Contact Us

Have burning questions about anything on our website? Drop us a line using this handy form to your right.

We take phone calls too! Try us at 415-894-9466.  Or email us at info@sharonzjewelry.com

415-894-9466

Beautiful and sustainable jewelry made with care in San Francisco. Edgy and unique styles to wear everytday. We have everything from tiny platinum stud earrings to Moissanite engagement rings made from recycled gold and fashion jewelry from solid sterling silver.

Read all about how we make sustainable jewelry!

We have so much to share with you! Follow along on our blog | Sharon Z Jewelry | Shop Handmade Sustainable Jewelry San Francisco

Filtering by Category: Bay Area

Did You See Our Chain Necklace in Diablo Magazine?

Sharon Zimmerman

Sharon Z Jewelry in Diablo Magazine - photo by Annie Edwards - stylist Jeneffer Jones - HandMU by Cassie Chapman - Model Aga Wojtasik.jpg

Diablo Magazine

September 2018

The current issue of Diablo Magazine features a stellar Fall style round-up that includes our Mixed Metal Chain Link Necklaces styled with a Tibi suit. Features like this are a collaboration of so many talented people - photo by Annie Edmonds, Styling by Jeneffer Jones, Hair and Makeup by Cassie Chapman, Model Aga Wojtasik. This chain is currently available at Crown Nine.

Becoming a Certified Green Business

Sharon Zimmerman

Why Become a San Francisco Certified Green Business

I’ve been running an eco-friendly business since 2011, so why go through the trouble of being certified by SF Green Business? In a nutshell, I did it because I believe in it and because I think that you do too. Committing to environmental security, clean air, and clean water doesn’t end with recycled metals and diamonds, it extends into every decision that I make for my life and my business. SF Green Business provides framework, suggestions, and guidelines for maintaining my commitment to clean water and clean air for all humans. Going through this process meant taking a hard look at all of the chemicals used in the jewelry-making process, looking at everything from our floor cleaner to our hand soap, and making sure that they weren’t causing harm.

Some of the practices I had in place needed some serious updating, and other practices had been in place for a long time. The tricky thing about being in a commercial rental property is that I'm not always in control of how the building operates. For instance, I can't tell the building what kind of toilet paper to buy, but I can lobby them to provide aerators in their faucets to reduce water flow (SF Green Business provides these). SF Green Business will also work with the building owners on your behalf to help them adopt green business practices. Here is just a sampling of the policies that have been adopted in the studio:

  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
    Nailed this one! We've been recycling everything in the studio (including our metal scrap) forever. It was nice to implement a composting plan too.

  • Purchase environmentally preferable products
    I've long been a believer in using eco-friendly products, but to meet this demand I had to dig into the MSDS on a number of products. Boy howdy was that a fun time.

  • Conserve energy, water, and natural resources
    Signs went up around the studio reminding us to turn out the lights, not run the water too long and to recycle. Al Gore reminds everyone in the studio to turn out the lights before we leave.

Al Gore reminds us to turn off the lights everyday

In addition to adopting the SF Green Business Practices, I go a few steps further by applying rigorous standards to my jewelry-making:

  • Reuse metal scrap within the studio - lots of designs start off as scraps of metal that are re-melted into new jewelry including these earrings.

  • Use only (solar-powered) lab-created diamonds, recycled diamonds and recycled sapphires. We use Fairmined and Fair Trade gemstones when they are available.

  • Use minimal, recycled and compostable packaging to ship out your fabulous jewelry. The shipping boxes are small and compostable, the ribbon is reusable, the gift boxes are 100% recycled and even the shipping labels are both 100% recycled content and totally compostable.

Supporting other Certified Green Businesses is my new mantra and I was thrilled recently with my new business cards from Greener Printer. I'll for sure be using them for future printing projects like postcards and booklets. They use low-VOC inks and recycled paper, and because they are in the Bay Area, I can reduce my carbon footprint by ordering products that are closer to home.

There were a lot more regulations than this and I encourage you to check out their roster of Bay Area businesses that are also certified green. This process is a four-year commitment to maintaining these standards and to continually seek out better alternatives for my business and for my life. I am thrilled to be a part of this process.

What are some tips to go green that you've implemented in your life or business? Tell me in the comments!

Ethical Gemstones Part Two- What is the Deal With Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Sharon Zimmerman

As promised from our last post, I’ll be talking about lab-grown diamonds in this post and asking--”how sustainable are they?” There’s been hype from Leonardo DiCaprio, Silicon Valley, and millennials, all in support of lab-grown diamonds as a socially-responsible and sustainable alternative that uses technological innovation to produce an identical and affordable option to mined diamonds. And I am totally effing on board! Lab-created diamonds aren’t tainted by the conflict of mined diamonds, and many are created right here in the United States. I’ve been proud to use lab-grown stones for the last five years, but I’m always concerned about where/how my suppliers produce these diamonds that we use in our engagement rings.

A lot of the labs that grow diamonds do not disclose their procedures and "proprietary information". They don’t have to. While the mined diamond industry has come under appropriate scrutiny, the lab-grown diamond industry, still a baby, doesn’t have a current certification, not even one as vague as the Kimberley Process. So some, playing off the label of “lab-grown” are profiting without having to meet consumer expectations in regards to conflict-free status or sustainability practices.

