When it comes to buying jewellery items such as engagement rings, environmental concerns should be taken into consideration. The mining of diamonds and other precious metals has been damaging to the environment. Not only that, most of these minerals are mined by workers from poor nations who don’t often receive fair wages.
Choosing an ethical engagement ring is the best way to express your love and desire to marry your partner while also helping the world to become a better and safer place to live in. You will feel at peace at the thought that the ring did not cause any harm to the environment and humans. So when it comes to buying engagement rings for your loved one, going ethical is certainly the right thing to do.
Thankfully, there is now a wide range of options for stunning and affordable ethical wedding rings. Whether you’re new to buying ethical engagement rings or not, this guide can help you with your shopping.
Do Your Research
The best way to know if the engagement ring you are buying is ethically made is to do your research. Find out which company manufactured the jewellery. Look for brands that are green-certified and are giving back to local communities while also supporting various environmental projects. They should be using recycled or fair trade gold, as well as conflict-free diamonds when producing their jewellery items. Labels such as, “Fair Trade Certified”, signify that the jewellery was produced in compliance with Fairtrade International’s rigorous environmental, economic and social standards, and are, therefore, ethically produced.
Aside from looking at the products, take a look at the entire company’s social and environmental impact as well. If the company has a website, visit the website and find out more information about them. Find out how they assess certain factors such as energy usage as well as worker’s wages. In general, the more seals and certifications that the company has, the better. But if you are in doubt or if you need more information about the certifications, refer to third party sources. Do not just rely on the jewellery company’s website for your research.
Remember that being ethical is not only about making use of recycled metals or sourcing materials ethically to produce engagement rings. The company’s sustainability efforts should go beyond that. Their practices should also include supporting organizations and local communities and commitment to zero-waste initiatives to help minimize the waste materials that go to landfills. But despite being ethically produced, the designs of these wedding rings should be timeless, elegant, and stylish.
Consider Buying Second Hand
Buying second-hand jewellery items is a very sustainable option. When you choose to buy a previously owned engagement ring, you will not be contributing to the labour and materials needed to produce new rings. Prolonging the life of second-hand jewellery means that the resources and energy used to produce it will not go to waste. This also means that your money is not contributing to the demand to produce new jewellery pieces, which minimizes the need to mine precious metals.
There are many ways to purchase second-hand engagement rings these days. Check out the thrift stores, antique shops, and garage sales. You can also hunt for second-hand jewellery items online, such as community groups who buy and sell pre-owned items including jewellery.
When buying a second-hand engagement ring or buying any used jewellery items, it’s also a good idea to understand the origin and life of that particular piece of jewellery. That way, you can make an informed judgement on whether it is truly ethical to purchase such a piece of jewellery. A vintage engagement ring that has a great story behind it is something that your loved one will surely cherish.
So if you are truly concerned about the environment and want to be ethical with your shopping choices, buying a second-hand engagement ring is the best way to express your love for your future wife while also keeping your conscience clear. The thought of giving a ring that has been worn by someone else before is not only meaningful but is also one of the most ethical decisions you will ever make in your life.
Consider Buying Lab created Diamonds
If you really need to buy a brand new engagement ring, it’s more ethical to buy something that is made from lab-created diamonds. In case you’re not aware, diamonds are usually mined by hand and this is totally backbreaking. Despite the intense labour involved and regardless of the high market value that these precious gems have, the African miners behind this arduous work earn only less than a dollar per day. With no other options for employment, these workers are forced to take up the job and live in extreme poverty. By choosing to buy engagement rings made from lab-created diamonds, you are somehow helping to minimize issues concerning mining and labour.
As the name suggests, lab-created diamonds are diamonds made from a lab. They are produced in high-temperature and high-pressure chambers that mimic the conditions of the earth’s crust. This will result in carbon atoms that were arranged in the same structure as that of a diamond crystal. Even though they are not mined, they as magnificent as those gems that were naturally produced millions of years ago.
Aside from being ethical, lab-produced diamonds are also budget-friendly. They are usually 30% cheaper than natural diamonds of the same quality and size. Yet they are also as luxurious as their natural counterparts. Their dazzling beauty and durability can compare to the real ones.
When buying engagement rings made from lab-created diamonds, you must do your research well. It’s also worth knowing that diamond simulants such as moissanite and cubic zirconia are not the same with lab-created diamonds. These simulants were not produced using carbon crystals, and they do not possess the same magnificence as that of real diamonds. It is for these reasons why engagement rings made from diamond simulants are being sold at a much cheaper cost compared to those rings made with lab-created diamonds.