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The ABC’s of sustainable jewelry

The ABC’s of sustainable jewelry

What makes jewelry sustainable

We all know about recycling, protecting the environment and conserving precious resources, but what does sustainability have to do with jewelry? It’s a fair question and one I get more than any other. Sustainability is a core value of my jewelry business, the credo I’m committed to above all others. So, here we go: a word about sustainability as it relates to Kate Maller Jewelry.

All that glitters isn’t necessarily gold

While it’s true that craftsman have been using metal to make tools, kitchenware and jewelry for centuries, their use in jewelry-making has catapulted more recently. But popularity has come with a price. Metals, diamonds and gemstones are mined in remote areas of the world, often in large, open pits that destroy wilderness areas, raise havoc with ecosystems and violate human rights. To complicate matters, supply chains can be obscure and difficult to track; transactions can get shady. An organization called Ethical Metalsmiths is working hard to initiate change. They’re committed to raising awareness around responsible mining practices and supply chain transparency, and initiating change.

Creating sustainable rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, I subscribe wholeheartedly to their purpose and philosophy. My business—Kate Maller Jewelry—aligns with their vision of a world in which “people can create and enjoy jewelry made with materials from responsible sources that respect and protect the earth, its peoples, and cultures.” To that end, every piece of jewelry I create is made from recycled and reclaimed diamonds, gemstones and metals. I primarily work with diamonds because I can best control the sourcing. Diamonds are the hardest known material in the world, which is key if you’re in the market for an heirloom your grandchildren will cherish. Diamond jewelry is durable, long-lasting and as gorgeous decades from now as it is today.

A word about the diamonds in KM jewelry

Because I’m adamant about being able to source my diamonds, I work with only one trusted distributor. As a jewelry maker, I have the assurance, as do my customers, that the diamonds in my pieces came from reputable mines, or are 100% reclaimed. The large clear, brilliant cut diamonds that I use are either reclaimed, or from Canada or Australia, two countries with the highest mining standards in the world. Reclaimed diamonds are diamonds that have been safely removed from a piece of jewelry, then polished and sometimes re-cut for use in a new piece. All of my melee (small accent diamonds) are 100% reclaimed, and VS quality. My melee truly dazzle, sparkle and shine! The large, rose-cut, naturally colored diamonds that I use are not only conflict-free, but also fair-trade, which ensures that the people who dug, and cut the stones are paid fair wages, and work in good conditions. A side note: setting myself up to use ethically mined and/or reclaimed diamonds and gemstones was the hardest part of establishing my business as a jewelry maker—and so worth it. 

Next time, more about why sustainability matters. Until then, browse The Aspen Collection, new this month.

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