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By Diane Small
Jewellery 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.
These eco jewellery pieces make a strong statement about the wearer, which is why we think you’ll instinctively love some and hate others. Which is your favourite?
Real sprigs of wild Irish moss, collected by the jeweller herself from misty Irish woodlands, lies trapped forever inside a crystal eco-resin. The lush green moss 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.
The dramatic Eye of the Beholder cameos 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, fair trade gem is chosen for its fine colour and quality and the gold is recycled, but the real show-stopper is the cameo itself. Based on a photo, the jeweller 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.
It combines the warmth of natural wood with the anti-inflammatory qualities of copper, which, when worn next to the skin, is thought to deter the inflammation associated with arthritis. The bracelet flexes to slide onto your wrist, and naturally relaxes with the warmth of your body to provide a perfect fit. The wood is naturally finished with three coats of tung oil and a protective coat of carnauba wax to ensure its longevity.
What it says about the wearer: I believe simpler is better. Less is more. Living clean is the best way to exist within the natural world.
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 to gently rest across the collarbones and attach by a thin silver chain.
This beautiful 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.
These rings actually took millions of years to create. Or at least the stalactites they’re based on did. Stalacites begin with a single droplet of mineral-rich water that forms on cave ceilings and then falls to the ground, leaving behind a thin ring of calcite, eventually building up to create crystalline columns of natural minerals.
Handcrafted by Emilie Shapiro for Uncommon Goods, it seems the designer saw stalacite crystals as flowers, and set each ‘bloom’ into recycled brass bezel to showcase the unique little blossom. For more info, click here.
What it says about the wearer: Diamond rings are far too cliché for this creative-minded, artistically inclined woman, who may be a bit of a Boho babe.
Throughout history, humans have worn amulets, thought to have protective qualities and Cornwall based jeweller Anna Loucah believes there is still something to be said for such superstitions. Made from 18ct Fairtrade gold and set with a single 2mm diamond on an organic silk cord, her amulets can be made to order, allowing the client to wear something that makes a truly personal statement, like this Lotus pendant, below.
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.
Award-winning designer and artist/jeweller Linnie Mclarty creates chunky, sculptural pieces that have sophisticated, arty edge and are ethically responsible. The designer has been a pioneer of working with Faitrade gold, and is very concerned that no chemicals are used in the extraction of the ore she uses. Her 18k yellow gold Monsta statement ring is a good example of the designer’s artisanal aesthetic.
What it says about the wearer: I’m no pushover, and I have a deep respect for all things handcrafted.
8. Luca Jouel
This beautiful custom designed pendant is made from rare, free-form diamond slices. Its raw, organic quality earned it an Honorable Mention in the 2014 International Design Awards. In case you’re concerned about the use of diamonds here, rest assured that Luca Jouel is committed to the legitimate and ethical sourcing of materials and maintains a policy of dealing only with companies who demonstrate that same commitment to ethical trading.
What it says about the wearer: I see the beauty in imperfection.