Many people are unaware that the creation of a beautiful engagement ring can cause environmental damage, human rights abuse and the exploitation of workers. These issues are often overlooked or ignored by most jewellery brands even when claiming they are following ethical practices.
1. Avoid conflict diamonds – be aware that the Kimberley Process isn’t enough
When buying a diamond, you’ll hear a lot about the four Cs, but there is actually a 5th C that’s extremely important: conflict-free.
Pretty much every jeweller will say that their diamonds are certified by the Kimberley Process and that this means they are conflict-free. But this is no guarantee at all.
The process requires all rough diamonds to be transported in tamper-resistant containers when crossing international borders, with a forgery-resistant certificate and a unique number. Despite these regulations being in place, there are many gaps in the system and blood diamonds can still find their way to market.
2. CHECK TRACEABILITY
If you don’t know where your diamond came from, then you can’t be sure that it was ethically produced.
Only a small proportion of the diamonds on the market are traceable back to source. Canadamark is a scheme that makes this possible from some of the diamond mines in the Diavik and Ekati mines in Canada. A unique serial number is laser inscribed on each of the diamonds that’s registered under this scheme allowing it to be traced back to a specific piece of rough crystal.
3. GO FOR FAIRTRADE GOLD
Opting for a ring made from Fairtrade gold can really make a difference to the lives of miners and the communities they live in. You can rest assured that miners from a Fairtrade mine are working in health and safety regulated conditions with fair wages and no child labour. Be sure to check if your jeweller is Fairtrade gold certified.
4. CONSIDER RECYCLED METALS
Choosing a ring made from recycled gold or platinum is another way you can reduce your environmental footprint of your ring. Recycled metals help to reduce the demand for newly mined metals, which helps to avoid the damaging effects that mining has on the environment. There is also no difference in quality whatsoever between new or recycled metal.
5. ASK WHERE YOUR RING WAS (OR WILL BE) MADE
Your jeweller should be able to tell you exactly where your jewellery was made, and ideally the names of the craftsmen and women who created it. We abide by our high ethical standards ensuring all our diamonds and gemstones are traceable back to source and we use only Fairtrade or recycled metals in our rings.
Call us on 020 3468 7917 or come and see us in person at our showroom close to Bond Street station, London. You’ll be able to discover our stunning collection, speak to our experts one-on-one and explore the option of creating your very own bespoke ring. We aim to respond to appointment booking emails within 1 hour.