So, you’ve decided to get married and now you are considering a wedding and engagement ring set. This may be the first time in your life that you’re looking to invest in an expensive piece of jewelry. Hearing news about blood diamonds and dirty gold, you are somewhat suspicious of the jewelry sector. You want to find ethically made jewelry that’s a worthy representation of your love and commitment.
Fortunately, there are some green wedding ring options. You probably will not find them locally, because only a tiny percentage of jewelers are concerned about ethical sourcing issues enough to bring such product into their store. So you start to type in keywords into google and a number of recycled gold wedding rings and ethical wedding rings with fair trade gemstones pop up. Now what do you do?
It doesn’t need to be that complex. Everything you need to know can be summed up in one rule: trace your wedding and engagement ring from mine to market. Read the details below and you’ll know exactly what questions to ask.
Natural conflict free diamond do not exist and anyone who is making that claim is distorting the issues. Canadian diamond mines are well run, but they have massive impact upon the environment. Diamonds from Africa are often not traceable to a specific mine through their polishing, The best programs involve cutting and polishing facilities in Africa which supports local economies. Even synthetic diamonds are part of an industrial process which has its impact. The best thing to do is to learn about the issues and make an informed decision.
Several companies claim “fair trade gemstones,” but a third party certification process has yet to be developed. For a gemstone to be considered “fair trade”, it must undergo some sort of independent third party certification process. The most ethical thing to do is to find gemstones which can be traced directly back to its source, benefiting small scale artisan miners.
Do not buy a ring unless the precious metal is recycled or traced directly back to a mine that you know is managed responsibly. If you don’t buy a recycled wedding ring and a recycled engagement ring, your ring could cause up to twenty tons of toxic sludge full of mercury.
Who and how your ring is made makes a difference in the sourcing of your ring. Is it pumped out from a CAD computer program to a casting machine, or is there actual artistry involved? Chances are, you do not see your marriage as a mass commodity, so your ring ought to reflect artistry that individually represents your most noble and cherished concerns. A ring, like your life, should be artistically made.
Finally, consider the reputation of the company and how they are exemplifying your environmental and human rights values. Testimonials, which list full names and cities, are only partly sufficient. The company should be independently rated by a third party organization such as the BBB that traces its level of complaints, if any. Also, the best companies in the ethical sourcing community are not just selling jewelry, they are actively promoting a change in the jewelry sector.
The better online merchants will be completely transparent about the five points I’ve raised here. With these questions, you are ready to use your purchase to create a better world.