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azsp_hp_y-earringsIf you’re a champion of green causes, it’s possible that you make nearly every purchasing decision with an understanding of how the product was made and where it came from. This extends to food, of course, clothing and housewares. But what about jewelry? Yes, now you can find eco-friendly rings and bracelets.

Dawes Design, run by metalsmith Jennifer Dawes in Northern California, is offering a series of unique pieces made from stones that are mined responsibly and recycled gold. In fact, Dawes will take your old ring and fashion a new one out of it. Green Daily has put together a cool slideshow of the pieces.

According to their official site, Dawes Design is a “slow business” using locally produced products and working with sustainable businesses that use recycled products.

Ms. Dawes says, “I want to add something to this world, not take it away. Becoming a mother has been the most profoundly meaningful and spiritual experience I have ever come to know. It has changed the way I perceive our future and how important it is to the commitment to a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle.”

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christmas-tree-with-gifts-flipbook1Jewelers around the country had a tough time of it this holiday season, but they may have had a surge of December sales to make up for it. According to Nielsen’s National Jeweler Network annual holiday weekend sales roundup, which interviews independent jewelers around the country, some perfectly timed sales last week helped a few jewelers break even for the year. However, many jewelers reported an overall drop in holiday sales and lots of concern for 2009.

Owner Wilson Glasgow of Elizabeth Bruns Jewelers in Charlotte, N.C., said that both a weak economy and local bank-related job losses contributed to the poor sales. “In the Charlotte region,” he said, “we are doubly affected not only with the economy but with the loss of Wachovia bank. That’s given us a double whammy.”

Read the full story here.

ring_fingerA brilliant cross-post from Planet Green:

It’s incredibly vain, but I love to see my jewelry shine like the afternoon sun. But as silver is exposed to the air, it oxidizes, which causes it to tarnish. Additionally, your precious gems can become clouded by oils on your hands. Many of us turn to chemical cleaners to keep our silver shinning and gems gleaming. However, making your jewelry sparkle can be way easier on the planet and even cheaper than many conventional jewelry cleaners.

Make your cleaner from all plant and mineral based cleaning products to ensure that your cleaner is eco-friendly and free of unnecessary packaging.

What you’ll need for the
jewelry cleaner:
A soft toothbrush
¼ cup (non-ammonia) eco-friendly window cleaner
1 tbsp natural toothpaste
A damp cloth

Full post here.

cdsA crosspost from The Detroit News with a very interesting slant on recycled jewelry:

Marsha Hawkins of Detroit has come full-circle, so to speak, with using old records, CDs and DVDs as the “base” for creating a unique line of jewelry.

“Back in the ’80s, I had a little company with a partner named Wicked Women. We were fooling around with old phonograph records. She was painting them with wearable art paint, experimenting and letting them dry. We turned them into earrings and brooches,” Hawkins remembers.

She later gave up her jewelry-making to start another business, Always and Forever Wedding Chapel in Detroit which specialized in cultural weddings. After about five years, she closed the chapel and got back into jewelry-making when “people started asking me about my jewelry.”

This time around, she designed her one-of-a-kind “pieces” using disgarded CDs and DVDs in place of old records. She sells her collection under the name “Pieces” and describes her work as “fragments of wearable art for those with a passion for unique fashion.

Full story here.

Many thanks to Jewlery guru Maggie MacLean and the entire team at the Jewlery Weblog for their article on the John Christian Company.

A full-page feature about jeweler John Christian can be found in this month’s FORTUNE Small Business! The story, which details the company’s decision to launch a less expensive product line (via Carved Creations), can be previewed below: [Click on the image to enlarge]

jcimage0011

This just in:

President-elect Barack Obama wants to show his thanks to his wife Michelle for her months of support on the campaign trail. And it’s going to cost him $30,000.

According to UK’s Daily Telegraph, Obama will purchase a five-figure Harmony ring made of rhodium – the world’s most expensive metal –and encrusted with diamonds. Italian designer Giovanni Bosco is rushing to complete the ring in time for January’s inauguration.

According to the article, “Only about 25 tons of rhodium are mined each year, mostly in South Africa, and as a result its price is typically around £5,000 an ounce.”

obamaring

But hold on just a cotton pickin’ minute. Political Machine is reporting that the story is not true.

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