GOING GREEN GLOSSARY


handmade eco friendly jewelry

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You hear it mentioned on the TV and you read it online – most businesses are making an initiative to go green. Whether this is through making their methods more environmentally friendly or using more sustainable jewelry materials, it’s something on everyone’s radar.

With so many new sustainability terms emerging almost daily, it is hard to keep track. Luckily, our "Going Green Glossary" below will teach you everything you need to know about the terminology surrounding ecofriendly jewelry.

WHAT IS ECO-FRIENDLY SUSTAINABLE JEWELRY?

Eco-friendly sustainable jewelry uses recycled and natural materials. Any jewelry with small or no impact on the environment, including minimal carbon footprint is eco-friendly.

WHAT IS RECYCLED METAL?

Recycled metal is the process of reusing precious metals. Silver and gold are easily melted and transformed into a new piece of jewelry. Recycled jewelry materials don’t lose their qualities when they’re melted down and reused—which is perfect for the atmosphere (ethical dilemma solved!) and consumer.

 



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WHAT IS FAIRTRADE GOLD?

Fairtrade gold is an artisanal product produced from small-scale miners. Ensuring fairtrade standards, environmental and labor conditions are closely monitored and gold is transparently traceable directly back to the community that mines it. The Fairtrade movement also provides a social premium that allows miners to improve quality-of-life conditions for themselves and others in their communities.

WHAT ARE ETHICAL GEMS?

Ethical gems are usually mined in areas where the workers' rights and environmental conditions are not compromised and purchased in a legal and transparent fashion.

High-quality ethically sourced gemstones include those produced by small artisanal mines that use ethical and sustainable methods, such as the use of sustainable energy sources, minimizing waste and ensuring environmentally sound practices.

 


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WHAT ARE NON-CONFLICT DIAMONDS? HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM CONFLICT DIAMONDS?

Conflict diamonds (also called blood diamonds) fuel and fund armed conflicts, particularly in West Africa.

Non-conflict diamonds are natural diamonds not used to fund civil wars or conflicts and sold according to the Kimberley Process Certification System. The KPCS is a system designed to maintain the integrity of the rough diamond trade by helping to ensure that diamonds do not finance war or human rights abuses. The KPCS is a joint effort by governments and the diamond industries of 82 countries, international organizations and professional associations across the diamond supply chain.

HOW ARE NON-CONFLICT DIAMONDS DIFFERENT FROM NORMAL GEMS?

Natural rough diamonds mined around the world usually lack transparency making it virtually impossible for consumers to know whether their diamond comes from a war zone or not. However, the creation of the KPCS helps bring transparency to the industry and ensure that consumers can purchase diamonds with confidence.

Certified non-conflict diamonds have a KPCS certificate, which documents every phase of their journey from the mine to point of sale. Consumers who want to know whether their diamond is conflict-free must read and clearly understand the information on their KPCS certificate.

Non-conflict diamonds were previously mixed with conflict stones or sold in ways that made it difficult for consumers to trust their origins. But now, thanks to a global certification scheme created by governments, industry leaders and NGOs, certified non-conflict diamonds are easily identified using an internationally recognised mark of authenticity.



WHAT ARE RESPONSIBLY SOURCED DIAMONDS?

Responsibly sourced diamonds go further than conflict-free stones. Environmentally friendly diamonds support ethical principles such as fair pay, safe working conditions, environmentally sound practices, etc.



WHAT ARE RECLAIMED DIAMONDS?

Recycled diamonds a.k.a reclaimed diamonds undergo a process of being repurposed rather than newly mined, thus there’s nearly zero impact on the environment and surrounding communities. In other words, recycled diamonds are environmentally friendly diamonds.



WHAT ARE LAB CREATED DIAMONDS?

Lab grown diamonds are a highly eco-friendly alternative to mined diamonds. Lab created diamonds are precisely identical to mined diamonds with one exception. Lab diamond creation occurs in laboratories from carbon atoms. They’re physically, optically and chemically identical to mined diamonds.

 

HOW ARE LAB DIAMONDS GROWN?

Synthetic diamond production occurs by recreating the conditions under the Earth that result in natural diamond growth: pressure, heat and carbon.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW A DIAMOND?

It requires 7-10 days to grow a 1 carat lab diamond and about a month to grow a 3 carat diamond.

 

ARE ALL LAB DIAMONDS FLAWLESS?

No, cultured diamonds are not flawless. Lab-grown diamonds have the same variations of color and clarity that exist in natural stones, namely because they're grown by recreating the conditions of nature.

 

DO ALL CULTURED DIAMONDS LOOK THE SAME?

No. Like mined diamonds, every engineered diamond is unique. All diamonds are types of crystallized carbon and will form in a unique way, whether in a lab or under the earth’s crust. Engineered diamonds are grown from a carbon seed, meaning each one will have its own shape, color and unique characteristics.

 

HOW LONG DO LAB GROWN DIAMONDS LAST?

A lot of people are likely to think that lab diamonds are different from diamonds found in nature. However, this is not accurate. In fact, they are virtually identical and do not differ in any way with regards to their quality or durability.

 

HOW MUCH ARE LAB GROWN DIAMONDS?

Lab grown diamonds are a more eco-friendly option than mined diamonds. Lab grown diamond prices vary, depending on quality and the type of stone a consumer is looking for. But as lab-grown jewelry is less expensive to produce, it's easier to find pieces in different price ranges that fit a reasonable budget. In general, lab diamonds are roughly half of the price of natural diamonds.

 

DO LAB DIAMONDS CHANGE COLOR OVER TIME?

Laboratory-grown diamonds do not discolor, fade or change over time.

 

DO CULTURED DIAMONDS TEST AS REAL?

Yes, lab grown diamonds test positive on a commercial diamond tester because they're made of crystallized carbon, just as natural rough diamonds are.

With this said, advanced equipment used in laboratories has higher detection capabilities and is able to distinguish between the two.

 

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF DIAMONDS ARE CULTURED?

Most cultured diamonds are certified as such, but there are other ways to tell. These stones often have inclusions that give them a natural look and feel right out of the box.

 

ARE LAB DIAMONDS CUBIC ZIRCONIA?

Lab diamonds are not cubic zirconia. Lab-created stones contain carbon atoms that give them their distinctive appearance and make it impossible to create a diamond with the same look without using lab technology. These natural inclusions also provide some of the best possible protection from fading or losing color over time.

 

ARE SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS THE SAME THING AS LAB GROWN DIAMONDS?

Laboratory diamonds are often referred to as lab created diamonds, grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds, cultivated diamonds, cultured or man-

made diamonds.

 

HOW TO CLEAN LAB DIAMONDS?

Man-made diamonds are often made from synthetic material, which means they are easily cleaned with a soft toothbrush and water.

 

 

 


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It's no secret that jewelry lovers are increasingly interested in buying fair trade, sustainable and ethically sourced jewelry pieces, especially millennials. The fact is that today's jewelry consumers buy much more than a physical product, whether driven by a growing sense of social responsibility, such as a desire to improve the working conditions of miners or an overall concern for the fragile environment. They realize that their purchase is the result of a supply chain.

We hope our "Going Green Glossary" has helped you brush up on your eco-friendly terminology. Have a question that you would like to include? Please email info@bonheurjewelry.com and we will try our best to include it.

 


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