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All Maria Black silver jewellery is made from sterling silver. You will find a stamp with the alloy mark 925 and our makers mark BLACK, registered with Force Technology, which is the official Hallmark auditor in Denmark.
Starting September 2021, we will be using IMPACT gold in our products. IMPACT gold is a mixed alloy, consisting of 30% Fairtrade gold and 70% recycled gold. This means that we can divert some of our resources towards the small-scale artisanal miners and simultaneously manage our waste.
Fairtrade is a global organization working for the fair conduct of global trade relations. Gold which carries Fairtrade certificate ensures that decent working and living standards are met, mining practices are environmentally focused and the local mining communities are empowered. At the end of 2021, we will have generated a stable income for mining communities with a premium supporting safer mining practices and a cleaner environment by supporting Fairtade. The impact information from specific mine sites can be reached here.
All the recycled gold we use carries the SCS global service certification. This certificate ensures that the mined materials are traceable, environmentally focused and promote ethical labor conditions. SCS is a verification agent which focuses on quality, social responsibility, and stewardship to the earth. The impact information of various recycled mines can be reached here.
A gold plating means that a layer of 22K gold is deposited on top of another metal, in our case silver. The silver will therefore become visible, if the plating wears off.
We plate with a 22-23.5K gold alloy and have adjusted the colour to resemble a 14-18K colour. It is difficult to accurately predict how long a gold plating will last. It greatly depends on how often you wear it, where on the body it’s placed and how active you are.
We strive to have a high quality gold plating. Therefore we use a Vermeil gold plating on our rings and bracelets which means that the layer thickness is 2.5 micron. On our other jewellery we use a 2 micron gold plating. If you are still having doubts about how to open a specific hoop, our online customer care and store employees are ready to guide you.
White Rhodium plating
Rhodium is an extraordinarily rare, silvery-white, hard, stainless and chemical metal. It is a precious metal and a member of the platinum group. We use a white rhodium plating on all of our silver jewellery and we also use this plating on all of our 14K white gold jewellery.
Silver naturally oxidises over time and the white rhodium plating helps to delay this considerably, since the metal is much harder than silver it also minimises scratches.
White gold without a white rhodium plating actually has a more golden/gray’ish tone (gold is yellow after all) so 99% of all white gold jewellery you find will generally have a white rhodium plating on as the white rhodium has a very beautiful ‘steel’ like colour.
Stones, pearls and diamonds
We use natural stones unless otherwise stated. Remove your jewellery whenever you do sports, hard labour etc. as natural stones can chip if you knock them and a hard blow can crush even a diamond.
Unless otherwise stated we use freshwater pearls with a baroque shape.
Natural stones can vary in colour, so a stone can look different from the product picture. Our diamond quality is GH / SI unless otherwise stated. Diamonds attract grease and dust, so you should clean them regularly with water and dish soap.
The next project on our agenda is switching to Recycled silver. We will be relying mainly on Recycled silver, as a Fairtrade option for silver currently is not available. Our current estimation is that 80% of our silver products is readily available to switch to recycled, and by 2022 all our silver products will be Recycled silver. As we are changing over to Recycled silver, the product pages will be signaling the origins of our pieces.
In September 2021, we will be switching to only laboratory grown diamonds in our pieces. Lab-grown diamonds are identical to those that are mined but are liable to much less social harm.
Exploring this possibility is important to us as it eliminates mining, social conflict, land devastation, cartel pricing, wildlife displacement and harm to local communities from the picture. It is possible to create diamonds in laboratory conditions through the methods of HPHT or CVD, which results in diamonds of various shapes.
We are currently in dialogue with a diamond grower and refiner in Mumbai. His work is socially audited by SMETA in terms of workers rights, wages, health and safety regulations. SMETA is Sedex’s social auditing methodology, enabling businesses to assess their sites and suppliers to understand working conditions in their supply chain. The only downfall of this diamond grower is that some of our pieces with smaller diamonds cannot be accounted for with his products. Therefore, while looking for a manufacturer that can be traced and aligns with our values, we will be using Lab-grown diamonds from nontraceable growers.
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