Gemfields is continuing its sustainability goals with jewelry designer Sandy Leong for the new Sol collection. Leong is on the heels of her 10-year anniversary, and Gemfields saw her as an excellent partner to renew their sustainability goals with. The new fine jewelry Sol collection features responsibly sourced emeralds, 18-karat recycled yellow gold, and conflict-free white diamonds.
This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between Sandy Leong Jewelry and the newly formed Gemfields Foundation, the charitable arm of Gemfields, which launched last year, that supports community and conversation projects in Africa. Sandy Leong will be supporting the ongoing efforts of the Gemfields Foundation by contributing 10 percent of all sales on the Sol collection toward specific projects centered around children and education.
Leong started her jewelry collection a decade ago with sustainability at the core value of her brand, far before it became a buzzword in the industry. Ethical mining has always been essential to her jewelry production.
“Early on in my design practice I became conscious of the long term, global impact of mining and that informed my decision to work solely with recycled gold,” Leong said. “About four years ago I decided to renew my commitment to sustainability by becoming a member of the No Dirty Gold campaign, an international initiative, ensuring that gold mining operations respect human rights and the environment. For the past eleven years I have worked with diamond and gemstone suppliers who are transparent about their commitment to sustainability, while also sharing similar humanitarian values. It has been important to align myself with partners who place importance on community development, and that has led to a wonderful alliance with Gemfields, and now with the newly formed Gemfields Foundation.”
Leong’s inspiration for the collection was her COVID-19 quarantine. During that time, her and her family retreated their house if Amagansett, New York. When she left in March, she was able to see how nature truly emerged from a sparse and cold spring. While in Amagansett she was able to walk the beach every day and look out her windows and see everything turning green.
All the design and development of the Sol collection was done remotely from Amagansett during lockdown, and Leong felt compelled to capture the essence of spring and renewal using 18 karat gold and vibrant green hues. Gemfields emeralds served as the protagonists for this collection and Leong described them as “the stars of the show.” A total of 18 pieces were created.
Leong says that global jewelry industry is leaning more into sustainability as more suppliers and companies are feeling the pressure from consumers to be transparent, but with today’s consumers being more educated and Earth conscious, the jewelry industry is changing. In addition to using responsibly sourced gemstones, Leong also works to support New York jewelry artisans who are the craftsmen behind her pieces.