THE BASICS --
Sustainability is a growing concern in today’s society, and the idea of conserving resources and minimizing environmental impacts touches all parts of our lives – including jewelry. In fact, engagement rings are one of the least sustainable fashion items, but new awareness and emerging technologies are causing positive changes in jewelry manufacture and design. Today, sustainability is changing the way women are shopping for engagement rings, without sacrificing style, beauty, or sentiment in this most important piece of jewelry.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- Why modern engagement rings are not sustainable?
- Sustainable jewelry practices
- How women are shopping for sustainable rings
- Conflict free diamonds
- Heirloom rings
- Eco-friendly engagement rings
- Keeping an engagement ring sustainable
- Choosing sustainable engagement rings
Why Modern Engagement Rings are not Sustainable?
• Precious Gemstones
Precious gems – diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc. – are a very limited natural resources, which is exactly what makes them “precious.” Depending on the environmental conditions and type of crystal, it can take from 200,000 years to 3 billion years for a single gemstone to form.
Extracting those gemstones from deep within the earth is an incredibly damaging process. Even a relatively conscientious mining operation may involve destroying habitats, displacing wildlife, creating waste products and pollutants, and producing toxic emissions. Similarly, the precious metal – gold, silver, platinum, etc. – needed for jewelry also requires similar processes.
• Modern Engagement Rings
Finally, manufacturing new engagement rings and jewelry itself can also be damaging. Tremendous energy may be necessary to properly cut and shape a gemstone, or to treat a less satisfactory gem to correct flaws. As the jewelry gets closer to the retail market, resources are necessary for packaging and shipping, which add up more material use and emissions and waste production.
Sustainable Jewelry Practices
Strides are being made for more sustainable jewelry, however. Technological advances in mining mean less damage to extract gems, and refined equipment produces fewer emissions and pollutants. New developments in treating gems can create a better yield of jewelry-quality gemstones while simultaneously reducing waste.
Furthermore, more mining operations are recognizing the need to restore the environments they work in, and are making greater commitments to refresh habitats when a mine closes or to protect other habitats to compensate for mining operations. Retailers are adjusting their practices as well, offering more sustainable shipping and packaging options, and taking other steps to have a positive environmental impact.
How Women Are Shopping Sustainably for Engagement Rings
The growing awareness of sustainability is changing how women shop for jewelry and engagement rings. This is particularly true for engagement rings, which are a powerful symbol not only of a couple’s love, but also of their values and their future together. Choosing a more sustainable vintage ring, then, is a great way for a couple to showcase their hope for the future and how they want to protect the resources they will share for many anniversaries, and may pass on to their children.
• Conflict Free Diamonds
To choose an engagement ring in a sustainable way, women are thinking beyond just their own ring fingers. Choosing conflict-free diamonds and researching retailers to determine their individual environmentally-friendly practices are great steps. Many women are also turning to antique engagement rings or vintage engagement rings as the ultimate in recycling jewelry with minimal environmental impact.
• Heirloom Rings
One popular option is to choose diamonds or other gemstones from a close local or regional source, which means there is no need for the stone to be shipped across the globe. Resetting a family diamond from an heirloom ring is another way to reuse and recycle a diamond into a new and personalized piece, with that added connection to family history and tradition.
• Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings
Women are also taking such thoughtful steps as carefully researching an engagement ring for a timeless style they will not tire of and feel compelled to replace in a few years. Shopping online is a great way to investigate additional styles without using more time, energy, and consumable resources to visit multiple stores.
Keeping an Engagement Ring Sustainable
Once purchased, an engagement ring can continue to be sustainable if it is properly cared for. Minimizing chips, scratches, or other damage to the ring will also minimize the need for harsh treatments or extensive repairs that require additional resources. Regular gentle cleaning will not require stronger chemicals, ensuring less environmental contamination for all the years the ring is worn. Furthermore, an engagement ring that has been thoughtfully cared for can become a brilliant family heirloom, one that may be passed on to a future generations of brides-to-be, improving the sustainability of the ring with every new marriage proposal it represents.
Choosing Sustainable Engagement Rings
Sustainability is not just a trendy topic or minor movement – it is a commitment to environmental responsibility, a commitment that is just as monumental as the promise represented by an engagement ring, and one that can be made by every couple ready to commit to one another.
Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of vintage engagement rings today!