“Going green” is a phrase you hear often these days. People are becoming more aware of the impact that their day-to-day activities have on the environment, and that awareness has extended to meaningful consumer choices. Packaging for products has become slimmer to create less waste in landfills, people bring canvas bags with them to the grocery store, recycling is a given in most city trash systems, and hybrid and even electric vehicles abound. It’s no surprise, then, that a growing number of couples seek “green” engagement rings as a way to show their commitment both to each other and to their values. If that describes you, you’ll be happy to know that eco-friendly engagement rings come in a huge selection of styles. These days you do not have to choose between quality and conscience.
Why Choose a Green Engagement Ring?
Brilliant Earth offers eco-friendly engagement rings that are untainted by the environmentally destructive practices of precious metal mining. Gold mining is one of the most environmentally destructive forms of mining, with nearly 20 tons of ore required to produce enough gold for one single ring and serious risks of catastrophic cyanide spills. Gold mining is also a leading cause of mercury pollution worldwide, which causes severe and widespread health consequences for both people and ecosystems. As you can see, gold mining can wreak havoc on the environment, so consumers looking for eco-friendly fine jewelry will look for retailers that offer an environmentally friendly alternative.
Irresponsible gemstone mining also causes serious harm to the environment. In Sierra Leone, for example, unregulated diamond mining devastated the land in a vast region of the country, creating a barren moonscape of mining pits filled with stagnant, mosquito-infested water (a situation that Brilliant Earth’s non-profit fund is helping to fix). And unregulated mining of colored gemstones can result in water pollution, soil erosion, and deforestation.
What is a Green Engagement Ring?
An eco-friendly engagement ring is one that’s produced with minimal environmental impact. Here are things to look for in your search for an eco-friendly ring:
Recycled Precious Metals
Engagement rings made out of recycled gold or platinum require no additional mining. Using recycled precious metals means altogether avoiding the negative environmental impacts of extracting and processing metals through mining. So, where do recycled precious metals come from? At Brilliant Earth we use precious metals from existing jewelry or other post-consumer sources. Then the metals are re-refined back into their pure elements, so they are indistinguishable from non-recycled precious metals. Once the original purity level is restored, the precious metals are crafted into dazzling rings. There is no difference in the quality of the recycled gold or platinum—each piece is just as durable and gorgeous as those crafted from non-recycled precious metals.
Responsibly Sourced Gemstones
As the leading retailer of ethical fine jewelry, Brilliant Earth also offers a wide selection of center gems that meet the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. Our beyond conflict free diamonds and ethically sourced precious gemstones are responsibly mined using practices that minimize environmental impact, are wholly free of violence or worker exploitation, and contribute to the surrounding communities. Each of our diamonds arrives with a Certificate of Origin that certifies the country it came from and details the responsible environmental practices at the mines there.
Antique and vintage rings are the most eco-friendly of options, because they require no new mining or processing at all. And couples often love knowing that their engagement ring comes with a mysterious romantic history from an earlier era. At Brilliant Earth we have an expansive, ever-changing collection of antique and vintage engagement rings that are as stunning and distinctive as they are gentle on the earth.
Lab-created diamonds are chemically and optically identical to diamonds formed in nature—even expert gemologists cannot tell the difference without specialized equipment. Because these diamonds require no mining, they are an eco-friendly and ethical choice. We carry a large selection of lab-created diamonds in traditional white and as well as fancy yellow hues.
Engagement Rings Made in the USA
Although many of our gemstones are sourced from abroad, all of Brilliant Earth’s jewelry is designed and manufactured in the USA. That helps reduce its carbon footprint, and offers you assurance that our jewelry is produced in accordance with U.S. labor and environmental laws, which are broadly protective of workers and the environment.
When you want your engagement ring to be a pure symbol of your love and values, choose a green engagement ring. With Brilliant Earth’s extensive selection of styles and impeccable craftsmanship, you can rest assured that your engagement ring will be a cherished piece you are proud to wear.
Do you have any questions about or thoughts on green engagement rings? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section.