All that glitters: why you should choose brass and silver over gold and diamonds this holiday season
The history of our attraction to all things bling has traditionally not been very pretty. As much as we like to romanticize the American gold rush, modern ( and even latter day) mining tends more towards brutality, mass scale environmental destruction, and more bizarrely prostitution that seems to follow in the wake of our desire for shiny/pretty things. Like the famous photo essay documenting the erstwhile hell that became the mines of Serra Palida in the 1980’s, mining our precious gems and minerals is one of the modern day travesties that still goes mostly unseen. Thanks to Blood Diamond at least there is some understanding now that diamonds should be bought from fair trade sources, but what about other gems and metals? In our ongoing effort to offer a fulfilling fashion experience not marred with eco-guilt, we recently launched a line of fair trade jewelry that was fair paid for it’s labour, and made out of guilt-free metals. Mostly because we actually LOVE getting dressed up, and want to enjoy it without that nagging feeling that we are making the world worse for our enjoyment.
If gold, diamonds and precious metals are all fraught with corruption we think it’s time to show some love to the world’s “lesser”metals. Read on to hear why brass is the new gold, and silver is the new super metal.
Brass is the new gold
Brass used to be a very popular metal, in fact in the early 1500’s brass was considered more valuable than gold by a tribe in Cuba for it’s durability and medicinal properties. Brass is also highly recyclable, a property that keeps its costs down in comparison to other metals as even scrap pieces can be melted down and used again without losing purity or strength. Copper containing metals like brass are naturally anti-microbial – making a case for brass doorknobs and fixtures. Brass has an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly – often within two hours or less – and with a high degree of efficiency. From a metaphysical perspective Brass is the metal that brings out natural good and inner truth (we can think of some politicians that should maybe wear it more often…). Brass is also super durable, holds it’s shape well, and comes in both a gorgeous gold and white colour.
The many healing properties of Silver
While gold is currently considered the most “valuable” metal, it could be argued that silver is the super metal in the same way that hemp is the super plant. Silver is far more practically valuable than gold and is used in a myriad of ways in the industrial world. From electronics, to military applications, to relays and batteries, as well as water purification, silver does it all and looks pretty doing it. Silver’s antibacterial properties are used in wound dressings, creams, and as an antibiotic coating on medical devices. And of course there is colloidal silver that we use for everything from eye infections to face spray; before the advent of antibiotics, silver was used to treat infections. Because of it’s many uses in so many industrial and health applications silver is heading the list these days as golds more stable sister in terms of investments too. Plus it just looks and feels good to the touch. From a metaphysical perspective, wearing silver is supposed to raise your overall feelings of good health and align your energy with the universe.
A little note about all jewelry: is it fair trade/fair paid?
You know the deal, you go traveling to a third world country and buy up every cheap bauble on the street. It’s hard not to right? Often this tactic is a good one because you know your money is going straight into the hands of the artist or craftsperson. Not so much when you buy crafty third world gifts in North America. Often what you are paying for is simply the direct cost of the metal, with no money whatever going to the craft-person that made them. Making sure people get paid fairly for their time and work is ultimately important for a fair economy, and a better world.