Green Looks Good on These Sustainable Jewels

Kermit the Frog sang, “It’s not easy being green,” and today, that phrase is about more than just the color.

Sustainability is top of mind in the industry, as I found out when discussing jewelry’s future with some of its brightest members (stay tuned for that in the Sept./Oct. issue of JCK magazine. I’m so excited!).

The general sentiment: We as an industry need to strive for a greener, more sustainable, less damaging way of creating jewelry, while giving back to the communities from which we get our materials.

Some may shrug it off, not confident in the evidence that our planet is failing and that supplies are running short. And I won’t stand on a soapbox to play the part of convincer—I’ll let the customer do it.

Martha Seely Constellation earrings
Constellation earrings in 14k yellow gold with multicolor gemstones and diamonds, $1,400; Martha Seely
Nina Nguyen Marquise link necklace
Marquise necklace in oxidized sterling silver and recycled 18k yellow gold, $770; Nina Nguyen

Conscious, eco-friendly shopping has become fashionable. I don’t want to call it a trend, for that would imply an eventual waning demand, and this early in the game, that’s not what we need. But whatever the reason, wherever it started, shoppers are picking up on the idea of less waste, more long-term purchases, paying special attention to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of their products.

Ana Katarina Give Me Fever earrings
Give Me Fever earrings in 18k white gold with 7.72 cts. t.w. tourmaline and 0.15 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,875; Ana Katarina
Todd Reed tourmaline cuff bracelet
One-of-a-kind cuff bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 23.93 cts. t.w. tourmaline and 0.46 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Todd Reed

Many designers have answered that demand—and have been doing so for years. They’ve been crafting sustainable jewelry before it was cool to do so, and they’ll continue to do just that long after it becomes the norm.

Anna Sheffield Bea Arrow ring
Bea Arrow ring in 14k rose gold with peach moonstone and champagne diamonds, $2,400; Anna Sheffield
Christina Malle Rosette bangle bracelet
Rosette bangle bracelet in recycled 18k yellow gold, $1,900; Christina Malle

My hope is that we don’t come down with eco-friendly fatigue, much like I have with Marvel films (seriously, just how many prequels, sequels, and three-quels can they make?). This is a case where too much of a good thing is truly the best thing.

Little h Grotto ring
Grotto collection ring in 14k rose gold with pink freshwater soufflé pearl and rubies, $2,310; little h

I’m proud to be a part of an industry that is home to many, many members who have taken the initiative to be better. And by the way, perhaps one of the finest points I can make is that these jewelers are offering some of the most beautifully made, incredible creations I’ve seen. What a crowd of overachievers, am I right?

Jennifer Dawes wedding bands
Dainty Diamonds collection bands in 18k yellow gold with diamonds, prices on request; Jennifer Dawes Design
Bibi van der Velden Cloud ring
Cloud ring in 18k rose gold with amethyst, price on request; Bibi van der Velden
Michael Jensen Fort pendant
Fort pendant in sterling silver and 22k yellow gold with 2.34 cts. t.w. natural opals and 0.08 ct. t.w. natural diamonds, price on request; Michael Jensen

These are some of my favorite jewels from some of my favorite designers. From working with ethical suppliers to using recycled and reclaimed materials, these designers are showing us that, while it may not be easy being green, it sure looks good.

Top: Candelabra pendant in fair-trade 18k yellow gold with 20.63 cts. t.w. Muzo emeralds, £11,500 ($14,358); The Rock Hound

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JCK Contributing Editor

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