I received an interesting set of questions from a concerned gentlemen. I felt sharing my answers would help others who have similar questions about conflict-free diamonds, recycling and other green issues.
Hello, I feel a bit guilty writing to a Diamond jeweler for advice on this subject, but please honor me with a sincere response. I found your contact information on a “Green” wedding site and read a bit about materials and stones.
My dilemma is simple. My girlfriend is very passionate about preserving the environment and has expressed great concerns through out our relationship about sources of diamonds, gold, silver, mining impacts on the environment and every other subject you can imagine on precious stones and metals.
I absolutely do not want to ruin a proposal with a ring which even remotely represents “conflict” in her life. I read a bit about palladium?
Is it manufactured? Mined?
What about alternatives to “true” diamonds? Are other engineered stones appropriate?
Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
Dear Earth Wise Friend,
Your dilemma is not so unusual and I have been wondering what I can do to be a responsible member of our fragile planet in regards to jewelry and diamonds.
Recently, one new option has been brought to my attention. Some jewelry manufacture companies have been using recycled precious metals to make their jewelry. This metal was previously mined and made into jewelry and then remelted and turned back into pure metals to once again be alloyed and used. The challenge here is to choose a responsible refiner who only uses earthwise methods for refining. In the past harmful chemicals were used in this process but now new methods have allowed the refining process to be clean and environmentally friendly.
Palladium is a metal that is also mined from the earth but the company that mines the Palladium that we use is right here in the USA and they are earth friendly. We can also purchase recycled Palladium.
I am making a decision to offer a line of rings that are made from recycled metals only. These rings will require no mining to get the metal. The metal will be totally recycled. I think your girlfriend could feel proud and good about wearing one of these rings.
Another option would be to purchase a synthetic diamond. Charles and Colvard is a company that sells moissanite which is man made silicon carbide that closely resembles a diamond. You can easily research this online. Of course there are other man made options that you could also use.
If you would like to purchase a recycled ring let me know and I can help you with the setting. I only sell conflict free diamonds so I cannot help you with the synthetic stones. Hope this helps you with your decision.
Thank you and Best Wishes, Jill Renee
The Best View Possible – 3D Diamond Rings January 10, 2008Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Diamonds, Buying Jewelry, Diamond Jewelry, Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Palladium Jewelry , add a comment
Purchasing a diamond engagement ring is never an easy prospect, and when you add the thought of buying that ring online, there’s an entire level of uncertainty added. One is forced to take certain things into consideration when buying an engagement ring online – Is the picture online accurate? What does the other side of the band look like? Is the metal really that shiny? Fortunately, here at Danforth Diamond, we’ve taken some of the stress out of purchasing diamond engagement rings online.
At Danforth we understand that you might not know what a cathedral style ring or channel set diamonds looks like, and if the picture on the website doesn’t give you a great view, it’s understandable why you would be apprehensive about buying the ring. That’s why we’ve added a series of 3D pictures to the Danforth Diamond website. Our 3D views are the ACTUAL ring not a computer-generated photo of the ring in 3D.
Currently featuring over 20 rings, our 3D Diamond Engagement Rings give you the best possible view of the ring your interested in. Speed up, slow down, or completely stop the rotating image to see every angle of the diamond engagement ring you’re interested in to make sure that it’s exactly what she’ll want. You wouldn’t buy a car without at least seeing what the interior looks like, so why would you buy a diamond ring without seeing what the other side looks like? Take a look at our 3D Diamond Engagement Rings and you’ll quickly understand why we’re doing everything we can at Danforth Diamond to ease the ring buying process.
Buying Jewelry, Diamond Jewelry, Diamonds, Jewelry, Palladium Jewelry, Press Releases, Wedding Jewelry, White gold , 1 comment so far
Hypoallergenic palladium perfect for those with nickel allergies
Midlothian, VA – November 1, 2007 – Danforth Diamond, the engagement rings experts, released today their new line of 18k palladium white gold diamond engagement rings, wedding bands, and earrings. Danforth makes this announcement in the face of growing demand for quality white gold rings at affordable prices, adding another option to their extensive line of top quality jewelry available at: http://www.danforthdiamond.com
By replacing the nickel or silver traditionally used to make 18K white gold with palladium, Danforth can now offer superior quality without the fear of the common nickel allergy that drives many customers away from white gold, creating another option for their valued customers.
