D&H Presents The Ring Project

It’s an all too common conundrum: what does one do with the jewelry from a relationship that’s run its course? Marirose Piciucco was in the midst of a difficult divorce and struggling with this same question. After grappling with whether to re-sell her wedding rings or just outright throw them in the ocean, Marirose realized that the real emotional cleansing she sought could come through helping other women less fortunate than her. The notion that her old jewelry could be the catalyst for real positive change in other women’s lives- women who faced far deeper problems than her own- was what allowed Marirose to move on from the past and find both strength and new hope.

Thus, the Ring Project was born. Now a Berkeley-based non-profit organization affecting real change in the world, the funds from rings donated to the organization go directly towards women’s civil initiatives in the Congo. Marirose and her founding partner, Amanda Schwartz, who herself has a background in humanitarian aid, have spent time in the region and have seen first-hand how Congolese women are up against unimaginable circumstances surrounding war, poverty and oppression. The mission of their organization is to support transparent locally run development projects in the Congo, as well as funding scholarships towards Congolese women’s empowerment and education.

D&H Jewelers is now proud to be a partner in The Ring Project through our purchase of donated jewelry items in order to help fund this incredible organization. In alignment with our core value of sustainability through the repurposing of metals and diamonds, The Ring Project provides us with a source for the raw materials we use in our jewelry. We have already begun production on our first collection of jewelry using these materials and in turn have been able to fund a number of Congolese women’s scholarships.

To date, The Ring Project has received dozens of jewelry donations almost entirely through word of mouth. If you or someone you know are interested in finding out more about the donation process or the organization in general, please visit http://www.theringproject.org.

D&H Sustainability Glossary

Botswana Diamonds

Botswana is a Sub-Saharan African nation with some of the world’s top-producing diamond mines. Because the tribal government of Botswana maintains a 50% ownership stake in the mines, the wealth that the mines generate is distributed back to the country’s citizens in the form of universal benefits such as free healthcare, land, and education through college level anywhere in the world, as well as countrywide infrastructure improvements. Botswana diamonds are cut and polished by local people within the country. Funds from the sales of Botswana diamonds also enable the protection Botswana’s rich wildlife and natural lands, which account for nearly 20 percent of its land mass.

Canadian Diamonds

Canadian diamond mines, located in the Northwest Territories, operate under extensive environmental protections and social responsibilities to native peoples. All Canadian diamond mines are overseen by strict governmental regulations and continue to produce some of the world’s finest diamonds.

Fair Trade Gems

Fair Trade Gems adhere to a set of protocols set forth by Fairtrade America and Fairtrade International that work to protect environmental sustainability, fair wages, workplace safety, and cultural identity. Fair Trade Gems also have a direct chain of custody, in which the miners facilitate the cutting, polishing and sales of their gemstones.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

The GIA is the world’s leading gemological laboratory and educator. A non-profit organization founded in 1931, the GIA invented the 4 C’s (carat, color, clarity, and cut), which is the modern diamond grading system used worldwide today. GIA laboratories generate grading reports for individual diamonds, and a GIA Diamond Grading Report (“cert” as many call it) is thought to be the premier credential of diamond quality. The exacting standards of the GIA are globally recognized both by consumers as well as all facets of the diamond industry.

SCS Global Services Certification

SCS Global Services is an accredited independent certification organization for a wide range of consumer goods and industries. Through the company’s extensive auditing process, it provides a neutral third-party verification of environmental and social sustainability, which includes a Responsible Metals, Mining, and Jewelry certification. This certification process verifies source chains-of-custody as well as business operating practices.

Reclaimed Precious Metals

Reclaimed precious metals are extracted from post-consumer and post-industrial uses. D&H precious metals are processed in an SCS Global and ISO 14001 certified facility (one of top most sustainable companies in the world). As opposed to newly mined metals that generate many tons of waste and chemical byproduct through their extraction, reclaimed metals are reclaimed from electronic scrap (i.e. cell phones and computers), catalysts, and fuel cells.

Up-Cycled Diamonds and Gemstones

Up-cycled diamonds and gemstones are repurposed from post-consumer vintage and antique jewelry. Besides having no direct environmental impact in the sourcing of up-cycled stones, many of these gems exhibit unique cuts and shapes that are no longer created today (i.e. Old Mine Cut and Old European Cut diamonds).