Is antique jewellery a sustainable choice?

Is antique jewellery a sustainable choice?

This year, 2020, has really put sustainability at the forefront of our minds.

It was something many of us had started to think about more in recent years with global warming beginning to take centre stage, however, 2020 with its global pandemic has really catapulted our choices as consumers into the spotlight.

Our infringement into wild lands and the way we treat and eat animals could make pandemics like COVID-19 all the more prevalent.

Not only should we question our food choices for the future of humanity and our beautiful planet, but we have also begun to question our shopping choices.

Mass consumerism is finally beginning to be frowned upon with ethical, sustainable shopping choices not only better for our wallets, but for our planet too.

It’s not a sustainable choice to keep mass producing endless cheap products that regularly need replacing or are thrown away on a whim, whether that’s furniture, clothing or jewellery.  We need to make more eco-friendly purchasing choices.

My husband touched on this recently in a really interesting article where he compared the difference in carbon emissions between his reclaimed wood furniture and that of a popular High Street brand.  You can find a link to his article on my blog here.

So, as you have probably already guessed, in answer to my blog title, yes.  Antique jewellery like the beautiful pieces at Carus Jewellery is a sustainable choice.  I will explore why in this blog post.

Why antique jewellery is sustainable

Is antique jewellery a sustainable choice?
15ct Gold Amethyst & Seed Pearl Ring – Carus Jewellery

Stops the production of more jewellery

Producing and manufacturing more new jewellery uses resources and creates pollution from the transportation of the materials, to the energy needed to create the new pieces and shipping of the final products.

The more new items that are produced, whether it’s jewellery or other items, the more pollution is created.

If there is plenty of existing jewellery already in circulation that are perfectly fit for purpose, then we should all source these preloved and antique jewellery pieces before ever shopping new.  This mind-set should apply to pretty much everything we buy from clothes to household items.  We should always seek to buy preloved as the first option before buying new.

It doesn’t matter what type of jewellery we are shopping for, it’s likely that the perfect piece already exists.  This stunning antique sapphire and diamond ring would make a gorgeous engagement or wedding ring.  There are plenty more examples to be found in antique jewellery stores, both online and in physical stores for your perusal.

Prevents more mining

We all love sparkly things and this is what makes diamonds and precious gems so desirable.  However, mining for new precious metals is not great for the environment; especially if there is already antique jewellery available that we can choose instead.

Mining is not a sustainable practice. Here are some of the negative impacts of mining on the environment:

  • Erosion
  • Sinkholes
  • Deforestation
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Large water use
  • Dammed rivers
  • Wastewater disposal issues
  • Acid mine drainage
  • Water pollution
  • Soil pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Dust

You can of course choose lab diamonds instead, but the most sustainable choice would be antique jewellery and preloved jewellery first.

Is antique jewellery a sustainable choice?
Art Deco Sapphire & Diamond Ring – Carus Jewellery

Stops jewellery going to landfill

If everyone were to shop new all the time, then all existing and antique jewellery would end up in landfill, if not recycled.

Creating a preloved and antique economy will ensure no one throws things in the bin and instead opts to give their old jewellery a second life.

Supports the local economy, charities and individuals

Choosing new jewellery from the major players means they’ll continue to mine for precious metals, mass produce the same pieces over and over again, and continue to ship things on a global scale.

By choosing preloved antique jewellery you can support the local economy and buy from small businesses in your own county and country.  You can choose to support charities that sell antique jewellery too. 

Rather than lining the greedy pockets of a rich CEO with even more cash, you can choose to give your money directly to an individual who chooses to sell on their precious antiques and boost your local economy.

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Is antique jewellery a sustainable choice?