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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To past, present and future customers of John Christian and Carved Creations: Thank you very much for your business this season. There are plenty of jewelers out there to choose from, and we truly appreciate that you considered us. Please let us know if you have any concerns about the delivery or quality of the products you ordered.

We hope the season brings plenty of joy, happiness and thankfulness, and that you continue to turn to John Christian again when the need arises for unique, personalized jewelry and special gifts.

For combined helpfulness and coolness, it’s hard to beat Apartment Therapy. They have such a great eye for decor and style, and they’re always cognizant of price. It was a real thrill, then, to see their posting on jewelry display.

Here’s one of the examples, from a “cool and kitschy” apartment in Austin:

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And here’s one that uses ice trays!

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See? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a nice (and convenient) place to store your rings, pendants, cuff links and bracelets.

If you’re used to the kind of pendant that stays tucked away or buttoned up, these may strike you as a little brazen. In fact, I thought the same thing at first. They’re round, carved with large letters and dangle from a thick rope. Then, it hit me: They are totally hot.

Taking a timeless approach–another word could be prehistoric (in a good way)–the new Bold Pendants from Carved Creations look earthy and almost runic. Yet, they’re made of Sterling Silver, 14K Yellow or White Gold, or Platanium™–Carved Creation’s unique alloy that has a platinum look with a titanium durability.

Plus, they are completely customizable. On your own personalized pendant you can feature a special date in Roman Numerals, your childrens’ names, a spouse or partner’s name, or your unique, carved design embossed.

The coolest thing about them? These pendants look like you never want to take them off. (Think of those ceramic hoops surfers wear all year-round). And they dangle perfectly with crucifix pendants or a lockets. Another great detail is that they are not too masculine or too feminine, making them an ideal anniversary gift, wedding party favor or graduation gift for anyone.

Check them out here.

From WalletPop‘s Brandon Barker:

Every business owner — not to mention every stock broker — knows about diversification. It’s the best way to weather the whims of a fickle economy. But in the middle of this economic downturn, how does a luxury-oriented business diversify? Facing high gas prices, steep food prices and the continuing aftershocks of the mortgage crisis, jewelry might be the last purchase on anyone’s mind.

Last week the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) brought some attention to John Christian, a small custom-jewelry company in Austin, Texas. Originally geared toward big-ticket rings, pendants and charms priced at $599 and above, the company found that skyrocketing gold prices were putting them in a sticky spot. “People are still going to get married and love their kids and celebrate special times in their lives,” said Wes Weaver, John Christian’s CEO. “But the jewelry’s going to have to change.”

The solution? A portmanteau: Platanium® — a unique, stainless-steel alloy that combines the luster of platinum and the strength of titanium. The company’s executives, including John Waugh — a 50-year jewelry veteran who used to run class-ring titan ArtCarved — and his son Turner Waugh considered the downside of such a move. John Christian had spent years developing its high-end brand, and providing a cheaper line might confuse current customers and tarnish the company’s image. But, at a certain point, it wasn’t a matter of choice. “I was fighting to survive,” Mr. Weaver told the Wall Street Journal.

Weaver and Waugh decided to “isolate and protect” their higher-end products while marketing the cheaper jewelry on a separate platform. It started a new brand called Carved Creations, selling Platanium® and sterling silver products for less that $200. Some customers were wary of Platanium®, but according to Weaver, once “you explain what it is they pick it every time.”

Today, almost half of the company’s orders come from the less expensive line.

The following an example of platanium, the 8.5 MM LifeSpirit Channel ring: