We believe in cleanly mined materials, and only manufacture our jewelry with Fairmined certified ethical sterling silver
To take a different and sustainable approach to jewelry production without compromising its essential grace
Crafted locally in Peru by some of the most skilled artisans
To create jewels by hand in a spirit of goodwill and within our ethical values
Qullqi is beautiful, durable and sustainable. We make ourselves responsible towards our communities, our suppliers, customers and the environment. We give back to our Peruvian community and to our global family.
Qullqi goes beyond beauty. Qullqi is produced responsibly and sustainably. Our supply chain is short and transparent. We have a personal relationship with the creators and artisans, we carefully select all our suppliers and ensure the responsible sourcing and mining of our raw materials.
As proud and licensed member of the ‘Fairmined’ organization we work exclusively with certified fair mined ethical sterling silver. We are committed that our materials are conflict-free and ethically produced every step of the way.
We also craft jewelry that gives back. 20% of Qullqi proceeds are going to Peruvian social and educational charity projects in partnership with the non-profit organization “Angeles Unidos en Accion”. With your purchase, you contribute to the social and economic development and to the environmental protection of local Peruvian communities. Thank you.
100% Made in Peru
Qullqi’s goal is to keep Peru’s ancient tradition of silver forging alive, to introduce to a worldwide audience the craftsmanship of Peruvian silversmith artisans and to represent high-quality, handmade, solid silver jewelry products. We believe that nice jewelry does not need a special occasion to be worn. The beautifully crafted jewelry should be worn any day, at any occasion and by men and women of any age. Style is not a matter of age, it’s a matter of attitude. And this can be guided by stories, care, origin, believes and love to detail. We want our customers to be proud of the stories connected with the people of Qullqi community, care for the origin of our materials, believe in the good of our products and love the soul our artisans put into them.
Providing everyone with silver jewelry they can be proud of.
Fairmined Ethical Silver is the future. Qullqi is a licensed Fairmined brand. We are committed to using exclusively Certified Ethical Fairmined Sterling Silver. Our consumers can be sure to receive jewelry made entirely from responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations, two of which are in Peru.
Qullqi aims to act responsibly in everything we do, to protect the environment and support human rights, through our use of Certified Fairmined Sterling Silver and ethical production. We believe that through the conscious decision of Certified Fairmined Ethical Sterling Silver, we encourage more mines and miners to adopt safe and sustainable mining practices.
This is the future of precious materials. Qullqi believes in positive change and in customers right to transparency when making more thoughtful buying choices. We have joined Fairmined to support our transparent and ethical sourcing goal, to transform mining into an active force for good, driving social development in communities, support fair trade and protect the environment, whilst also enabling our customers to be sure about the origin of the materials and wear silver jewelry they can be proud of. You can be proud of wearing Qullqi Silver Jewelry.
AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN MINERS AND MARKETS
· A guaranteed fair price for the minerals
· An additional Premium as a market incentive to cover the costs of the certification and to invest in mining operations, social development and environmental protection
· Direct access to international markets and responsible supply chains
· Legitimacy with the government, national and international audiences and the industry
· Access to a network of miners and experienced allies as well as mining support organizations
· Demonstrating that the market puts a value on responsible practices
· Risk mitigation. The Fairmined Standard ensures that companies not only comply but supersede all international norms and regulations
· Companies position themselves as pioneers and leaders in the growing trend towards sustainable and ethical sourcing
· Added value and access to the growing market of ethical consumers
· Assurance that the silver is responsibly mined
· Added emotional benefits
· A story of origin
· Human connection to the mining communities
· Generating a positive impact with a purchase
At Qullqi we care about the environment. We are proud to offer recyclable packaging which includes everything from our jewelry display cards, recycled cardboard, to the mailers used to ship each product, to the label placed on the package as well as the paper tape used to seal each delivery. This makes it convenient for our customers to reuse or recycle the whole packaging. And all of it delivered to you in a carbon neutral way.
At Qullqi we care about creating a special bond, a personal relationship, between our artisans and our customers. The Qullqi packaging in colorful Peruvian pattern design make them the perfect gift and long-lasting jewelry box. Every customer receives a personalized and hand-signed message inside the jewelry box from the silversmith who created it. We also publish the names of the artists next to each piece in our online catalogue.
Building a children library in Junin, Peru
Between January 2019 and the opening ceremony on October 27th there were many months of sweat, uncertainty and hard work. Qullqi founder, Hugo has been raveling several times to Peru to oversee the status of the project and joined the opening ceremony where he was delighted to see the happy faces of more than 200 kids and adults who will have access to this new learning faculty. Their amazement, gratitude and happiness could have not been more genuine.
Qullqi wants to heartily thank Angeles Unidos en Accion’s leader Mary Farfan, her Management Team, and all collaborators.
