We'll admit we didn't know much about Herkimer Diamonds before chatting with Melissa Joy Manning. But, boy, are we happy we got to know both. Not only does Melissa, a New Yorker by way of California, craft beautiful, handmade jewelry right here in the U.S.A., but she also spearheads the Council of Fashion Designers of America's sustainability board. Simply put: She knows a thing or two about making things the right way. And, when we got to spend the day at Melissa's gorgeous Wooster Street HQ for our second installment of Made In America, we learned that the world's top Herkimer mine was just five hours away.
So, we did what anyone would do: hopped in a car and drove up to Herkimer, NY to unearth 450-million-year-old precious stones. We saw firsthand how sustainable and responsible gems go from earth to earring. We also spoke to miners and artisans who work with conscious jewelers like Melissa to provide quality (and affordable!) diamonds you can actually feel good about buying. (Spoiler alert: We may be designing some pieces from these very diamonds — stay tuned for the full collection!)
Watch the video, fall in love with Melissa and her team, and sound off in the comments about this inspiring initiative.