Blood Diamond Film with Leonardo DiCaprio

Jewelry Sustainability in 2022

Jewelry Sustainability was the subject of the 2006 film ‘Blood Diamond’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio.Blood Diamond film with Leonardo DiCaprio

 

It brought to light the violation of human rights as well as the environmental destruction, connected with the extraction of diamonds to finance military rebels. Much has been written about the problems linked to gold mining.

The recent documentary film ‘Dying for Gold’, tells the story of mining in South Africa. It has increased awareness about the gold mining industry. Environmental connected diseases, such as Silicosis, linked to the mercury and cyanide used for separating minerals from the ore, have decimated generations of miners.

Eco-Friendly Jewelry

Eco-friendly jewelry

is jewelry that has been sourced with the least possible negative impact on the environment and made, where possible, with conflict-free gemstones and materials that can be recycled.

Recycling reduces the need for newly mined metals unless they come from responsible mining.

The Kimberley Process is a multilateral worldwide trade agreement, which was set up in 2003, to try and prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. Suppliers are required to be a member of the certified Jewellery council and to source from mine operators that follow internationally recognized labor, trade, and environmental standards.

Rose Gold Riva Waterfall Cocktail Diamond Ring Diamond
Taking inspiration from some of nature's purest forms, with waves, icicles and waterfalls a central focus, the Riva Waterfall Cocktail Diamond Ring is an exquisite addition to the Riva collection. Measuring 16.5mm in length and set with 57 sparkling diamonds totalling 0.17 carats, wear with other pieces from the Riva collection for a classic look.
£450.00 £180.00 (60% OFF)

Recycled Materials:

Precious metals can normally be melted down and re-used.

As reported by ’ The Alliance for responsible mining’ in 2017 just over 50% of gold, that went into jewelry manufacturing was from recycling old gold. According to their statistics and I quote, ”jewelry in Europe and North America does not need to use newly mined gold”.

In fact, most of the gold that is mined industrially is used for other purposes-especially investment or financially related. However, small artisan gold mines still exist and give work to a lot of people, even though it accounts for only 15% of gold output.

In this scenario, the Fairmined label was set up in 2004. It guarantees the source of origin and helps small mines, that supply the jewelry industry. It also guarantees livelihoods for the miners.

There is a case for jewelers to balance their gold buying between recycled gold and Fairmined gold. For example, in Eastern Congo, a group of women miners led by Kahambu Vaherenie have returned after the civil war and are being helped by a Canadian NGO called Impact that allows the women to sell their gold at a fair price.

Traceability

How do we know if gold or diamonds come from ethically sourced mines? There are companies such as Haelixa which will create transparency by offering proof of origin of raw materials. The company is able to identify the specific mine or location of cutting and polishing.

Lab-Created Diamonds 

Mining is often linked to exploitation and unethical practices but there is an alternative. The stones can also be lab-created whereby diamonds are created with the same physical and optical characteristics offering exceptional value. Other jewelers offer recycled diamonds whereby the stones are re-cut and polished.

Training indigenous craftspeople to make Ethical Jewelry

Then there are Ethical Jewelry makers like London-based Pippa Small who has helped train and employ artisans and even refugees from third world countries. She collaborated with the world’s first registered Fairtrade gold mine in Bolivia and has helped women in Afghanistan, Kenya, and Burma develop skills in making jewelry.

In fact, she was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth for her services in promoting ethical jewelry. Others have found ways to give back to third-world miners and artisans, a small percentage of their profits.

Jewelry Sustainability: made in the USA

This is a growing, dynamic sector as environment-related questions touch more people.

To name just a few:

  • Aide-memoire based in Seattle makes bespoke jewels using 100% recycled precious metals and ethical fair-trade, recycled or lab-grown diamonds.
  • Able is an ethical fashion brand that employs women as a solution to end poverty. They make their jewels in Nashville.
  • Laura Elizabeth is another ethical maker and is based in Texas.
  • Made Trade makes responsibly made jewels from minimalist bracelets to geometric necklaces.
  • Miadonna makes ethical and affordable diamond jewelry using lab-grown diamonds.
  • Washed Ashore is based in Los Angeles and is specialized in recycled metals and gemstones from vintage jewels.

Jewelry Sustainability: made in the UK

Monica Vinader is a UK-based contemporary demi-fine jewelry company making affordable jewels that have been made by ethically sourced family-owned manufacturers. They are specialized in Vermeil jewelry and belong to the Responsible Jewellery Council. The company supports charities that help women and children in third-world countries.

See my post “Demi-fine Jewelry Rings Women Should Wear in 2022

Check out this 18ct Rose gold vermeil diamond ring which is responsibly manufactured using ethically sourced diamonds and recycled gold and silver. It is set with 57 sparkling diamonds totaling 0.17 carats.

Rose Gold Riva Waterfall Cocktail Diamond Ring Diamond
Taking inspiration from some of nature's purest forms, with waves, icicles and waterfalls a central focus, the Riva Waterfall Cocktail Diamond Ring is an exquisite addition to the Riva collection. Measuring 16.5mm in length and set with 57 sparkling diamonds totalling 0.17 carats, wear with other pieces from the Riva collection for a classic look.
£450.00 £180.00 (60% OFF)

Wild Fawn is a London-based ethical company and makes minimalist custom-made jewels using sterling silver and re-cycled 9 K gold.

Jewelry Sustainability: made in Italy

Not as developed as in other countries, there are however notable exceptions

Emi & Eve run by Cassandra Postema makes original pieces from brass that have been recuperated from American or Chinese bombs and bullets which have fallen on Cambodia. They then use local artisans to make with local stones and the pieces are then finished and gold plated in Italy.

Damiani adheres to the Kimberley process and uses ethically sourced stones using suppliers that adhere to the Kimberley Process.

Maraismara is a workshop that only uses Fairtrade gold, recycled silver, and responsibly sourced diamonds.

In conclusion: as the new generations become more aware of green issues, the Jewelry sector which, until recently has always been very conservative, has found ways to evolve to meet their demands so it can offer  jewelry sustainability

Now check out Jewelry: Guess who wore it first? The fascinating (r)evolution!

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