Our Journey To A Sustainable Jewelry Brand

Our Journey To A Sustainable Jewelry Brand


Much has been written about recycled jewelry and sustainable jewelry. It is an area that is continually developing and our Diamonds Reborn collection is a major step forward as we try to create a more sustainable jewelry future for our brand. Before we introduce the newest styles in our Diamonds Reborn collection, we thought it might be helpful to talk a bit about some of the terms associated with this whole sustainable jewelry movement.


What is Sustainable Jewelry?


The concept of sustainable jewelry is a holistic one. It goes beyond just one or two practices like recycled precious metals in the jewelry or ethically sourced stones. Both of those are important parts of the journey towards being a more sustainable jewelry brand, but the same time sustainability encompasses a whole range of business practices. These encompass elements like the supply chain of a brand, it's employee culture and its interactions with the communities in which it operates. There are some notable certifications that brands, and other jewelry companies can pursue that start to audit and address these various ways of operating a fine jewelry business. One organization is the RJC, or Responsible Jewelry Council, a group that audits and monitors jewelry industry practices globally. The RJC has been an important of our brand’s sourcing heritage as over 90% of our precious metals for example, comes from companies certified by the RJC or a similar organization. Additionally, the majority of our largest jewelry factories are RJC certified companies.


An organization that is helping to codify the concept of sustainability for companies worldwide is B Lab® a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using “business as a force for good™.” The organization is behind the effort over the past decade to designate companies worldwide as Certified B Corporations. Monica Rich Kosann is proud to be a Certified B Corp. As we discussed in our blog post when we received this designation, “Certified B Corporations®, or B Corps, are “businesses that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability”. These are companies committed to using business … to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The certification process is conducted by B Labs® through an assessment process that focuses on five broad areas: governance, workers, customers, environment and community. A recent article in Vogue Business cited that the 3,500 companies that have been granted this certification (as of our blog post’s publication date) were qualified out of 100,000”


What is Recycled Jewelry and Re-purposed Diamonds?


On one level the ultimate recycled jewelry pieces are vintage fine jewelry items one might buy from a dealer at a shop, antique fair or flea market that they can make part of their personal jewelry box. Some of our favorite jewelry pieces are vintage styles from the past and Monica has a number of personal pieces like that which she cherishes. In that sense, finding a new life for an older piece of jewelry nicely fits the ultimate definition of recycled jewelry.


The reality is that not every jewelry piece can easily find a new home, so the next best thing that might allow that jewelry piece to find a new life is to remove any diamonds or precious stones and then have the precious metal melted and refined back to its purest form in preparation. A gold jewelry piece can be melted for example, refined into pure now “recycled” gold, and that gold can re-enter the supply chain to be reused or crafted into a new jewelry style. At the same time, the stones that have been removed can be re-imagined into new jewelry designs and re-purposed for a new life.


The above is a process that creates a circular life cycle for a gold jewelry piece by using recycled gold and repurposed diamonds or other precious stones in the new design. So, whether that older jewelry piece was an under appreciated ring or earring, that recycled gold ring, or recycled gold earring can now have a new and treasured life in some other form.


Recycled Precious Metal


In the production of fine jewelry, a company will have choices about how to source the precious metals that are used in its design. When one wants to use recycled metal, which is an important part of the journey to more sustainable jewelry, it means they are making the decision to buy precious metal that has been refined from post consumer or other uses. It is a process that requires getting ongoing certifications from suppliers about the source of the metals being used. At Monica Rich Kosann, we have been steadily increasing the percentage of recycled metals in our production process and those percentages exceeded 65% for the year ending 2021.


What is Diamonds Reborn?


Diamonds Reborn is a collection we created at Monica Rich Kosann that uses only post consumer recycled gold as outlined above and repurposed natural diamonds from previously owned jewelry styles. We use these elements to create a brand new 18k gold fine jewelry style for a new generation. In one sense, they are recycled necklaces and recycled bracelets as they are part of a circular product lifecycle that brings new life to their building blocks. It reflects our commitment as a Certified B Corp. to create collections that will help ensure a more sustainable jewelry future.


All the styles in the Diamonds Reborn collection are limited by nature given the limited availability of repurposed diamonds. We have introduced a number of diamonds reborn drops throughout the year, and all have sold out quickly. We are excited to present ongoing new groups from the collection which can always be found on our Diamonds Reborn page. The styles are offered in 18k yellow gold and for the first time will be introduced this month in 18K white gold.

More to Explore