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Eco-Friendly Jewelry

Ecologically-minded Jewelry in an Ethical Space

How It's Made Matters

Every piece of LOLiDE jewelry is crafted by hand in Seattle in a studio that values the environment and supports social justice and gender equality. I have researched extensively best practices in jewelry making and am constantly monitoring ways I can improve my studio to have the least negative impact on the environment while contributing positively to society and my community. Here are just a few of ways I strive to make LOLiDE a leader in ethically produced jewelry.

How It's Made Matters

Every piece of LOLiDE jewelry is crafted by hand in Seattle in a studio that values the environment and supports social justice and gender equality. I have researched extensively best practices in jewelry making and am constantly monitoring ways I can improve my studio to have the least negative impact on the environment while contributing positively to society and my community. Here are just a few of ways I strive to make LOLiDE a leader in ethically produced jewelry. 

Recycled and Fair Mined Metals

The materials I use for most wedding bands and components is 100% recycled. To verify and confirm the use of 100% recycled metals, I work with suppliers who are audited by SCS Global Services, a globally-recognized independent third-party certifier and sustainability expert. As part of this certification, SCS Global Services confirms that the recycled precious metal products are manufactured using 100% recycled precious metals. I also recycle my own metal for use in my jewelry whenever possible and when I cannot, I send it to be recycled into the market.

As there are limited supplies of recycled metal, I also support the use of fair mined gold. Fair mined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of.

Lab-grown and recycled diamonds

I feel strongly that lab-grown diamonds are a superior alternative to mined diamonds, and they are the default choice in all my work. Lab grown diamonds present the newest, most technologically advanced and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds available in today’s market. Lab grown diamonds are created using advanced technology — either extreme pressure and heat (HPHT) or a carbon vapor deposition process (CVD), which replicate the natural method of diamond formation. The result is lab grown diamonds have the same characteristics of natural ones, both in strength of material and sparkle.

These diamonds are certified and are purchased from suppliers who follow internationally recognized environmental standards. Recycled diamonds are also an option, especially if folks are looking for a particular style or shape that is not available in the lab diamond market.

Fair mined and lab-created gemstones

While lab created diamonds are a great addition to almost any ring, I love color! I have created a variety of styles using lab-created or fair mined stones. I am particularly fond of Montana and Australian mined sapphires which lend unique color and vibrance while not sacrificing durability. If you see a design you like but want to add something more vibrant, most white stones can be substituted with a durable colored gemstone alternative. Just get in touch to start exploring – the possibilities are nearly endless.

Studio practices

Traditional jewelry practices have been toxic both to the environment and to the maker. I have completely overhauled my studio to try to use as many non-toxic processes as possible during jewelry fabrication. These include working with common household ingredients like citric acid (vitamin C!) and dish soap rather than industrial chemicals during tumbling and finishing. All my metal dust is captured by a special dust collector and even this dust can be recycled. I even clean my studio with natural cleaning products and recycle and compost all but a tiny fraction of my waste.

When it comes to packaging, I’m no less diligent. I’ve spent hours sourcing boxes, bags, tape and mailers that are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable and/or compostable. I’m of course not perfect, so if you have ideas or recommendations on how I can improve, I’m all ears.

Giving Back

Part of the goal of LOLiDE since it first began was to not just do no harm but to try to be a catalyst for positive change. For me, ethically produced must also include the holistic intentions of the maker. LOLiDE strives to be a safe space for everyone and an example of jewelry that defies gender stereotypes and refuses to conform to traditional standards of beauty.

I believe it is important to not just do good but to support others who are already doing good. A portion of all sales from LOLiDE products and/or in-kind donations goes to various non-profits, including NNAF, Lambda Legal, Planned Parenthood, Legal Network For Gender Equity, International Rescue Committee, the Cancer Research Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund and Pure Earth.

Materials

.925 sterling silver. This is a superior sterling silver alloy that has improved tarnish resistance so maintains a white color longer than regular sterling (much like argentium silver) All sterling silver is 92.5% silver with other metals added to give strength and other characteristics. However, this alloy is still sterling silver which is the softest of the precious metals and should not be confused with the harder, more durable metals such as 950 palladium, white gold or platinum. All of those have varying degrees of superior strength, durability and tarnish resistance than silver. Sterling silver does not contain nickel.

