A Guide to Sustainable Gemstone and Diamond Jewelry
by Anne Reyes,
Whenever we think about jewelry, we almost always think about shiny earrings, sparkly necklaces, bejeweled engagement rings, and all that glamorous, glittery, good stuff.
But have you ever stopped to think about where the jewelry we adore so much comes from? No, we’re not talking about the local jewelry store, rather about the places where precious gems and gold are first sourced. Have you ever thought about how exactly these different materials are put together and eventually made into the timeless pieces we love to wear?
Chances are, this is the part of the jewelry business we don’t often think about. But the truth is, how these things are made is just as important as the end products themselves. Yes, jewelry has a lot to do with glamour, but historically, the jewelry business has oftentimes been anything but. The good thing is, in recent years, there has been a positive change in the way jewelry production has been handled. And this is where the new reality of sustainable jewelry comes into the picture.
What Exactly is Sustainable Jewelry?
So what exactly is sustainable jewelry, you might ask? In a nutshell, sustainable jewelry is when jewelers make it a point to responsibly and ethically source and produce their jewelry pieces. This means that they take careful consideration to ensure that the practices they use to create their pieces do not harm the environment from which the raw materials come from. It also entails that the people they employ in every step of their production process are fairly treated, work in a conducive environment, and are paid fairly.
Beyond just that, brands and everyone involved in the production process make an effort to leave a positive impact on the environment.
To better understand what sustainable jewelry is, it is good to know what sustainable jewelry is NOT. Here are some examples.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Is there really such a thing as too much jewelry? If you’re talking about high-quality, timeless pieces, the answer is no. But when it comes to cheap, low-quality items that are ultimately forgettable, the answer is definitely yes. You see, the jewelry you buy isn’t meant to be just a fad that will eventually fade away. Unfortunately, these days, the market is flooded with a barrage of cheap, bad-quality jewelry that does not stand the test of time, both in quality and style. And where do most of these products end up? Forgotten in the bottom of the jewelry box, if not thrown away as trash somewhere. Not only is it cheap, it also negatively impacts the environment by becoming worthless garbage. Nope, that’s not the kind of jewelry we want.
Too Much Too Fast
Speaking of negatively impacting the environment, there is another way jewelry can be unsustainable.
Sadly, there are a lot of jewelry producers that go overboard when they try to source gems and gold. Not only do they mine too much and too fast, but they also create a lot of waste in the process. This, in turn, harms the surrounding areas through air, land, and water pollution. So much so that the environment they mine does not recover in time. Over time, the place is left devoid of much-needed greenery and a loss of habitat for animals. That’s not a good thing.
However, the good news is that there are sustainable mining practices that some mining companies have begun to adopt in recent years. Procedures, such as the reduction of water and energy consumption, minimization of environmental damage, prevention of pollutants being released into the environment at work sites, and more, have all contributed to the sustainability of sourcing of gems. This practice, in turn, helps preserve natural resources. These are the types of methods that deserve our support.
Another aspect of unsustainable jewelry that deserves our attention is the unethical work practices that some jewelers have done in the past. This includes unlivable wages, inhumane working standards, and unsafe work environments.
Yes, this is probably one of the most uncomfortable parts of the jewelry business that we don’t get to see. But we must shed light on it. In the past, not much concern has been given to the honest people who work hard to source all the raw materials needed to make the jewelry we wear. This has contributed to their inhumane treatment. Not only were they overworked and underpaid, but they were also exposed to a lot of hazardous and life-threatening dangers and conditions in the process.
Thankfully, a lot of progress has been made concerning this side of the business. Many jewelry companies now go the extra mile to make sure that the people who work tirelessly for them get treated with decency and respect, are given fair and proper wages, and are safe and protected in their workplaces. This constant improvement in work conditions is only a sign of better things to come. These are the kinds of companies that we must support.
What Can We Do?
So with all these things in mind, how can we continue to enjoy our love for fine jewelry while, at the same time, contributing to sustainable jewelry? Here are a couple of ideas.
Quality Over Quantity
Don’t buy into temporary trends and products. Invest in high-quality, timeless pieces instead. Not only will that fine wedding jewelry ring that you’ve thoughtfully and carefully chosen never go out of style, but its unparalleled craftsmanship will ensure that it will stand the test of time.
Shop here for sustainable, hand-crafted pieces.
Pick Brands with a Purpose
Find out which jewelry companies practice sustainable and ethical sourcing and production. These companies take a lot of time and effort to make sure that the gemstone and diamond jewelry they create has been done with utmost care and concern for the environment and the people who work hard to make them come to life.
By doing your due diligence and finding the right brands that care for integrity and social responsibility, you can rest assured that the 18 KT gold luxury jewelry you purchase was made with the same core values that you hold dear to your heart.
If you’re looking for a brand that shares these exact ideals, try Heaven-Roc. A brand that believes and practices ethical and sustainable luxury jewelry. As a company, Heaven-Roc holds integrity and social responsibility at the core of our values and aims to give you only the best in ethically sourced, quality jewelry. Give yourself and the environment a gift today. Browse the collections here.