Long used by jewelers as a substitute for Platinum, Palladium jewelry came to prominence during World War II when Platinum was reserved for military uses. As it bears many of the same properties, but not the price-tag, usually associated with Platinum, Palladium was an excellent option for top quality jewelry instead of Platinum. By adding Palladium to yellow gold, jewelers are able to produce white gold that holds the white coloring better and longer than that made with nickel or silver, and helps avoid metal allergies usually associated with nickel.
The addition of Palladium to select wedding bands and diamond engagement rings is why Danforth Diamond continues to be the jeweler more people prefer. This announcement is another in Danforth’s long line of meeting their customers’ demand for high-quality jewelry. Danforth Diamond plans to continue offering the high-quality products their customers appreciate through their site at: http://www.danforthdiamond.com/ .
About Danforth Diamond:
Danforth Diamond has over 50 years of experience offering quality jewelry for the best value. As experts they provide guidance and advice to help you enjoy the diamond purchasing process, and are known for their wedding jewelry, including platinum, palladium, yellow gold, and white gold engagement rings and matching sets. They are committed to your continued satisfaction.
George R. Perry
Picking the Right Diamond and Ring Setting October 11, 2007Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Diamonds, Buying Engagement Rings, Buying Jewelry, Diamond Jewelry, Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Jewelry, Palladium Jewelry, Proposing Marriage , add a comment
Deciding to propose to the special somebody in your life is a huge decision, one that will lead you down a path of even more decisions. Of course, the first thing that needs to be decided after you’ve decided to propose is what type of engagement ring to get. Between diamonds and settings there are so many choices that it can be overwhelming. Hopefully this can be cleared up.
While you’re probably more than familiar with the 4 C’s of diamonds, there are other things to consider when choosing a diamond, chief amongst them, the shape. Here weâ€™ll focus on the shape and two of the Câ€™s; cut and carat. Clarity and color can be saved for another day.
With so many shapes out there it can be confusing as to the actual differences, so let’s simply talk about each of them and their individual merits.
” Round” the most basic of diamonds, and the only shape not considered “fancy,” this shape is very much how it sounds â€“ a rounded diamond in the shape of a circle.
“Princess” arguably the most popular shape, this squared diamond has only grown in popularity while still being a relatively new shape. The princess diamond tends to find its way into solitaire engagement rings more than any of the other shapes.
“Emerald” a rectangular shaped diamond, this shape is reflective of a classic and aristocratic elegance. Unlike other diamonds, the emerald shaped diamond is not a brilliant cut but rather a step cut, being comprised of larger, planar facets that resemble stair steps and act like mirrors.
“Marquise” long and slender, this shape, originally commissioned by Louis XIV of France, is wonderful for maximizing the carat within the setting. The marquise shape will accentuate the length of the fingers and works well on a person with longer fingers.
â€¢ Pear â€“ a hybrid shape combining the best elements of the oval and marquise shapes, it resembles nothing so much as a teardrop. Typically used in pendants and earrings, this shape compliments short to average length fingers, helping to give the illusion of longer fingers much like the oval shaped diamond does.
â€¢ Heart â€“ essentially a pear shaped diamond with a cleft at the top, the heart shaped diamond is the ultimate symbol of romance. This shaped diamond is frequently seen in pendants but is more than acceptable as a choice in a ring.
â€¢ Trillion â€“ a wedge of brilliant fire, the trillion shaped diamond was first developed in Amsterdam. Traditionally a triangle shaped diamond, the amount of point at the corners is often open for interpretation, but these diamonds work well as both a compliment to a center stone, a unique center stone in themselves, or as a pair of earrings.
