Couples today are more socially conscious and aware of sustainability, environmental impact, and natural alternatives than ever before. It is no surprise, then, that many couples are concerned with choosing an eco-friendly engagement ring that will show their commitment to the planet even as they make their commitment to each other. But what is an eco-friendly engagement ring, and how can you be sure the ring you choose is kind to nature?

eco-friendly engagement ring

What It Means to Be Eco-Friendly

•Diamond Source: Where an engagement ring’s stone comes from is a tremendous indication of whether or not a ring is eco-friendly. Couples should avoid conflict or blood diamonds, and insist on stones that have been ethically sourced and not used to finance rebellions. Recycled stones from older rings are a great option, or couples can opt for lab-created stones such as moissanite.

•Mining Ethics: How a diamond mining company conducts its business can impact how eco-friendly an engagement ring may be. Companies that use unregulated strip-mining processes or otherwise devastate the land where their stones are found are not considered eco-friendly and should be avoided.

•Ring Design: The design of a diamond ring can reflect its eco-friendly nature when the precious metals are recycled and refined rather than newly mined. The manufacturing process of the jewelers is also a consideration, and couples should be sure each company that works on the ring practices responsible ethics and conservation.

•Shipping and Transportation: How a diamond or gemstone and the resulting ring travels from mine to jeweler to store to a fiancé’s finger should be part of its eco-friendly history. Packaging made from recycled or reused materials, shipping arranged with renewable fuels, and the use of carbon offsets or otherwise reducing the ring’s carbon footprint can make it more eco-friendly.

Retailer Policies: Conscientious couples will investigate the retailer where they purchase an engagement ring to ensure the company supports causes and organizations that are in line with the couple’s beliefs and concerns. Charitable contributions, sponsorships, and similar actions can demonstrate how a company feels about community support and its own social conscience.

•Labor Ethics: From the mining to the jewelry design and construction to the shipping and sale of the ring, a true eco-friendly engagement ring will be supported by companies that believe in fair labor practices, adequate wages, and local support with every step. This enhances our global community and binds everyone together with environmental and social responsibility.

When looking at the many different factors that affect how eco-friendly a ring can be, from environmental practices to human rights abuses to charitable sponsorships, it can seem overwhelming to search for an engagement ring that is as environmentally sound as possible. It is not always possible to find the perfect ring that is 100 percent aligned with a couple’s values and beliefs, but by understanding the process and examining what matters most, couples can find amazing jewelry that will not compromise their core values.

 eco-friendly

The Best Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings

There are many different types of eco-friendly engagement rings that can ease a couple’s conscience. While there are new jewelry retailers who follow strict ethical practices, an even better option for couples who want an ethical, eco-friendly ring is to consider antique engagement rings or vintage engagement rings. Because older rings were mined, designed, and sold long before present-day civil rights conflicts and human rights violations, they were not part of the financing those unethical operations. Reusing an older ring is the ultimate in recycling, and couples could also start with an older ring and have it reset into recycled metals for a new ring with a rich, ethical history.

By choosing an eco-friendly engagement ring, couples can find a ring that represents not only their love for one another, but their love for a healthier planet, peaceful communities, and a hopeful future – not just for themselves, but for everyone their ring has impacted in the past and will impact for many happy anniversaries to come.

 Best Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings