We were happy to hear the news that Prince William of England has proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton. We think they’ll make a fantastic team! But as providers of ethical origin fine jewelry, there’s one part of this story that really makes us ecstatic: Kate’s stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Not only is the ring fit for a princess, but it is an heirloom that was worn by William’s mother, Princess Diana, when she became engaged to Prince Charles in 1981.
What makes us so happy about the ring? For one, it’s beautiful. The ring features a dramatic, 18 carat blue sapphire, encircled by 14 round brilliant cut diamonds. The sapphire and diamonds are mounted on an 18K white gold band. We’ve always liked the way that colorful sapphires and dazzling white diamonds play off one another, which is why we offer several engagement rings with that same spectacular look, including our 18K White Gold Sapphire Fancy Halo Ring and our 18K White Gold Sapphire Halo Diamond Ring. Also, if you’d like a replica of Kate’s ring—without the royal price tag—we can custom design one for you!
But equally important, we’re thrilled that Kate’s ring is an environmentally responsible one. As we regularly observe on this blog, mining for precious metals and gemstones is closely associated with civil wars, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation. For this reason, we offer conflict-free diamonds and sapphires sourced from mines adhering to impeccable labor and environmental standards, and we use only recycled gold and platinum in our ring settings. However, one terrific way to avoid contributing to unethical mining practices is simply to re-use an existing ring. It might be an antique ring, such as the rings we offer in our estate and antique gallery, or it might be a ring once worn by a loved one or family member. In either case, no harm is caused to people or the environment because no new mining is necessary. By giving Kate his mother’s ring, William chose a ring for his bride that does not cause further harm to the environment through new mining. Bravo, William!