Like fair trade coffee, don’t stop buying, buy responsibly!

Alexandra Hart’s sophisticated and artful couture jewelry and metal sculpture is made in the USA from responsibly researched and sourced precious metals and gemstones.  Invited to become a Member of the Board of Directors of Ethical Metalslmiths, and long time board member of Women’s Jewelry Association, she’s actually been working to promote socially and ecologically responsible business practices and equal opportunity to artists and consumers since the launch of her business in 1995.

“Socially responsible practices, I believe, are the responsibility of both designers and consumers. As a designer working with rare materials, I have important choices to make about sourcing in order to protect the future use of these resources. I have always been concerned with sustainable practices, and have been promoting it as part of my business mission.

We can actually support underdeveloped countries by buying gemstones from the most reputable and conscientious companies who comply with the Kimberly Process, Fair Trade and who use recycled metals to reduce impact of mining on the environment. Meanwhile, purchasing from artisan designers producing all work in the USA serves our own economy as well!”

Some tips from Harmony Metals at Hoover and Strong where I purchase and refine metals. All Hoover & Strong products are MADE IN USA, and are SCS Certified.

Consumer Questions Answered – Recycled Precious Metals and Gems
May 28th, 2010 by Michael Perlin

  1. Is buying recycled jewelry just the same as buying second hand jewelry?
  2. Are recycled metals as good as new metals from a mine?
  3. You talk about recycled metals…where do new metals come from?
  4. How can I tell if a metal is recycled?
  5. How can I trust a retailer who claims that their jewelry is made from recycled metals?
  6. Does it matter what type of process is used to refine and recycle metals?
  7. What is a “recycled diamond”?
  8. Why bother with recycled metals?
  9. Is precious metal mining always bad for the environment?
  10. Are recycled diamonds worth less than mined diamonds?
  1. No. Recycled jewelry is made from precious metals that have been recycled from various sources such as scrap from jewelry manufacturing, unwanted jewelry, electronics, dental crowns etc.
  2. Absolutely! When a metal is mined from the ground, the ore is chemically processed to purify the metal content to very high levels – typically 99.99%. Instead of digging the earth for ore, recycled metals are generated using scrap precious metals from various sources which are purified, through a refining process, to the same high level as mined gold. The “refined” pure metals from both the mine and the recycled source are of identical purity!
  3. New or virgin metals are typically min ed from the earth. It takes literally tons of rock to yield just a few grams of pure gold.
  4. You can only tell if a metal is recycled if the supplier of the metal has supplied recognized independent certification stating this.
  5. Ask the retailer to show you proof of third party certification for recycling which verifies that the metals supplier has been audited by a recognized cert ification company. Anyone can say they are using recycled metals, but few can prove it.
  6. Yes. You need to be safe and secure in the knowledge that the metal that makes up your jewelry has been refined using environmentally safe practices. This will be part of the third party certification.
  7. A recycled diamond is one that has been previously used in a piece of jewelry, removed, re-polished, properly graded and mounted in your new jewelry.
  8. What good will it do?
Recycled metals are very important. If we continue to use fresh mined metals, we are paying a huge environmental price. By using recycled metals, the “environmental bill” has already been paid.
  9. Precious metal mining requires digging up to mile wide holes in the earth, which displace animals and plants. Most mines use deadly chemicals in the mining process which impact animals humans and plant life. There are a few mines that have made strides on some levels but only certified “recycled precious metal” can be guaranteed not to have any negative impact our the earth.
  10. No! Just as the motto says “A Diamond is Forever”©. A recycled diamond is every bit as precious as a freshly mined diamond. The most important difference is a recycled diamond is not coming from sources tied to drugs or terrorism funding or support.

Further Research: