Handmade is a Great Choice

It's good to know there's a place you can go for fine, handcrafted jewelry and
unique beaded bracelets to round out your jewelry collection. The best thing
about handcrafted jewelry is being able to create something beautiful out of
every day and man-made objects. You can take a piece of broken tile and make a
pendant, find some sea glass and make a ring or a beautiful bracelet out of
shells. Diamond, precious stones & semi-precious stones come to us at such a
cost both financially & environmentally since many lives are lost in the effort
to obtain them. There is so much corruption, inhumane working conditions in the
regions where these minerals are mined that its hard not to wonder what is the
story behind every stone. Big companies profit greatly from the riches they
strip away from future generations and little is given back to those
communities. Large companies like Petra, De Beers, Zales, and other large mining companies take away the business from the small local miners.

The desire to profit from the minerals mined in underdeveloped countries
sometimes turn neighboring countries against each other. According to
WorldPress.org, Sierra Leone's war over conflict diamonds began in March 1991 when "a few hundred men crossed over the Liberian border and attacked towns in eastern and southern Sierra Leone." Early in 1992, the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.), a ruthless rebel group seized Kono, the diamond mining capital of Sierra Leone. In an effort to stabilize the region and restore democratic civilian rule, the National Provisional Ruling Council (N.P.R.C.) became engaged in a war with R.U.F.
rebels. The N.P.R.C. initiated "Operation Genesis" to drive out R.U.F. rebels,
but was unsuccessful. The rebels, in turn, launched a vicious attack on Sierra
Leoneans during the 1996 elections. To intimidate potential voters and to
maintain control of the diamond mines, the rebels chopped off the hands and feet
of adults, teens, children and even infants. In spite of these brutal attacks,
the R.U.F. was invited to participate in the elections. But the rebels once
again reverted to their depraved tactics, amputating civilians' hands and feet.
This diamond based war lasted until very recently "killing an estimated 6,000
civilians and mutilating many more."


In 2002 some 49 countries agreed to the Kimberley Process, a certification
system designed to prevent conflict diamonds and gems from entering the market.
I read that critics stated " Global Witness say the process has been a joke. For
one thing no independent, third party organization exists to ensure honest
certification. Also, the agreement defines "conflict diamonds and gems" as
products tied to rebel violence, a narrow definition that turns a blind eye to
wrongs committed by corporations and legitimate governments. For instance, mine
police in Congo have been known to imprison children and shoot civilians, yet
Congolese diamonds are labeled "conflict-free" because the mine is government
owned." And it does not end there. It is all over from Nepal to Belgium to
Brazil to the US to Saudi Arabia.

Yet, when wearing "Create Your Style Swarovski Crystals" you get the feel of
beautiful sparky diamonds but at 1/4 the cost and most likely no one's limbs cut
off or killed in the process of making these crystals. Daniel Swarovski created
a machine that would cut crystal to an unsurpassable level of perfection and precision. He and his partners found the ideal location for their company in Wattens, in the Austrian Alps. There were sufficient water resources there to power their machines. They were not stripping someone else's land for their gain. They built a huge family company with many different innovations and brands. Just one part or their corporation, the loose crystal elements, come in so many shapes and
colors you are not limited to the typical color pallet or even the typical
shape. Another favorite of mine is using vintage beads or dusting off an old
piece of jewelry. You are in a sense recycling and bringing back to life
something that was beautiful once and still is, it just needs to be revisited or
mixed with more contemporary findings to fit the today's lifestyles.

Handmade is a Great Choice

For interesting handcrafted jewelry visit [http://www.thesilvertwist.com]

Liana Velazquez-Hale