In this modern eco-conscious era, it seems many of us have finally begun to look at our every step, every consumption, every purchase.
This weekend, I was inspired by the gorgeous antique jewelry I perused at a local Boulder, Colorado shop, Classic Facets. I was struck by the beauty of the pieces, their history, and the opportunity that choosing vintage, antique, estate jewelry presents me to reduce the gem mining, conflict diamond-related human rights violations,
and more that my love for shiny things would otherwise support.
Here’s a post from my prose blog ‘the most beautiful thing’ about my time in that shop, reprinted for elephantjournal.com with an eye turned toward how much more precious gems can be when we choose them from environmentally-conscious options rather than our usual U.S. retailers. I think this piece highlights the magic and connectedness some of our earth-loving practices can have.
the most beautiful thing: antique love (january 25, 2009)
We wandered past and were caught by the glint of blue glass in the window. From a cutter’s room in Czechoslovakia to the neck of his high-society love to the hands of a young heir to the shipment of consignment pieces landing in the states to the hands of a shopkeeper in Boulder to the window of said shop and into my eyes, then hands, each piece has a lifetime of its own, much lived before I was even born and now a part of mine.
That jewelry store today did not just sparkle with shining things, it rang with love and loss, dreamy eyes and relaxed remembrance. Every piece, dozens of stories. A story for every facet. And when I slipped the art deco emerald onto my finger, it sang a song of joy and good times. The tourmaline, a sense of earth and clarity. The canary surrounded by white and platinum, a precious and precarious moment, fleeting and sparrow-light. And the cat’s eye moonstone, it was like drinking warm sake – clear and soothing with a splash of awe.
I think there are few things more beautiful in this world than the story of love that follows a precious gem from generation to generation. Today, holding and loving those pieces for their innate beauty, old-world craftsmanship, and physical and emotional heritage, I too became part of the story, part of their beauty.
Looking for a source for historical and eco-friendly bobbles? Check out the Eco-Friendly Jewelry Sources at Martha Stewart Weddings, the Eco-Friendly Jewelry Buying Guide at Overstock.com, check an international estate jewelry listing like this one, google your area for local specialty stores, or just visit a local pawn shop. If you are in the Boulder/Denver area you can visit Classic Facets or The Amazing Garage Sale, among others.