A wise professor of mine once said to his social science class, “Every dollar you spend is a vote, so watch closely how you spend your money.” I have tried to live this credo throughout my life and thankfully it is getting somewhat easier to do. Not that many big companies are getting more transparent, mind you…there are just more tools available to watch how your money is working. So, how, you may ask, can a responsible consumer purchase precious metal and gemstone jewelry while still adhering to goals of “green sustainable and conflict-free? Despite a plethora of available information, (Kimberley Process, Sustainable Jewellery and American Gem Trade Association, for example) this is not an easy question to answer honestly in a few words. Here’s my rather simple take on it…
We might first look at the cliché, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as it applies to our questions about responsible jewelry. Just how much jewelry do you need, really? But reduce? Well, as your favorite jewelry designer, I’d be remiss for the sake of my family (and my sanity, for I love what I do so much), in telling you not to buy jewelry, right? Also, I once smiled as I read that every known culture has used some form of body adornment, (aka jewelry!) So as humans, we must actually need jewelry in some way! And following our ancestral beginnings, making the things we wear meaningful rather than frivolous might be a start in the right direction.
Recycle and Re-use? Of course! With the concept of recycling (sometimes called repurposing) my business begins to feel warm and fuzzy (socially responsible) as well as bright and shiny! One of the things I specialize in is reusing your precious materials. In resetting your grandmother’s diamonds, for example, I can often directly recycle the gold or platinum they were mounted in. When that is the case, you only end up paying for my time in making your jewelry, not necessarily additional materials. There are sometimes sound reasons not to directly recycle…I can’t re-cast white gold into yellow gold, for example, but I do have refiner partners in the business who will do small-batch refining. That means when we send your old gold to them, they separate the materials and return your actual gold molecules to us to re-alloy to our needs. Not only do we realize the benefit of reduced environmental impact in doing this, we are still wearing Grandma’s jewelry, just in a style that we can now appreciate!
Sustainably produced and conflict-fView this ring now
Finally, when we want to create entirely new works in precious metals and gemstones Gary Dawson Jewelry Design holds our suppliers to high standards . When we buy gold, we only buy it from refineries that recycle, not from suppliers of newly-mined materials. And our gemstones sources are closely vetted for fair-trade and conflict free.
Please call 541-729-2531 for specific requests and we will track it down for you. Your jewelry should not only look good, it should feel good too!