Events & Awards

GIA’s Mercury-Free Mining Library Exhibit Wins Award

Events & AwardsMar 10, 2023

GIA’s Mercury-Free Mining Library Exhibit Wins Award

The exhibit received the Betty Clayton Gibson Memorial Trophy for “Best Museum Exhibit for 2023.”

20230310_GIA Mercury Free Mining Exhibit.jpg
GIA’s exhibit on mercury-free mining, showcased during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, won the Betty Clayton Gibson Memorial Trophy for “Best Museum Exhibit for 2023.” (Photo by Chris Rogers/GIA)
Carlsbad, Calif.—GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center held an award-winning exhibit on mercury-free gold during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
 
The organization has been awarded the Betty Clayton Gibson Memorial Trophy for “Best Museum Exhibit for 2023.”
 
The exhibit showcased the physical and environmental benefits of working with mercury-free gold, highlighting a “batea,” which is a traditional wooden bowl used for gold panning, as well as books from the GIA library about ecological jewelry and responsible and sustainable mining and jewelry practices.
 
“This exhibit illustrates how mercury-free gold mining can have positive long-term implications for gold miners and the environment,” said Library Director Robert Weldon. 

“There were many deserving exhibits at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show; ours struck a chord with the judges because responsible mining and sustainability in the industry are such important topics.”
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
Mercury-free mining has been a growing topic of discussion for jewelry makers in recent years.

“Because of mercury’s ability to bond with gold to form an amalgam, it has been widely used, especially in artisanal and small-scale mining, to separate gold from other sediments,” explained GIA.
 
However, mercury is toxic to humans and wildlife, and can cause physical and environmental damage.
 
New methods for mercury-free gold mining are being tested, said GIA, and have the potential to reduce or eliminate the use of mercury in the process.
 
If mercury-free mining options are available to artisanal miners in source countries, it can improve their health and the surrounding environment.
 
GIA gave a $50,000 grant to Mercury Free Mining and the Alliance for Responsible Mining in 2021. The two organizations work to promote responsible mining practices.

Recently, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee called for input from the jewelry industry on revisions to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides,” which govern how sellers use terms such as “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” in their marketing. 
 
This year, the American Gem Trade Association announced it had formed a committee to develop standardized definitions for these types of terms. 

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