â€¢ Baguette â€“ very reminiscent of the emerald shaped diamond, this shape of diamond is frequently used as side stones to a larger center stone. Much like the emerald shaped diamond, the baguette shape doesnâ€™t feature nearly the sparkle of brilliant shaped diamonds, but does offer a classic beauty that is hard to match.
The shape is only the first part of what to look for, at least initially, when considering a diamond for an engagement ring.
Carats are essentially a way to measure the weight of diamonds. While the use of the carat measuring system may date back to ancient Oriental bazaars and the carob seed, in the present we know that the more carats in the diamond, the bigger it is.
While the size of the diamond that you get can be determinate on a number of factors, not the least of which is cost, the Setting and Mounting that you choose can also have an influence on the size of the diamond that you get for your ring. (more…)
Wedding Bands:The Forgotten Wedding Accessory June 11, 2007Posted by Jill Renee in : Jewelry, Palladium Jewelry, Wedding Jewelry , add a comment
You picked out the perfect engagement ring. She said yes. You’ve picked out invitations and reserved the location and you almost forgot the wedding bands. It’s easy to see how you could, given that the tradition of wedding rings, especially for men, has really only been popular since the early 20th century, but it’s another way to add a personal touch to your wedding.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with getting classically simple gold bands, you can match your personal taste by getting platinum, palladium, and even diamond wedding rings. In addition to the material used to make your wedding bands, you can even decide the design of them, with styles ranging from traditional, simple bands, to more elaborate designs involving complex carvings, inscriptions, and even inset diamonds and other precious gems.
While finding the diamond engagement ring of her dreams was a big step, finding the wedding bands that fit your personality and let the world know that you’ve found the one person in the world that makes you happy is just as important. With all the craziness that goes with planning a wedding, it’s important to remember that even the little things, like picking out your wedding bands, should have the same amount of thought as picking out her wedding dress.
World’s Largest Collection of Palladium Engagement Rings March 20, 2007Posted by Jill Renee in : Engagement Rings, Palladium Jewelry, Press Releases , add a comment
Danforthdiamond.com Announces the World’s Largest Collection of Palladium Engagement Rings
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – March 14, 2007 – Keeping in step with customer demand and current trends in the diamond jewelry industry, Danforthdiamond.com recently introduced a large collection of palladium engagement rings on their website. You can visit the online jewelry retailer at: http://www.danforthdiamond.com/
Palladium, a metal in the platinum family that is just as durable as it’s more expensive cousin, is the hottest new metal in the jewelry industry. Scott Kay, a master jeweler and authority in the industry, is calling palladium ‘the industry’s best-kept secret.
Danforthdiamond.com decided to specifically create the world’s largest collection of palladium engagement rings because of growing customer demand. For most brides, this is the one piece of jewelry in their collection that needs to be able to endure a lifetime – and palladium’s durability makes it an attractive alternative to other metals.
“The new palladium alloys used for engagement ring manufacturing are excellent and make this a hard option to beat when choosing metal for that perfect ring,”says Jill Renee, president of Danforthdiamond.com. That’s why we have expanded our selection of palladium engagement jewelry.
Customer demand encouraged Danforthdiamond.com to become a leader in offering palladium wedding jewelry. Every category of engagement ring offered on the site: solitaires, three-stone rings and rings with side stones has a palladium option. Matching engagement ring and wedding band sets are also available.
There are several different types of customers who consistently express interest in palladium:
- Budget-conscious couples purchasing jewelry made from the platinum family at a much more affordable price
- Trend-setting brides attracted to the buzz palladium is generating in the jewelry industry
- Brides with sensitive skin who may have had to pass on white gold because of a nickel allergy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ with palladium they have a more durable option
“Our customers are making a lifetime investment when purchasing our jewelry, and we want to give them as many options as possible to meet every taste and budget,” Renee says. “And at Danforthdiamond.com, they’ll find the most comprehensive collection of palladium engagement rings, in addition to an incredible inventory of fine jewelry pieces to enhance their collection.”
