About the stones: In lieu of diamonds, I use a variety of manmade and naturally occurring gemstones. I boycott diamonds because of the severe social ramifications associated with the diamond trade. For years, diamonds have been mined in war zones and used to finance violence. Even ‘conflict-free’ diamonds may or may not be what they are intended to be, and it is impossible to tell if an individual diamond is truly ‘clean.’ The United Nations on conflict diamonds For entirely different reasons, I also avoid using gold unless it is directly supplied by a company that only refines scrap and does not purchase or acquire newly mined gold. The environmental impacts of gold mining are devastating. Silver mining also causes significant environmental impacts. I source at least ninety percent of my silver as recycled metal. I use two methods: 1) purchasing scrap sterling silver from retired jewelers-I then melt it into ingots and mill into sheet and wire and 2) purchasing finished silver sheet and wire from a reputable company that only refines scrap silver.