For those of you who are environmentally conscious, you can take this a step further by going green with jewelry. Many of the processes in obtaining the basic components that go into jewelry harm the environment, and anyone can take steps to reduce this negative impact.
Mining gemstones, silver, and gold cause a negative impact to the environment. Gold mining, in particular, causes the most damage because of the way that gold is extracted from the earth. Many large and small commercial miners use cyanide and mercury, which are two chemicals that are often used in mining operations to make it easier to get to the gold. These chemicals often filter into the ground, causing damage to the air and water. Some of the larger companies are taking strides to be more environmentally friendly by generating their own power, not using chemicals, and recycling. You can conduct research, and try to only buy precious metals from green companies.
Conducting research by asking questions and only purchasing jewelry from businesses that get their products from green businesses will help promote more green friendly environments. When businesses that are not environmentally conscious start losing business to those who are, they might start getting in on the act. Therefore, the more people who buy from green businesses, and demand documentation, the more the competition will try to change for the better to keep and gain more business.
Another way to go green is to buy recycled jewelry. Many businesses are creating new jewelry from broken and used pieces. Metal can be melted down, and gems can be reused. This reduces the environmental impact that occurs because the metal and stones do not have to be mined to make the new jewelry; the building blocks already exist and just have to be put together. In addition to buying recycled jewelry, you can also buy vintage jewelry. Buying older items has gained in popularity in recent years. Your local thrift shop may hold the key to some beautiful adornments.
The diamond industry is also under fire for funding military action against the government in some places in Africa. These stones are known as “conflict diamonds.” This is another situation where it is important to research the source of the gem. At some jewelry manufacturers, various processes and warranties are in place, so that the purchaser will know that the diamonds come from places where no conflict was involved in obtaining these jewels.
In order to really go green with jewelry, many refuse to wear any type of gem or metal. Instead, these individuals favor woven jewelry. This jewelry is made from natural products such as cotton, hemp, wool, bamboo, and shells. Although these items are not as glittery as gold and silver, they can still make beautiful compliments to your wardrobe.
The key to going green with jewelry is to conduct a lot of research. You should be able to trace the origin of the product. Many companies are offering certified warranties, so that you know where each part of the jewelry came from, and how it was made.