If you’re looking for ethical engagement rings as an alternative to a mined diamond, there are more options than ever. Looking at all of these options may make it overwhelming to make sure you consider every essential factor. Understandably, while searching for ethical engagement rings, you may be unsure where to start.
Common Questions about Ethical Engagement Rings
What about fair trade?
What does it mean if engagement rings are ethically sourced?
How is the environment impacted?
How much to prioritize ethics on choosing a diamond ring?
Ethically Sourced Conflict-Free Diamonds and Recycled Gold
We’ve gathered everything you need to know before you embark on this exciting next step of finding the perfect ethically sourced diamond ring.
There are options out there for everyone who cares where their rings come from.
People today want sustainable options that promote the health and safety of workers and human rights.
Many consumers today want to see eco-friendly fine jewelry of the highest quality.
At Clean Origin, we strive to bring you stones with no human rights violations or harmful environmental impact. We create every diamond in a lab, which gives you peace of mind and saves you on price.
Ethically Sourced Engagement Rings
New couples are fortunate to have endless options for choosing their engagement rings and wedding bands.
More and more couples are looking to choose pieces that not only look beautiful but are also made from recycled precious metals or are fair trade and feature conflict-free diamonds.
What Are Conflict Diamonds?
You may have heard the term “conflict-free” when referring to lab-grown diamonds, but what exactly does this mean? If you are concerned that your diamonds are ethically sourced, there are many things to consider.
Let’s start with conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds, or ‘blood diamonds,’ are never ethically sourced. By definition, conflict diamonds are “illegally traded to fund conflict in a war-torn area. They happen particularly often in central and western Africa, according to the World Diamond Council, which represents the commercial diamond trade” (source CNN).
What is The Kimberley Process?
The Kimberley Process was born. It is an effort from several nations across many stakeholders to add oversight and increase transparency in diamond sourcing. The goal is to eliminate these conflict diamonds and discourage groups that work to undermine legitimate governments.
The goal of the Kimberley Process was to push out individuals who were still participating in unlawful practices. The Kimberley process is an effort to bring peace to many war-torn areas where diamonds extraction takes place. Its purpose is to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream diamond-trade market.
The Kimberley Process started being used in 2003. It maintains control of the diamond trade between these countries that participate by using a certificate program that adds transparency and security.
The Kimberley Process prohibits trade with countries and groups that are not participants. There are 54 participants across 82 countries, with oversight from civil society and industry.
In practice, rough diamonds shipped with a Kimberley Process Certificate stating that any bad actors did not procure the diamonds.
Does The Kimberly Process Solve The problem of Ethically Sourced Diamonds?
Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee.
However, while the Kimberley Process has done a great job bringing down the crime rates, there have been other concerns. Information arose that members of the Kimberly Process were continuing unethical practices and getting away with them due to lax political will. The Kimberly Process has also gotten criticism for its lack of transparency.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that still about 99.8% of the rough diamonds on the open market are accounted for. This has helped create jobs, save lives, and support governments where conflict-diamond trading has traditionally supported armed rebellions.
Can Mined Diamonds Be Conflict-Free?
Suppose you are looking for ethical diamonds or an engagement ring. You will find that many traditional diamond retailers that will promote their diamonds as “conflict-free.”
However, while this sounds like an excellent option for those looking for an ethical engagement ring, you may be disappointed. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that there is no way to ensure that a diamond from The Earth is ever 100% conflict-free.
Mining Diamonds Creates a Long Supply Chain
Whenever a diamond is going from a mine all the way to the engagement ring on your finger, there is a long process. It’s challenging, if not close to impossible, to track it individually.
Remember the supply chain of diamonds from mines. These diamonds are first extracted from the ground, then transported to be cut and polished.
They get transported again to be graded, then possibly moved around multiple times to arrive at distribution companies. Think of all of the emissions produced just in transporting these engagement rings!
With diamonds coming from all regions of the world, from Botswana to Russia to Canada, it is a long journey for a small diamond to make.
With so many steps, it’s hard to be 100% sure that those mined diamonds are indeed conflict-free diamonds—something to consider if you are shopping for a diamond ring.
Conflict-Free Lab-Grown Diamonds
The only way you can be sure that your diamond is conflict-free is by purchasing a lab-grown diamond for your ethical engagement rings. A lab-grown diamond engagement ring provides a 100% conflict-free solution.
You get all the glimmer and glitz without forcing buyers to settle for non-diamond simulants when in the market for an ethical, eco-friendly option.
