A Letter From Our Founder

My Journey

My awakening begins 35 years ago, when I was invited to Rome, a city which has globally influenced art, style, design and culture for the past 3,000 years.

After nearly 100 years of operating exclusively in Italy, the luxury jewelry house Bulgari was ready to respond to the attention they had drawn from all corners of the world by internationalizing the company, and they appointed me as their President of North America for their first international boutique in New York City.

Coming from the commercial sector without any previous jewelry experience, it wasn’t long before I fell for the fascinating world of fine jewelry – full of fantasy, creativity and romance. I was drawn in, and it was there I’ve remained ever since.

Over time, my love for the industry led me to delve deeper than its external allure. I was constantly researching and looking for what was missing. And I realized that the modern consumer who is higher minded, more conscious, and more curious than ever before had two major voids when it came to gold jewelry:

First, there is no transparency.

Secondly, there aren’t any real premium jewelry alternatives for this consumer.

I decided that I must create a totally ethical and sustainable – and luxury – fine jewelry product, without greenwashing.

So after many years in the business of luxury, I finally began asking deeper questions around the source of the beautiful gold metal that has adorned us for millennia.

The answer to these questions shocked me.

The Truth About Gold

Gold mining is a fantastically dirty business.

The United Nations has declared mercury one of the biggest threats to the future of our planet.  The vapors are hazardous, they travel long distances, cause irreversible damage to the environment, enter food sources, bio-accumulate in animals and result in severe harm to human health, including the nervous, digestive and immune systems.

For me, the worst part was the discovery that 37% of mercury emissions on earth are caused by artisanal and small-scale gold mining and most of the gold is used in the jewelry industry which I had committed my life to. 

The facts mean that the source of the gold in the jewelry you are wearing right now –and gold I had been helping to sell for decades – was clearly a major factor in what the UN called a “worldwide crisis.”

I was saddened to learn that there are about 15 million artisanal and small-scale miners who use mercury to extract the gold from the ore.  

I had been unknowingly complicit.

A Way Forward

I was embarrassed that it took me so long to discover the truth, and it dawned on me, as I digested the ugly facts of the industry, that only through awakening to the mistakes of the past could we forge ahead to a positive future.

I decided immediately that I could no longer support an industry where abuse of power had and would continue to contribute to the demise of our planet and our health.

The way we have been mining and producing gold is no longer relevant and needed to change.

But no one was talking about it.

Most people are unaware of the facts, just like I was. Because these dangers are hidden from both the public and professionals, there is no demand for clean gold, and safe alternatives have been too slow to be adopted.

But I didn’t want to leave my love of gold behind. It would be impossible – humans have treasured, revered, and used gold for their most sacred functions for over 6,000 years.

My Purpose

It became my purpose to find a way for us to continue to treasure the elegance of gold jewelry with all its history, value and creativity, but do so with integrity. I wanted to uncover a way to create beautifully designed, quality jewelry devoid of the use of toxic chemicals in the mining process – gold jewelry to be proud of in every respect.

This wasn’t just about building a niche business that offered an alternative. It was about assembling a brand to inspire the modern consumer, and challenge the industry to do better. 

It is about liberating the consumer, and giving them true transparency as to the source of their gold, without greenwashing.

It’s about offering the ability to make a personal choice that aligns with their beliefs around humanity, and collectively collaborating for the future of the planet and for human rights through making smarter, more compassionate choices.

I believed that Futura had to be created by people who live and breathe luxury in order to deliver on premium quality and design standards, and who could redefine luxury in more modern terms.

The Rarest Gold in the World

99 percent of mines released mercury and toxic chemicals into the environment; I had to find the one percent. After months of research I found them.

The solution was small. The certification for gold mines to qualify as Fairmined Ecological is very strict, and there are currently only three mines in the world, in Mongolia and Peru, that are certified as practicing clean mining methods.

I was quick to secure the entire supply of Fairmined certified gold from both mines. 

I knew that with demand, the certified Ecological gold mines could become the standard in the future. 

Introducing Futura

A modern fine jewelry brand where purity is the new luxury.

With the honor of securing the world’s purest gold – mined without toxic chemicals – my next adventure was to ensure that our gold is made into jewelry designs that are treasurable icons. Absolute legends. Each design had to have an incredibly modern appeal. It was important to rise far above the fast-moving trends and to become more relevant.

Taking all of my experience with women in jewelry over the years, I collaborated with jewelry historians and women who represent our modern customer to curate a selection of the most iconic jewelry designs from history and craft the original designs as they should be for the future – with certified Fairmined Ecological gold, free of mercury and cyanide.

Each  jewelry design is so special that we release them one by one, and surprise our followers with our newest creation. Some pieces are Limited.

We also addressed the most symbolic piece of jewelry that a person intends to wear forever when they exchange vows with the love of their life: the Wedding Ring. We created a collection of seven wedding rings crafted with 18kt certified Fairmined Ecological gold, a more thoughtful and modern alternative to the current wedding ring options.

Our craftspeople in New York City, who have for decades crafted for the world’s leading luxury houses, make each piece with detailed precision.

How We Help

During my journey I discovered that the compassionate communities who have sacrificed immensely to honorably mine gold ecologically need support. They live in poor conditions, and face medical, educational and social hardship. 

My intention was for the premium brand that we build to meet the customers desire to wear what they believe in. We also had a secondary goal to provide a positive impact on the lives of the communities in the wider ecosystem of the progressive gold mines working to become certified as Ecological.  We would achieve this commitment two ways: first, by building a demand for Fairmined Ecological gold as quickly as possible and then, through direct financial support donated by us.

We are identifying local mining communities in need of environmental cleanup with the organization Pure Earth and financing the clean-up and education for positive mining progress.  The first is located in Peru.

Through Futura Jewelry we are enjoying the process of marking a turn in history toward completely pure gold jewelry.

I invite you to experience what it is to feel truly modern. 

Robert Donofrio
Founder, Futura Jewelry

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