In 2012, the Newark Police Department confiscated more than 850 guns off the streets.
You would be surprised to know that the staggering amount of firearms that they brought in was the least of their problems. Once the guns were seized from their owners, they needed something to do with all of them.
That’s where jewelry designer and founder of Jewelry for a Cause, Jessica Mindich, stepped into the picture.
Jewelry for a Cause is known for creating exquisite necklaces, talismans and custom designs, as well as doing their part in giving back to the community. For example, a large percentage of the proceeds are donated to notable causes such as The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami disaster relief efforts and The Thirst Project.
With a great eye for style and a creative drive, Mindich has found a way to change the streets of Newark one design at a time, with jewelry’s “secret weapon.” She is transforming the shell casings and guns by melting them down and turning them into gorgeous bracelets.
The serial numbers of the weapons were tracked and are an important component of the designs.
“I was going to repurpose them into something that was beautiful, hopefully that would connect with both the message of turning kind of ugly into beautiful,” Mindich said.
At first, the mayor of New Jersey, Cory Booker, found the idea ridiculous. Maybe he thought it couldn’t be done.
But once he understood Mindich’s passion for her artistry, he had a change of heart — even going as far as to call the designs “instruments of peace.” Now, that’s pretty amazing.
Booker recently revealed the “The Caliber Collection” on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and discussed how a portion of the profits would go toward the city’s gun buyback amnesty program. Mindich has already donated more than $20,000 of her earnings back to Newark and plans to launch her idea in other cities.
What was once a weapon (most likely) used in a robbery, can now be your new favorite accessory.
The bracelets sell for between $150 and $375 and can be found at The Caliber Collection.