As if choosing an engagement ring style — before you subtly start dropping hints to your boyfriend of course — isn't daunting enough, the process instantly becomes even more overwhelming if you're an environmentally conscious bride on the prowl for an earth-friendly and conflict-free ring. So how do you find a ring that stays true to both your style and ethics? With our eco-friendly ring shopping tips, of course!
Do Your Research
Make sure your ring meets the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, which tries to make tracking your gems possible and ensures you aren't buying a "blood diamond." Don't be shy — ask your jeweler if they take part in this agreement and talk to them about the stone's origins. Brilliant Earth, Bashford Jewelry, and Erica Courtney are few of many jewelers known to use conflict-free gems.
Look for Recycled
On that note, there's a host of jewelers dedicated to providing eco-friendly options, including recycled engagement rings. Recycled gold is very popular — once gold is melted and refined, it takes on the quality of a new mineral. Head to NoDirtyGold.org for a list of jewelers who support responsible gold mining.
This is the perfect option for the vintage-loving bride-to-be. While it may be difficult to trace a gem's origins in a used ring or a family heirloom, the odds of a vintage ring coming with ethical baggage aren't as high — and buying a ring already in existence means you won't be funding current conflict. Check out local antique stores or Doyle & Doyle, which hand picks vintage, antique, and estate pieces.
Despite the stigma of "fake," there's nothing wrong with a synthetic substitute. In fact, synthetic stones are becoming an increasingly popular and modern option. Take moissanite for example, which has a much smaller carbon footprint and meets the highest environmental standards. Lab-created, this gem has a brilliance all of its own.
Another modern option and growing trend is a colored gemstone, which may suit your style even more than a diamond would. However, these aren't always completely ethically sourced — even though their environmental impact is less harsh, there are still consequences. Again, look at a lab-made creation and use the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.
Looks like all it takes to finding the perfect eco-friendly stylish ring is a little investigation!