Ethical or eco-friendly wedding rings are rings created with ethics and the environment in mind. This includes the mining and sourcing of the stones and metals used in the ring, as well as the manufacturing of the rings itself.
You may be familiar with the film Blood Diamond and the issue of diamond collection that it sheds light on. If you haven’t watched it, it basically tells the story of how the diamond trade is filled with a lot of conflict for a lot of parties involved. The film paints the sad reality of what is going on in the world, and the startling lack of people who actually care that it’s happening.
Buying rings from mainstream jewellers means that you may be unintentionally playing a role in this unethical and inhumane trade, as commercialism obviously keeps the gears to the diamond (and mining) trade running.
As such, the need for more ethical and eco-friendly wedding rings arose. A lot of couples today are now looking to these alternatives to play their part in fighting against the unethical practices that mainstream jewellers promote.
Because diamonds are the most common stones found in a lot of engagement and wedding rings, diamond producers and traders have had to enact the Kimberley Process, which is an international system that attempts to put a damper on the trade of conflict or blood diamonds).
However, the coverage of the diamonds intercepted by this process is fairly narrow as it only refers to diamonds used to fund rebel movements. As such, the diamonds which are mined in areas that use inhumane and abusive treatments on their workers are not included and are still an issue.
But ethical wedding rings don’t just cover diamonds, they also cover other colored stones that have begun to be more common in wedding rings. Gem stones that are acquired or mined by poor workers who get low wages and get inhumanely treated. Such is the reality, and buying rings with uncertain sources can keep these businesses running.
The metals used in wedding rings also pose an ethical and environmental issue. Gold, which is the most common wedding ring material, generates a lot of mine waste when mined, which compromises the welfare of the environment if not disposed properly. Mining corporations are not exactly known for being the most considerate environmentalists. Silver and other metals are no different.
Where Can I Find Ethical and Eco-Friendly Wedding Rings?
Generally speaking, diamond miners from Canada, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa are the ones who have the most ethical background. Not only do these miners practice proper labor and human rights, but they can also verify the origins of their diamonds, which is something you should look for when looking for ethical wedding rings.
You can also opt to repurpose a diamond (or diamonds) in an older jewelry for your wedding ring. While this diamond may have some conflict or bloody origins, at least you aren’t getting a newer one to further exacerbate the issue.
Or, you can get diamonds which are manufactured in a laboratory. While not naturally occurring or mined, they are composed similarly and are the most eco-friendly choice when it comes to getting a diamond for your wedding ring.
The same principle applies for colored gems. If your jeweller can say for certain and explain elaborately where it is mined from, then that’s a good sign. Of course you’d have to find an ethical jeweller that you can trust to ensure that they won’t lie to you when you ask them about this, but luckily there are more and more each day who are dedicated to supplying ethical jewelry.
As for the metals, ethical and eco-friendly jewellers often recycle the metallic materials that they use for their rings. Any precious metal that you need for your ring can often be recycled from older items which are made of the same material. Luckily, a lot of jewellers are now offering such options for their rings.
And finally, it would do you good to get a wedding ring from a US-based manufacturer. This ensures that the labor used in the manufacturing process was well compensated and ethically overseen. Generally these manufacturers are more environmentally friendly and supply safer working environments and conditions for their workers.
Elena Prokopets, the author of this post, is a passionate fashion blogger and an avid traveler.
She loves to write about her travel experiences. When she is not travelling or writing Elena
enjoys swimming and going for long country walks. She’s working
as digital influencer for americantungsten.com.
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