Sustainability and ethical sourcing in the gems and jewelry industry

We all like diamonds and shiny jewelry, but do we know how it is sourced and who is responsible for ethically sourcing the gems and then having them on the market…well let’s get to know more. We all need to be aware of how gems and diamonds are sourced and what’s the process behind it.


. This means that there is no child labor, no forced labor, workers receive fair wages in safe working conditions, and diamond sales are not used to fund violence (read blood diamond). It is important to always prioritize purchasing an ethically sourced diamond. By doing so, you ensure that the beautiful precious stone that means so much to you isn’t one that has caused the person mining it a lot of difficulty in their life.

Working conditions

Workers are forced to mine in horrible conditions without protective gears and also are exposed to various toxins like cyanide and mercury. They are exposed to such unhealthy conditions which lead to death and/or severe health conditions. Hence, it is recommended to understand the journey of a diamond to ensure that the workers did not face such unhealthy conditions and were given relevant training and equipment to protect themselves.

Environmental factors

The locals who live nearby these mining sites are forced to move and they are exposed to these toxic chemicals, which cause multiple health conditions. Mines cause soil degradation, reduced biodiversity, poor water quality, and other problems. All of these things are required for people to survive and live normally, but they are jeopardized in a mining area. A jewelry piece should be beneficial and not detrimental to the environment.

As a solution, government and world organsiations have come together to create policies for mining companies to rehabilitate the mined areas not only back to it’s original state, but better than that. One ought to know that the diamonds in their jewelry comes from an area where the mining company to committed to these policies.

Now let’s understand the difference between ethical jewelry and sustainable jewelry.

Ethical jewelry focuses on the people who are involved in the creation of a gem piece. This includes the mining, manufacturing and supply chain processes. The piece is completely traceable and has no negative impact on the people who made it. It avoids conflict and provides workers with fair wages, training and safe working conditions.

The environmental impact of producing jewelry is referred to as “sustainable jewelry.” There should be no negative impact on the environment for jewelry to be considered sustainable.

So now we wonder, what are the SUSTAINABLE ways to use jewelry right?

Well, here are some ways that may help you and the environment and should also be implemented in the gems and jewelry industry.

Buy from an ethical and sustainable jewelry brand. There are several jewelry brands that are going net zero  and building sustainable supply chains and sourcing their diamonds, metals and other gems from ethical and sustainable sources. Buying jewelry from such brands would encourage others to follow suit and in turn save the environment. Several companies have started conducting Environmental audits to reach the net zero goal.

Borrowing jewelry –

You do not have to give up jewelry completely; you can just borrow it to use whenever there is an occasion.

You see how celebrities are always looking glam and they have these gorgeous pieces of jewelry for every occasion. Well, they are borrowed jewelry pieces where the brands of these jewelry pieces give them for hire or lend them for the occasion and then the pieces are safely returned.

We could also just borrow jewelry from our family and friends.

Purchase second hand jewelry –

Buy second hand jewelry! There are so many stunning vintage jewelry pieces waiting for you to wear them. You can buy such unique pieces of jewelry and you won’t be contributing to environmental destruction this way. There are a lot of stores that sell second pre-loved jewelry pieces and it is even easier to shop for them online.

Recycled Jewelry –

There are so many pieces that are made out of recycled jewelry and re-using the diamonds and gems of existing jewelry. Also, precious metals can be recycled. Silver and gold can easily be melted and reformed into a new design.

Recycled jewelry is a great choice for the environment.

Should we buy Ethical jewelry?

I hope this information has given you the knowledge to make an environmentally friendly decision. When things are so shiny like gemstones, we tend to forget the origin and how they came to us in the first place, and it can be troubling to know the facts and the process it takes. but we can also make better choices and buy Ethical jewelry pieces. Who does not like saving the environment, right?

Learn more about the fascinating world of gems and gemology at JK