Trekking the Annapurna Circuit many moons ago, I was struck by the beauty of 18 carat gold earrings worn by all the Nepalese women and girls. The flashes of gold in the sunlight were almost as brilliant as the owner’s smiles. Rather than ubiquitous machine-made hoops found in the West, these handmade earrings were perfectly imperfect; it felt as if the soul of the artisan who created them was somehow embodied in its design.
Perhaps that’s why I feel an infinity with acclaimed jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy. Pomeroy grew up in India on the foothills of the Himalayas where he found inspiration in the nature-influenced designs of local artisans. Flash forward many moons, and now not only does Pomeroy create beautiful jewelry favored by many A-listers – Sheryl Crow is a fan and Cameron Diaz wore his earrings in “Charlie’s Angels” – he does so without harming the environment.
“The jewelry industry is one of the worlds’ worst polluters,”says Pomeroy, “and we’ve simply been pretending that we aren’t. We’ve been ignoring the fact that mining and extraction of precious metals is one of the world’s most toxic and polluting industries”. The statistics are startling. “For every one ton of gold the U.S. produces, it also generates 3 million tons of waste rock” — not to mention a host of toxins, including cyanide.
That’s why in 2005, Pomeroy approached Torry Hoover, President of Hoover and Strong, the nation’s largest gold supplier and refiner, to request a program to provide reclaimed or recycled silver and gold. Hoover agreed and the resulting EcoGold and EcoSilver are the basis of Toby Pomeroy’s exquisite designs.
So, now you can adorn yourself in jewels, safe in the knowledge that your beauty doesn’t take away from nature’s.