Communications Paper on Radical Jewellery Makeover

Gold mining, liking mining other precious metals, has negative impacts on the environment. It is easy to see the beautiful nature of the metals and forget the destruction and destitution they cause in places where they are mined especially in Africa. Gold mining is most popular with South Africa and expensive jewellery. The negative impacts of gold mining include water pollution, green house gas emissions, and soil erosion. Abandoned mines leave the land ugly and fatal to people and animals especially where deep shaft mining method was used. The mining of gold uses a lot of chemical components to separate the gold from the ore, of which the ore is usually the larger volume.

The extraction of gold ore requires the use of explosives to disembark the rocks from the bedrock. These explosives pollute the air and cause tremors that may be dangerous to old buildings. Once blasted, the ore is subjected to other chemicals that separate the ore from the gold and refines the gold. These chemicals pollute both the air and water sources. Mostly, the chemical cyanide is used to separate gold from the ore. Secondly, gold mining especially in African countries often goes on unnoticed and unsupervised meaning both workers and the earth are left unprotected. This leads to the exploitation of these and unending conflicts in severe cases such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thirdly gold mining involves the use of several vehicles and machines that produce a lot of air pollutants. Other precious metals like uranium are used to manufacture dangerous elements like nuclear energy that yields plenty of nuclear waste. This waste is toxic to both the environment and people if they come in direct contact with it.

Material and meaning plays a major role in determining the selection of an item or product. Certain products are highly esteemed because of their material and as such people are willing to spend on them. The motivation to possess these items is attributable to the material rather than the price. A good example of this is jewellery especially gold. Jewellery is an indication of beauty and wealth. Many past societies regarded wealth to the amount of gold one owed or a kingdom owed. Currently, the value of a country’s currency is based on the quantity of gold the country owns in the International Monetary Fund. As such, gold items attract extremely high price tags.

The choice of material goes beyond the narrow viewpoint of price point to include certain concepts such as fascination and physical interaction. Most people acquire and highly value jewellery because of the skill and knowledge used to produce the final output. The motivation to acquire certain jewellery is foundational upon the urge and need to reverberate with the artists choices with an aim to understand what the item means. Just like art, jewellery artists also aim to produce much more than what meets the eye. They accomplish this by preferring and using some materials instead of others.

The choice of what material to use can be used by the artists to communicate to his/her audience: the buyer. The use of gold for jewellery, for example, insinuates purity and riches much more than just owning the jewellery. This explains why certain sellers will tend to gold coat their items with an aim of increasing sales.




“How Jewelry Production Hurts the Environment, Eco-Friendly Options.” December 24, 2013. Accessed April 07, 2018.