Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Green Your Wedding Starting With Your Wedding Ring
A gold wedding band is traditional in America and many other places, but I imagine that most brides would be horrified to know the full extent of the environmental devastation that gold mining leaves behind. It churns up arsenic residues that are left in the soil, uses incredible amounts of water and electrical power to process the ore and refine the raw gold into the beautiful, gleaming metal that looks so lovely under the subdued lighting in the jewelry store.
The bottom line is this: mining gold for a wedding ring is bad for the environment, and it’s bad for the world. Most of the people mining gold in third-world countries are not well-treated and do not have adequate health care. What bride wants to be a part of environmental degradation and the mistreatment of mine workers? Just thinking about these things can cast a pall over the wedding of any young couple. But what if I told you there was a way to get a gold wedding band guilt-free?
How is this possible? Why, by using recycled gold in your wedding band and other jewelry. There are several ways to accomplish this. For instance, you can visit local pawnshops or a gem and mineral show to buy old gold. Or, you can take heirloom jewelry that you’ve inherited or been given by relatives and have the gold melted down and recast into whatever shape you crave. One of the truly amazing things about gold is just how malleable it is. It truly is a wonder metal and can be shaped or cast into just about shape you can imagine. When it comes to reusing gold, there really are no limits to what you and your jeweler can accomplish. And just imagine how great you’ll feel knowing that your wedding band didn’t cause any environmental damage or cause any workers to be exploited in far-away lands. I think for any bride with even a smidgeon of environmental awareness, this would be a big deal.
Another aspect to consider when trying to find green jewelry is the environmental havoc wreaked by diamond mining. Diamond mines are some of the worst environmental offenders in the mining industry and are notorious for the way that diamond miners are treated, especially in places like South Africa, which produces the bulk of the world’s raw diamonds. And face it, diamonds’ value is a hoax, perpetuated by the diamond cartels to create the illusion of scarcity. There are literally tons of diamonds stockpiled around the world. Diamonds are not rare stones. So when you’re thinking of creating a wedding ring, why not go with both recycled diamonds and recycled gold?