Supplying emergency-relief packages to elderly in Ayacucho
Hit by the Covid-health crisis and its related work restrictions, many Peruvian families in were in need for basic supplies. Qullqi brought food and medical supplies to elders in impoverished areas in the mountains in Peru. At the same time, through their ‘Generosity connects us’ campaign, Angeles Unidos en Accion collected more than 5000 Euro to help 180 artisanal women miners and their families with basic supplies, clothes and medicine in those difficult times.
Building the second children library in Uchuraccay, Ayacucho
Beginning of this year, Qullqi started yet another help project to build the second public library for children in cooperation with Angeles Unidos en Accion. This time in Uchuraccay, a quechua-native community in the Ayacucho region. Here, 4000 meters above sea-level, three projects will come to life: computer labs with workshops, several school-playgrounds and our public library for children.
● Fairmined and ethically sourced raw materials.
● Silver mined with responsible management and reduction of toxic chemicals like mercury and cyanide.
● Silver produced under stringent environmental practices, including forest restoration in areas of high biodiversity and ecological restoration in any ecosystem.
● Personal care and connection from artisan to consumer.
● One of a kind. No mass production. Every piece is handmade and send to you with personal care.
● Recycled packaging material.
● Carbon-Free shipping: Shipping emissions offset.
● Made to last: Timeless design and long-living craftsmanship.
● Giving back: Donating 20% revenue of each sold piece to educational and welfare help projects for kids and communities in need.
● We are constantly seeking to improve our environmental footprint, both in our production methods and our daily operations.
Reduced CO2 levels
Low environmental impact
Supply chain integrity
No single use plastics
Promotes equal & fair pay
No dirty metals
THE IMPORTANCE OF PERUVIAN SILVER
Behind Mexico, Peru holds the second largest silver reserves and is the third biggest silver producer of silver in the world. Peruvian silver contains more silver (95% with 5% copper) than the average sterling silver (92.5% with 7.5% copper). While the copper enhances strength and durability of the metal, the silver sets the value, making Peruvian silver more valuable than Sterling silver.
HISTORY OF PERUVIAN SILVERSMITH ARTISAN
Ownership of silver objects was the privilege of rulers and the elite almost throughout Peru's pre-Columbian era right up to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1532. Silver objects were used only by people of a high station, either politically or religiously. Gold and silver formed an important dual deity in Peruvian civilisation, symbolising the sun and the moon. The theocratic Incas regarded gold as the “sweat of the Sun”, or Inti, representing masculinity, natural phenomena and the right-hand side. Silver was the symbol of the Mother Moon, “tears” of Mama Quilla, representing femininity, fertility and the left-hand side. After the Spanish conquistadors reached Peru in the 16th century, the use of silver also spread amongst the bourgeoisie and other people and began to be seen in everyday objects. They and other pre-Hispanic cultures utilize precious metals for ceremonial, decorative, religious, and functional purposes, but not as currency or mediums of exchange. The sheer abundance of bullion produced by Andean mines led to a lavish use of silver and gold among the colonists that achieved legendary proportions. Without a doubt, the most impressive examples of Viceregal Peruvian artistry in silver are to be found in the region’s churches, convents, and chapels, where the surfaces of altars, altar retables, and tabernacles have been completely worked in silver. Legendary, in the late 1600s, the visit of a Viceroy to Potosi was the occasion for a portion of the provincial city’s streets to be paved with silver bricks. Peru silverwork shared three primary characteristics: a lavish use of the metal, an exuberance of style, and a high level of craftsmanship.
European Silversmiths strived for delicacy and fineness while, by contrast, silver objects of the colonial period in South America are weighty and prepossessing. At least for the aristocracy and artisans, given the right patron, no work was too costly, too difficult to craft, or too time consuming for a master.
During Spain’s three centuries of reign in the Andes, thousands of skilled metalsmiths worked the abundant silver and gold into a host of objects. Yet few examples of Viceregal Peruvian silver have survived into present times. Most has been melted down, disappeared on the seaway to Europe, natural disasters, mobs, thieves and constant civil unrests in the post-Independence era. Poor conservation methods, use of cheap cleaning materials, burials destroying silver items and ignorance have also taken a toll.
Little would remain today of the fine works created during the period of Spanish rule in South America were it not for the heirloom holdings of some families, the collections of a few dedicated collectors, and a small number of museums in South America, Europe, and the United States. Increasing interest in historical silver from South America, as well as the continued abundance of the metal has led to a revival of colonial style silversmithing. Workshops in Lima, Arequipa, Cochabamba, and Buenos Aires in particular are producing remarkable reproductions of classic Peruvian silver. Lambayeque region in Northern Peru is specially known for elaborated silver jewelry art and highest silversmith skills. (source: https://www.ganoksin.com/article/silversmiths-art-peru/)
WE ARE PROUD TO PRESERVE HISTORY
Qullqi’s main aim is to preserve Peru’s ancient tradition of silversmithing , to educate our community about the refinement and value of Peruvian silversmith craftsmanship and to introduce high-quality, handmade, solid silver jewelry to a global audience. We are proud of the personal relationships with our artisans and designers, proud to be part of the preservation of a hugely important part of Peruvian culture and history. We are proud to put importance in the quality of our raw silver and the refinement of every single handmade jewelry piece. Proud to sell 100% Peruvian-made products.
