NomineeCecilia Greco
Nominee PronounsShe/Her
Nominee Phone(626) 375-3876
Nominee EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Nominee Address5155 Strohm Ave
North Hollywood, CA 91601
United States
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Nominee Website
Nominee Resume or CVCECILIA-GRECO_CV.pdf
Additional Information 1Ceci_Greco_Diamond_Fundraiser_Raffle.docx
Additional Information 2Ceci_Greco_Bold_Journey_Interview.docx
Additional Information 3Ceci_Greco_WEbsite_Educational_Content.docx
Work Sample 1Work Sample 1
Work Sample 2Work Sample 2
Work Sample 3Work Sample 3
Work Sample 4Work Sample 4
Work Sample 5Work Sample 5
Describe how the nominee fulfills the criteria for the IMPACT Award. Maximum 5000 characters.

I believe in the goodness of the human spirit. I also believe that humans function best inside of the structures provided by society. Within life-affirming structures, people function to their best potential. On the other hand, when systems are harmful, people struggle to extricate themselves, causing widespread suffering. During my time working in the gem and jewelry industry, I’ve come to understand that unfortunately this industry operates within harmful societal structures. When we peel back the layers, the harsh reality for people who enable our creations is neither uplifting nor life-affirming. My personal journey stands in stark contrast to this reality and has inspired my need to create radical change.

There’s not a time I can remember before gems and jewelry. My parents were “Rock Hounds;” my mom was a hobbyist silversmith, family vacations were exclusively for mining trips and the first time I was handed a Dremel tool to carve stone I was only 5 years old. I’m incredibly grateful for this early exposure, because it blossomed into a lifelong love.

But it wasn’t until I started working for Los Angeles-based fine mineral and jewelry gallery Crystalarium that I really cut my teeth. During my 14 years with Crystalarium, I had the opportunity to gain extensive hands-on experience inside the gem and jewelry industry, forming long-term relationships with miners and importers- even having the privilege of visiting some of these mines and digging myself. I have unearthed many gems directly from the source, from Smoky Quartz at Hallelujah Junction, NV, to Fire Agate from Deer Creek, Arizona.

Through this in-depth exposure, I became aware of the many issues faced by mining communities globally. A mine is a geographically fixed thing: it can’t be moved just because the political landscape isn’t favorable. Given that, it’s really no surprise that sourcing stones and metals in an “ethical” way amidst our vast global economic inequality is an incredibly complicated task. Issues such as underage workers, environmental devastation, forced labor, and political violence are just some of the topics that come up routinely when you look deeper into the origins of these gemstones. And yet, boycotting the market entirely does a disservice to small scale miners who are working tirelessly to support their families.

Complicated or not, I remain hopeful that radical change can uplift people in mining communities and beyond. I’ve arrived at a point in my career where I feel I have the knowledge and connections to create actionable change. It’s my goal to transform the jewelry industry from inside- through art, and radical truth-telling.

In service of this goal, I’m making and selling hand-fabricated demi-fine jewelry from recycled metals and traceable stones. In cases where I cannot trace the origin of a stone, I’m facing the issue head-on, as is the case with my Ugly Untraceable Diamonds, which you can read more about on my website.

Beyond making and selling jewelry, I’m working to spread awareness about the issues facing mining and gem cutting communities using the power of art. My public art installation The Supply Chain is one example. The works themselves are massively oversized paper mache’ replicas of my signature recycled metal chain link necklace. I’ve submitted an image of one of these oversized chains in the Work Samples portion of this application.

That image and others from that photo shoot will be used as social media content. The first public installation above my studio will be accompanied by a QR code that leads viewers to informative content about the jewelry supply chain. I have also secured a location near the downtown LA Jewelry district to do another installation and am working to arrange other public installations across Los Angeles.

I plan to continuously host fundraisers, rotating the recipients to highlight the concerns of different communities affected by the jewelry supply chain. 10% of all sales and 100% of proceeds from my diamond ring raffle are currently being donated to the Kimberley Process Society Coalition. For the next fundraiser, I have in mind a nonprofit called Mercury Free Mining, whose work centers on gold mining reform. I believe their cause would be a great match for the Supply Chain art campaign.

In closing, it’s my sincere desire to effect positive change in the jewelry industry. I have an extreme passion for both making jewelry and for gems and minerals. When you hold a magnificent piece of jewelry or a dazzling gemstone in your hand, there’s an enchantment that defies explanation. Unfortunately, that enchantment is often marred by the harsh reality of its ugly journey through impoverished hands and corrupt governments on its way to your jewelry box. I think, underneath it all, I want to do something to restore the rightful existence of that enchantment, by first uncovering and confronting what is ugly, so that it can be properly eradicated.

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