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Why Estate and Vintage Jewelry is Even Better For the Environment Than Synthetic Diamonds and Gemstones

December 10, 2019

The DeBeers ad campaign from the 90’s taught us that diamonds are forever, but when it comes to any and all fine jewelry (made from precious materials like gold, platinum and gemstones), that is exactly what it is. What one woman may have received as a gift in her youth, be it a charm bracelet or a diamond ring, has the potential to be passed down for multiple generations, each time gaining even more sentimental value. 

But putting sentimentality aside, the endurance of fine jewelry over time is also precisely the reason why it is the most sustainable option when it comes to purchasing and wearing jewelry today. 

The jewelry market is currently experiencing a flood of new synthetic diamonds and other gemstones from companies claiming that these lab-created specimens are the most environmentally friendly option for consumers prioritizing sustainability. 

But here are 5 reasons why estate and vintage jewelry — that is, second hand jewelry — is really the most sustainable option for consumers and jewelry lovers today:

1. The precious materials – metals and gemstones – have already been mined long ago

For those concerned about the mining of materials like gold, silver, diamonds and other gemstones, consider that those materials in estate pieces have been mined long ago. By purchasing a second hand piece of jewelry, there is no additional carbon footprint. Plus, not every gem that was mined from the past has a negative history. For legacy mines like those in Golconda, Kashmir, Burma or even Montana, the mining was a source of pride and heritage, and mining was often done on hand and foot, without the use of today’s heavy machinery.

2. The original designs of estate jewelry will be far more valuable in the long term than the unpredictable market of synthetic materials

As estate and vintage pieces become older, their original designs become even rarer and therefore more valuable. Compared to the very new market of synthetic diamonds and gemstones, the market for estate jewelry  is much more established and reliable. Many pieces were designed and crafted by hand in the country they came from sustaining entire communities at the time they were made. Thus, the creative talent and heritage of the design is pass along with the piece.

3. If you decide to redesign an estate piece, refineries are much more environmentally friendly today — and estate diamonds and gemstones are endlessly reusable

Many people decide to redesign a piece of estate jewelry, especially if it is not an original design or if the design is not special enough. Today’s gold and precious metal refineries have taken vast strides to ensure that their 

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