Skip to the good stuff!

Our office will be closed on November 26-27. Happy Thanksgiving!

Vote for your favorite letterpress design and help the Earthworks No Dirty Gold Project!

How to vote: Visit and choose your favorite invitation design. Roll over the photo and click the “like” button that appears. That’s it!

Why vote: For every vote cast through April 12, 2012, we’ll donate $1 to Earthwork’s No Dirty Gold campaign (up to $500) to help put an end to dirty gold mining practices that are devastating the planet.

What happens with the winning design? The invitation design with the most votes will be the next Smock design of the month. From 4/14 – 5/14, all custom orders that feature the winning invitation design (wedding invitations, stationery, save the dates, you name it!) will be 10% off (or 15% off for orders with 6 or more pieces!). You can place your order with one of our amazing Smock custom dealers.

So why should you care about dirty gold mining practices? If you’re engaged, there’s a good chance  you’ve already got a ring with some gold in it (and you may be looking to purchase wedding bands soon, too). There are certain dirty mining practices that have really terrible impacts on the communities and the environment surrounding the mines – did you know?

  • The production of one gold ring generates 20 tons of mine waste.
  • The drinking water in mining communities often becomes contaminated, and mine drainage can also raise acid levels in rivers and lakes that can be harmful to wildlife and people.  Some mines even dispose of toxic waste in rivers, lakes, and oceans on a regular basis.
  • Some of the refining processes that are used in mines release chemicals that cause smog and acid rain.
  • Many gold mines create solid waste, too: by employing a process known as heap leaching, these mines drip a cyanide solution through high piles of ore. The solution strips away the gold, but a lot of waste is left over from the process (read: the waste from these sites can sometimes reach over 300 feet – which is nearly the height of a 30-story building!). Many of these heaps are often abandoned because they are too costly to dispose of properly.
  • Indigenous people around the world typically lose out when mining leases are granted. In rural communities, locals often become vulnerable to eviction without notice, meaningful compensation or an offer of equivalent lands in a new region because legal land titles aren’t always on hand (even if a family has occupied the same lands for generations).
  • Mining is a dangerous job: rock falls, tunnel collapses, fires, heat exhaustion, and other dangers claim the lives of over 15,000 miners every year, and while the profession only accounts for 1% of the world’s labor force, it accounts for 5% of on-the-job fatalities.

Wondering what you can do to help? It’s really easy to take action. Sign the Earthworks pledge today, and be sure to support retailers who are actively pursuing clean gold sources. If you choose to work with a retailer who’s not on that list (like Macy’s or Costco – the only two retailers in the top 10 list that haven’t committed to sourcing responsible gold) be sure to ask your jeweler about the source for the gold in your ring.  Other ways you can help:

  • Recycle old jewelry, and have old rings melted down to make new ones. Support jewelers that offer products made with recycled gold.
  • Buy vintage or antique jewelry.
  • Keep jewelry in your family and pass on to your children or grandchildren.