Engagement ring shopping can be an exhilarating experience. Not only are you shopping for jewelry that will stay with you or your partner for a lifetime, but you also have the opportunity to choose a ring that best suits your passions and now you can choose an ethical diamond.
Did you know that ethical consumption is a relatively new practice that has steadily gained traction? Consumers want to support brands and businesses that align with their values. Luckily, the engagement ring industry has undergone a rapid change. Now, it’s entirely possible to find an engagement ring that has been ethically sourced.
If you’re still curious about this new type of ethical engagement ring, read on!
What is an ethical engagement ring?
Ethical engagement rings, also called conflict-free engagement rings, are created using ethical stones and as much recycled materials as possible. These rings do not use mined diamonds, other mined stones, or materials mined using unethical practices, including unsafe working conditions, supporting violent conflicts, and inflicting significant environmental damage. The result is an engagement ring that consumers can purchase with the knowledge that they have supported ethical practices.
What are lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are the best ethical and eco-friendly option for consumers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and increase the bang for their buck, while still getting a real diamond. These diamonds are created in a lab-setting using the most cutting-edge technology to mimic the natural processes in which diamonds are formed. In short, carbon is subjected to extreme heat and pressure until a raw diamond is formed. Instead of billions of years, the process takes a few months.
What’s great about this is that there is no mining or unethical practices throughout the process. Not to mention, it’s a budget-friendly option. Although lab-created diamonds are physically, visually, and chemically identical to mined diamonds, they cost a fraction of the price — in some cases up to 40% less. In short, lab-grown diamonds are the best choice for any shopper searching for an ethical engagement ring.
How are recycled metals used?
Choosing materials that have been given a second life in your engagement ring is another surefire way to support the eco-friendly movement. Mining metals can do significant damage to the environment, and recycling can prolong metal’s lifespan significantly.
Recycled metals can come from almost anything, but generally, platinum, golds, and silvers come from old jewelry, industrial metals, and electrical components. These metals can be melted down and transformed, so you don’t lose out on any beauty with a recycled metal ring band.
What diamond alternatives are available?
Going for a diamond alternative can help you avoid supporting unethical practices related to diamond mining. There are many diamond alternatives beyond lab-grown diamonds. More specifically, diamond simulants are often the most inexpensive options. Cubic zirconia, a famous diamond alternative, is a manufactured stone meant to mimic only a diamond’s appearance. Moissanite is another diamond simulant that boasts more durability and brilliance than cubic zirconia. Both of these options are also great if you’re on a budget and want to save up further for a man made diamond.
If you prefer a stone other than a diamond, it’s possible to find ethically sourced varieties. However, you’ll have to do your research to discover precisely how a stone reached your ring. Though this may take some time, you can save yourself the effort by researching brands instead of individual pieces. Find a seller that prioritizes ethically produced jewelry pieces; that way, you can browse their entire selection guilt-free.
Seeking out an engagement ring with ethically sourced and mindfully produced materials can be challenging, but it’s a worthy cause. Not to mention, due to the popularity of the movement, it’s now much easier to find the ethical engagement ring of your dreams.
Remember, any ring that you are going to wear for the rest of your life should be one that only gives you positive vibes, so have fun choosing a piece that makes you smile!