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The 2021 Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference

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Chicago, Illinois. October 26, 2021: The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference will take place as a live digital event, November 12 – 13. The Conference continues its mission to connect members from the beginning to the end of the jewelry supply chain in order to gain awareness, build knowledge, and work together to find solutions that will create more equitable, more sustainable supply chains for the jewelry industry.

Full-admission tickets are $350, and student tickets are available for $50/day. In addition, the conference will once again offer a pay-what-you-can ticket to encourage involvement from every member of the jewelry industry. To achieve meaningful supply chain change, everyone’s participation is needed and welcome.

This year’s conference features 30 speakers and 14 sessions over two days. Presenters include representatives from organizations like the OECD, Human Rights Watch, the International Peace Information Service, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union, US Department of Labor, PACT, World Wildlife Federation, Marange Women’s Alliance, IMPACT, and many jewelry brands, designers, and gem dealers working to improve supply chain awareness and behaviors.

There will be a Responsible Gem Fair taking place the day before the conference, on Thursday, November 11. Gem-supplying organizations focused on responsible mining and social impact will share their stories and present the opportunity to buy responsible gems directly from them.

General sessions will begin on Friday, November 12 at 8:00 AM Central Time, and last through 6:00 PM Central Saturday, November 13. A few session highlights include:

  • How to Elevate a Nation’s Gemstone Trade Through a Single Gemcut Design
  • What is Currently Happening in the Supreme Court, Child Soldiery, and Laws Pertaining to the Jewelry Industry
  • How the Jewelry Industry Funds Governments and their Militaries
  • Sex Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence in Mines and Mining Communities
  • Diamond Certification with SCS Global
  • How the Jewelry Industry Funds Governments and their Militaries: The problem with Government Control of Gold in Venezuela, Military Control of Gemstones in Myanmar, and Oligarch Control of Mozambique Rubies.
  • Adaptations and Implementations of Craft Code in Artisanal Mining: Where Can Market Expectations and Artisanal Miners Meet?
  • Vulnerabilities in the Gold, Diamond and Gemstone Supply Chains: The US Department of Labor is Here to Help.
  • Jewelry’s Impact on Water: Deep Sea Mining, Tailing Ponds, and Mercury in the Amazon
  • How Do Jewelers Form Partnerships Creating Positive Change? A Responsible Design Panel

The goal of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is two-fold:

1: To create dialog among all participants in the supply chain, and to tell the truth - even unpleasant truths - to one another. Understanding and knowledge are the first requirements for change.

2: To initiate action. It's not enough to talk about problems – the industry must solve them. To date, the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference has motivated the launch of over a dozen worldwide initiatives. By coming together to learn, we inevitably are motivated to act.

You can be part of the change. Start by listening and learning, and see where it takes you Participants can view full session information and register here:


The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference was founded by Susan Wheeler, as part of Wheeler’s non-profit, Responsible Jewelry Transformative. The Responsible Jewelry Transformative’s mission is to engage everyone in the jewelry industry; miners, makers, professionals, educators, and students. To address all the ways that individuals and companies can be involved in the responsible jewelry movement. To provide structure and funding to meaningful initiatives that can cause change. To make a difference by making things happen.


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