About Danforth Diamond
With more than 50 years in the jewelry business, Danforth Diamond is an online fine jewelry retailer. Their site offers high quality palladium engagement rings and wedding bands as well as earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings in gold, white gold and platinum at competitive prices. View their collection of palladium engagement rings.
Palladium Jewelry February 6, 2007Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Engagement Rings, Palladium Jewelry , 7comments
New Jewelry Metal Offers Platinum Quality at White Gold Price
By Jill Renee
View our entire stock of Palladium Jewelry
There is a new jewelry metal on the horizon Ã¢â‚¬â€œ palladium. As a platinum group metal, palladium offers customers a host of benefits that white gold and platinum canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t touch. Are customers ready for a white metal that is less expensive than platinum and hypoallergenic unlike white gold? Many jewelers and jewelry stores are banking on it.
PalladiumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s steel-white appearance makes it an attractive jewelry alternative to white gold and platinum. However, palladium was difficult to cast with and had not been fit for jewelry casting until recently. Innovations in developing a castable palladium alloy produced 950 palladium, which is ideal for jewelry. It is expected that, within the coming months, consumers will begin to hear more about palladium and its benefits; and palladium could very well be the next revolution in jewelry. Much of this relies on the fact that palladium is in the platinum group of metals and shares many of the same attributes as platinum Ã¢â‚¬â€œ high purity, good luster, and white appearance.
Palladium versus Platinum
Much of platinumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cache is due to its purity. Jewelry cast using pure gold (i.e., 24K) is soft and subject to damage, which threatens the overall look and luster of the jewelry piece. To combat this, gold is commonly mixed with copper or silver to strengthen it. The concerns over goldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s softness are why gold jewelry is typically crafted using 14 or 18 karat gold. Palladium is attractive to consumers in the same way as platinum because it is a purer material that is not fabricated or man made.
Another benefit of palladium is that it is over 40% lighter than platinum, a characteristic of palladium that has jewelry designers excited. Weight is a consideration that is especially important in earrings as heavier metals and bigger designs can stretch the ear lobe and be too heavy to wear. Larger stones can be set in a palladium design and, because it is less dense, the piece wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel overly heavy to the wearer.
The biggest downside to platinum is its price. Often, consumers seeking that white-metal appearance had to settle for white gold or sterling silver because of platinumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high price tag. Palladium is set to take a large share of the market because of its affordability. Palladium is less expensive than platinum and white gold Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a trend that should continue for the near term.
Palladium versus White Gold
Why is palladium more desirable? Unfortunately, white gold jewelry is manufactured using alloys containing nickel and up to 10% of the population experiences an allergic reaction to contact with nickel. Palladium is hypoallergenic so there are not the allergy concerns that plague white gold.
Also, palladium is harder than white gold making it more durable and less likely to mar. Durability is an issue particularly when it comes to mountings. If a gem stone is set using mountings made with a softer metal, the likelihood that one of the prongs could fail and the stone could fall out is higher. Often jewelers will use a harder metal in a ring setting to combat this but with palladium the entire jewelry piece can be made with the same metal.
A Growing Market
At this time refiners are working to provide 950 palladium to jewelry manufacturers and designers and many stores are set to educate consumers on palladium. All are expecting palladium to find a market as messages about its lower price and platinum-like characteristics are presented to consumers. The demand for palladium jewelry will dictate how quickly it is integrated into designerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s product lines and jewelry stores catalogs. Palladium will likely be used in the same jewelry categories as platinum, especially engagement rings and wedding jewelry.
Pros and Cons to Palladium January 4, 2007Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Engagement Rings, Buying Jewelry, Palladium Jewelry , 12comments
At our consumer jewelry site DanforthDiamond.com I received a very good question about palladium. Below I have posted the question and my answer concerning the pros and cons of palladium. – Jill
I have been looking at engagement rings lately with my boyfriend recently and have heard a little about palladium. I found your website very informative, but it is very hard to find information on palladium. Are there any downsides to a palladium engagement ring? It seems that it is almost identical to platinum, except for the price and the fact that palladium is lighter in weight, which are both appealing characteristics to me. I feel like this is too good to be true and I am finding it difficult to get more information. I found a ring that is made by a very reputable ring designer which can be made in palladium and I would like to know if I would be happy with a palladium engagement ring for the rest of my life. Are there cons to all the pros of palladium? I really appreciate any additional information you can give me.
