Sustainable jewellery – a quick guide
The topic of sustainable handmade jewellery often comes up – especially among discerning clientele searching for precious pieces that are consciously and ethically designed. We work with many jewellers who produce exquisite pieces in a sustainable manner. Prepare to be impressed and inspired.
When we speak about sustainable jewellery we generally focus on gems – particularly diamonds – and precious materials such as silver and gold. Gems are most often spoken about in ethical terms and you’ll find a majority of jewellers adhere to the Kimberley Process (or KP) when sourcing their diamonds.
You’ll likely have heard of the ‘blood diamond’ – also know as conflict diamonds or rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance conflicts. KP is committed to removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. With over 80 countries involved in the process, its participants actively prevent 99.8% of the worldwide trade.
There are many contemporary jewellery makers out there, like MANIAMANIA for example, who acknowledge KP as an important part of their diamond-selection process. This means the diamonds MANIAMANIA works with have been ethically sourced from conflict-free sources.
In another sustainable approach to gem use, we see artists working with antique diamonds. These are often selected for their ‘antique’ cut and beautiful vintage quality. MANIAMANIA has recently started working with reclaimed antique old-cut diamonds from the late 1800s – 1930s. As MANIAMANIA notes, the beautiful hand-cut appeal of these gems makes them not only unique but quite sustainable to work with.
Celebrated British jeweller, Ruth Tomlinson, also works with antique diamonds, using ancient jewellery-making techniques to design custom diamond rings featuring delicate clusters that sit upon delicately textured bands.
Precious metals such as silver and gold offer plentiful opportunity for recycling and refashioning into beautiful and enduring pieces. Artist David Neale is well-known for his style which delights in the expressive potential of metal work. Many of his exquisite pieces use recycled sterling silver, or in some cases antique iron and antique bicycle spokes!
We always welcome enquiries about sustainable jewellery, should you have antique gems you’d like to use in a new design, we are very happy to discuss a special bespoke commission. Contact us today to enquire.