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Antique Jewellery and the Role of Sustainable Luxury

A beautiful woman with antique and vintage jewelleries

Sustainability is the development that satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the capacity of future generations, guaranteeing the balance between care for the environment and social well-being.

Knowing we make sound judgements purchasing items that do not impact on our planet is a goal to aspire to. Buying antique, second hand and pre-loved jewellery makes the transition from merely buying new items (that have far stretching ramifications on our environment and fellow humans) to the wisdom of acquiring beautiful individual, one-off pieces of jewellery.

Pre-loved vs. New

In her book Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Empire  The Disinformation Company, 2003) Janine Roberts explains "Child labor is illegal in India, but this law is much ignored. Sharp young eyes are much prized by Indian diamond traders." Prospecting and mining for gemstones across the world has for many decades been a hot topic for many who opt to adorn themselves in the latest jewellery and precious accessories. How where the workers treated? Where they children? How was this gemstone/precious metal extracted from the earth and how sustainable are both of these processes?

a woman wearing Pearl and Diamond 18 Karat Yellow Gold Trilogy Ring and  Victorian 9 Karat Yellow Gold Mesh Belt Buckle Bracelet

Many contemporary makers of jewellery seldom admit their role in proliferation of modern slavery and the destruction of many regions of natural beauty and sadly this continues.

But as a consumer you have a choice. #gogreenbuyvintage or #gogreenbuyantique and many other sustainable movements have sprung up in recent times with the aim of championing pre-loved, antique and vintage goods. Consumers have more choice than ever to opt for pieces of jewellery that are refurbished or pre-owned avoiding and mitigating the damage inflicted on people and nature. 

A few more points to consider when making the decision of pre-loved versus new.

  • On trend - often vintage or antique pieces are paired with newer accessories to give a fashion first look to your style.

  • Price - most, if not all pre-loved jewellery is significantly reduced from the high street price meaning you save and so does the planet.

  • History - if only our pieces could talk, the stories they would tell! Buying vintage and antique means you're buying a piece of history, a piece of art from a moment in time to cherish for a lifetime.

  • Investment - a wise one at that, period pieces not only hold their value but many appreciate in value due to scarcity and demand. A wearable investment, now theres a thought.

This is why at Howell 1870 we've always chosen to only offer antique, vintage or pre-loved contemporary pieces. And yes some pieces may have been unethically sourced or caused damage to the environment somewhere along their way but in opting to not buy new you're helping to reduce further damage to our planet and fellow humans.

We hope you can join us in our quest to further promote sustainable luxury by exploring our collection of pre-loved and antique jewellery for that next special purchase.


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