Australian jewellers are being asked to “give a damn” and donate scrap gold to raise money for impoverished gold, diamond and gemstone miners in a world-leading fundraising initiative.
Created by Bauer Gemmological Laboratories director Ronnie Bauer, the ‘I Give a Damn. I Give a Gram’ campaign will encourage jewellery retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers to donate at least one gram of scrap gold to UNESCO “to fund projects in impoverished regions which contribute to the jewellery industry through the production of precious metals, gems and diamonds”.
Although details have not yet been finalised, the funds are most likely to be directed to Africa, to build infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and provide basic necessities for children.
“It’s our corporate responsibility to give something back”, said Bauer, who received a standing ovation at The World Jewellery Confederation annual conference in Munich earlier this year when he proposed the innovative fundraising venture.
Since then the campaign, which will be pioneered in Australia before it goes global, has been endorsed by the Jewellers Association of Australia, which will also administer the donations.
JAA CEO Ian Hadassin said systems would be put in place so the process is transparent and “100 percent above board”.
He said gold – whether surplus or damaged stock, or lemel (bench filings, resize pieces) – would be weighed and assessed so a tax deductible receipt can be issued.
“Jewellers have scrap lying around. I don’t think they would miss a gram or two. Parting with scrap is not as hard as parting with a cheque or money from your wallet.”
Jewellery designer John Calleija recently set the campaign in motion with a pledge of 20 grams of gold.
The ‘I Give a Damn. I Give a Gram’ campaign will be officially launched at this month’s JAA International Jewellery Fair in Sydney.