Ask The Experts – Ethical Engagement And Wedding Rings

18/07/2014 | 1

Ethical Engagement Rings


Getting engaged is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life and a big part of that is of course the engagement and then wedding ring, symbolising your unity and marriage. 


Wedding Rings Direct have been on hand over the last few months to bring you top tips and advice for choosing this all important jewellery for your nuptials. Today the experts are here to discuss the ethical issues concerned with engagement and wedding rings and highlight what you need to know…


Wedding Rings Direct:

Questions that are becoming increasingly important to many brides and grooms when buying their engagement and wedding rings are: ‘Where did the componants come from? Was my diamond mined under humane circumstance? Is my gold ethical? What is the carbon footprint of my jewellery?’


For the ethical couple, it can be a complex buying process. Luckily, there are things in place to help maintain a moral approach to making and buying jewellery.


Ethical Wedding Rings



Blood diamonds:

The Kimberley Process is a joining of governments, industry and civil society initiative which started when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley in May 2000 to discuss ways to stop the trade in ‘conflict diamonds’ and ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.


A diamond can only be a ‘conflict-free diamond’ if the country is registered with the Kimberley Process. The jeweller should be able to confirm that your diamond is conflict-free.


Ethical Engagement Rings



Diamond certification:

When purchasing diamonds, most over 0.25ct in weight will come with a diamond certificate. This certificate will contain the full details of the diamonds specification. Although it will not include where the diamond was sourced from, all gemological institutes have to follow the Kimberley process, and every stone will have a paper work trail. The leading gemological institutes include GIA, IGI and HDR.


Ethical Wedding Rings



Ethical metal:

It’s no secret that the gold mining industry is one of the most environmentally destructive forms of mining in this world. There are also labour concerns, with employees working in dangerous conditions for minimum wages. The processes involved in mining gold can also create vast quantities of chemical waste.


Ethical Engagement Rings


So how, you ask, can you be sure that your gold has not contributed to this? Well, unfortunately, it is very difficult to know for sure that your gold is 100% ethical.


More and more companies are setting up businesses dedicated to this model, however you will pay a premium for this as of course costs are much higher for companies to source their gold from smaller gold mines and essentially supporting a totally different living environment to ensure workers are paid a living wage and treated fairly, and minimal chemicals are used in the mining process.


If you don’t have the budget to support a FairTrade jewellery company, all is not lost. Much more commonly, recycled gold is used to make jewellery, and although you cannot know the orignal source of the gold, what you can be sure of is that you are not supporting the newly mined gold trade.


Ask the company you are interested in buying from if they use recycled gold. Another option is buying secondhand, again this ensures you are not supporting the mining industry. These principles apply to other precious metals as well such as Platinum, Silver and Palladium.



Ethical Wedding Rings



In conclusion, within the EU it is almost impossible to buy a diamond that has not been ethically sourced as the Kimberley Process controls the trade of diamonds in and out.


Guaranteeing if your metal is ethical is more difficult, but ensuring that your jewellery is either made from recycled metal or secondhand means you will not be feeding the continuing destructive mining trade.


The growing business of FairTrade 100% ethically mined gold will also allow consumers the choice of buying jewellery that has come from happy working conditions/ less wasteful processes.



Thank you to the experts at Wedding Rings Direct for sharing their ethical engagement and wedding ring knowledge.



Comments (1)

  1. Great insight! I always wondered how couples go about finding truly ethical rings. Definitely bookmarking this for future reference 🙂

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