Is Jewelry Eco-Fashion?

So I was perusing the latest offering from Popsugar, and happened across a special offer from Melinda Maria. She is the apparent it-girl for celebs looking for unique jewelry, according to Popsugar. I'm not arguing with it, I just really don't know. So.....I was thinking that all the ingredients to make high-quality jewelry are from nature, but then I thought about blood diamonds, strip mining, artificially created gemstones, and all the chemicals required to process a finished product.

Back in the day, and I mean way back in the day, you get some gold or silver, heat it up with coal until it melts, fashion it into a ring and drop some gems in a pretty pattern. Wipe it off with a cloth and you were good to go. That's not really an ecologically friendly process due to the coal, but it was all they had at the time. Now, strip mining is the generally accepted method by which companies get metals like gold, and the gems are cut with a laser or acids, and the polish to brighten the entire piece is made up of a lot of words I can't really pronounce, much less spell. And I don't even want to know how the stainless steel, hypoallergenic pieces get made.

So how do you create eco-friendly jewelry, and does anyone really care? I think everyone will agree that jewelry is a necessity. Pieces are handed down as family heirlooms, purchased as a sign of love or friendship, and worn to complement or dress up clothing. I think maybe if the jewelry is upcycled from pieces found at auction or flea markets, then there is a definite attempt to behave in an eco-friendly way. 

I'm not advocating a return to the days when coal was the best (only?) method to melt down gold so it could be re-shaped into some intricate design, and I'm certainly not planning on getting rid of my jewelry or to stop shopping for it, but if there are eco-friendly jewelry design methods people are using, I know I'd love to hear about them.