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THE CHAINS OF

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THE CHAINS OF

CHOCO

CHAINS OF FREEDOM

   GOLD PANNING and JEWELRY have been inseparable traditions for Afro communities at biogeographical Chocó for over four centuries.

    The ancestors of today´s artisanal ancestral miners and jewelers first arrived as enslaved gold miners to the Pacific region of Colombia in the 1500s.

    The CULTURE THAT FLOURISHED in this wild, biodiverse and marginal territory is determined by gold and has in jewelry one of its more powerful expressions.

     In this rich universe the CHAINS OF CHOCÓ stand out for their mastercraft and powerfull symbology.  

MASTERCRAFT & SUSTAINIBILITY 

   The CHAINS OF CHOCÓ are the only chains in the world hand crafted with 22 K single origin certified Fairmined gold, embedded with the mighty legacy of pride and resilience inherited by the few remaining traditional Afro goldsmiths from biogeographical Chocó in Colombia, in South América. 

   ENJOY the sophistication and mastery of this powerful living heritage and let your customers shine with the positive socio-ecological impact you contribute bringing upstream.

    Each CHAIN OF CHOCÓ improves the livelihood of the traditional jewelers and artisanal miners in this conflict areas while contributing with our planet sustainability by helping restore biodiversity to the forests of biogeographical Chocó.

Esneda Fairmined Chain
Esneda Fairmined Chain

Handcraft 950 Fairmined silver

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Esneda Fairmined Chain, detail
Esneda Fairmined Chain, detail

Handcraft 950 Fairmined silver

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Néstor Ibargüen
Néstor Ibargüen

Itsmina, CHOCÓ

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Esneda Fairmined Chain
Esneda Fairmined Chain

Handcraft 950 Fairmined silver

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NÉSTOR IBARGÜEN, Itsmina, Chocó.  Maestro Ibargüen learned the master craft as a teen ager while visiting his uncle workshop in his native Itsmina. 

Gold panning and traditional jewelry have been in his family for generations. 

A NATURAL JEWEL

   BIOGEOGRAPHICAL CHOCÓ is an exuberant natural jewel. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountain in South America, its 116.000 miles territory spreads from Panama through Colombia and the north of Ecuador. 

   IT´S BIODIVERSITY, unique in the planet, and the pressing threats it faces make it a strategic territory for conservation. 

   THE CULTURE that flourished in this wild biodiverse and marginal territory, far away from the economic welfare regions in Colombia, is determined by gold and has in jewelry one of  its most beautiful and powerful expressions.

Colombian area of biogeographical Chocó
Colombian area of biogeographical Chocó

Map: Juana Mendez

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Boroboro River, Chocó
Boroboro River, Chocó

Photo: Alberto Sierra

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Artisanal Ancestral Miner, Chocó
Artisanal Ancestral Miner, Chocó

The beds of Chocó rivers carry the best gold on earth: 22 K aluvial gold that has been peacefully hand panned for centuries. Photo: Juana Mendez Photo: Juana Mendez

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Colombian area of biogeographical Chocó
Colombian area of biogeographical Chocó

Map: Juana Mendez

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Janer Mesa
Janer Mesa

Pellets Handcraft Chain 950 Fairmined Silver

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Janer Mesa
Janer Mesa

Pellets Handcraft Chain 950 Fairmined Silver

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Deisy Ortiz, jeweler
Deisy Ortiz, jeweler

Tumaco, NARIÑO

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Janer Mesa
Janer Mesa

Pellets Handcraft Chain 950 Fairmined Silver

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PRIDE & PROTECTION

      FEELING of INNER, BEAUTY, a sense of belonging, pride and protection are still some of the motivations Chocó women and men express when wearing  their gold jewelry daily. 

       This POWERFUL SYMBOLISM and its use as body ornament, as well as its distinctive doree matte color, can be traced back to the freed African enslaved communities who practiced gold panning and jewelry in the Chocó rivers during the Spanish Colony.

 At MODA ELAN we feel proud to bring the unique artisanal goldsmith mastery and positive values of this Afro cultural heritage to the world

Ten years ago Tumaco had close to fifty goldsmith workshops who nurtured the prosperous local jewelry trade. Only fourteen of them remain this days. Thanks to the local jewelry school, young goldsmiths like Deisy Ortiz and Janer Mesa keep alive this centuries old tradition.

VANISHING HERITAGE

        But this NATURAL and CULTURAL HERITAGE

is at risk. Illicit mechanized gold extraction is destroying the territory with a devastating social, economic, environmental and cultural impact for the local communities since the 90´s. 

        The PEACEFUL and SUSTAINABLE 

livelihood and the centuries old traditions around gold of local communities have been disrupted. The forests are being savagely destroyed and rivers and land are contaminated with mercury. 

