“Diamonds are a girls best friend” is how the song goes and yes they are beautiful, but are they really your friend? Diamonds are not your friend if you live in a poor country in Africa and in the pursuit of diamonds killing occurs. Gold is not your friend if you live in the Amazon and gold mining destroys the ecosystem and pollutes your drinking water. The fact is, mining for precious minerals and stones in general is very damaging to many indigenous (poor) people of the world and the environment where they live. None of us who love the sparkling allure of precious stones wants that blood on our hands. What is the answer then? The least expensive and most environmentally and socially responsible way is by buying estate, vintage, antique, second-hand store or even pawn shop jewelry. The next option available is buying jewelry from reputable jewelers who have estate, non-conflict and recycled jewelry. If you don’t know if your jeweler carries these items, then ask them. I know that where I live, in Eau Claire, there are a number of stores that have eco-friendly options for fantastic jewelry. There are online resources for environmentally and socially responsible jewelry as well. Also look for handmade items from local artisans. Many times these artisans re-purpose, upcycle and recycle items to create unique and one-of-a kind jewelry.
Green Valentine Jewelry February 3, 2010