Getting engaged is exciting, and as we learn more about the natural diamond industry, the desire for ethical gemstones increases. However, many shoppers wonder about the easiest ways to find and purchase these rings. We’ve kept things simple by organizing the top shopping tips for buying an ethical engagement ring into a single guide. Below, we’ll go over some crucial things you’ll want to keep in mind.
Shop for Ethical Brands
Some brides-to-be love the symbolism and rarity surrounding a natural diamond, so they investigate ethical brands. Search out brands that source natural diamonds solely through humane and environmentally friendly options. Some of the top brands violate the human rights of miners while subjecting them to cruelty or dangerous conditions.
Shop for Lab-Made Diamonds
Your second option is to shop for lab-made diamonds, which look just like the natural ones, but you never have to worry about where they came from. Many gravitate toward this option since finding an ethical diamond brand could require a fair amount of research; this is time you could spend shopping for lab-created rings or customizing your own.
There are various reasons why lab-grown diamonds are popular aside from being more ethical. These rings also cost a fraction of the price, which means you can easily afford your dream ring while ensuring it’s within budget and appropriately sourced.
Look for Something Old
As the saying goes, “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue!” Why not make your something old a vintage ring? You can find beautiful secondhand jewelry at thrift shops, which gives vintage pieces new lives. You could also talk to your relatives to find out if there are any heirloom rings since it adds to the sentiment.
Choose Band Material Carefully
When it comes to ethical jewelry, gemstones aren’t the only thing you have to worry about since metal can hold just as much negative impact on the environment. Producing a single gold band can create 20 tons of waste that can contaminate drinking water or destroy natural habitats.
Shop for one with a band made with recycled metals for an ethical ring. This reuses old material and cuts down on the need for mining; sourcing metal can be as dangerous as obtaining diamonds.
Remain Wary of Greenwashing
Another vital tip for buying an ethical engagement ring is to remain wary of the brand you buy—whether it’s a natural or lab-made diamond, you still have the metal to worry about. Some companies falsely market themselves as ethical and environmentally friendly. These companies spend more money telling the public they’re eco-friendly rather than using the money to make the change they promise.
Talk to Your Jeweler
Uncovering all this information can feel overwhelming, and engagement ring shopping isn’t about doing hours of research but finding a ring that represents your love. When in doubt, ask your jeweler for conflict-free options made with recycled or fairtrade metal. Finding your perfect ring should come easy with the right choices at your disposal.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.