Gemstones are all pretty commonplace, and they do harm to the planet through mining. If you want to stand out with truly ethical jewelry, try meteorites!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Meteorites have always had a strong symbolic connotation to the origins of the universe. In fact, every known civilization in history has been fascinated by this extraterrestrial material.
The earliest known reference describing a fallen meteorite on the island of Crete in 1478 BC. Fascinated, the Greeks used it to create a host of sacred objects. But meteorite creations didn’t start with the Greeks.
In ancient Egypt, a bead was found at a burial site that was crafted from an iron meteorite between 3350 and 3600 BC. A meteoric iron dagger was also found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. In religion, a Buddha statue was carved from a piece of the Chinga meteorite between the eighth and tenth century. And many suspect the Black Stone at the Kaaba in Mecca is, in fact, a ferrous meteorite.
Several meteorites fall to Earth each year. But few of them are large enough to provide enough material for anything useful. Nonetheless, over the centuries, these objects have fascinated scientists, philosophers, physicists and artists. They have given us hints about mind blowing concepts like the notion of space-time and the inextricable links between the fourth dimension (time) and the three that govern space.
Rare, And More Ethical
Many believe that this material is nothing less than a representation of eternity. So what better symbolic material could be chosen to make declarations of eternal love, like wedding bands?
In fact, one particular kind of meteoric material, called moissanite, is the perfect diamond substitute. It shines more brilliantly than the typical engagement stone, and is far more rare. Not only that, but moissanite is way more ethical than diamonds, too. Since they’re not mined, they do no damage to the Earth, and unlike diamonds, there’s no chance they were traded for arms to start wars.
Since all forms of meteorites are essentially space debris, that means that they’re always more eco-friendly than all gemstones that use harmful, polluting mining processes to unearth. No wonder meteorite jewelry has become incredibly popular lately!
But one key question that arises is: how can you tell if it’s authentic?
Making Sure It’s A Real Meteorite
Meteorites are far from cheap, so it’s important to ensure what you’re buying is real. Be sure to check the certification. Most reputable brands will offer Certificates of Authenticity. Furthermore, if you want a few tricks to recognize instantly the veracity of your meteorite, simply use a magnet. All meteorites are magnetic!
There are other methods that will prove the authenticity of your asteroid debris, but they will damage it too. Meteorites can rust and cannot withstand exposure to strong acids. So if by any misfortune, your piece of meteorite jewelry comes in contact with acidic substances (or too much water) and isn’t ruined, you’ll have the bittersweet knowledge that it’s a fake.
What Exactly Is A Meteorite?
The Gem Society has identified three main types of meteorites:
- Stony (which as two subcategories: chondrites, which are rich in silica, and achondrites).
- Iron (which represents only 6% of the recovered meteorites)
- Pallasite, which is a Stony-Iron combination.
In addition to those three, there are also so-called “space diamonds.” These are rough carbonados deposited on earth during an asteroid event. They are often black, and are also used to create jewelry.
Here are just a few of the creative designers whose meteorite jewelry we adore.
The Moon is the astronomical body that has always been a favourite with lovers, who would stare at it when parted to feel closer, knowing that they were under the same moon.
Rather romantically, Ferbers uses Moon meteorite fragments for its pendants, and just as craftily inserts other types of meteorites into its elegant ring, pendant and earring designs.
2. Space Gems
This company is an expert in custom-made astronomical pieces. They mainly use pallasites, which are a very rare type of stony-iron meteorite that contains the semi-precious gemstone peridot (olivine), embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. When cut into thin slices and polished, peridot forms beautiful translucent windows reminiscent of the stained glass windows of a church.
They also offer beautiful meteorite jewelry that includes authentic meteorite pendants, custom-made meteorite rings, and meteorite earrings.
3. Abraxas Rex
The brand combines haute jewellery with natural elements in homage to the Gnostic deity Abraxas, which represents both light and darkness. The large, beautifully cut meteorites used are derived from those Kain found on his travels around the world.
4. D&H Jewelers
In San Francisco there’s a sustainable jewellery company that utilises precious reclaimed metals, upcycled gemstones and outer space debris like remnants from the Gibeon Meteor. This meteorite is one of the world’s finest specimens. It landed in Namibia, Africa and is approximately four billion years old.
The elegant collection of D&H rings makes unique wedding bands that are propitious for an intergalactic bond through space and time.
Diamonds are actually pretty common. But brides-to-be will be flattered when their partner drops on one knee and proposes with a super rare meteorite engagement ring!
The name ‘Moissanite’ refers to a gemstone born from the stars that was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan (who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Moissanite, in its natural form, remains very rare. It has been discovered only in a few meteorites.
Microscopic particles of the gem are composed of silicon carbide, and make the stone even more scintillating and brilliant than a diamond. Moissanite&Co. specialise in such meteorite jewelry, and gives you the chance of possessing a gem like no other you found on Earth!
Amongst the various designers and brands that create meteorite ornaments, Jewelry by Johan stands out.
The company not only makes mesmerising rings and earrings, but also offers a Lifetime Meteorite Ring Protection. This means that you can send them your meteorite jewelry for free cleaning and re-etching any time hough it’s unlikely it will need it often.
In any case, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your stardust meteorites will always look good as when they first landed on our planet.
7. Jacob Albee
This nature loving Fine Arts graduate initially wanted to be an ornithologist. But before he could get started on that bird-loving career, something strange happened.
He made jewelry to raise money for his studies each summer. And it became so popular, he changed the direction of his career. Today, he’s an expert in producing meteorite jewelry.
His eponymous brand uses 100% recycled precious metals, including gold, platinum, and sterling silver. These are blended with not only Gibeon Meteorites, but also rubber, ethically sourced gemstones, and any materials customers provide to upcycle into unique pieces.
Tracking time is phantasmagorical with Bovet Watches. The elite watchmaker has incorporated fragments of the Gibeon meteorite in Namibia into the dials of some of their designs. The result? Truly rare, luxurious timepieces for men and women.
Of course, all ethically handmade, using traditional techniques by expert craftsmen in Switzerland.
First three images for this article: Abraxas Rex