We hope you are proud too. Proud of the stories your jewelry carries, proud to support Peruvian families and heritage and proud to be part of the Qullqi family.
Fairmined Sterling Silver
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHERE YOUR SPLENDID DAZZELING AND LUXURIOUS GOLD AND SILVER JEWELRY COMES FROM?
Precious materials like Silver and Gold represent many things: love, success, commitment, wealth. Those are aspiring symbols, but the true value comes from the origin of the metals – and that can make all the difference in how luxurious it should really make you feel.
THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 20 MILLION ARTISANAL MINERS WORLDWIDE. OVER 150 MILLION PEOPLE, MINERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, DEPEND ON ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE MINING TO MAKE A LIVING.
Artisanal and small-scale mining is largely a poverty driven activity. However, some mining operations see mining as the best way to strengthen their communities, and are looking to lead the way in responsible mining practices.
With the right support and incentives small community mining organizations offer the greatest opportunity for positive social and environmental impact.
Qullqi is determined to contribute to fight the issues in mining for gold and other precious minerals which have been widely reported and discussed:
· Fueling conflict
· Child labor
· Environmental destruction
· Irresponsible mercury use
· Health and safety of workers
· Gender inequality
· Economic exploitation
· Impact on communities
Once your eyes have been opened, it’s hard to look at your beloved silver jewelry the same way.
There is an increase in legislation and wider awareness in media and consumers. There aren’t easy answers to these complex issues, and change is unlikely to happen overnight. However there is a growing voice for change from inside the industry and a desire to have a supply chain to be proud of.
FAIRMINED IS AN ASSURANCE LABEL THAT PROVIDES THE WORLD WITH SILVER AND GOLD TO BE PROUD OF
It is certified precious materials from responsible small-scale mining organizations working with the Fairmined standard, which guarantees better mining practices, social development and environmental protection.
The Fairmined Initiative was created by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), a non-profit organization globally recognized as a leader and pioneer of responsible artisanal and small-scale mining. It certifies mines who use efficient technologies and are socially and environmentally responsible, accrediting them with the Fairmined title. Fairmined is backed by a rigorous 3rd party certification and audit system that ensures that artisanal and small-scale mining organizations meet world leading standards for responsible practices, delivering organizational and social development and environmental protection.
CONSUMER BENEFIT IN BUYING FAIRMINED
GENERATE A POSITIVE IMPACT WITH YOUR PURCHASE AND BUY A PIECE WITH A STORY OF ORIGIN FROM EMPOWERED MINERS
By choosing Fairmined certified raw materials, you are showing respect and empathy towards people and the planet. It is an opportunity to generate positive economic, social and environmental impact by supporting artisanal and small-scale miners that are committed to improving their practices. In Qullqi we even go further: we are committed to have our whole community and value chain benefit from every purchase you make and comply with fairmined’s strict traceability requirements. We can tell you for each jewelry piece who made it, from those who mined it, created it, manufactured it, to ones who packed it for you. That’s what makes us unique.
Our impact is your impact
"Education is the only sustainable way to overcome the vicious tentacles of generation-long poverty” Mario Diaz, Director of the Cusco based NGO Helping Hands Cusco
At Qullqi we don’t simply donate. We act. We work closely alongside Angeles Unidos en Accion to reinvesting 20% of our revenues to Peruvian families and the culture that has inspired our jewellery.
Angeles Unidos en Accion
Founded in 2007 as a result of the earthquake in the city of Pisco, Angel Unidos en Accion’s goal is to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people through welfare, health and educational campaign initiatives such as: support of families in areas affected by natural disasters, psychological support and relief of low-income families and projects to improve children’s education.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, Peru’s economy has been growing – but education is failing to keep up with this trend. Peru invests only 3.7% of the GDP to Education (reference: https://peru21.pe/peru/invierte-peru-educacion-373881-noticia/) In comparison: Bolivia (6.5%) and Brasil (6.1%) are spending almost double that. Only 3 out of 10 kids make it to higher education (reference: https://larepublica.pe/sociedad/861568-solo-3-de-cada-10-jovenes-accede-la-educacion-superior-en-el-peru/) The least likely are children from underprivileged families, living in rural areas and studying in public schools. Often hindered by its geography, there are communities where children walk 8 hours to school.
Government made only one textbook obligatory a couple of years ago for all public schools in Peru. Its unimaginable how much Peruvian talent is wasted. Crowded classes in anonymous schools with stressed-out children trying to sit still in front of a bored teacher who’s yelling drilled answers that don’t really enter their brain.
In Qullqi we believe that education is the key to give kids the potential to build their own future. To develop talents and opportunities. The tools needed to do that are decent classrooms, libraries, books, teacher workshops and a support network. And this is where Qullqi invests. With Angel Unidos en Accion we have found a reliable partner who shares our values and motivation to provide more kids access to education and equip them with the tools they need to take their future into their own hands.