We define the beauty of gems differently
Why Recycled Glass?
In our efforts to reduce waste and plastic usage, we believe in reusing existing resources, or upcycling. Glass was our solution as it can easily be found and is the resource that we can continuously recycle with no change in durability or grade. We commonly think glass bottles are recycled, but in reality, less than 35% of glass bottles are recycled in the US and the rest goes to the landfill. Increasingly, glass is not being recycled as it is costly due to the weight to transport and the manual separation process needed by type and color.
Less than 35% of glass bottles are recycled in the US
and the rest goes to the landfill
What Is Recycled Glass?
Glass is from nature and is mainly composed of sand. It is pure and resistant to chemicals, which means it is safe for the body and the quality will withstand for many years. Glass can be reconstructed in various forms and colors. It can be recycled infinitely without a loss in quality or purity unlike other materials like plastic, which is harmful to the environment.
Despite these endless possibilities, since we use recycled glass, there are some limitations due to coefficient of expansion (COE). Glass normally expands when heated and contracts when cooled. As we source our glass from various places and when two different types of glass are fused together, the compatibility issue is visible as it can shatter due to expanding and contracting at different rates. The journey of revealing gems from discarded glass was challenging due to the unexpected results. Through numerous trials and errors, techniques were refined to develop a viable way of creating our pieces.
How Is It Made?
Once we collect recycled glass, the first step is to purify it in an environmentally friendly way. Bottles and other shapes of glass are cleaned to ensure that residual contents and adhesives are removed.
Next, glass is cut and prepared to be our raw materials. Glass is then heated and formed into desired shapes. After the glass gem is formed, it is annealed to remove stresses and to increase the glass hardness and durability.
Finally, after polishing the surface of the glass, the finished glass is incorporated into one of our pieces.
CLED Eco Gem™ Quality
Our Eco Gems are all hand formed or fused in a high temperature and for that reason, inclusions, which are tiny impurities, or bubbles, are trapped in the air, making each gem unique. This is not a defect but a natural phenomenon which makes our glass gem colors, shapes, and sizes vary from one another.
In the Mohs Hardness Scale, glass is harder than natural minerals that are typically used in jewelry like pearl, amber, and coral. This means that glass can scratch these minerals and is scratch resistant compared to them. Since glass is harder than some of these natural gemstones, our pieces are durable and wearable.
Our techniques turn recycled glass into beautiful gems that you wouldn’t even think was recycled glass bottles!
The History of Glass Beads
Glass beads were first made over 3,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, creating glass making methods still used today. There are several techniques to make glass gems and this traditional glassmaking is one of the methods we use to make our glass gems.
Glass is a renewable resource that can be recycled 100% endlessly without a loss in quality or purity unlike other materials like plastic.