We translate our client’s ideas into beautiful design,
using precious materials to craft for them original jewelry
that signifies the most important moments in their life.
Holding common values in our approach to fine jewelry making,
we strive to be:
Everyone at Green Lake is an artist at heart. We’re not just doing a job; this is a passion. That passion equates to technical excellence in all areas of fine jewelry making.
We independently craft every part of every piece that leaves the workshop, and apply that do-it-yourself attitude toward building each area of our business ourselves – including the workshop.
Our shops make jewelry for people of all walks of life. The diversity of ideas we receive provides our galleries with thousands of classic, unique and unconventional pieces to be inspired by.
As a departure in an otherwise confusing trade, we put our jewelry business on full display. It’s important our clients see the community and artistry their purchases ultimately support.
Earning our client’s trust is what helps us grow as a business. We guarantee our client’s will love what we craft for them, or we will make it all over again for free.
Selling things is not nearly as fun or rewarding as creating them. We want our clients to go home happy and excited that they had a fun time – and in the end, they receive beautiful jewelry too.
GOLD TO BE PROUD OF
Almost a quarter of the world’s gold supply for currency, electronics and jewelry comes from artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) communities, which accounts for 15 million miners worldwide and indirectly supports the livelihood of 100 million people in underdeveloped or developing countries. ASM is often associated with illegality, fueling conflict, child labor, gender inequality, poor health and environmental destruction by the irresponsible use of mercury. In an effort to transform mining into an active force for social development and environmental protection, the Alliance for Responsible Mining developed the Fairmined Standard, a certification that demands a slightly higher price for gold at market but assures worker’s rights and safety while adhering to environmental guidelines.
Green Lake already uses 100% recycled noble metals throughout our operation, which we regard as kind of ‘zero impact;’ we are not contributing to the mining of new gold when we use recycled material, and yet we are not bettering the way gold will continue to be mined either. That’s why in using Fairmined Certified gold for all pieces we craft using yellow gold, and in offering the option to our custom clients, we’re helping to transform the industry by bringing mining communities out of the poverty and dangerous working conditions they’d otherwise experience without global participation.
Right now, Green Lake is one of only a few places in the world where you can design your own engagement ring or wedding band and have it cast in Fairmined certified gold.
TRANSFORMING THE INDUSTRY
Artisanal small-scale gold miners (ASGM) in the developing world only account for 20% of global gold supply, yet contribute over a third of all the toxic mercury pollution on Earth. Carried by winds and currents worldwide, mercury represents one of the most pernicious health challenges the world has ever faced. Half of the gold mined annually is purchased by the jewelry industry, and as leaders in jewelry, Green Lake is supporting the discovery of a safe, effective, scalable and affordable alternative to mercury.
Alongside likeminded industry leaders with researchers in engineering and geosciences, the Mercury Free Mining Challenge is organizing a million-dollar HeroX prize to change the world. As a board member and corporate sponsor for this history-making organization, Green Lake is aiding this bold initiative with proceeds and educational talks aimed at forging a new era of significance, appreciation and profitability in jewelry. Our hope is that our contributions aid in improving the health of the 15 million ASGM in developing countries, and the preserve the 100 million livelihoods that rely on ASGM indirectly.
GIVING JEWELRY NEW LIFE
With the exception of Fairmined Certified gold from small-scale artisanal mines which receive regular independent audits on their social and environmental impact, Green Lake’s use of gold and platinum comes from 100% recycled sources. In 2008, Green Lake became one of the nation’s first adopters of Hoover & Strong’s pioneering Harmony Collection, a range of recycled casting grain certified by SCS Global Services. Today we return all scrap and unused noble metals for refining in a transparent supply chain, and rely on the Earth First recycled casting grain offering from Stuller, also certified by SCS Global services.
