Precious Metals, Precious Earth: Why Buying Ethically Made Jewelry Really Does Make a Difference

My enduring take-away from the classic food book Omnivore’s Dilemma is how the author, Michael Pollan, captures the heart of sustainability in one simple, inspiring turn of phrase. “Food must be not only good to eat, but also good to think.” I love that — not only because of my own devotion to an organic, vegetarian diet, but because it aligns with mine and Danielle’s approach to design and production. We believe jewelry shouldn’t only look good, but should make you (and us) feel good.


The world is rife with shiny fast-fashion knock-offs whose manufacturing history is opaque at best and, more often — particularly in the world of mined metals and precious gems — corrupt and violent. The environmental impact of large-scale gold mining, for instance, includes erosion, loss of aquatic biodiversity, the pollution of water with mercury and cyanide, deforestation, and irreversible health hazards to humans. The watchdog group Earthworks estimates that a standard wedding ring leaves behind 20 tons of ore and waste rock.

We don’t see the romance in that. For years, Danielle and I rarely discussed our mutual obsession with doing things “the hard way.” It has never seemed hard. Our choices are rooted in what brings us maximum joy and satisfaction. Transparent, sustainable practices have, very much organically, come to define Pyrrha. We finally made it official a few years ago when we became a certified B Corporation — a designation that calls for strict adherence to the highest ethical and environmental standards. Certainly, committing to B Corp has refined our practices and taken us to zero-carbon status — but it wasn’t a leap.

At Pyrrha, we circumvent the damaging impacts of mining by casting our jewelry from 100 percent reclaimed precious metals. We source conflict-free precious and semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls. Just as importantly, we believe in strengthening our own community, and in nurturing the people around us. We rely solely on in-house production of our jewelry, give preference to local suppliers, and purchase from fellow B Corps whenever possible.

What’s in it for us? We sleep well at night. We’re energized by finding sustainable solutions. We feel good about what we do — all the way down. We hope you do, too.