We are changing the way jewelry is made! Historically, our industry hasn't been known for ethical sourcing and sustainability, but we believe that jewelry can be beautiful without having a negative impact on the environment. You hear a lot about sustainability these days, but not always with substance to back the claim. We believe that our choices and efforts around ethical sourcing and environmentally sound materials are making a difference. And for that reason, we have outlined some of these efforts below so that you have a good understanding of industry standards and what we are doing to help change them.
HARMONY METALS: All of the metal we use is recycled, the majority of which is sourced from a company committed to sustainability, Hoover and Strong. Their line of "harmony metal" is not only all recycled, but all of their manufactured precious metal components are 100% made in the United States.
FAIR MINING: This newer source of metal primarily began as an effort to supply tech companies with more ethically sourced gold and silver components. The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is working with mines all over the world to certify mines that offer safer practices, environmentally sound techniques, and provide livable wages to miners. While we believe this is a great program, we do not offer this type of metal for the primary reason that the metal is still being mined from the ground which requires a lot of harsh chemicals and water to extract. While there are benefits to this product, we do not think it is the most sustainable approach.
RE-PURPOSED DIAMONDS: "A diamond is forever" is absolutely a true statement, but perhaps not in the way you thought. Diamonds that are recycled back into the market are sorted, sometimes re-polished or re-faceted, and sold as good as new. In fact, it happens more often in the jewelry industry than is usually disclosed. When we supply diamonds that exceed 0.50 carats, they typically come with a certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).
CANADIAN DIAMONDS: As another option, we love using Canadian diamonds because this country has very strict mining standards. Conditions are safer and environmental damage is minimized and repaired. These diamonds typically come with a Canadian origin certificate as well as a GIA certification.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: We are always looking fro ethically sourced gemstones, and we strive to find and provide gems with a known country of origin whenever possible. Our favorite sources are helping to improve conditions for miners and improve environmental standards around the world.
THE JEWELRY JUNK PILE: This is that pile of old jewelry that is comprised of broken jewelry (i.e. single earrings, kinked chains), jewelry from old lovers, and jewelry that has been handed down (sometimes sentimental, sometimes not). No matter where it came from, it has value and can be recycled or re-purposed into something new.
NICKLE AND WHITE GOLD: White gold is made by combining/alloying pure 24k yellow gold with a white metal. This is what makes the gold white and it also makes it harder and more wearable. In the United States, you will most commonly find that white gold is alloyed with nickle. And there are many things to be said about nickle. First, when someone has a metal allergy, this is the most common culprit. In addition, working with this metal as a jeweler throws dust and particles in the air that are hazardous to breath, and casting in this metal puts out carcinogenic fumes. In Europe, they have banned this type of white gold alloy and instead use a palladium alloy. Palladium is a hypoallergenic, precious metal that is in the same family as platinum. Because of the toxic nature of nickle, the only two types of white gold we offer are 14k palladium white gold and 18k palladium white gold.
RHODIUM PLATING: This is not a service we offer due to the gases that are put off during the hydroelectric process. This is not only toxic to the jewelers, but storing and disposing of the chemicals and heavy metals is an issue as well. Typically white gold is a metal that gets Rhodium plating in most jewelry stores. We prefer that our clients that want white gold choose that metal for its natural warmth and yellow undertone instead of choosing to rhodium plate.
PARTNERS: In addition to our own commitment to sustainability, we look for the same in our vendors. We like doing business with companies that manufacture their products in the U.S., use recycled and re-purposed materials, have a commitment to fair trade, and whose products and processes are not toxic to humans, animals, or the environment.