Why be bland? These eco jewelry pieces make a bit statement!
By Diane Small
Who you are is often reflected in what you wear, and in particular, the jewelry you choose is a very personal thing – – which is why it’s so often hard to give as a gift. Not only does it reflect the wearer’s personal style, but it also sometimes has truly emotional personal qualities associated with it – think of a heirloom from a departed relative, an amulet infused with protective qualities, or a piece picked up on a voyage to an exotic land.
Not all jewelry needs to be infused with meaning, of course. Sometimes, you just want something sparkly to pull an outfit together, of course!
But we selected these pieces of eco jewelry because we felt they do make a strong statement about the wearer – which is why we think you’ll instinctively love some and hate others.
Which is your favourite?
Little Eco Jewelry Pieces That Make A Big Statement
Friendship bracelets are having a moment right now for people of all ages, genders and income levels, and no wonder: nothing quite symbolizes the nostalgia we have for making memories with good friends, or our travels to gorgeous locations around the world as well a one of these does.
MAQÉ creates elegant friendship bracelets that may look modest, but they’re actually made from recycled precious metals, including gold and platinum, and are set with responsibly mined semi-precious stones.
What it says about the wearer: I’m a high earning entrepreneur, CEO, Trust Fund baby or Silicone Valley VIP who loves traveling, yoga and surfing – but I don’t like to show off.
Plant based jewelry? Yes, it does exist! Lost Forest aims to bring customers closer to the natural world, culminating in a collection of jewelry with a meaningful message. Real sprigs of wild flowers, mushrooms Irish moss and other plants are personally collected by the jeweler behind the brand from misty Irish woodlands. They’re then preserved forever inside a stunning crystal eco-resin. The lush flora is given a touch of glitter thanks to shards of tiny gold leaf flakes. Slightly curved with a faceted front designed to sparkle under light, this is a truly unique handmade piece.
What it says about the wearer: I believe there’s nothing more beautiful than nature itself and would like to preserve a little piece of it forever; it’s also the perfect token for a girl of Irish heritage who wants to take a piece of her homeland with her wherever she may wander.
3. Ana Katarina Eye of the Beholder
The dramatic Eye of the Beholder cameos by eco jewelry creator Ana Katarina are based on the traditional ‘anti-evil eye’ pendants traditionally worn in the Middle East and North Africa to protect the wearer from harm. They’re created from the beauty of the natural stone and the sculptural carving by a fourth generation master carver.
Each ethically sourced, Fairtrade gem is chosen for its fine color and quality and the gold is recycled, but the real show-stopper is the cameo itself. Based on a photo, the jeweler can create a cameo custom-carved from Brazilian agate to recreate the eye of a loved one. The stones are fair trade and the gold is recycled.
What it says about the wearer: I have a good eye for fine craftsmanship and quality fine jewellery. I also believe the power of this piece can protect me from harm. And the ethical qualities of the gold and stones add to the good karma of the pendant.
During a springtime walk through Brooklyn‘s Prospect Park, artist Judi Powers was taken with a newly-budding tree. A small branch was dangling off it so she took it home and cast it in sterling silver, inspired by the graceful and delicate detail. She then cleaned, polished and formed it with her own hands to gently rest across the collarbones and attach by a thin silver chain.
This beautifully and ethically made necklace lets you carry the joys of spring with you. The delicate silver-cast branch is reinforced with extra soldering, lending strength to its natural beauty.
What it says about the wearer: I am as beautiful and delicate as nature herself.
Think of Satya Scainetti’s lotus pendants like lockets of a spiritual sort. Each necklace comes with nine unique healing crystals: three clear quartz, three rose quartz, and three amethyst. The intention behind this spiritual jewelry creation is to slide the stone of your choosing inside as a symbol of a special intention, then carry it with you throughout the day.
Amethyst brings clarity of mind, rose quartz opens the heart chakra and clear quartz will boost your energy. Changing your focus? Just switch out the stone.
What it says about the wearer: Mountain poses and downward dogs are part of my daily routine. Meditation helps ground me. I have been to or would like to go to the Far East.
