Bangles made up of recycled metal from guns and bullets from Newark’s gun buyback program
In an effort to spread a simple and clear message about the insidious problem of illegal gun violence, and how it’s destroying American cities, a Greenwich-based former lawyer-turned jewelry designer Jessica Mindich who creates jewelry as a fundraising tool, has impressively begun transforming recycled pistols, rifles and shotguns from Newark, N.J.’s gun buyback program into a line of sleek steel and brass bangle bracelets, named Caliber Collection. Actually, this exceptional idea of creating Caliber Collection came to her mind when in Dec. 2011 at a conference she ran into Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, and talked about Newark’s gun buyback program, which was founded in 2009 and gave up to $200 for each weapon that was turned in. There she came to know that around 350 and 400 guns were turned in then, and Mayor Booker didn’t know what to do with the cache of guns Newark has amassed. So, she came with this idea to turn them into line of jewelry that embodies the gun’s transformation from a destructive weapon to a powerful symbol of renewal.
However, on the same note we have also earlier seen John Zapolski’s cufflinks made from AK-47, the Son of a Gun watch which showcases six 6mm Flobert bullets suspended in the dial almost like the barrel of a revolver, with a bezel and inner dial like a target sight, and the Bernardo & Co. custom ammunition cufflinks in platinum, to name a few.
However, the name Caliber was chosen for its two meanings; the caliber of a gun and how the caliber of a city is raised when illegal guns are taken off its streets.
The Caliber Collection is made up of metal from 250 guns and bullet casings seized by the Newark Police Department. Each of the guns was carefully processed and released by Police Department of Newark to Jewelry for a Cause, a company started by Jessica Mindich which gives 20% of all sales to non-profit organizations, which in turn proudly donates a portion of the proceeds from each side of the sale to the Gun Buyback Amnesty program in Newark.
Notably, the serial numbers of the guns are tracked and are an important part of the design in each of the pieces of jewelry.
On the same note, the highly-acclaimed star of stage and screen Dam Judi Dench who played ‘M’ in James Bond film series, has impressively got Skyfall bullets made into cufflinks by Nutfield jeweler, who plated the empty bullet cases with 18 karat gold, set with fine natural rubies and made gold chains and end bars, styled as bullets, and engraved them ‘Skyfall’.