May 14, 2015 | By Alec

While we sometimes see absolutely stunning examples of 3D printed jewelry, one up-and-coming Dutch jewelry house is taking 3D printing technology to the next level. For House of Eléonore has now even incorporated 3D printing into the highest segment of the jewelry industry: diamonds. What’s more, they are making diamond jewelry in an entirely humanitarian, using fair-trade gold and even avoiding the infamous blood diamonds all together. They are currently in the process of raising funds for their 21st century approach to jewelry through Kickstarter.

While not exactly accessible to the majority of the population, you might know that the world’s diamond jewelry industry is very conservative and relies on some dubious methods to produce their results. House of Eléonore, recently founded by the young Dutch entrepreneurial mastermind Bernd Damme, is seeking to change that. With his young Amsterdam-based business, he is looking to build a truly transparent, ethical and sustainable supply chain for high-end jewelry that uses non-mined diamonds and FairTrade gold. ‘We want to create sustainable luxury,’ he says, while simultaneously offering people vibrant colors and are original shapes that are truly meaningful. ‘We aim to create with meaning and purpose knowing that our pieces mark special moments in life.’

Much of their inspiration is taken from colorful Southeast Asia.

And that can certainly be seen in the gorgeous examples of their work which combine the quality of bespoke jewelry and artisanship with modern technology. ‘We are looking to breathe new life into the artisanship behind diamonds, and we want to so by working with Dutch goldsmiths and products without a dubious past,’ he says. ‘The industry for luxury jewelry is very conservative. You purchase something or commission a goldsmith, but this can hardly be done on a large scale. We want to do things differently.’

Key in that approach is working with honest products. ‘Over 15 million men, women, and children across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, are being forced to work as gold miners under harsh conditions. The majority of these gold miners are surviving on less than US $2 a day. House of Eleonore takes a stand against human exploitation by solely selling Fairtrade gold to its customers. […] We ensure 100% transparency into our supply chain and reassure our clients that House of Eleonore’s jewelry is not just beautiful on the outside but also from within,’ Damme writes on Kickstarter.

That also means avoiding blood diamonds altogether, for as you might know the typical diamond is either mined by almost enslaved children and people in Africa, or traded by murderous warlords who are ready to cause wars over diamond mines. The solution? Non-mined diamonds, which are 100% real diamonds, but are instead created in laboratories. ‘In nature diamonds are formed at great depths in the earth crust at extremely high pressure and high temperatures. This natural process can be mirrored by man (similar to cultivating high quality pearls),’ Damme explains. ‘[Those laboratory] diamonds cannot be differentiated from natural diamonds other than by their place of origin. Like any other diamonds, these diamonds are certified by leading diamond certifiers like EGL, GIA, HRD or IGI.’ Another wonderful advantage is that these physically and chemically identical pieces are more affordable that the bloody alternative.

While all admirable, where does 3D printing come in in all this? Well, that’s because the origins of the material is the only thing that is modern and innovating at the House of Eléonore. They are also aiming to set up a very modern design process in which your wishes will be met as much as possible. ‘We will be working with designs, but these can be modified in every way. In fact, you can even come up with an entirely original idea. We intend to set up meetings via Skype to discuss wishes and preferences. After that, we will 3D print a model you can actually wear and experience. Manufacturing itself won’t begin until the customer is completely satisfied,’ Damme explains. ‘Though House of Eleonore advocates for keeping traditional craftsmanship alive, we still aim to move towards the future as well, when it comes to our manufacturing process. Besides it being avant-garde, 3D printing also speeds up the manufacturing process from 90 to 14 days.’

As you can see, the ambitions are certainly there, while the organization also seems to be solid. They have already ensured themselves of the backing of Royal Asscher, one of the most respected diamond houses in the world, though they are turning towards to public actually realize their plans. Through an ongoing Kickstarter campaign, they are seeking to raise €50,000 (or about $57,000) by Friday 22 May. And that’s going to be slightly difficult, as they have only gathered €16,000 so far.

So if you love gorgeous, futuristic and original jewelry, and care for the people in war-torn diamond producing countries, be sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign here and consider pledging. And of course, pledging certain amounts will allow you to get your hands on some of their gorgeous products. A pledge of just €39 will get you a small bottle of fair-trade gold, while €149 will get you a gorgeous fair-trade gold pendant.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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