For many happy couples, getting engaged is another declaration of love in their steps towards a long life together. It can be a decision that is not taken lightly, yet sometimes is. Engagements can vary from whirlwind romances to long-term sweethearts. Its a display of love that will get everybody talking and excited about your future plans!
How you go about choosing the right engagement ring for your partner is an important part of the process. There are many things to consider before taking the plunge and making a big purchase. You must remember your partner will hopefully have this forever so you must ensure it is special. She will likely wear it constantly. Friends and family will be keen to look at it once your engagement has been announced.
Yet many will have another concern. The thoughts of purchasing a ring containing stones attained because of conflict may weigh heavily on them. These days, there are various ways of putting your mind at relative ease. There is no longer a need to worry about bad situations occurring across the world because of the jewelry trade.
What’s the Issue?
People have become much more aware of the fact that diamonds can originate from horrific conditions. They are mined in countries affected dramatically by war, with money flowing unequally to people involved. Poor workers in the mines tend to get exploited as the quest for diamonds continues.
Human rights are abused constantly. The conditions that these people work in are extremely dangerous. Despite searching for the right stone for your partner, the question must be asked, are you comfortable with this? By deciding to buy an ethical engagement ring you can make your feelings known about the horrors of this situation.
How can you be sure your Engagement Ring is Ethical?
Be sure to question the jeweler to test his declaration that the stone is conflict-free. Tracing the stone back to its source should be easily possible. To stop the sale of conflict diamonds, the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme came into effect in 2002. However, many feel this is not enough, as stones are still smuggled to areas where certification takes place.
If the jeweler is unsure of the source of the stone, they will not be able to tell you about where it was cut and polished. These places can also be of inhumane conditions, worked by people, often children, earning very little for what they do. Ensure you are aware of where the ring is being made. Apart from the quality of the ring being affected, no one likes to hear their ring was made in a sweatshop where people are suffering.
Check if the source is certified Fairtrade gold. This will ensure they have received a Fairtrade Minimum Price for the gold metal band of your ring. Money will also be distributed in the form of a Premium to promote healthcare, education, and the presence of clean water, which can be vital. Consider getting a recycled platinum ring as this will lessen the demand from mines, thus reducing the practice of unethical mining.
What is the Best Way to Choose an Ethical Engagement Ring?
Thankfully there are now many choices available for people hunting for the perfect ring. Be sure to read this Brilliant Earth review from ringspo.com if you are determined to make your choice an ethical one. Alongside other companies, they are aiming to make a big difference in ensuring the production of diamonds does as little harm to the planet and its people as possible.
These companies tend to source Fairtrade gold or use recycled or laboratory-created diamonds. You are sure to find something that takes your fancy as the range can be quite vast to choose from. You may decide to go down the secondhand ring route, with online sites like eBay, where you can make bids for a ring, or vintage sites like Etsy should be considered. You may also like to check out local secondhand shops to ensure your search for the perfect ring is a thorough one.
So, what can You do?
On your quest to find a suitable engagement ring for your partner, you may find yourself getting sidetracked by all the dazzling options on show. A well-laid-out classy jewelry store that puts a lot of thought into how their jewelry is presented can easily make you forget about the amount of damage that the diamond industry and mining, in general, cause to the planet.
People have become much more aware of the problems caused by diamonds, sometimes referred to as “conflict stones” or “blood diamonds”. It was the movie, “Blood Diamond”, which first laid out the horrible situations that people find themselves in because of the diamond trade. People are now a lot more careful when choosing an engagement ring for fear of fueling this crisis even further. No one wants these thoughts resting on their conscience while looking at a beautiful ring that will hopefully be yours forever.
Simply delving into the matter, and exploring your options can make choosing an ethical engagement ring a whole lot easier. Here below are 5 ways you could go about it and feel guilt-free, able to answer any questions, or deal with any disapproving looks without problems.
1. Choose to use a Family Heirloom
While some may not have this option, you may find yourself fortunate enough to be in this situation. This may be something hidden away or possibly passed down from a relative. However, think hard before going down this route. It could lead to bad feelings if the marriage doesn’t go ahead, or doesn’t work out, and the fiancée refuses to give it back.
However, it can be a great way of welcoming your new fiancé to the family. She will be honored you have chosen her to bestow this gift upon. The fact that no new materials were used can also help you rest easy. Avoiding the creation of a new ring by using existing ones is one of the most ethical choices around.
2. Pick Used or Vintage Engagement Rings
By far the most efficient method, however, is choosing a secondhand or vintage ring to give to the lady of your dreams. This is a highly ethical choice as again, they are already in existence. This means no unnecessary damage will be done to the planet, and workers will not be unfairly exploited even further.
While retaining their original beauty, they can also be found at prices far lower than brand new rings may cost. There are many places where these items are waiting to be discovered, be it online or in person. As you wish to make an ethical choice, be sure and check that that the seller has all the paperwork regarding the ring’s authenticity and history. If possible, make a few inquiries to check the seller’s reputation.
3. Be Conscious of Greenwashing
Companies are now becoming much aware of the fact they need to practice ethically and come across as eco-friendly. Yet, just because they claim to do so, unfortunately, does not make it so. It’s important to check out all jewelers you are interested in doing business with to ensure they are not just talking, but doing.
Companies that pursue eco-friendly, fair trade practices may seem much appealing to you than others. While it may appear off-putting to you at the start, you will be pleased with the effort you put in when you and your loved one are looking at a beautiful ring in the many years to come.
4. Utilize Recycled Metals
Mining for gold is a very harmful industry. Huge amounts of waste can indeed be generated simply to produce one wedding ring. Plenty of other things can occur during this process too, such as communities being resettled, drinking water getting contaminated, and accidents involving the workers. There are plenty of metals to be worried about if you are aiming to reduce your impact on the environment.
The best way to lessen the effect you have is to simply choose recycled metals for the engagement ring you wish to choose. If this is not possible, try to find a seller who has made efforts to clean up their mining practices. Genuine steps in the right direction all contribute to a better world, and by doing your best to choose an ethical ring, you too can make a positive statement.
5. Source your Diamonds Carefully
The majority of people decide on diamonds for an engagement ring. If you are finding it difficult to obtain a secondhand or vintage piece, you will wish to look around for the most ethical diamonds available. The options, mined diamonds, or lab-grown diamonds both involve a very resource-intensive process in the production or extraction of diamonds. Mining has many issues as previously discussed and lab-grown diamonds consume a lot of energy in their creation.
Have a discussion with your jeweler to clarify the origin of your stones. Any uncertainty from the seller and you may have doubts in your mind over whether to proceed. You won’t want to entertain thoughts that your prize engagement ring may be tainted in any way.
It’s clear these days there are many options to look into when choosing an ethical engagement ring. While the onset of the coronavirus pandemic may have had made buying the ring even harder, the fact is people are still keen to declare and show their love to everyone.
Achieving this without harming the planet, or people who are in a bad situation, is possible. By doing some research, you can ensure your ring is ethical and has avoided causing any harm which may bother you. Now more than ever, the spotlight is shining on the ill practices of the mining industry and the damage being caused in the pursuit of diamonds.