Newark Mayor Cory Booker has teamed up with jewelry designer Jessica Mindich to repurpose some of the guns and bullet casings to create bracelets that raise awareness about gun violence.
Newark has figured out a way to turn bullets into bling. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has teamed up with jewelry designer Jessica Mindich to repurpose some of the guns and bullet casings confiscated by the Newark Police Department. They’re using the metal to create bracelets that raise awareness about gun violence.
The bracelets are part of the Caliber Collection and range from $150 for a simple cuff to $375 for a bangle with an embedded diamond. The steel jewelry collection is melted down from confiscated guns that were used as evidence in Newark trials, according to Mindich. The brass bracelets are made from shell casings found at crime scenes. Twenty percent of each sale will go toward Newark’s gun buyback program.
Booker, who has his eyes on a U.S. Senate seat, was very hands-on with the design of the bracelets.
“We spent a lot of time talking about specifics,” Mindich told the New York Daily News. “He was very clear about not wanting to see negative imagery, not wanting to see handcuffs, guns, angry imagery.”
The bracelets are shaped like the trigger cage of a gun. Each piece is engraved with the serial number that belongs to one of the 250 guns taken off Newark’s streets.
“That’s one of the ways I kept the piece of jewelry close to its source,” Mindich said.
The bracelets are inscribed with the serial number of a gun confiscated by the Newark Police Department.
Booker and Mindich were in talks about the project for about a year. The Caliber Collection launched on Nov. 28. This was before the shootings in Newtown, Conn., when a lone gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults.
“It’s always been a problem,” Mindich said. “Newtown sensationalized the problem in a way that I didn’t need to see. It made it real for so many others.”
At first, Newark’s police director thought it was a crazy idea.
“Other than the fact that the mayor was my boss, and I had to do it, I really wasn’t that interested in it,” Director Samuel DeMaio told The Star Ledger.
But in six weeks, Mindich had sold more than 400 bracelets and raised about $20,000 through the Caliber Collection. The designer said she has sold hundreds more since the last count. DeMaio now plans to buy one for his wife.
“This is one strategy, this is not a cure-all,” Booker said on “The Rachel Maddow Show.” “But everybody has the power to do something little, something small to make a difference.”
Proceeds from the Caliber Collection will help Newark will hold a gun buyback event on Feb. 15 and 16, WABC reports.
Mindich hopes to expand the collection and adapt it to other cities across the country.
You can view the Caliber Collection here.
article by Carol Kuruvilla via nydailynews.com