People, especially millennials, have started to prefer sustainable products, and jewelry items are one of them. The demand for sustainable jewelry has spiked in recent years, and the following breakdown will tell you how much it has increased:
- Ethical diamonds – more than 75%
- Lab-grown diamonds – more than 83%
- Ethical gold – more than 73%
Even then, many consumers still believe traditional jewelry is better because it is natural, real, more valuable, durable, and everlasting.
Take a look at the current trend. A survey revealed that 70% of millennial consumers are inclined to buying lab-grown diamond rings for engagement.
Why are more and more people switching toward sustainable jewelry?
Keep reading to find out:
- What makes sustainable jewelry a preferable choice over traditional jewelry?
- How is it better for the world’s environment?
- Why sustainable jewelry may be a better option for you?
Let us discuss sustainable jewelry and its societal and environmental impacts.
What Is Sustainable Jewelry?
Sustainable jewelry is made with eco-friendly materials and from harmless extraction techniques. The idea of sustainability comes from the fact that the traditional extraction and manufacturing processes have been:
- Causing a lot of destruction to the earth’s surface (especially in the case of diamond mining).
- Contributing to the carbon footprints, resulting in issues like global warming and pollution.
- Putting laborers’ lives in danger (considering health risks involved in diamond mining).
These lead to many inventions and man-made techniques to imitate natural processes. Today, we have techniques to:
Sustainable Jewelry Making
As discussed, there are several ways, including the following.
This process is applied mostly to metal jewelry. For example, mined gold or a gold item broken into small particles is mixed with different materials to form recycled gold.
The raw material generally comes from wasted circuit boards, catalytic converters, microchips, and other computing components.
Expensive metals are recycled in the following steps:
- Purification: impurities like nickel and other alloys are removed through smelting.
- Molding: After removing impurities and gauging its true carat value, the gold is molded to take the shape of the desired item.
Lab Growing Techniques
Gemstones like diamonds hide under the earth’s surface for millions of years to develop themselves. Scientists have found ways to imitate these processes, applying pressure and heat to help transform a seed into a real gemstone.
- Lab grown diamonds are formed by applying excessive pressure and heat transfer.
- Synthetic Emerald are created using Flux, elements found in natural emeralds. Or it can be formed by hydrothermal processes.
- Lab-grown rubies are formed when a superheated aluminum oxide solution is dissolveď in lead oxide, and later, poured in a chemical solution for crystallization.
The two popular lab-grown techniques are briefly explained below:
Chemical vapor deposition or CVD is a popular process of creating gem-grade diamonds. It follows the principle of applying high pressure and heat to the diamond seed enclosed in a solid metal chamber.
The process involves complex chemical reactions, which result in excessive pressure and temperature change. Later, the stone undergoes crystallization before it turns into a valuable gemstone.
- High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) Process
The HPHT process replicates the conditions of the location where diamonds grow naturally. In simple words, this technique is based on applying excessive pressure and heat onto the seed.
HPHT offers different presses, such as belt press, cubic press, and split-sphere press. The use of these Presses depends on the final product’s size and shape.
The diamond seed is mixed with graphite and a stimulus mixture. Then, it undergoes excessive pressure, resulting in complex reactions inside the capsule. Later, it crystallizes and takes its final form.
Is Sustainable Jewelry Real?
This is the leading question people ask when referring to ethical diamonds, gold, and other sustainable jewelry.
The idea of sustainable jewelry making is to replicate natural processes to create products similar to natural ones. We know that gold, diamond, and the likes possess certain properties that have to be present in their ethically produced counterparts.
For this purpose, every piece of gemstone or metal undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it has the same properties. Those passing the test are given certificates of authenticity.
This means that if you’re buying a lab-created diamond ring, diamond stud earrings, or tennis bracelets, make sure they offer you a certificate of authenticity as well.
Advantages of Sustainable Jewelry
Now, let us discuss why it is better to invest in sustainable jewelry.
- Environmentally Friendly Processing
Sustainable jewelry making breaks the chain of mining in one country, and processing and manufacturing jewelry in other countries. Besides, processing and manufacturing jewelry in the same lab helps reduce materials’ usage. Moreover, using less or nearly no fuel can leave no harmful footprints on nature.
- Cost Effective
Making jewelry in a single lab requires no fuel and less labor. One needs an initial investment for the equipment. Then, the low variable cost will gradually decrease the overall cost in the long run.
The procedure automatically reduces the cost of manufacturing, resulting in overall low-cost jewelry.
- Human-Friendly Environment
As the process is eco-friendly, it doesn’t emit gasses or fumes that are harmful to human health. Besides, there is a 0% risk attached to the process, unlike mining which is life-threatening to the laborers.
- No Production Delays
Processing, manufacturing, and supply from a single place lessen the chances of late delivery. Moreover, the procedure itself is pretty quick.
- Quicker and Repetitive Production
Creating sustainable jewelry doesn’t take a lot of time if you have sufficient raw material and a well-equipped lab.
For example, natural diamonds take centuries to take their original shape and properties. You can get the same product made out of lab-grown techniques in a matter of 2-3 months.
So, ethical processes are quicker and more repetitive. This means similar articles can be produced as many times as one wants.
- Wider Variety
Different styles, cuts, and shapes are consciously created to enhance the quality yet widen the variety of options. Cuts and shapes also affect the cost of jewelry, making it affordable for everyone.
- Attractive Opportunities for Investors
Sustainable jewelry is can be a perfect gift for your loved ones. You would never regret investing in it due to the versatility and class it offers to the bearer. Besides, it doesn’t affect your budget as much as real jewelry can. Sustainable jewelry is recyclable as well.
- Less Expensive Than Traditional Jewelry
Extracting precious metals and gemstones from Earth and processing them with heavy machinery and fuel increases the cost of manufacturing. Shipping is another costly procedure that affects the overall cost and makes it hard to buy.
People can afford ethical jewelry in elegant and trendy designs thanks to sustainable jewelry. Their availability in local markets ensures the budget-friendly feature focused by the manufacturers.
- Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the key to success for every business. Sustainable jewelry brands ensure reliability by authentic certification of their designs and products. Most big brands offer warranty and return options to satisfy customers with their products.
Traditional jewelry not only affects the budget but also destroys natural resources. Nevertheless, the processing and extraction also threaten human health and safety. Sustainable jewelry creates no such hurdles, hence better than traditional jewelry.
You can save money by making the right choices for your jewelry collection. By investing in sustainable jewelry, you make sure you’re not playing a part in putting anyone’s life at risk. Besides, it can help to play your part in saving the dying mother nature.
Make sustainable choices for a healthier and better tomorrow.