An engagement ring should be beautiful, not just on the outside but on the inside too. We’re talking about ensuring your jewellery has been ethically created from start to finish. The diamond and precious metal industry has had, and continues to have, a huge impact on our planet’s health; from the workers mining the commodities to the impact on the surrounding environment.
By considering where your jewellery comes from, you can ensure you aren’t contributing to these issues, but are instead supporting a sustainable and ethical supply chain. Choosing an ethical engagement ring doesn’t mean you have to compromise on design, there are some truly stunning pieces by jewellers that put ethics and sustainability at the heart of their business.
Conflict Free Stones
You may have heard the term ‘Blood Diamond’ which refers to diamonds that are mined in war-torn countries, where conflict is very often funded by the diamond trade itself. The diamond trade in these areas results in human rights atrocities and exploitation of its workers. Diamond Miners are some of the poorest workers in the world and they face incredibly dangerous working conditions.
Blood diamonds are also mined in a way which dramatically impacts the nearby environment and in severe cases, has caused entire ecosystems to collapse.
Fortunately, with the technology and information we have at our fingertips now, it is much easier to choose a conflict free diamond, without compromising on style or quality.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was developed to help certify conflict free diamonds and try to eliminate blood diamond trade and it’s a great first step in doing so. However, blood diamonds are still being smuggled to KPCS regions to be certified. This can make it incredibly difficult to ascertain whether your stone really is conflict-free or not. This is why we only work with specific, trusted suppliers who have extensive expertise in responsibly sourcing mined diamonds.
For years we’ve been told that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ but is that always the case? Diamonds certainly aren’t the be-all and end-all of engagement rings and especially if you lean towards a more alternative aesthetic, an ethically sourced coloured stone or salt and pepper diamond might be far more your style!
From timeless classics like sapphires and garnets to more obscure and lesser-known gems such as pink tourmaline and green amethyst, coloured stones are a beautiful choice for an engagement ring.
Salt and pepper diamonds are diamonds with inclusions that appear black and white, making for a beautiful and unusual stone. No two salt and pepper diamonds are ever the same, making them completely unique too.
Fairtrade Gold and Recycled Precious Metal Jewellery
As an industry, there is a huge drive towards making the entire supply chain behind jewellery Fair Trade and that includes the precious metals being used. Some of the practices behind mining gold can be devastating to the health of the workers; with structurally unstable pits, no protective gear and harmful chemicals like mercury being used. This not only affects the miners’ health but also the surrounding environments.
Currently, there are four Fairtrade certified mining organisations across the world: MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru, and SAMA in Uganda. Your jeweller should be using produce from one of these sites if they are claiming to use Fairtrade Gold.
Another alternative is to use precious metals that come from a refinery which sources old gold and platinum and refines them back to their pure form. Recycled gold and platinum significantly reduces demand on mines and lessens the impact of unethical mining practices.
Jeweller's Loupe are proud to be part of the Fairtrade Foundation Goldsmiths Registration Scheme, offering you Fairtrade White Gold, Fairtrade Yellow Gold and Fairtrade Rose Gold. We use a FLO ID for each piece of Fairtrade Gold and this is accessible to you, so you can find out exactly where the precious metal in your unique jewellery piece has come from.
Where was it manufactured?
Having looked at the individual components of the ring, the final point to consider is where your jewellery was made. Many jewellers will have their engagement rings and other jewellery manufactured in Asia as it tends to be cheaper for the business, however this often comes with the cost of poor working conditions and pay for the workers. At Jeweller’s Loupe we are proud to say all our jewellery is:
- ethically created in our Yorkshire (UK) workshop
- handmade to order by our award winning British jewellers
- responsibly sourced from start to finish
Like you, we are choosing to make conscious, considerate and principled decisions. We know our actions impact the world and we want to contribute to creating sustainable British retail.
Do you have a question about purchasing an ethical engagement ring?
Our in house design and customer service team will be more than happy to help you with any questions you have about purchasing an ethical engagement ring from Jewellers Loupe. If you would like to know more about our creative process then check out our How it's Made blog here.