Mother Earth Living

How Eco-Friendly is Your Jewelry?

Make a statement with eco-friendly jewelry, such as conflict-free diamonds, recycled silver and gold, vintage, antique jewelry and natural stones and gems.
By Natural Home Staff
January/February 2006
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GreenKarat’s Kindred Souls wedding bands are hand cast in recycled 18K white or yellow gold.
Photo Courtesy GreenKarat

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How eco-friendly is your jewelry? Get the information you need so you can scope out eco-friendly jewelry. Wearing a necklace, bracelet, or ring makes a statement: “I’m married,” “I have style,” or “I can afford precious things.” Your jewelry can also say, “I care about environmental and human welfare.”

Gold: Greed behind the glitter


• Mining destroys local ecosystems and creates toxic waste—including mercury, arsenic, and cyanide, which poison waterways and create health hazards for people, animals, and birds.

• Gold refineries use lots of water and dangerous chemicals.


• Buy recycled. GreenKarat, a company committed to ending destructive gold and diamond mining, sells only 100 percent recycled gold and cultured diamonds and uses a zero-discharge refinery.

• Sell unwanted jewelry so its precious metals can be recycled. GreenKarat estimates enough gold has already been mined to satisfy demand for the next fifty years.

• Wear antique jewelry. Buy from local vintage or estate sellers.

Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend


• In African countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the diamond trade finances civil wars and fuels human rights abuses, coining the term “conflict” or “blood” diamonds.

• Diamond mining causes massive ecological damage, whether diamonds are taken from open pits or dug from under riverbeds.


• Buy conflict-free diamonds. The diamond industry’s Kimberley Process certifies that diamonds are conflict-free, but because the system isn’t independently monitored, conflict gems still enter the market. Diamonds from Canada are conflict-free and ethically produced, although environmental damage from mining is still a concern.

• Opt for “lab-grown” or “cultured” diamonds. Real diamonds created with high pressure and temperatures in laboratories are identical to natural gems.

Post a comment below.


6/8/2014 5:50:14 AM
Yes, the only way to get out of trouble is to buy for wedding, engagement and gifts. It can do a number of great works certainly. However, the prices for such pieces are higher mainly since the people involved in the trade of original diamonds mostly pay full government taxes after paying higher prices. That's where scope for improvement is needed the most. From humanity's point of view, paying higher prices for the safety of fellow human beings is something to be considered a great sacred job by the society.

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