It All Starts With A Ring

Choosing Ethical Engagement Rings

By now hopefully most people are familiar with the horrors of the diamond mining industry thanks to the film “Blood Diamond” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Sidebar: if you haven’t seen this film yet, stop what you are doing and go watch it!

But did you also know that some diamond alternatives are also harmful for the environment. Sapphires in particular have had a detrimental impact on lemur populations in Madagascar. The rise in popularity of this gemstone has caused a huge boom in illegal mining over on the African island which is home to over 100 different lemur species. As a result, lemurs have seen a huge drop in population as their habitat is rapidly decreasing. For more information on the effects of sapphire mining in Madagascar click  HERE for a video produced by the BBC.

But do not fret, here are 4 great ethical alternatives for your wedding rings:

Heirloom/Vintage

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Not only will this ring have emotional value if it has been handed down to you from a close relative, but it also means that no new mining occurred to make that ring. Heirloom rings are typically the best environmentally friendly option as well as the most cost effective.

Lab created diamonds

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Lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds share the same physical, chemical and optical properties. The average person will have a hard time distinguishing between the two. So why not chose the one that does not encourage further mining? This is also a great option for the science lover in your life!  Eco Diamond is a Wisconsin based family owned jewelry company that has a variety of lab created diamonds and gemstones.

Recycled Rings

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We practice recycling as part of our daily life, so it just makes sense to opt for a recycled ring.  Recycled rings can be diamonds, gemstones or other metals from other pieces of jewelry that have found a new life. Texas based The True Gem is a great option for recycled engagement rings and jewelry.

But it doesn’t have to stop there! You can also find rings made from upcycled materials such as wood, shed antlers or bone. Rustic & Main is an up and coming North Carolina based company that can customize rings using natural materials like whisky barrels and antlers.  There are also lots of great companies on etsy, but like anything make sure you do your research.

Conflict-Free Rings

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There are several companies out there that specialize purely in ethically and sustainably sourced rings, the most popular being Brilliant Earth, which guarantees all their diamonds and gemstones are conflict-free.  These do tend to come at a more expensive price tag than some of the other options listed above, however the peace of mind is well worth the price.

Have a ring option you are not seeing on this list?  Comment below!

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