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Published on December 8th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Green Gifting Guide: Eco Jewelry

For such small objects, jewelry can carry great intangible weight that unfortunately isn’t limited to the sentiment “I love you.”  Precious metals and stones may bear terrible unheard stories of human suffering and environmental degradation through destructive mining processes and virtual slave labor practices.

Worse yet, some gems—such as the notorious “blood diamonds”—are mined in war zones and sold illegally to finance further violence.  Here are some planet and people friendly ideas to ensure that your gift does not support such practices . . .

General Resources

  • Green Assay, a greenKarat tagging feature that rates each jewelry component’s ecological characteristics.
  • If your giftee’s heart is set on gold, browse the No Dirty Gold Campaign Web site that contains a list of retailers pledged to follow the “Golden Rules” by upholding high standards in the areas of gold mining-affiliated human rights and ecological preservation.
  • View the Diamond Buyer’s Guide, published by Amnesty International and Global Witness, for information about conflict-free diamonds and a list of questions to ask vendors.

Product Purchasing

Choose a socially and environmentally conscious jewelry company, such as:

  • greenKarat that uses recycled gold obtained by processes that do not release toxic cyanide or mercury into the atmosphere
  • Moonrise Jewelry that uses local production to create handmade jewelry from fair trade gems

Opt for reuse products:

  • Buy previously owned jewelry at an antique store or estate sale
  • Have outdated “family heirloom” pieces refashioned into something current
  • greenKarat provides information about donating gold pieces for recycling or reuse

Take a look at some of the wonderful jewelry made from cleverly recycled objects such as that found at: Recycled Jewelry

  • EcoArtwear or RepurposedForYou
  • If your recipient’s jewelry preference is futuristic and tech-inspired, check out Arteco featuring uniquely crafted jewelry items that make excellent use of recycled high–tech components

Buy fair trade jewelry that directly supports Third World craftspeople, such as that available at:

Get the Green Living Ideas book in softcover or PDF for as low as $2.99!

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