Petra Hoch-Dosch
Works with Fairmined Eco Gold
26 February, 2024 by
Petra Hoch-Dosch
Desirée Binternagel

Tell us about your business and how it all began! 

I started my own business as a goldsmith and freelance artist in 1992 after completing my master craftsman's diploma. At that time still in Munich. I mainly sold my collection to jewelers at trade fairs. Hand-crafted jewelry was my specialty.

1997, I moved to the countryside and started working for private customers. 2003 I switched my workshop to fairly and ecologically mined gold and silver. From 2005 to 2008, I trained my first and only apprentice in the workshop. Since then I have been working alone at the workbench.

What makes your jewelry special? Are there any special features in the design that make your pieces of jewelry different from others? 

My chased/chiselled jewelry is very different from jewelry made by other goldsmiths. I work very finely and harmony in the pieces is very important to me. I love it when jewelry has a statement, a symbolism. Just adorning myself is usually too little for me.

And then there are the wedding rings, which are all very simple and clear in form, so that you can look at them for a lifetime. 

Wedding Rings by Petra Hoch-Dosch

What was the trigger for using fair precious metals in your collections? 

The trigger was a trip to the USA in 1999, where we took a naive look at a disused gold mining area in Colorado. I was shocked to see that the land had been turned upside down and nature completely destroyed. Since then, I have been concerned with the effects of gold mining and it was only gradually that I became aware of the human rights violations caused by gold mining.

How has the use of fair gold changed your relationship with your jewelry and your customers?

After my sobering experiences in Colorado, I thought about changing my profession. I didn't want to promote so much suffering and destruction through my daily work. Then, in 2003, I found out about Argentinian, fairly and ecologically mined gold and, without hesitation, switched my workshop completely to this fair eco-gold. Now I could forge again with a clear conscience and with joy. I love knowing exactly where my gold comes from. This makes my jewelry even more unique.

Thanks to our shared interest in sustainable gold, I only have customers who are on the same wavelength as me. They are very reliable and committed. Every encounter is a pleasure.

"I love knowing exactly where my gold comes from. This makes my jewelry even more unique."

What do your customers say about your approach to working with fair precious metals?

My customers are happy to be able to have fair gold jewelry made by me. Even people who only come to me via an image search are delighted that there is also sustainability in the gold sector.

How has your business developed as a result of working with fair precious metals?

Initially, I suffered losses because jewelry customers didn't want to pay the extra price for fair gold. But now I've only been dealing with private customers for 20 years, most of whom are looking for wedding rings and engagement rings. I never thought I would become a wedding ring specialist, but I followed this flow and had a lot of orders. Now, however, my more creative pieces of jewelry are calling me again. Let's see where the journey takes me.

Are you a Fairmined or Fairtrade licensee or are you involved in other organizations for fairly traded gold?

I am a Fairmined licensee.

Can you briefly describe your collaboration with Fairever?

I have been working with Fairever since 2018 What I particularly like about working with Fairever is the very personal contact, the fairness and the background knowledge that the team provides for me. Another plus point for me is the fast processing of my orders.

What can you particularly emphasize about the collaboration with Fairever?

Florian Harkort has told me so many things about gold mining that I haven't heard in 39 years as a goldsmith. It's great that the team is always on site at the mines and can provide authentic reports. My customers are very impressed when I can tell them these details.

Would you advise others to work with fairly traded gold or silver and why?

Yes, I would definitely advise my colleagues to work with fair trade gold, simply because I am so convinced of it. But unfortunately, I am not so successful in infecting other goldsmiths. Most of them are afraid that it would be too expensive for them to be able to sell it on well. I absolutely cannot confirm that.

Describe your motivation for working with fair gold (or silver) in one sentence.

My decision to work with Fairmined Eco Gold makes a big difference for many people in small-scale mining, and for nature.

This interview was taken in written form on October 31, 2023. 

© Photos: Petra Hoch-Dosch

Petra Hoch-Dosch
Desirée Binternagel 26 February, 2024
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