How Buying Pre-Owned Jewelry Helps the Environment
Did you know that buying pre-owned jewelry also helps the environment? Keep reading as we explain why buying second-hand jewelry is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way to shop.
There are numerous benefits when it comes to buying pre-owned luxury jewelry, namely fantastic savings without compromising on quality. But did you know that buying pre-owned jewelry also helps the environment? Keep reading as we explain why buying second-hand jewelry is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way to shop.
Mining for diamonds and precious metals causes immediate and long-term damage to the environment. Every year, over 150 million carats of diamonds are mined from the earth, extracting over 260 billion tons of earth in the process. Mining in such large quantities damages entire ecosystems and contaminates the surrounding soil, water and air.
Below are some key facts about how mining harms the environment:
250 tons of earth is uprooted to find to what amounts to a 1 carat polished diamond.
1 carat of mined diamonds results in 9 liters of fuel consumption, 2,500 liters of water usage, 6,000 pounds of mineral waste and half a ton of Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Mining for enough gold to make one ring results in 20 tons of waste containing cyanide, mercury and other toxic substances.
Since 1950, pollution in land and waterways caused by mining is said to have increased by over 50%.
Miners can employ dangerous tactics to extract diamonds and gold. For example:
Blasting entire areas to clear them of trees. Cleared of trees, the soil then erodes and as a result becomes less suitable for farming.
Cyanide is a dangerous chemical used to dissolve gold from its ore in a process called heap leaching. Cyanide can spread rapidly in an aquatic environment and is hazardous to people and wildlife. Acid mine drainage can also occur which is the outflow of acidic water from a mining site which is difficult to contain and stop. These chemicals leach into the soil and contaminate waterways, compromising ecosystems.
How man-made diamonds harm the environment
There is a common misconception that man-made diamonds are an eco-friendly alternative as they produce little to no damage to the environment. In an effort to make the most sustainable purchases, more people are opting for man-made diamonds, also known as lab grown or synthetic diamonds. However, the machines that produce diamonds require huge amounts of constant energy. According to Jason Payne, founder of ADA Diamonds, even the “most efficient” diamond growers use 250 kWh per carat which is about the same amount of energy that the average US household uses in 8.7 days while “less efficient” growers use about 750 kWh per carat. In comparison, the Argyle mine uses 7 kWh to produce 1 carat and De Beers uses 80.3 kWh per carat. Furthermore, there is uncertainty about how the waste and by-products of lab grown diamonds are treated and where they are disposed of.
How buying pre-owned jewelry helps the environment
Buying pre-owned jewelry is the perfect solution for shopping sustainably. Recycled jewelry causes no new damage to the environment and gives new life and longevity to existing pieces. Ultimately, when you opt for pre-owned luxury jewelry you are helping to preserve valuable resources. For every piece of pre-owned jewelry bought, you are reducing the demand for diamond and metal mining, thereby lowering your carbon footprint.
The great thing about luxury jewelry is that it is expertly crafted with high quality materials that last a lifetime. Meaning that your pre-owned luxury jewelry will look just as good as the day you bought it for years to come.
How to buy eco-friendly jewelry
At Gemma by WP Diamonds, we are committed to making shopping for eco-friendly luxury jewelry easy and affordable. All of our pre-owned jewelry is authenticated by our team of industry experts. Enjoy your favorite luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co., Chopard and David Yurman at up to 80% off retail prices. With our wide array of pre-owned luxury jewelry, easy monthly payments with our partner Affirm, and free US shipping, shopping sustainably has never been more enjoyable.