Please note that of all the metal choices, sterling silver is the most reactive, and in some rare cases when silver comes in contact with sulfurous substances, it will turn completely black. In fact this is how jewelers purposefully use oxidization as a decorative element in silver jewelry. This is not an indication of a defect or the fault of the maker. It is a surface reaction only and can be removed by a local professional jeweler or I can do it for you for a fee. However, this does not qualify as a manufacturing defect and is not covered by the warranty. If this is of concern to you, please consider choosing a different metal for your ring.

95% palladium; a strong durable metal comparable to white gold. Palladium is greyer and cooler in tone than white gold. It is virtually hypo – allergenic and does not tarnish. Palladium prices have quadrupled in recent years, making it one of the most expensive alloys for jewelry.

Because of these increased costs, major suppliers have stopped carrying the alloy and therefore 950 palladium is no longer available for most designs. I highly recommend platinum as a less expensive and superior alternative or if you prefer the darker grey color, choose 18K palladium white gold.

Alloy of approximately 50/50 silver and palladium. PD5 is approximately 50% palladium with most of the rest of the alloy being made up of silver and some other proprietary metals. Somewhat surprisingly, this actually makes the alloy a darker grey. PD5 is the darkest of all the precious metals with a dark neutral grey.

PD5 is not as hard as 950 palladium or white gold but is far superior to sterling silver in strength and does not tarnish. It’s also a great way to add more intense color contrast to mixed metals rings like my fusion or gold stripe rings. The drawback is that PD5 is difficult to resize and most likely cannot be resized locally as most jewelers are not familiar with it.

An alloy of pure gold with other white metals. White gold is a bit of a misnomer as all gold is yellow, and white gold has many variations with varying attributes. White gold is creating by alloying yellow gold with various white metals such as nickel or palladium. “Regular” or “nickel” white is made with nickel which some people may have a reaction to. I also offer palladium white gold which is a nickel-free white gold option. More information on palladium white gold can be found under that tab.

White gold is greyer and darker than silver or platinum. It also has a warmer tone to it. White gold will become more “yellow” as it ages, but is a very hard, durable metal as well, and the different karats refer to purity. 10K is approximately 41% gold, 14K is approximately 58% gold, 18K is approximately 75% gold, and so on. The karats also have a factor in how the metal performs. Therefore, not all karats are offered in all designs.

*Please note that most white gold you may see in large jewelry stores is rhodium plated. I do not plate my gold, although my items can be plated locally, if desired.

An alloy of gold, palladium and other metals. Palladium white gold is the standard in UK/Europe and Australia as it uses palladium rather than nickel alloyed with the gold to create a “whiter” look. Palladium white gold is less yellow than “nickel” white but warmer than platinum.

Palladium white gold tarnishes much less over time than regular “nickel” white, but is not quite as hard. Palladium white is offered in 18K or 14K as a special order. 18K palladium white gold has a darker grey color similar to that of PD5. It’s a great choice for those who want gold, but have a known nickel allergy, want an alloy that is warmer than platinum, or want a lower maintenance white gold.

Most people are more familiar with these alloys. They mainly differ just in color. Higher karats are a little softer, but also richer and deeper in color, so 18K rose or yellow gold has a deeper hue than 14K and 14K more than 10K.

Rose gold is also referred to as red or pink gold. For rose gold, copper is usually added to give its characteristic hue.

Platinum is considered the most superior in performance of all the precious metals. Platinum is the densest and at one time was the most valuable of the metals. Rhodium plated white gold was created in order to mimic platinum.

Platinum is 95% pure and it has a slightly whiter finish than white gold or palladium. it is hypo-allergenic, very durable and scratch resistant. Platinum does not tarnish and holds up extremely well over time with little maintenance. It’s density is a large part of why it is more expensive as metals are sold by weight and platinum is the densest – thus the heaviest – of all the alloys.