Making sure your jewelry is green is a great step toward living an eco-friendly lifestyle. You don’t have to get rid of your old jewelry, but be mindful of new purchases.
Here are five kinds of green jewelry, courtesy of greenbrideguide.com.
1. Recycled jewelry uses old materials to create something new and beautiful. This means some, or all, of the components have been melted down and reformed by the artist. Recycled metals are popular and are not inferior to newly mined metals in any way. In fact, unless the artist tells you, you would never know a piece is sustainably made in this way. Because scrap silver and gold are so valuable, they will often be melted down and re-purposed into new jewelry. This stunning earrings set is a perfect example of how fine-gold scraps can be turned into an intricate work of art.
Recycled-gold earrings from Spark Eco Jewelry. Photo credit:greenbride.com
2. Vintage and antique jewelry is the oldest form of eco-friendly jewelry. These pieces are often found in estate sales or are passed down over generations. Vintage jewelry makes no impact on your carbon footprint, because it has already been created. Vintage jewelry can be sold as-is or can be a new piece made from combining antique materials.
Vintage Monet flower brooch from TwoSirensJewels at Etsy.com. Photo credit: TwoSirensJewels
3. Fair trade is just as important for jewelry as it is for food or beauty products. Fair trade products provide a living wage for women in developing countries, and help decrease poor families’ dependance on the land. Offering a fair wage for fair trade producrs ensures your jewelry has an ethical background and positive social impact. Fair trade pieces not only look unique, but they tell a story too.
Fair trade abalone bracelet from Ten Thousand Villages. Photo credit: Ten Thousand Villages
4. Conflict-free is an important way to make sure your high-end jewelry is eco-friendly. The mining of gems and metals causes strife in war-torn countries. Slavery and cartels are almost always involved in conflict diamonds. Look for gems mined in Canada or Australia whenever possible. It is also important to find verification that the jewelry is conflict-free before making a purchase. These unique and stunning earrings are made from conflict-free metals and diamonds.
Star earrings with conflict-free diamonds from Ruff & Cut. Photo credit: greenbride.com
5. Upcycled jewelry is different from recycled jewelry. Upcycled means that a piece of trash, jewelry or other material has been taken out of the waste stream and fashioned into wearable jewelry. Upcycled jewelry can be made from almost anything. This ring features fordite or Detroit agate, which is light and durable.
Upcycled fordite ring by James Blanchard on Etsy.com. Photo credit: James Blanchard