The eco-conscious bride can’t just casually make decisions about her wedding when some of them could have devastating environmental consequences. Whether it’s the venue you choose or the menu selections that you wish to make, careful consideration has to be given to every aspect of your big day. But, in all honesty, it goes beyond just the wedding day. If you really want to be eco-conscious, you have to rethink the way you view engagement rings.
The Problem with Today’s Diamonds
Diamond engagement rings are supposed to represent happiness, love, and trust. However, what few Americans realize is that many diamonds are actually characterized by conflict and carnage.
The term “blood diamond” has been given to thousands of diamonds that are mined in war zones and then sold to finance the invading army’s war efforts. These blood diamonds may account for billions of dollars worth of jewelry and are, to be honest, the antithesis of eco-friendly.
“The diamond industry estimates that conflict diamonds represent 4 percent of the total trade in rough diamonds,” CBS News points out.“Others have estimated that conflict diamonds could amount to as high as 15 percent of the total trade.”
If the latter statistic is true, it means one out of every six diamond engagement rings could have roots in the blood diamond trade. So, as a bride with good intentions, it’s time to rethink the process of choosing an engagement ring.
How to Find an Eco-Friendly Diamond
Eco-friendly diamonds, conflict-free diamonds, ethical diamonds…whatever you want to call them, it’s important that you understand how to get engaged without letting a blood diamond stain your relationship. Here are a few suggestions:
- Find a Vintage Ring
One increasingly popular trend is to buy vintage engagement rings. Not only are vintage rings in style, but they’re also much less likely to be a part of the blood diamond trade. Even if it does have a negative past, it’s now just a part of history. You aren’t actively supporting any modern, unethical trading.
- Look for Kimberley Process Certification
Are you familiar with the Kimberly Process? It’s an international diamond society that was established in 2002 to help curb the flow of conflict diamonds. There are currently 54 participants representing 81 countries throughout the world. When buying a diamond, you should ask the jeweler to provide you with information regarding Kimberly Process Certification. Getting this certification almost guarantees that the diamond isn’t connected to conflict.
- Consider Alternatives
Perhaps you’re scared by diamonds altogether. Even though vintage rings and modern diamonds with the right certification are safe, you may decide to go another route.
While untraditional, who says you can’t go with a diamond alternative? There are plenty of other options. For example, some people are going with moissanite, which is made from silicon carbonate, a rare and naturally occurring substance. Others are choosing synthetic materials like Adia diamonds. Then there are birthstones and even wooden rings! It’s okay to think out of the box here.
- Find a Jeweler You Trust
Looking for a conflict-free diamond isn’t as easy as walking into a store and picking out the best looking ring that fits your budget. The process can take weeks or months, depending on your specifications. The key is to find a jeweler that you can trust. If they don’t have something, they’ll find it for you.
Take Your Engagement Ring Seriously
It’s nice to have an eco-friendly wedding, but is the rest of your engagement and future marriage consistent with the same ideals you’re using for your big day? Nobody is trying to guilt you into choosing a ring you don’t want, but you do need to know that there are plenty of conflict-free diamonds on the market. With a little research and effort, you can find one that’s perfect for you.
Article Submitted By Community Writer