With an open workshop where all work is done on site, Green Lake is uniquely positioned to not only create new pieces but also reimagine old ones. Many clients will have their gemstones incorporated into new setting, have old setting restored or even hand old settings melted down to create a new one (when using sentimental gold to make a new ring additional gold is almost always added to fill the flask in casting). Wearing an old piece with sentimental value is improved with the design, fabrication and restoration services Green Lake offers.
MINE TO MARKET
A majority of all the colored gemstones that Green Lake sells begin as rough sapphire crystals purchased on site from small-scale mines in Montana. Unlike within any other conventional jeweler, these sapphires are hand-cut locally in our open workshop and by our own lapidary. Studios also host regular visits from our mining partners in Montana, who lend education on their methods with our clientele directly.
Because we are able to source these sapphires from local, low-impact alluvial mines which operate under strict environmental conditions apart from natural waterways – and we maintain a transparent supply chain with all work completed in-house that ultimately supports our own team and surrounding community – natural Montana sapphires represent the most sustainable gemstone choice we offer.
Green Lake has specialized in Canadian diamonds since the late 1990’s when mines in Canada first opened. Other diamonds used in our jewelry are selected on regular visits with the world’s most esteemed sight holders, who supply only natural, conflict-free gems in adherence to the Kimberly process. Green Lake is committed to leading within fine jewelry retail by working with the Gemological Institute of America and mining industry partners to match a polished diamond to its original rough. This will be accomplished by offering our clientele access to the new M2M mobile app which employs scientific markers and immutable ledgers that bring necessary transparency to the natural diamond supply chain.
KNOWING THE SOURCE - PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAFTED BY INFINITY GROUP, ANTWERP, BE.
Green Lake also works directly with buyers of rough in Antwerp who maintain a craft-oriented approach to diamond cutting and a humanitarian focus on trade, where proprietors already have a long history of service in the Belgian Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. These kinds of partnerships afford Green Lake clients to meet their diamond cutter in regular education talks we host, have diamonds custom-cut, or simply know from where their sparkling diamonds originate.
Many of our clients are wary of the drain that mining new diamonds places on the environment. Motivated more by ideals than pocketbooks, eco-conscious consumers are increasingly seeking a manufactured, lab-grown options for their diamond. Though the kilowatt-per-carat cost and subsequent carbon dioxide emissions associated with creating gems in a lab isn’t necessarily low, it’s a lot less - about 80% less in fact - than that of traditionally mined gems.
KNOWING THE SOURCE - PHOTO COURTESY OF PURE GROWN DIAMONDS, ISELIN, NJ
Just like a growing a plant, engineered diamonds start out as a small ‘seed’ of pure carbon. Various processes shorten the crystal development from eons to just weeks. These rough gems are then sent to master diamond cutters just as if they were excavated from the earth, and cut to achieve the best clarity and carat weight possible. While especially consistent in quality, grown diamonds also demonstrate the same unique and one-of-a-kind characteristics found in mined, naturally occurring diamonds.
WHY WE KEEP IT LOCAL
Every piece of jewelry Green Lake delivers is entirely made in our Seattle-area workshops. Concepts are sketched, ideas brought to life in 3D CAD renderings, models hand-carved, metals cast and all settings completed here locally. Unlike many jewelry retailers who may send out much of this kind of skill-based labor to other parts of the country or even the globe, Green Lake sees great value in developing, maintain and keeping those skills here. For one, when our clients see who actually makes the pieces they buy and the artistry their purchases promote, then we’ll continue to receive the support needed to do what we love (making spectacular jewelry). What’s more, we recognize that we can only continue offering the level of quality for which we are known if we invest in the kind of skill-sharing and close collaboration all working under one roof affords.
SUPPORTING OUR YOUTH
As a community of artists, Green Lake views engaging in activities and opportunities for local youth as a critical means to contribute to the vibrant and diverse community around us. Most importantly, kids who thrive in supported environments have the chance to nurture their own creativity and passions too.
Green Lake hosts annual drives for Treehouse and fund raisers for the Boys and Girls Club.