There’s no doubt, the 4 C’s, are important when buying an engagement ring. As is deciding on your budget! But if you’re socially responsible, why not make the symbol of your love a true representation of who you are as a couple?
If you’re lifestyle is all about recycling, fair trade, and environmental causes, the engagement ring you buy should be, too.
Get to the Source of the Matter
- Conflict-Free: The profits from conflict diamonds are used to finance rebel movements against recognized governments. The Kimberley Process, established in 2003, sets out specific criteria to prevent these diamonds from being sold on the global market. Unfortunately, not all countries follow the guidelines. Ask for a written guarantee that the diamond you are buying is conflict free. Companies like Brilliant Earth offer this type of guarantee automatically.
- Blood-Free: Different than conflict diamonds, blood diamonds are mined using methods that involve violence, human rights abuses, poverty and an obvious disregard for the environment. Unfortunately, there is no law against these practices, but it is still possible to find “blood-free” diamonds.
- Eco-Friendly: As with diamonds, some gold mining operations are considered dirty. Their operations may be destructive to the environment, involve inhumane labor practices, or show a total disregard for local indigenous peoples, and as with blood diamonds, there are no laws for prevention.
Social responsible jewelers provide you a full history and source on your purchase. Using recycled stones (even having a stone with an old-fashioned less brilliant cut re-cut) and using recycled metals and combination metals can provide an ethically responsible engagement ring.
A quick online search using the following terms will get you started:
- socially responsible diamonds/gold
- ecologically responsible diamonds/gold
- fair trade diamonds/gold
- eco-friendly diamonds/gold
If you make an effort to be socially responsible in other areas of your life, why not make certain that the symbol of your love carries the same level of responsibility?
Alternative Engagement Rings
A socially responsible ring selection may result in an alternative design, or forgoing diamonds entirely. Here are a few additional tips to make your ethical engagement ring special.
- Reset an heirloom. Use a mother’s or grandmother’s engagement ring, but have it reset it to match modern styles and taste. It’s a touching way to remember a relative, and perhaps start a family tradition. You can even have an old stone cut to give it new brilliance.
- Consider a thumbprint ring. Basically a custom created band, and instead of a stone, the band is imprinted with the giver’s thumb or finger print. Very personal.
- And don’t forget engraving. It makes a simple ring stand out from the crowd since the words, or text-style message come directly from you.
Remember to give the purchase of an engagement ring as much thought as you’ve given the proposal!
An engagement ring represents your love and promise, and may be worn for a lifetime. It should be as unique, and meaningful as your relationship.
The Diamond Buying Guide
The Kimberley Process
Gemological Institute of America