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Brian Leber on Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview

WBEZThis afternoon I was interviewed by Jerome McDonnell on WBEZ’s Worldview. Our discussion focused on issues pertaining to the extractive industries with particular mention of the controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska, but touched on a variety of topics ranging from trade agreements to cats!

Click here to listen to the interview in full.

We ♥ Hearts

LEBER21829E-1Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and what says “I love you” more than actually saying “I love you?” Well, nothing actually. But this ruby and diamond heart necklace is a close second!

Available in recycled 18k white gold, 18k gold or platinum, and pavé set with Canadian diamonds framing a beautiful fair trade (and non-Burmese!) ruby.

Also available with a blue sapphire or plain, it lasts longer than any bouquet of flowers.

The Cost of Platinum Mining

strikeWe use recycled platinum, in large part, due to our long-standing commitment to reduce the effects of mining on the environment. Large-scale commercial mining devastates landscapes, displaces people, and can threaten our water supply. But this week, events in South Africa provide one more reason to be concerned about newly mined platinum.

Work has stopped at some of the world’s biggest platinum mines, as thousands of South African miners have gone on strike demanding a raise in pay. The miner’s union says that the miners, most of whom work deep underground in dangerous conditions, are demanding a “living wage,” which is more than double their current rate of pay. The mining companies say they cannot afford the pay increases because of high costs involved in mining this precious metal, of which South Africa supplies approximately 80% of the world’s reserves.

Let’s hope this strike remains peaceful on both sides. A new law has been passed that has made it illegal to carry dangerous weapons at public gatherings and protests. During the Marikana unrest in 2012 (the last time miners went on strike) police opened fire on miners carrying such weapons, alleging they were first threatened. Thirty-four miners were killed.

While platinum is regularly used in jewelry, its main end user is actually the auto industry.




Garnet Earrings…Perfect for January

GarnetDropsAny woman can wear garnet earrings. She doesn’t need to be born in the month of January, even though garnet is often considered the birthstone for this month. For someone looking for a great way to mark a special birthday (or for anyone who just likes the color) we’ve made up this great pair of garnet drop earrings.

The two 5mm round fair trade garnets are set in bezels that drop from lever backs. We also make this design in a whole range of colors too. Name your favorite color (or birth month) and we’ll have a great option for you.

Simple enough to wear everyday. For more information click here.

Why We Use Recycled Precious Metals

BinghamCanyonThe avalanche at the Bingham Canyon Mine near Salt Lake City last year displaced enough soil and rock to bury New York’s Central Park under 66 feet of rubble. The mine is a major source of copper, silver, and gold.  It is owned by the Rio Tinto Group and managed through the Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation. According to a new study by University of Utah researchers, it was North America’s largest such disaster in modern history.

The April 2013 rockslide sent 165 million tons of debris into a nearly mile-deep pit where it cracked bedrock and triggered unprecedented earthquakes. Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine is the largest man-made excavation in the world, measuring 0.6 miles deep, 2.5 miles wide, and covering 1,900 acres. This massive scar on the earth’s surface that’s a result of over a century of surface mining is visible with the naked eye from space.

Large scale mining is inflicting massive social and environmental costs on people and the planet. From Utah to Appalachia, Alaska to Mongolia, mineral extraction is never sustainable and the toll it takes is often too high.

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Happy New Year!

12.13XMasStoreSnow_DSC3537LRWe will be closed from Sunday, December 29 through Friday, January 3 for a brief winter hibernation. We will resume our regular hours on Saturday, January 4. Our online store will remain open and, as always, feel free to email us with any questions since we’ll be checking email from our snowy Midwestern den.

Happy New Year to all!

Merry Christmas!

12.13SantaTrainXmasStoreIMG_2402From all of us at Leber Jeweler Inc, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday and a very merry Christmas.



A Piglet for Christmas

PigletsWith the purchase of this recycled 18k white gold or sterling piglet we made special for this occasion, we will donate 100% of the purchase price to Farm Sanctuary. That means, with every penny you spend on either of these two pieces, all the money will go to help farm animals and you’ll get a nifty necklace too.

Animals need love too, especially during the holidays. Farm Sanctuary has been providing lifelong, loving care for farmed animals that would otherwise be destroyed or abandoned since 1986.

The 18k white gold piglet is set with a 0.12ct Canadian diamond. The sterling silver piglet is set with a fair trade garnet.

Don’t wait. Christmas is only days away and we’ve only made one of each!

Thought for the Day

Every time you turn off a light switch you’re taking a little bit out of the pockets of the big mining companies that are pillaging the earth, removing mountain tops, and disrupting countless lives, all in the name of profit.Mountaintopremoval

Our country’s most valuable asset is land and people. Whether we’re talking about coal or oil or gold, we can’t put short term corporate interests in front of our collective future.

Holiday Hours!

snowrabbitThe elves in our workshop are working hard and Christmas delivery is still available!

We’ll be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10-6, Thursdays 10-7 and Saturdays 10-5 until Christmas Eve.

On Sunday, December 22nd we will be open from 12-5 and Tuesday, December 24th, we will be open from 10-2. We will be closed on Christmas Day and on December 26th.