On a mission to change the narrative around how we design, craft and purchase jewellery is Good Gold: a proud family business leading the sustainable movement one ring at a time.

As the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. In New Zealand, it’s estimated that most of the gold used for jewellery is sourced through unethical mining practices leaving indigenous land and local communities devastated in their wake.

On a mission to change the narrative around how we design, craft and purchase jewellery is Good Gold: a proud family business leading the sustainable movement one ring at a time. Siggy and Ash are brother and sister. Laurel and Ash are married. Siggy and Laurel are the best of friends. After over 20 years in the jewellery game, the trio were itching for a new challenge so set about on a journey to create the world’s most ethical wedding ring.

Above Imagery: Georgia Russell

“Traditional pit mining of precious metals is atrocious. To mine enough gold to make one wedding ring, 10 to 20 tonnes of mining waste is created which consists of chemicals such as cyanide and mercury that are used to separate the gold from the rock,” co-founder Laurel Hilton tells Together Journal.

“In many parts of the world, Indigenous people have had their land stolen by big mining companies which leave it completely unusable. You wear your wedding ring every day, I think it’s important to know that it’s come from good beginnings.”

Each Good Gold ring is lovingly handcrafted from New Zealand alluvial gold, which has been naturally washed down the mountains by rainwater. Small-scale local miners then extract the gold from the wild rivers and coastlines of Aotearoa, meaning indigenous land and communities are protected in the process.

Above Imagery: Ana Galloway

Further demonstrating their commitment to a circular design practice, Good Gold also donates a large percentage of profits to The Toolbox Initiative. The non-profit organisation supports jewellers in West Africa who don’t have access to tools, supplies or metals. With Good Gold’s unwavering energy and support, the initiative recently built a jewellery school in Niger which will allow talented individuals to carve a career out of their love for the artform.

Over in New Zealand, the real magic happens behind the doors of their Nelson workshop where Ash, who has been researching ethical jewellery sourcing for the last two decades, gets to work with the team. Taking what they know about jewellery craftsmanship and distilling it down to its

most elegant form; each finished wedding band is delightfully simple and available in three gold colourways.

Above Imagery: Claire Dewson Photography

The 1.5mm Round Band is their bestseller as it’s designed to complement any engagement ring while the 4mm Yellow Gold Band is a wonderful choice for those seeking a single statement piece.

With beautiful design and strong ethics at the heart of everything they do, it comes as no surprise to learn that this small team is already making big waves in the industry. In recent months, Good Gold has noted a gravitation towards sustainable engagement and wedding rings with lovers keen to remember the special moments for all the right reasons.

Above Imagery: Haute Weddings

“We’ve definitely noticed a much bigger focus on ethics and sustainability in wedding planning over the last few years,” says Laurel. “It’s impossible to ignore the human impact on the world around us and so in general, people are becoming more conscious of making sure that their purchases align with their own personal values.”

Supporting a local, independent business has never been more important in the post-Covid world and it also means couples can expect a more personal experience, as nothing excites the team more than playing Cupid in romantic tales around the world.

Above Imagery: Georgia Russell

“The absolute highlight of our job is hearing couples’ love stories! We’ve had rings carried by teams of backpackers on the Appalachian Trail so that they could arrive in time for a surprise wedding and a few double engagements where both people in the relationship have secretly ordered rings from us just days apart!”

With couples from different corners of the earth making their commitment to Good Gold, what could possibly be next on the agenda for the talented team?

“Our goal is to get a lot of Good Gold out into the world. We want to be able to create great jobs for our community here in Nelson, make significant contributions to our partner charity The Toolbox Initiative and ultimately be a fantastic example of how to be both a successful business and 100 percent committed to ethical and sustainable practices,” says Laurel.

“We’ve worked together for 15 years. Working with your friends and family makes everything more intense — both the highs and the lows — but I wouldn’t change a thing…”

Above Imagery: Ana Galloway

Visit Good Gold’s website HERE or Instagram HERE to find out more.

Words by Danielle Fowler