Ethically Sourced Diamonds
When we create diamonds in a lab, no unethical practices are happening. This high-tech process gives you and your partner pure peace of mind with your purchase of an ethical engagement ring.
How Do You Really Know If a Diamond Is Ethically Sourced?
Be sure to do your homework. Even when purchasing a lab-grown diamond from a reputable source, ensure that your entire ring will be with lab-grown diamonds.
Some retailers will use a lab-grown center diamond, but the accent diamonds (on a pavé band or three-stone setting) will actually be mined diamonds. Be careful and be sure to do your research before purchasing an ethical engagement ring from any brand.
Benefits of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Traditionally, brides have chosen mined diamonds as their center stone for engagement rings, with round-cut diamonds being the most popular shape (then and now).
Today, brides are getting more creative and choosing styles and gemstones that represent their personal styles. Lab-grown diamonds are the most ethical choice a bride can make for their ethical engagement ring. But beyond that, lab-created diamonds have other excellent benefits.
The Price of Ethical Engagement Rings
We’ve previously gone over the extended supply chain that traditionally mined diamonds must go through to go from the mine to an engagement ring. This long supply chain contributes to the overall cost of that diamond.
Because lab-grown diamonds remove the mining process, thus making the supply chain much shorter, these diamonds cost much less than their mined counterparts.
Lab-grown diamonds and ethical engagement rings are around 20-40% less expensive. This will allow you to:
- Save money.
- Use those savings to get a better quality diamond in terms of the 4 C’s.
- Purchase a higher quality setting.
With the removal of the mining process, lab-created diamonds are inherently and significantly less detrimental to the environment.
As you research your diamond engagement ring, remember it takes less energy and resources to grow a diamond inside a lab than it does to dig it up from the ground.
One carat of mined diamond equals nearly 100 square feet of disturbed land & almost 6000 lbs of mineral waste. One carat of lab-grown diamonds disrupts just 0.07 square feet of land & only a pound of mineral waste.
Sustainable Recycled Gold Engagement Rings
In addition to conflict-free engagement rings, you should also consider recycled metals for your wedding ring and fine jewelry.
There is really no difference in the makeup of gold from mining and recycled gold. Just like we can create a more ethical diamond in a lab, recycled gold still makes beautiful rings. Also, like lab-grown diamonds, you can not tell the difference.
The mining of precious metals is nearly as detrimental to the environment as diamond mining. Wedding bands and fine jewelry made from recycled metals will help you live a greener life and sleep better at night.
Some may choose a vintage ring for a sustainable option that saves on price. You may also be interested in a vintage-style engagement ring with recycled gold and a lab-grown diamond. That you get a sustainable alternative that you can make custom. Check out our Vintage Style Engagement rings for the perfect custom options made just for you.
You should choose recycled materials to match your ethical lab-grown diamond because it is sustainable. It also helps you get the right price. Also, metal from mines creates giant holes in The Earth.
Recycled Gold Jewelry
You have many options when deciding materials for your engagement ring. If You are looking for eco-friendly sustainable materials with less environmental impact, recycled gold is an excellent option.
There are more reasons to choose recycled metals. Traditional gold comes from mines. These methods at conventional gold mines produce a lot of carbon and cause a great deal of pollution.
These mines have a severe environmental impact. To obtain the materials for a wedding band or diamond ring is hard to tell if inhumane working conditions or child labor are involved.
Since many vintage pieces of gold, silver, and platinum can be melted down and re-purposed, why not put them to good use? That way, you can get a sustainable piece of jewelry that you can feel good about.
What about Fair Trade?
Fairtrade has the advantage of protecting industry in the developing world. Fair trade indeed creates jobs in third-world countries. Unfortunately, the quest to get this metal out of the ground still has an environmental impact, even when it is fair trade.
Here are some sobering statistics about precious metal mining:
Gold From Mines Produces More Greenhouse Gasses
Recycled gold produces up to 99.8% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than mined gold.
Recycled platinum Produces 95% Fewer emmissi0ns
Recycling platinum produces about one-twentieth of the emissions that mining for platinum does. (That’s a 95% reduction.);
Recycled silver at a fraction of the pollution
Recycling silver produces around 14% of the emissions that silver mining does.
How Can You Be Sure You Are Buying an Ethical Diamond Ring?
We know you have a lot to think about when shopping for engagement rings. Incredibly, couples today can purchase a diamond that is 100% chemically and physically identical to a diamond from The Earth but without the negative impacts on the environment.
We assure you that when you choose from Clean Origin’s lab-grown diamonds, you are purchasing 100% ethical engagement rings.