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WELCOME!

So, ok, I sat down to write this about us page and thought ‘keep it in line with everyone else—blend in’

But that’s not us. That’s NOT Universal Gold.

So, I’m Steve, (on the right) and that’s my wife Steph (the attractive one on the left). Together we own and run Universal Gold. It all started when I was in year one of my LL.B. *cue dreamy fade back music* Steph wanted new wedding rings, the ones we had were old and tired after a decade of life and 3 children. I found a local jeweller and bought some scrap gold from a well-known auction site. I took the gold along and we had some new rings made.

However, the jeweller didn’t use all the gold; in fact, we were left with some sellable things. A few bits and a ring. I thought “I wonder if I can sell these to offset the cost of the rings we just made?” Turns out I did. That’s where the story nearly ends.

But like every great story there is a twist…. Steph suggested that we buy a bit more, sell it and see. So I did. Well I bought more, it didn’t sell though. What I realised was that we were a small, almost planktonic shop in an ocean of bigger sellers- we didn’t stand a chance!

We decided we needed a change and a direction. Thankfully, one was given to me from my degree. I was asked to do a presentation on sustainability. Everyone picked the common themes and I got to thinking- “I wonder if gold mining is sustainable”. It’s not.

This gave us a wonderful insight into the world of jewellery. We saw that there is a gap, that there is a need in the market for jewellery. We saw that there are overpriced, cut priced, slashed price and luxury priced jewellery being thrown at customers every day. We therefore created an ethical jewellers-offering fairly priced jewellery that will have a limited impact on the environment.

Then, mid 2012 we discovered a person who shaped a lot of the ideals and notions that makes Universal Gold what it is. Anarawd Williams was born in Gilfach Goch, (English: Red Nook), a small former coal mining village in the Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales. He fought in and survived the Great War. On return he found a passion in metal smith work in his home. A small time goldsmith and silversmith, Anarawd loved the idea of creating small and beautiful designs. He didn’t sell them for a huge commercial profit, nor did he open a shop. Anarawd created a system of ‘masnachu moesegol’ (English: Ethical trading). Anarawd did repairs and basic fixes on the people’s jewellery, made his wares from recycled gold, sold them on a small scale and did so at a fair price. We loved this idea. This is what we wanted Universal Gold to be. We wanted to create a business that cared for the environment, the consumer, the supplier and the small place in the world we occupied. We could not name our business ‘ethical trading’ as it’s such a general term. We wanted to specialise in gold while offering a sensible amount of silver. Thus, we wanted to be universally ethical in the supply of gold. Eureka! Universal Gold was born into a world where she might, just might, make a difference.

All of this means that every time you buy from Universal Gold, you are buying from a family run company that does care about the world we all live in.

Environmental strategy.

Protecting the environment is a major part of the Universal Gold business ethic. We take our environmental impact as very important. We have created a business that minimises the impact that the jewellery retail industry has on the environment and continue to work hard to reduce, reuse and recycle.

 

Some basics, it’s well known that gold mining is one of the dirtiest, most environmentally destructive industries in the world, for example it takes, for each 6 grams of gold, the processing of over 1000 KG’s of ore is necessary- which can be responsible for contaminating drinking water, destroying traditional livelihoods and displaces indigenous communities. Irresponsible mining harms the reputation of retailers and manufacturers of products that use gold the world over. We don’t have the power to change practises of major mining companies or force global policy change. However, we can change what we can control-

 

Instead of having ‘virgin’ gold mined, we recondition rings, assay them and pass the saving-both environmental and price, to the customer.

 

We save perfectly viable jewellery from being refined-the process of refining or melting require the burning of large amounts of fossil fuels like gas or the generating of electric in much greater quantities than it takes to recondition a ring. It also needs Nitric or Hydrochloric acid, which is heated to remove the gold from the other metals in the alloy. The acid cannot be recycled nor just be poured away. The fumes given off are very toxic to life and the environment generally.

 

 

  • We use only biodegradable cleaning solutions and instruments.
  • All detergents are environmentally safe, non-toxic and VOC free.
  • Our head office is powered by a Green Energy package.
  • We encourage the recycling of all packaging material.
  • ​We walk to post items and don’t use cars, whatever the weather, we walk!
  • We recycle 90% of waste-that which cannot be recycled is disposed of in biodegradable bags and is kept to a minimum, indeed, Universal Gold only generated 10 KG’s of waste that went to landfill in a 6 month period of 2017.
  • We use recycled cleaning cloths and compost it when it’s reached its end of use/life.
  • For every 500 sheets of recycled paper we use, we fund and plant two (native) trees here in South Wales.