And the deceit doesn’t stop there. Since lab-grown diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically identical, they are being passed off as mined-diamonds and sold at those prices. These fake mined-diamonds are so believable that only trained gemologists, equipped with the most precise instruments, can tell the difference. In my opinion, it's shady when those that claim that lab-grown diamonds aren’t the real thing, bypass the experts in order to sell them as such. For those consumers interested in real lab-grown diamonds, responsible businesses will certify the quality-grade of their lab-grown diamonds.

With mined diamond production slowing down and becoming increasingly costly, I’m curious to see how giants like De Beers, who started manufacturing diamonds in the 1960s, will spin and sell lab-grown diamonds eventually. Right now, De Beers and friends are speaking out against cultured diamonds in defense of their workers. According to them, mining diamonds creates jobs for more than seven million of the poorest people in the world. But I think real concern for these communities might look like preparing them for the inevitable exhaustion of mined diamonds, using higher current wages and training in alternative work. Even Botswana, a country that has experienced relative stability with it’s own diamond trade, will likely exhaust their diamond mines by 2029.

Across the board, transparency and traceability for lab-grown diamonds haven’t become industry standards yet, but I’m super-optimistic that all of us conscientious consumers will demand it. I believe we’ve brought about the changes we’re seeing now and that lab-grown diamonds will continue to evolve to become a real solution for a future shortage.

Next time, I’ll be talking about another option I endorse - traceable colored gemstones. Please tune in, join the discussion on sustainable jewelry, and feel free to get in touch.

Our Feature in the San Francisco Chronicle

Sharon Zimmerman

It's been a roller coaster year, but we were thrilled with our recent feature in the San Francisco Chronicle. It shows mein action - drawing down wire to make a nose ring, soldering a wedding ring, and basically showing you all the work and effort and love that go into each and every piece of sustainable jewelry we make here in our San Francisco Studio.

Sharon Zimmerman draws down wire for a  nose ring  in her San Francisco studio

Sharon Zimmerman draws down wire for a nose ring in her San Francisco studio

Soldering a  wedding ring  in 14 karat gold. Image by Liz Hafalia

Soldering a wedding ring in 14 karat gold. Image by Liz Hafalia

Article by Carolyn Said, photos by Liz Hafalia.

Read all about it here.

Why is my skin turning black under my rings?

Sharon Zimmerman

Hint: It's not an allergy.

A few years ago, I thought I was developing an allergy to silver and gold.  Almost overnight, my skin was turning black underneath my rings and I couldn't explain it. The answer?  Science!

Image of skin turning black underneath my  s ilver and gold rings

Image of skin turning black underneath my silver and gold rings

At about the same time that my skin started turning colors, I had started using a mineral sunscreen* containing zinc oxide.  Zinc Oxide, in its non-nano state, is a fantastic and safe sun-blocking agent as well as a common ingredient in many cosmetics. I am pretty obsessed with my skin care (though you wouldn't believe it if you saw my hands. Ah well, such is the jeweler's life). Zinc oxide is also, as it turns out, a very mild abrasive.  Veeeery mild. But gold and silver are soft metals, so the mild abrasive in my sunscreen was actually rubbing off minuscule particles of metal from my rings and these particles transferred to my skin and appeared black.

My solution?  Well, I wasn't going to discontinue using my sunscreen nor would I stop wearing rings and the problem goes away when I, you know, wash. My. Hands. I also wait to put on rings until after I've applied the sunscreen and washed my hands. Sometimes the simple solutions are the best. And don't forget to clean your jewelry to get rid of any residual make up, soap, sunscreen, etc. Here is our Step-by-Step guide to safely cleaning and caring for your jewelry.

And now, please resume wearing all of the rings.

Happy Five-Year Anniversary! Time for a major sale to celebrate!

Sharon Zimmerman

Five years ago, in the midst of a recession and a ginormous spike in metals prices, I thought, "hey, I should really get around to launching my jewelry business". And five years later, I am still here. 

Designs have come and gone, work spaces have come and gone, I've learned new techniques, traveled to exotic locales like LA, New York and Chicago in a quest to expand my business. I've met awesome people and created a community of bloggers, stores and other jewelry designers all focused on independent design and entrepreneurship. I've rededicated myself over and over to finding the most ethical and sustainable methods for making fine jewelry and along the way I've discovered new passions for unusual materials.

I couldn't have done this without the many people supporting me through this. Thank you all.

Use Coupon Code HAPPY20 to take 20% off at checkout through April 10 (sale ends at Midnight)

Blog Features to Close Out the Year

Sharon Zimmerman

So thrilled to be included on two well-respected jewelry blogs in the last week! To start, Gem Gossip included my 14 karat gold Marquise ring in Part Two of her Ultimate Ring Wish List among some beautiful fine jewelry from talented designers:

 

Next up, Amy Roseveare from Jewelry Fashion Tips visited Zaver and Mor in Berkeley and happened upon my collection there: http://www.jewelryfashiontips.com/field-trip-to-the-east-bay-part-1/ Thanks for the features!