A recycled stone is a naturally occurring stone, cut and polished from mined rough, previously set in jewelry then removed, and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale. Many of our pieces containing recycled stones are exclusively available on our website and are made in extremely limited quantities. Because of the scarcity of certain types of recycled stones we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reproduce certain styles.
When using diamonds, Winden chooses recycled stones whenever possible. Approximately 4.5 billion carats of diamonds have been extracted from the ground since large scale mining efforts began in South Africa in the 1870’s. This means many millions of diamonds are part of the world’s existing, above ground, supply of diamonds. In order to reduce the industry’s reliance on environmentally damaging mining practices, Winden is proud to participate in the reintroduction of a small portion of these many millions of diamonds back into jewelry. Select Winden pieces use diamonds that are not recycled but that are guaranteed conflict-free. The type of diamond used for each piece is indicated in our product descriptions.
Native Americans in the northwest once picked these glittering stones from the ground, often using them in "Medicine Wheel" ceremonies to help establish a connection with the healing light of the sun. Sunstones are frequently found in sacred bundles and burial sites. They were used as trading stones as far east as the Mississippi River, and as far north as central Alaska. Today, Oregon Sunstone is mined in two very special areas of the state more than 100 miles apart: The Ponderosa Mine in Harney County in central-eastern Oregon, and the Plush Mining area in Lake County southwest of the Ponderosa. Formed and crystallized by ancient volcanic force, Oregon Sunstone is unique among gem feldspars due to the millions of copper platelets found in it. The Ponderosa Mine uses green mining practices and fair trade protocol. The stones are 100% natural, they are not enhanced in any manner with chemicals, diffusion, heat or oiling. They are cut and polished in a fair trade facility in China. Sunstone comes in shades varying from deep read to vibrant green. Each Winden Sunstone is hand picked for its beautiful color chosen to complement every skin tone.
Montana has long been known as a mining state, rich in natural resources: minerals under the ground, and timber above. Gold prospectors discovered sapphires in Montana nearly 150 years ago. The material was mainly used in watch bearings and as abrasives until the natural beauty of the stones eventually caught the eyes of jewelry firms. The Montana Sapphires used for Winden jewelry are heat treated to bring out the naturally occurring color in the stone. Heat treatment of sapphire is a routine process that is universally accepted by the gemstone and jewelry marketplace. The sapphires we use are heated in the USA and are subjected to heating alone, with no coloring agents, fluxes, or glasses added during the process. They are then cut and polished in a fair trade facility in China. We choose each Sapphire by hand to find the most beautiful shades of pale blue and green.
Opal is a type of hydrated silica, most of which was formed during the Cretaceous period between 65-140 million years ago, in an inland sea called the Great Artesian Basin. There are no large companies or corporations controlling the Opal industry; each miner is permitted two claims, with a claim measuring fifty by fifty meters. This area costs about $150 per year, and the miner gets to keep whatever he finds. We hand pick our Opals from a family run business in New York City's Diamond District. Australian Opal is mined, cut and polished in Australia.
The turquoise stones we use are highly sought after due to their pure sky blue color which shows very little to no veining or webbing. American Turquoise is mined, cut and polished in the USA. Winden jewelry turquoise stones were collected from a mine in Globe, Arizona that has since been closed.