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Artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) gold is extracted by miners who aren't officially employed by mining companies but work independently, using their own resources. Often, these miners form alliances in the shape of small enterprises or cooperatives.

Here at Lebrusan Studio, we offer ASM gold that can be traced right back to its cooperative of origin to anyone seeking an ethical engagement ringwedding band or unique bespoke commission. To help us ensure that this gold has been mined safely and traded fairly, we currently use the Fairtrade Gold and Fairmined Gold certification schemes. Here, we explore the socioeconomic benefits of choosing a certified artisanal gold over untraceable 'industry standard' gold, and the backgrounds of each certification initiative. 



90% of the world's gold miners work in artisanal and small-scale (ASM) mines, with an estimated 100 million people across the globe relying on small-scale mining to support their families and communities. 

These gold mines can be hazardous places, with miners working in structurally insecure pits, without protective gear and exposed to harmful chemicals like mercury, which can contribute to long-term health problems and contaminate local water supplies.

Often, ASM miners are exploited by middle men and earn barely enough to get by. They lead back-breaking, precarious lifestyles - not to thrive, but to survive. 

At Lebrusan Studio, we recognise the legitimacy of ASM mining as a livelihood and our responsibility to facilitate happy, healthy and sustainable futures for the people behind our jewellery. We know that when managed responsibly, ASM gold has the power fortify community foundations, feed families, provide employment opportunities and educate the world. To ensure the benefit of our jewellery is felt throughout the supply chain - not just by the few at the top - we offer Fairtrade Gold and Fairmined Gold. Extracted under strict regulations, traceable to its mines of origin and purchased with a premium invested directly in the miners themselves, this ASM gold is an active force for good.



An ASM miner at the XAMODX cooperative in Mongolia, where most of our Fairmined Gold has originated. Made up of roughly 2,000 members, this community depends primarily on mining. Women miners participate actively in the leadership of XAMODX, which was formally established as a non-governmental mining organisation in 2009 as a means to protect the rights and improve the livelihoods of legal miners.

Developed by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered ASM mining operations. Thanks to the Fairmined Standard of responsible practise, when you buy Fairmined Gold, you can rest assured that you're supporting mines which are responsibly managed, with safe working conditions and fair wages prioritised.

Either directly on the ground or via local partner organisations, Fairmined invests time in sharing knowledge and providing training to candidates for Fairmined-certified mining operations, covering areas such as health, safety and environmental protection. With this grassroots approach, Fairmined encourages positive change from the ground up, ensuring its impact is sustainable in the long-term.

Fairmined Gold is sold to the market with a premium, which enables market players like us to contribute directly to ASM operations and their communities, covering the costs of the certification and investing financially in environmental protection and socioeconomic development. A Fairmined certification also guarantees ASM operations fair trade prices for gold, direct access to international markets, responsible supply chains, legitimacy within the government, international audiences and industry, and access to a network of other miners and experienced allies. 



Sotrami Fairtrade Gold
ASM miners at SOTRAMI, the Fairtrade Gold-certified cooperative in Peru's Atacama desert where most of our Fairtrade Gold originates 

Helping to pioneer the initiative in 2012, Lebrusan Studio was specially selected as one of the world's first ever Fairtrade Gold licensees.

All Fairtrade Gold comes from mines which meet the rigorous Fairtrade Gold Standard of working conditions, health and safety, handling chemicals, women's rights, child labour and environmental protection. A globally recognised marker, Fairtrade Gold grants small-scale miners a fair deal for their hard work and allocates dedicated funding and support for the future of the miners' families and communities, through education, medical care and environmental projects.