A diamond is forever. That’s the slogan that solidified diamonds as the symbol of love and commitment in the Western world. Unfortunately, diamonds often have a troubled past, and the systems in place do little to mitigate those factors. From harsh mining conditions, which often include children, to destructive environmental practices that leave the lands barren, diamond and gemstone mining has a pretty bad reputation. While the industry has made strides for change, such as the implementation of the Kimberley Process, it still has many shortcomings, which fail to address large-scale issues.
When you learn more about the supply chain, it’s hard to love these beautiful gemstones. You may think that a traditional ring may not be right after all. But lucky for you, I’m here to tell you that all hope is not lost!
If you’re currently on the market for engagement rings, thinking about it, or maybe just wishfully thinking, there are plenty of ethical options out there. The key is understanding where the gems (and metals) are sourced from, and how they got to you. With traceability comes responsibility. Luckily, we’ve done half the research for you with several companies listed below that sell ethical engagement rings. Now you just have to do the hard part of picking the perfect one!
Ethical Engagement Rings
Do Amore is an American-based company that believes in giving love back. Not only do they offer a variety of ethical rings, but they also help fund water resources for those in need. The ring options include ethically mined, recycled, and lab-created diamonds.
The rings include a variety of traditional diamond rings, coloured gemstone rings, and the ability to design your own dream ring.
While most diamonds aren’t without flaws, Do Amore gives you an array of different options, so you can weigh the pros and cons of each one. Plus, it uses recycled metals for the bands, as well as eco-friendly boxes made from Jarrah wood. With all the diamonds cut and set in the US, you can ensure the workers are treated fairly under strict labor laws.
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Taylor and Hart
Taylor and Hart is a UK-based diamond e-commerce store. With a stunning array of metals and gemstones, you can mix and match to achieve exactly what you want. Whether you choose a pre-made ring or design your own, these unique rings are ones you’ll love showing off.
The company uses a variety of methods to ensure theirs are ethical. This includes sourcing from Kimberley Process-certified countries and using fairtrade metals upon request.
Taylor and Hart also goes a step further with CanadaMark and Diamond Time-Lapse diamonds for fully transparent options. CanadaMark uses only responsibly sourced Canadian diamonds, ensuring higher levels of environmental responsibility and labour rights. Diamond Time-Lapse, meanwhile, is a certification process that follows a diamond from the mine all the way to your hand by recording who handled it at every step of the way. These help ensure the utmost integrity of the rings.
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British Diamond Company
British Diamond Company specialises in making your wedding day truly special. By offering 100 percent naturally sourced conflict-free diamonds, you can be sure that whatever you pick out is ethical and beautiful. Sourcing diamonds from only the most reputable suppliers, all backed by the Kimberley Process, British Diamond Company is a brand you can trust.
Plus, with a huge selection of wonderful cuts and collections, there is sure to be something to catch your eye. And with the Bespoke Ring Builder, you can even design your own ring with the help of experts at the shop. Whether you need an ethical wedding ring, an engagement ring, or a promise ring, British Diamond Company can help.
Ingle and Rhode
Ingle and Rhode is a premier London-based ethical jeweller. It is recognised as one of the leading ethical jewellery companies in the UK. The rings range from traditional diamond, to the one-of-a-kind sapphire set engagement rings—perfect if you’re looking for a bit more colour in your ring.
Ingle and Rhode understands that the problems of the industry go deeper than the Kimberley Process. By ensuring that the diamonds and metal are responsibly sourced, it not only meets standards but exceeds them. This includes sourcing Canadian diamonds with full traceability, and using fairtrade or recycled metals. Ingle and Rhode is a great choice for luxury rings, which are beautiful and ethical.
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MiaDonna is based in Portland, Oregon, and offers ethical engagement and wedding rings. Using 100 percent lab-grown diamonds and gemstones, it ensures no conflict diamonds enter its store. Plus, they use recycled metals to create the bands.
MiaDonna knows picking out a ring in one try can be hard, which is why they offer a special Home Try-On deal. They’ll send you four unique designs to try over a week, so you can decide which one truly fits you. The company offers beautiful unique pieces without the hefty social and environmental price tag from traditional jewellers.
MiaDonna also goes beyond the ring itself. The company donates 10 percent of its profits to The Greener Diamond Foundation to help communities in diamond mining regions.
Brilliant Earth offers an array of stunning jewellery that are all ethical. By accepting the limitations of The Kimberley Process, Brilliant Earth offers Beyond Conflict diamonds, which are not only conflict-free but mined with community, worker, and environmental principles in mind. It only sources from certain regions that uphold the strictest level of standards.
Brilliant Earth also offers lab-grown and recycled diamonds as alternatives to traditionally mined diamonds. And, with the use of recycled metals and FSC-certified wrappings, Brilliant Earth is a win for the environment as well.
The brand also offers a unique vintage ring collection, if you’re looking for something timeless and truly unique. Plus, vintage rings not only have charm and history, they also have an even smaller carbon footprint.
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Jewel Street is a unique online platform that connects buyers with independent jewellery makers around the world. Based in the UK, they feature dozens of different artisans who create interesting rings you’ll love showing off.
Jewel Street takes pride in partnering with artisans who produce quality work and unique, timeless designs. If traditional engagement and wedding rings aren’t really your thing, you can choose from hundreds of other designs, featuring different gemstones, various band colours, and even ring shape (if you’re more of a square ring person).
Because each piece of jewellery is hand crafted by an artisan, you can feel good knowing you’re supporting small, creative businesses.
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All of these companies offer processes to ensure their diamonds, gemstones, and metals are ethically sourced. However, there are also some alternatives, which may be worth considering, especially if you are on a budget.
Traditional Ring Alternatives
One alternative to shopping for a new ring is buying second hand. It might not sound as sexy to buy a used ring, but it’s quite ethical and can be great for your wallet as well. By buying used, you’re not contributing to any new mining or supporting a large unethical corporation. Of course, it might take more searching for the perfect one, but if you have the time, there are some amazing finds in local shops or even online. Plus, as we know, a diamond is forever, and vintage is in. So, what have you got to lose?
On that same note, ask in your family. There might be a ring a grandmother, a great aunt, or another relative would love to pass on. It’s definitely not a guarantee, but it’s worth asking to save money, not contribute to unethical sourcing, and to keep family heritage alive.
Also, while diamonds are traditional for engagement rings, they don’t have to be what you go for. Maybe flashy isn’t your thing or you’d rather spend the money on a killer honeymoon. Or maybe you work on a hands-on job, like a doctor or a builder, and wearing a ring is difficult. You could still go with a nontraditional ring from one of these other ethical jewellery brands, or choose a different piece of jewellery, such as a pendant to show off your love. Just because it may be outside the norm doesn’t make it any less special.
Engagement rings mark a huge step forward in any relationship. They show your love and commitment to another person. And, while the fine jewellery industry still has a long way to go, there are plenty of options out there to find the perfect, ethical engagement rings for your perfect somebody.