One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Although so cliche, this couldn’t be more true, and today’s feature highlights this. Secondhand style is gaining popularity and fine jewelry is taking part in the movement right along side our jeans, heels, and handbags.
Living in the woods, we are lucky to have all sorts of gorgeous blossoms around our yard in spring as the trees wake up from winter hibernation. While I love many of the trees, I’m partial to the giant old cherry tree that sits next to our patio and turns bright pink every spring. It’s absolutely gorgeous!
Recently, we had a party and guest after guest admired the tree and its blossoms, nearly at the peak of perfection. Then, one friend walked by and said with a chuckle, “Oh… a trash tree.”
“What?! A trash tree?!” I retorted. “No way! That thing is gorgeous!”
He went on to explain that, in the landscaping world, it’s affectionately called a “trash tree” because it’s such a pain to clean up after. The petals pile up, no doubt. (That’s my back patio above, and I promise you I did not sweep those all together. That layer of pink is solely the work of Mother Nature.) Given that the petals drop in spring, the season’s rain turns the petals into a stinky brown mush if left to rot where they can’t decompose well. Having lived under the tree, almost literally, for the last two years, I understand his perspective.
But that tree is still gorgeous! I’ll take the clean up in exchange for the week or two of perfectly pink blossoms.
My beautiful cherry (or trash) tree is perfect evidence that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up after blossoming cherry trees, especially those belonging to others, so I can’t appreciate the annoyance of the mess. But I adore my cherry tree.
Secondhand Style Turns Your Trash Into My Treasure
As a fan of purchasing secondhand, especially with respect to style, this phrase about trash and treasure rings true time and again. Much of what’s in my closet came from a secondhand store. At some point, everything I love and wear regularly was declared useless by its previous owner.
A recent rise in the popularity of thrift shops has made secondhand clothing much more mainstream. But what about secondhand fine jewelry? Would you wear an engagement ring that once belonged to someone else? DELGATTO | IDoNowIDont, a marketplace for sale of previously-owned jewelry, diamonds, and watches, knows from personal experience that there are many great reasons to consider it.
The Ugly Road to Your Ring Finger
Diamonds, along with many other precious stones, and the metals, like gold and silver, that often accompany the expensive stones, have origins fraught with social and environmental issues. Conflict diamonds continue to gain awareness. The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as “…diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.”
Additionally, many diamonds and precious stones are mined by workers earning unfairly low wages, children, and even slaves. The industry is well-known for harboring unsafe and unethical treatment of workers. The industry tried to establish a vetting process to help ensure fair labor practices, but it hasn’t really worked.
Working conditions aside, the mining process also wreaks havoc on the environment. Deep mines are so large they can be seen from space. Approximately 1,750 tons of earth and ore must be extracted to mine a 1.0 carat diamond. With the extensive issues of desertification, loss of soil, and soil deterioration already present, destroying such large areas of the Earth’s soil for mines exacerbates the climate change and food production issues driven by increasingly poor soil worldwide.
Instead of perpetuating the negative impacts of these raw material industries, secondhand options provide a more responsible and less expensive alternative. DELGATTO | IDoNowIDont offers a wide array of options for engagement rings as well as lots of other jewelry and watches. They provide sellers a larger percentage of the sales price relative to their competitors and also offer buyers a free third party appraisal with their purchase.
Buying secondhand doesn’t directly address the issues highlighted above. However, a meaningful movement toward secondhand jewelry reduces the market demand for new stones and helps dry up the flow of cash currently fueling the labor injustice and environmental destruction.
Engagement rings and other fine jewelry purchases might seem an odd candidate for a secondhand market due to their sentimental uniqueness. But such jewelry retains its quality quite well over time, so any ‘wear and tear’ of a pre-owned piece of jewelry is likely to go unnoticed. In many cases, the vintage nature of some of the secondhand pieces might be more stylish and unique than off-the-shelf or current trend pieces.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. More cliches, I know, but my trash tree really is a treasure to me. I love the pink petals and believe they are totally worth the subsequent mess (which I just cleaned up yesterday, so it’s not far removed from memory). I think this rings true for secondhand style, including jewelry and even engagement rings.
If you’re in the market for a bit of new bling to add to your jewelry box, start your search at DELGATTO | IDoNowIDont. You never know what trash might become your next treasure until you take a peek.