their purchase they generate a positive social and environmental impact behind, benefiting small-scale mining communities.

For the study, 1,015 consumers from the United States were surveyed: 73% female, 27% male; household income $50,000 and higher; ages 25-50. A requirement for participation in the survey was having purchased jewelry with a retail value greater than $200 in the past 3 years.

Some key findings of the report:

  • When consumers learn about artisanal and small-scale mining, they are likely to spend more on products made with responsibly mined, artisanal material (up to 8% more).
  • Artisanal mining is not well understood by respondents; less than 20% were aware of the term.
  • Few respondents understand where gold is mined. 
  • Younger generations consider the origin and social and environmental issues more than older respondents and men consider the origin and social and environmental issues more than women.
  • Most respondents recognize that mercury (commonly used in gold mining) has toxic effects on the nervous system and can cause brain damage. About one-third of respondents recognize that mercury is a pollutant (34%), and that it is most detrimental to fetuses (32%). However, 9% of respondents said that mercury was safe to handle.
  • Almost 50% of respondents between the ages 25 – 35 would choose ASM Certified Responsible Gold, with ages 36-50 following close behind at 42%.

Read the complete report

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