If you’re concerned about the climate crisis and what difference your purchasing decisions can make, there’s a really strong argument to prefer jewellery makers who only use recycled precious metals.

  • Recycled gold produces up to 99.8% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than mined gold[1];
  • Recycling platinum produces about one-twentieth the emissions that mining for platinum does. (That’s a 95% reduction.); and
  • Recycling silver produces around 14% of the emissions that silver mining does.

These are huge savings, but what does that mean when it comes to jewellery?

To give you an example, for an average sized, plain wedding band or stacking ring, the numbers look like this[2]:

  • A ring made with newly mined gold with a carbon cost of up to 64kgs in greenhouse gas emissions might produce as little as…

A few short years ago lab-created diamonds weren’t even on people’s radar, much less considered a serious option for engagement ring buyers.

That situation is rapidly changing.

Since about 2017, they’ve become readily available in the general diamond jewellery market and are now making serious inroads into the bridal and engagement ring space.

Of course, the natural diamond world isn’t very happy about this development. Lab-created diamonds are starting to eat into their previously exclusive marketplace. But what does this mean to you if you’re thinking about buying an engagement ring?

Lab-created diamonds are diamonds

​Before we go too far, let’s make sure we’re…

… and here’s why they can’t afford not to

First up, I must admit to feeling a little conflicted when making this statement (only a little), because, in the interests of full disclosure, I am part owner of a business that, among other things, sells diamonds.

Knowing that you’d be right to wonder why I’m now in the process of raising a red flag about the diamond industry.

The reason is, it comes down to ethics. And as an advocate for consumers and all things ethical in the jewellery industry, I feel strongly about calling out some of the BS…

All of these rings have been made with recycled metals and feature traceable gems and diamonds — but is that enough to rate them as ethical jewellery?

Over the past couple of decades, we’ve witnessed what might be described as a tectonic shift in consumer’s attitudes towards concepts like sustainability, environmental responsibility, human rights, Fair Trade and the like.

Let’s face it, last century hardly anyone knew what these things meant, much less actively sought them out as desirable qualities in a business or product.

On top of that we’re now witnessing rapidly escalating concerns about climate change and the negative affects humans, through agriculture, industry and consumption, are having on the planet.

Gladly this change in consumer awareness and concern is causing positive change in the…

Remade entirely using materials from the owner’s collection of old family jewellery, this beautiful embrace-style ring features a Queensland sapphire set in (recycled) white gold.

If you’re a fan of the circular economy philosophy, when it comes to jewellery, you might be wondering how you can participate.

Lab-created or mine-origin … which diamonds are right for your business?

As demand slumps and prices drop, the diamond industry looks to be heading into a crisis phase — at least that’s what industry insiders are saying. Couple that with increasing competition between mine-origin and lab-created producers and you have a recipe for uncertainty, stress and finger-pointing. But as a jeweller or jewellery retailer, is picking a side a good idea?

If the idea of ‘war’ and ‘picking sides’ sounds a bit melodramatic, that may be so, but now more than ever those at the consumer-end of the diamond supply chain need to pay close attention to what’s going on.


The jewellery industry, like many others, is under a lot of pressure to reform and become much more responsible in the way it functions. This offers a market opportunity for those ready to jump on board, but the biggest opportunity awaits those willing to go the extra mile.

Imagine for a moment I asked you to put your hand up if you’re a bit exhausted by the whole climate change/climate crisis debate.

Maybe you wouldn’t because the debate really energises you, but I’m guessing a lot of people would like to put their hands up, even if they feel like…

The lab-grown diamond industry are making eco-friendliness claims that are weak at best. It’s time they either pony up with the proof or start telling it like it is.

The term ‘smoke and mirrors’ could easily be applied to the lab-grown diamond industry’s environmental and social responsibility claims. Perhaps that’s being a bit harsh, but platitudes really don’t deserve a free pass in this day and age.

Whilst I’ve been involved in the jewellery business for over 12 years now, it’s only in the past two that I’ve become immersed in the machinations of the global industry.

As it happens, that was also about the same time lab-grown diamonds really started making waves as a serious competitor to mine-origin stones.

In particular I remember coverage of a red-carpet event…

Maybe it’s time for diamonds to become more than just symbols of prosperity and love?

The rise and rise of laboratory grown diamonds has ramped up competition in the jewellery industry. It has launched a war of words where each side of the natural vs man-made debate is using Climate Change as a club to beat each other about the head.

Meanwhile consumers are left confused by conflicting information. They can’t tell who’s right or who’s wrong when it comes to a problem most feel powerless to do anything about anyway.

Perhaps it’s time to change the conversation to something consumers can relate to?

If you were around in the late ’80s, you might recall…

When every decision feels like a compromise, what’s the right thing to do?

Every morning my partner (in business and life) and I go for a walk around the neighbourhood to get some exercise and, more importantly, to talk.

We discuss all kinds of things. We talk about things that affect us directly, and we talk about a bunch of much bigger issues, things relating to the industry we work in, the products we buy, politics and so on and so on.

One of this morning’s topics was cosmetics. It was top of mind because of an article we both saw relating to the exploitation of mica miners in northern India. (Mica is…

Benn Harvey-Walker

Jewellery industry consumer advocate and Blogger + Co-founder of bespoke jewellery company, Ethical Jewellery Australia

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