        ARTISANAL ANCESTRALGOLD panners are trapped between mechanized illicit gold mining and the lack of opportunities. Traditional jewelers are being displaced. They have little or no access to clean gold, free from mercury or crime. Their local markets have shrank due to the foreign shops brought by the elegal schemes. Paradoxically, they have to work with gold from other regions.  

Condoto, Chocó
Condoto, Chocó

Since the 90s, illicit mechanized gold mining is destroying the territory, with a devastating social, economic, environmental and cultural impact. Photo: Alberto Sierra

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Women washing clothes at Mungará River,
Women washing clothes at Mungará River,

But Chocó´s biodiversity, its people´s peaceful lives and their centuries old traditions are under threat! Photo: Juana Mendez

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Traditional Chucha Earring
Traditional Chucha Earring

Jewelry is still part of the important rituals in Afro Chocó communities. A vanishing heritage we should keep alive. Photo: Juana Mendez

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Condoto, Chocó
Condoto, Chocó

Since the 90s, illicit mechanized gold mining is destroying the territory, with a devastating social, economic, environmental and cultural impact. Photo: Alberto Sierra

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YOU ARE A CHANGE MAKER! 

DISCOVERY & CULTURAL WEALTH

       BE PART of this virtuous cycle: together we can bring mercury and conflict free, single origin Fairmined gold back to the hands of this  Afro - Colombian master goldsmiths who hand knitTHE CHAINS OF CHOCO for your customers to treasure. 

LET´STALK

Send me your e-mail. I´ll be back to you ASAP.

Thanks! I received your note and will be back to you as soon as possible, Ana

SOPHISTICATION & TRADITION

   GOLD JEWELRY among Afro Colombians living in Biogeographic Chocó is a tradition inherited for centuries. Its technical dexterity comes from the fusion of the African jewelry motives their ancestors carried with them in the Colony with the sophistication and delicacy of the filigree brought to the Americas in the 19th century by Spanish and Portuguese masters.

        Each CHAIN OF CHOCÓ has a distinctive origin and is masterfully hand knitted by a traditional jeweler in single origin certified 22K Fairmined gold from Cooperativa Agrominera de Iquira, Colombia. Gold from the same origin of the gold for the Nobel Peace Prize medal and the Palme D´Or of the Cannes Film Festival.

Jenfer Angulo
Jenfer Angulo

Barbacoas, NARIÑO

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Four Faces Twisted Fairmined Chain
Four Faces Twisted Fairmined Chain

Handcraft 950 Fairmined silver

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Yela, Barbacoas Lace
Yela, Barbacoas Lace

Handcraft 950 Fairmined silver

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Jenfer Angulo
Jenfer Angulo

Barbacoas, NARIÑO

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Jenfer Angulo, from Barbacoas, is part of the new generation of jewelers receiving this ancient knowledge transmission. The program Gen Cero fund by Save the Children and Bulgari improved his work and economic capacities. Jairo Barbosa, one of our team members was the technical leader of this succesful program. 

Harold Valencia
Harold Valencia

Guapi CAUCA

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Four Faces Upcycled Silver Chain
Four Faces Upcycled Silver Chain

Handcraft 950 upcycled silver from X ray plates

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Double
Double

Handcraft 950 upcycled silver from X ray plates

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Harold Valencia
Harold Valencia

Guapi CAUCA

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Harold Valencia form Guapi, also learned the jewelry craft thanks to the Gen Cero program fund by Save the Children and Bulgari. We meet regularly with this young jewelers at the jewelry fairs where he participate. 

JOIN US! 

ORIGIN       & PURPOSE

     Each CHAIN OF CHOCÓ contributes to restore the peaceful livelihood around goldsmith this freed from slavery communities enjoyed for four centuries, and the biodiversity of their biogeographical Chocó, both threatened today by illicit gold extraction.

          FAIRMINED GOLD is the assurance label that certifies gold from responsible small-scale and artisanal mining organizations, with traceability from the mine to your hands. By promoting their formalization and access to fair markets, Fairmined helps improve their practices and generate positive change in their communities. Fairmined is gold you can be proud of! 

Show the world the shining values of the CHAINS OF CHOCÓ!

  You can commission the CHAINS OF CHOCÓ in 22 K or 18 K certified Fairmined gold, 950 certified Fairmined silver or 950 upcycled silver from X ray plates.  

       You can also develop and produce your exclusive ethical jewelry collections with us.

Learn more about our ethical sourcing services. 

Photos: Alberto Sierra

 
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is a proud partner of

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Contact us

Visit our workshop

what´s app (57) 3133948905

Calle 36  #15-23 

Bogotá, Colombia