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Environmental Practice

We strive for our footprint to be as minimal as possible, creating lasting works of art from thoughtfully sourced materials. Each element of the process reflects these principles. We have not embarked on this alone- we have partnered with Christina Miller and Maggie Gabos ethical jewelry consulting to guide our way.

Responsible Sourcing

Recycled or gold sourced from Fairmined Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM)

The most common gold mining practice worldwide involves using the neuro toxin mercury Mercury makes humans and wildlife ill and because it kills nerve cells which causes brain damage. Illegal mining also causes widespread destruction of the Amazon from fires related to unregulated logging and clearing of the rain-forest.

At Thesis we purchase only SCS Certified recycled and refined gold or Fairmined gold which is mined WITHOUT mercury and the provenance is traced and audited. Fairmined gold also gives back to the mining community to promote a sustainable production.

We also support the organization Better Without Mercury. Better Without Mercury is a fundraising campaign to remove mercury contamination from an artisanal gold mine in Colombia. We donate a portion of our profits with every piece of emerald jewelry sold. We are also members of Ethical Metalsmiths, "The community for responsible jewelry." Read their article on the many steps it takes to create a piece of ethical jewelry.

We have honed in on gems that we can source as closely to the mine as possible. In 2019 we visited the sustainable pearl farm Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California and Colombia's Chivor emerald mines with IEEX Emeralds. We feel it is important to see for our own eyes where these gems are birthed to understand the processes that bring them to market and allow for full transparency.

Cate Claus, owner of Thesis G&J, in an emerald mine in Chivor, Colombia with IEEX Emeralds.

The Butterfly Mark

Butterfly Logo - Positive Luxury, Brands You Can Trust

Thesis Gems and Jewelry was awarded the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury in 2018. "The Butterfly Mark identifies the luxury brands that meet the highest standards of verified innovation and environmental performance, offering transparency at points of sale and equipping consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions." See more about Thesis Gems and Jewelry and Positive Luxury here.

1% for the Planet

As a member of 1% For The Planet, we are committed to give 1% of our gross sales directly to organizations that fight for a cleaner, healthier planet such as WIRES Wildlife Rescue in Australia working currently to ameliorate the destruction of wildfires, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, and the Sierra Club.


Our jewelry is made by hand using ancient techniques by our master goldsmith; hand fabrication from a raw block of precious metal, or hand carved wax casting. We have always prioritized reuse, recycling and non toxic metal-smithing products, and now our workshop is going off the grid with solar paneling. More to come on this soon!


We want our packaging to be a gift in its own right- and move away from the disposable. We designed a precious pouch made from grass fed, vegetable dyed leather which is crafted by hand in San Francisco by the heirloom family leather company, Glaser Designs. Our boxes are made from 100% post consumer recycled paper materials.