Trying to be more environmentally aware this Christmas?
It doesn’t have to “cost the earth” to look glamourous this Christmas – why not indulge in some fabulous vintage jewellery to accessorise a vintage party dress or second-hand suit?
At Gold Arts this year, we’ve increased our pre-owned, vintage and antique jewellery in all of our stores across Sussex, so our shop windows are full of gorgeous unique buys at incredible prices. This blog also has some great ideas for making this Christmas a little more green – keep reading for our top tips for reducing your carbon footprint this Christmas.
Purchasing second-hand jewellery is a great way to be an ethical consumer this Christmas. Pre-owned jewellery is a bang on trend this year – it ticks all the boxes
- Unique designs
- Affordable prices
- Reusing and Recycling rather than scrapping jewellery
- Sustaining natural resources by reducing demand for new items
- Reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing techniques employed in creating new jewellery
- Preserving historical designs and craftsmanship
- Supporting smaller local businesses
You are helping the environment by recycling beautiful pieces of jewellery while creating a look that’s unique to you – and saving some cash!
No more Fast Fashion
If you really want to make an impact, then perhaps choosing an authentic vintage outfit is the way to go? We are really lucky in Brighton to have some fabulous vintage clothing shops. Forget fast fashion and pop into one of these shops….
- Pre-Loved of Brighton, 267A Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6FL
Bobby & Dandy, 8 Blatchington Road, Hove, BN3 3YN https://www.bobbyanddandy.co.uk
Snooper’s Attic, 1st Floor Snooper’s Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL http://snoopersattic.squarespace.com
If you’re not local to Brighton, have a hunt down your high street and support your local traders. Dealing in vintage fashion usually stems from a personal passion, so boutique shop owners will be happy to advise you on styles. Charity shops need our support and you may well grab a true bargain. Of course, there are plenty of fantastic specialist online vintage clothing stores or have fun trawling through eBay.
Rather than spending money on a vintage or new ‘little black dress’, why not wear last year’s dress lurking at the back of the wardrobe and accessorise with some vintage bling.
Funky Coloured Gem Cocktail Rings – There is a whole rainbow of semi-precious coloured gemstones, that aren’t as expensive as traditional diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Large glitzy rings are perfect for a party (hence the name cocktail ring) and can be a real conversation starter.
Check out Blue Topaz, Amethyst, Smokey Quartz and Citrine – all these gems are relatively plentiful in larger sizes without a big price tag, so you can find 9ct gold rings with these gems from £100.
Brooches – instead of a sequin sparkly dress, how about a brooch? Big glamorous 1940’s colourful gem-set brooches can really enhance a LBD. Victorian and Edwardian brooches are delicate and feminine and give a sophisticated look.
Heirloom Diamonds - Invest in an heirloom piece and sparkle at Christmas – Old cut diamonds, which are the precursor to the modern brilliant cut were mined and cut before 1930. Without laser precision you get a diamond with a unique shape, and a well-proportioned Old Cut has so much fire and life it is a joy to own and your own little piece of history. Whether you choose a modern style with old cuts, or stick with a period item, sparkle goes with every outfit.
For more ideas read our blogs:“Pre-Owned Jewellery - A Must Have Accessory” top advice on creating a contemporary look by combining old and new.
“5 Reasons to Buy Antique Jewellery” talks about styles of the different eras.
Great Gifts for Guys
Men’s gold chains can be very expensive as they tend to be quite chunky. Buying second-hand can save you rather a lot of money and no carbon footprint!
Or how about 1920’s rose gold cufflinks? Often these are often quite light weight, so are not as expensive as you would think, with unique designs and craftmanship to make a statement.
9ct Rose Gold Chester Hallmarked Chain Link Cufflinks made 1912
If you have inherited cufflinks, that perhaps aren’t quite your style or the pattern has faded, why not visit Gold Arts to see if they can be polished or given a matt finish, or an engraving to personalise them.
Revamp your old Jewellery
We take commissions, so our goldsmith can revamp your jewellery in our workshop and give your heirloom jewellery a new lease of life!
I’m quite a fan of a brooch (and I’m in good celebrity company here) but they don’t always suit all modern clothing, however many of the antique designs are suitable for modifying into wonderfully delicate necklaces. Our ‘Victoriana’ range has blended old with new, by restoring and remodelling Victorian jewellery into more wearable styles. Many brooch designs work well as a pendant, so with a little help from our goldsmith you’ll have something truly unique.
If you prefer white gold and platinum to yellow gold, why not have rings remodelled – we are always happy to discuss design ideas with you.
For more information about our design workshop click here
Pearls of Wisdom
Pearls are classed as an organic gem, as they are farmed from salt water oysters and fresh water muscles. To produce high quality pearls the molluscs, need good quality clean water, not tainted with pollutants and the correct climate. A raise in sea temperatures will affect the oysters as much as all other marine life, so it is to the benefit of pearl producers to be environmentally aware and use best practice to ensure their business has a sustainable future.
At Gold Arts we stock Jersey Pearls, which is very proud to be Carbon Neutral. They have offset the carbon footprint of their jewellery and packaging through the funding of green energy projects. Their combination of traditional and contemporary designs with superb quality pearls have made them one of the UK’s most loved pearl brands. Available at Gold Arts Brighton with prices starting from £40.
Gold Arts also has a very large selection of Akoya and Southsea pearls. Much of the pearl jewellery is designed by Tina who carefully selects the pearls and designs the setting and stringing. If you have old pearls that need a restring or a redesign, pop into our Brighton store and see Tina who will be delighted to assist you.
Waste not want not…
If I haven’t convinced you to dig out your old jewellery to revamp it, or give vintage a go, then how about selling your old gold to us? We have customers who would love your jewellery or if it’s not in restorable condition then we send it for refining where it is melted down to produce gold for new manufactured jewellery.
For more information about selling your jewellery read our guide here
Is Presentation Everything?
Stores want you to feel great about your purchase and present it to you in a gift box or posh bag to make your purchase just perfect and protect it from the elements and travel. Presentation of a gift is important, but if you don’t want or need the packaging then just say NO. The UK has slashed plastic waste from single use bags since the 5p charge was introduced with the big supermarkets reducing plastic bag sales by 90%. Bring your own bag with you or be creative with your gift wrapping – hand decorated brown paper and a ribbon can look very cute.