Gallery: DESIGN YOUR OWN ECO JEWELRY with GreenKarat


They say that diamonds are a girls best friend, but who wants to be BFFs with slavery, child soldiers, and the horrific violence that occurs in Sierra Leone, Angola and Congo because of the diamond mining industry? For those of you who haven’t seen Blood Diamond, the mined diamond industry is a dirty business that has thrived on the exploitation of war-torn nations and impoverished people for decades. And even “conflict-free” diamonds are still mined from the depths of the earth – they may be more socially sustainable, they still aren’t environmentally friendly…

Fortunately, you can still have your cake and eat it too in regards to precious jewelry. Your solution to the environmental and social ravages of the diamond trade is both stylish and high-tech: manufactured gemstones! Cultured gems are exactly like their mined counterparts, but are formed in labs with heat and high pressure machines, rather than in the depths of the earth over thousands of years. Greenkarat is a fabulous eco-friendly jewelry company that deals in cultured gemstones (diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc), as well as recycled platinum and gold.

My sweetie recently gave me a gorgeous sapphire engagement ring (see above) from GreenKarat, and I love it – knowing that it is not only pretty, but reflects my values and beliefs as well. The sapphire was created in a lab, so I know no forests (or people) in Sri Lanka were harmed in the process, and the platinum is also 100% recycled. The process of working with GreenKarat was really fun: they are a small and flexible company that will happily help you create a personalized custom design from start to finish. GreenKarat was even nice enough to resize my ring when it was too big the first time around, so I can’t recommend them more highly. Finally, their designs tend towards contemporary stylish minimalism – so you can bypass the tacky bling and know that their tasteful aesthetic also helps fight against violence and environmental degradation. Now that’s real love.

+ GreenKarat Ecofriendly Jeweler

GreenKarat’s recycled gold wedding bands, cultured ruby ring, recycled diamond earrings,
and Binary Code ring (you can put a secret message in there!)

Despite what the diamond cartels want you to believe, “cultured diamonds” are in fact molecularly superior to natural diamonds, as they don’t have mineral deposits and other defects of nature. If you’ve never heard of cultured diamonds – or think we’re talking about cubic zirconium here – its probably because the diamond industry doesn’t want you to know about this. The diamond cartels seem to be terrified that the new technology of manufacturing gemstones is going to break their monopoly and artificially inflated prices, and thus have been trying to paint cultured diamonds as “fake” or “synthetic.” Don’t be fooled – cultured diamonds are every bit as “real” as mined diamonds, only they are less expensive and much better for the planet.


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  1. bodaverde February 12, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I am totally behind eco-jewelry, but I would not recommend greenkarat. My husband and I got our wedding bands from them, and they gave us headaches from the start (and I have never written a negative review about another company)…definitely the worst online shopping experience of my life. Atrocious customer service, requiring several emails and phone messages just to get a response. When the rings FINALLY arrived, days before the wedding, they showed no respect or integrity when the rings were sized incorrectly; they would not reimburse us and went as far as to accuse us of lying. Maybe try Brilliant Earth instead.

  2. Juris March 4, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I highly recommend Leber Jeweler [ ]! Leber has earth-wise rings and other jewelry. My fiancé designed a beautiful engagement ring for me with reclaimed platinum and a Canadian diamond. He knew that I didn’t want to support the environmental degradation and human rights violations of traditional mining practices.

  3. brenda February 27, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Wow, those are really beautiful

  4. amy lou February 19, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    ok, you got yourself one SUPER sweetie! How rad is this dude? RAD ENOUGH TO CATCH JILL!!!!! CONGRATS xoxoxo amylou

  5. Zarena February 16, 2007 at 11:52 am

    My question is this..there is a very specific pendant that i would like to have made.. a winged foot (track shoe) with the number 29 in front of it…do you think it can be done?

  6. ann fehrenbacher February 15, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    wow, super cool congradulations, next time you guys are in town we wouldlove to have you over!
    so happy for you both,

  7. JS February 15, 2007 at 9:11 am

    Hey Pambamboo, got a website?

  8. pambamboo February 14, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    I sure hope you paid a reasonable price – my sad experience is that so called eco jewelers are way overpricing for these very inexpensive stones. For example, the octagon sapphire in the picture costs (wholesale) $10 if it’s
    10 mm long, $13 if it’s 12 mm long. An honest jeweler should no more than triple that cost. Recycled platinum? Just exactly what does that mean other than reusing the metal from another ring – a great idea to be sure (it is always more ecological to recycle than to make new to answer Elizabeth’s query) but, again, not worth a premium. Lab grown diamonds are also a great idea – only available in yellow (or ‘canary’ for 3x as much) for now but they are dazzling. I’m a jeweler and one of the things that distinguishes me and my partner from other jewelers is that we hand fabricate custom jewelry at reasonable prices. No thanks to the karma of ripping off or getting rich on folks who want a special ring or pendant or a piece made as ecologically as possible!

  9. David February 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    And what of the glorious history of mining precious metals? As the demand diamonds and other pricey stones is surely a fraction of that for gold & silver should we not promote a more aggresive approach to recycling stones?

  10. Elizabeth February 14, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Just curious, but how do cultured gems compare (green-wise) to just using recycled gems (like in consignment stores or antique jewelry)?

  11. Bruk February 14, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I love love love the idea of this! It’s exactally what I would want…

  12. Peter Mansfield February 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Very pretty ring — it reflects your good taste.

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