Looking for an engagement ring (or other piece of diamond jewelry) that stands out from the rest? Why not try a salt and pepper diamond by Krikawa?
These diamonds are just as brilliant as any other, but they feature tiny flecks of of history – be they ancient bits of carbon, chips of other million-year old rocks – or sometimes, even remnants of feathers from birds that lived around the same time as dinosaurs! Just as amber often encapsulates tiny bits of biological history, so do salt and pepper diamonds.
Whether they’re set in engagement rings, wedding bands, or other forms of jewelry, the beauty of these gemstones is that you’re constantly wearing a reminder of your place in history -there were creatures long, long before us, and shall be long after we are gone, as well.
Krikawa embraces the principles of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Code of Practices regulating responsible business practices when trading in diamonds, gold and platinum-group metals. The brand consciously engages in responsible and ethical practices at all stages, from the origins of its vendors right up to retailers in its supply chain.
What it says about the wearer: I’m traditional, yes – but with a twist! I love wearing a bit of geological history on my finger.
Bolder than a bracelet, this hand chain is a ring and bracelet in one. Comprised of wire-wrapped Japanese Akoya Keshi pearls with a single pearl pendant at the center, the piece is held together by a 100% recycled gold chain.
Washed Ashore often incorporates Keshi pearls into many of its designs. These are irregular, freshwater pearls that are regularly discarded by mainstream jewelers for their ‘imperfections,’ but they add a wonderfully delicate and organic touch to all the brand’s necklaces, earrings and bracelets that put them to use.
What it says about the wearer: I see the beauty in imperfection. I’m a bit of a hippy at heart.
Throughout history, humans have worn amulets, thought to have protective qualities and Cornwall based jeweler Anna Loucah believes there is still something to be said for such superstitions. Made from 18ct Fairtrade gold and set with a single 2mm gemstone, her amulets can be made to order, allowing the client to wear something that makes a truly personal statement, like these pendants below. They boast not only the wearer’s ethically sourced birthstone, but a depiction of their astrological sign, too.
What it says about the wearer: I believe in powers we don’t fully understand, and I try to harness them as best I can
9. Leigh Miller Current Necklace
Leigh Miller’s eco jewelry is like wearable art, and every piece is handmade in the designer’s Los Angeles workshop. This ‘Current’ necklace is strung with rippling silver plates, glass beads, a chrysoprase sphere and a luminous gray baroque pearl, resulting in something loosely resembling a sculpture. The drop of this piece was deliberately made to be extra long, so it may sit beautifully over plunging necklines and open shirts.
Leigh Miller uses only recycled silver and ensures that her stones and pearls come from conflict-free zones. Forgoing fashion moments or trends, she also makes each piece with the intention for its wearer to hold onto for a lifetime.
What it says about the wearer: I may or may not be an artist myself, but I know an objet d’art when I see one!
Made using 90% recycled gold, these classic signet rings by Vrai are designed to be much more than an accessory. They’re a wearable eco jewelry statement that holds true meaning, designed to be custom-engraved and worn as a symbol of your values. As the maker of the brand, Vanessa Stofenmacher, says: “We care about every last detail — because we know you do too.”
What it says about the wearer: I’m a traditionalist who is proud of my roots
11. Mene Gold Cuff
Gold can be one of the purest metals available for jewelry, and also makes a wonderful investment when it’s pure. But the problem is, it’s often tampered with to make ‘rose’ gold and other forms of common metal jewelry that use toxic, man-made chemical alloys to create them.
Menē jewelry, on the other hand, is crafted from pure 24 karat gold or platinum, the same form that these precious metals are found in nature. This means their jewelry will never tarnish, is hypoallergenic, and antimicrobial, too. Each piece crafted from pure gold that is ethically sourced from gold mines in Nevada, USA and Ontario, Canada, which bears the coveted London Bullion Market’s Responsible Sourcing Certification.
We love the simple lines and classic styles of their ethical jewelry pieces – these are accessory staples that will be stylish for generations to come.
What it says about the wearer: I’m a minimalist with sophisticated tastes
First two images: Lost Ashore