AFRICA: Transforming AK47s into High-End Jewelry

---Africa the Good News--- To combat the devastation caused by illegal assault rifles in Africa’s war zones, founder of Ethos water, Peter Thum, announced today the launch of Fonderie 47. Based in New York City, Fonderie 47 removes AK47s from war zones and transforms them into rare jewelry, watches and accessories. In partnership with NGOs working in Africa, Fonderie 47 already has destroyed more than 6,000 assault rifles. The sale of each piece of Fonderie 47 jewelry funds the destruction of more assault rifles. Fonderie 47 sprung from the experiences that founders Peter Thum and John Zapolski had in Africa, where each has traveled extensively. They have seen assault rifles in the hands of children and witnessed firsthand the problem of assault rifles and how it hinders many aspects of development across Africa. “A transformation is needed to break this cycle of violence in Africa. To this end, we are turning the power of the AK47 against itself,” said Peter Thum, cofounder of Fonderie 47. ”Not only do we destroy these weapons, but we invert what they stand for by remaking them into wearable art.” In collaboration with leading designers, including New York City based jeweler Philip Crangi and Swiss designer Roland Iten, the world’s premiere designer of mechanical luxury for men, Fonderie 47 is creating exceptional handcrafted and limited edition jewelry and accessories. Fonderie 47’s initial pieces include a limited series of men’s cufflinks, custom-made men’s rings, and hand-made earrings for women. The items currently are sold at private events around the world. Sales of each item, along with donations from individuals and foundations, fund programs to destroy more assault rifles in Africa. “While we create rare objects, their true value emanates from the principles, purpose, ideas, and skill that go into them. The pieces are not merely beautiful – they have real impact on the world. To us, that is the measure of an object’s – and a person’s – character,” said Peter Thum.