Jewelry can often go through quite a journey before it reaches the end consumer. Certain precious metals and gems may not always come from the most ethical sources, which is why it’s important to know where your jewelry comes from. By being careful as to where you buy your jewelry, you can ensure that you’re not fuelling cruel, unfair or environmentally-unfriendly practices. This post explains more.
Why the source matters
It’s possible that when buying jewelry, you could be potentially supporting unethical practices. A few examples of such practices include:
Mines with child labor
Mines with poor wages and poor working conditions
‘Blood diamonds’ - diamonds sold to fund war efforts
Environmentally-unfriendly mining (such as using diesel and dynamite)
By knowing the source, you can avoid supporting these practices, allowing you to make a more guilt-free purchase. Exclusively choosing jewelry from ethical sources reduces the demand on jewelry from unethical sources, helping to discourage these practices.
The source can also impact the quality in many cases. Poor quality mines are more likely to produce poor quality metals and diamonds. Knowing the source can also reduce the risk of buying fake jewelry.
WIth historic jewelry, knowing the source can also be important for determining its value. Certain heirloom jewelry made during certain periods could be very valuable without you even realising.
How to trace jewelry to its origin
Jewelry can be traced back to its origin by looking for stamps and hallmarks. Other tests can also be used to assess the metals used. An expert jeweler may be able to help you with this task.
Hallmarks like Canadamark are often seen as trusted as they show that a diamond has been mined in one of Canada’s dominion mines and that it therefore meets ethical standards. Other countries have similar hallmarks that are used to identify ethical practices.
Where to buy ethically-sourced jewelry
If you want to avoid buying unethical jewelry, it’s important that you shop at a trusted jeweler. The likes of Brilliant Earth are committed to making sure that all metals and diamonds used in their jewelry come from ethical sources. This includes practices such as using recycled metals, using lab-grown diamonds or using gold from Fairmined gold mines.
You can find such jewelers online. Local jewelers may not always ethically source their jeweler, although some do care about this.
Red flags to look out for when buying jewelry
To ensure that your jewelry comes from a good source, it’s worth looking out for a few red flags. A few signs that you probably shouldn’t buy an item of jewelry include:
Bad online customer reviews of the seller
No hallmarks on jewelry
Lack of information about the source
Unusually low pricing (while it’s possible you may have found a good deal, it’s also possible that it could be fake or stolen)
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.
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