The only con to palladium jewelry is that it is a harder metal to manufacture with. However, this should not affect your purchase in any way. It matters most to the jeweler who is more accustomed to working with gold and platinum than the consumer. If you have seen a palladium ring and you like it you should not hesitate to make the purchase. Hope this helps and all the best wishes, Jill Renee
Palladium Jewelry: The Inexpensive Treasure August 17, 2006Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Engagement Rings, Engagement Rings, Jewelry, Palladium Jewelry , 2comments
There is a new jewelry metal on the horizon – palladium. As a platinum group metal, palladium offers customers a host of benefits that white gold and platinum can’t touch. Are customers ready for a white metal that is less expensive than platinum and hypoallergenic unlike white gold? Many jewelers and jewelry stores are banking on it.Palladium’s steel-white appearance makes it an attractive jewelry alternative to white gold and platinum. However, palladium was difficult to cast with and had not been fit for jewelry casting until recently.
Innovations in developing a castable palladium alloy produced 950 palladium, which is ideal for jewelry. It is expected that, within the coming months, consumers will begin to hear more about palladium and its benefits; and palladium could very well be the next revolution in jewelry. Much of this relies on the fact that palladium is in the platinum group of metals and shares many of the same attributes as platinum – high purity, good luster, and white appearance.
Jewelry, Jewelry Care, Palladium Jewelry , add a comment
White gold jewelry can cause allergic reactions in some people. This is due to the fact that the majority of white gold jewelry is manufactured using alloys containing nickel as the bleaching agent and a percentage of the population is allergic to nickel. For these individuals, contact with nickel can result in dermatological problems that range from a mild skin rash to severe open sores and permanent scaring. In Europe, there are laws governing the use of nickel in jewelry. The European law is known as “The Nickel Directive” and states that no nickel can be used in a material that sits in an open wound, such as after piercing, until healing is complete.
What is a jewelry buyer to do when faced with this information? First of all relax, most people do not have severe reactions to nickel. And jewelers are starting to use alloys that contain less nickel to develop white gold jewelry.
Some nickel-free white gold alloys were originally developed in the 1920s using palladium as the primary bleaching agent. Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals. It is a steel-white metal, does not tarnish in air, and is the least dense and lowest melting of the platinum group metals. Palladium has very good corrosion and tarnish resistance, and it mixes well with gold, offering almost complete homogenization throughout the range of gold-palladium compositions. All these factors make it a good choice for white gold jewelry manufacturing. It also yields alloys with excellent mechanical properties superior in many respects to the nickel-whites which can be difficult to work with and contain pockets of gold and nickel because the two metals don’t like to be mixed. Jewelry made from a palladium/gold alloy will not result in allergic reactions.
You might be asking: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If palladium is so much better than nickel to make white gold, why don’t all jewelers use it?Ã¢â‚¬Â The answer is cost. Palladium jewelry is a bit more expensive to use. The cost of an ounce of palladium is around $300 currently and consumers don’t like paying higher prices for what appears to be the same jewelry product. However, once people know the facts about nickel white gold and the allergic risks it presents many are willing to pay a little more.
Another white metal on the horizon is 950 Palladium. Some jewelry manufacturers are making product from new palladium alloys that can be cast into jewelry. This is a wonderful metal because it is a bright white color, very similar to platinum, but has a much lower price. It is still relatively new so jewelers are still learning how to work best with this metal. Keep your eyes open though, because you will soon be seeing more of this product, especially with the cost of platinum currently above $1,000 an ounce.
About the Author
Jill Renee is the president of Danforth Diamond, an online jewelry store offering platinum, white gold and yellow gold jewelry. With 50 years in the jewelry business, the Danforth family developed their site as a resource to help you find the best value in high-quality jewelry.