The number of engagement ring options can be overwhelming enough to make your head spin. From diamond cut to band style, carat count and everything in between, there is much to think about before saying yes to one specific ring. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to engagement rings. You’ve probably heard about the idea that the diamond industry can be less than ethical, to say the least. While true, that isn’t even the half of it. Before you buy a halo engagement ring or put a down payment on a diamond solitaire engagement ring, there are several questionable things about the diamond industry to keep in mind.
As we will discuss later in this article, the diamond industry poses several ethical concerns. Exploitation of works, the use of conflict diamonds and lack of transparency in the diamond industry are all major concerns you should consider before buying a genuine diamond.
Did you know that the diamond industry wreaks major havoc on the environment, too? Yes, mined diamonds aren’t just a problem of unethical work environments. They also have serious long-term environmental concerns. The carbon emissions of the natural diamond process are significantly greater than those of sustainable engagement rings. While no ring is completely carbon neutral (yet), lab-grown diamonds have a much smaller environmental impact than their natural diamond competitors.
The international diamond industry has added to deforestation issues and the widespread destruction of wildlife and landscapes. Thankfully, there are other environmentally friendly options when it comes to engagement rings. These ethical rings are simply a better choice all around, and Modern Gents has you covered on a variety of ethical engagement ring options. Here’s why you should consider an ethical engagement ring over others.
The Ethical Concerns of Diamonds and Precious Metals
What does it mean to have an ethical engagement ring? There are a few factors that weigh in. First, there is the issue of ensuring you only buy conflict-free diamonds or diamonds obtained outside of the “blood diamond” trade. Blood diamonds are known as diamonds that are mined before being illegally traded in the war and conflict zones of Africa and other areas or sold to finance armed conflict.
Blood diamonds aren’t a new issue by any means. In fact, they’ve played a large part in the history of large diamond mining industries and human rights issues for decades now. The mining of these conflict diamonds is performed by slaves – sometimes including women and children – who work under harsh conditions and, in some cases, extremely violent environments.
Precious metals and their mining practices can also be a contentious ethical debate, especially as it relates to ethical diamonds and working conditions (as well as child labor). Fine jewelry, in general, is a web of ethical concerns throughout the supply chain. Many innocent people are caught in the middle of this conflict-driven mining and trade, making the resulting jewelry and diamond-laden products unethical.
It’s also quite difficult to trace the actual origin of most diamonds. The international diamond industry is filled with miscommunication and passing the stones from person to person, not all of whom are completely honest about the diamonds themselves and where they came from originally. It’s hard to know whether a diamond came from a small artisanal source or a huge diamond mining business.
The environmental impact of diamond and gold mining is significant and far-reaching. Diamond mining, in particular, has been linked to deforestation, soil erosion and water pollution. The process of extracting diamonds from the earth involves removing large amounts of soil and rock, which can disrupt ecosystems and cause soil erosion.
The use of heavy machinery and explosives contributes to noise pollution and air pollution. In addition, diamond mining requires large amounts of water, which can strain local water resources and cause water pollution. The use of chemicals and other hazardous materials in the diamond mining process can also have long-term environmental impacts.
Gold mining is also associated with significant environmental impacts, including deforestation, soil erosion and water pollution. Extracting gold from the earth involves using chemicals like cyanide and mercury, which are toxic to humans and wildlife. And, of course, heavy machinery and explosives can cause significant noise and air pollution, while removing large amounts of soil and rock can cause soil erosion and disrupt ecosystems.
The environmental impacts of diamond and gold mining are complex and multifaceted, and it is important for consumers to be aware of these issues when choosing jewelry like necklaces and marquise diamonds.
In recent years, people in the U.S. and other first-world nations have become more aware of the issue of blood diamonds and the impact of the diamond industry on human rights and the environment. This is largely due to the efforts of advocacy groups and NGOs, as well as increased media coverage of the issue.
As a result, many consumers are now actively seeking out ethical engagement rings and other jewelry and are willing to pay a premium for products that are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. This has led to a growing market for ethical diamonds and jewelry and has pressured the diamond industry to address the ethical concerns associated with their products.
What Is an Ethical Engagement Ring?
Thankfully, it has become more common to set initiatives to buy ethically-produced engagement rings and wedding ring sets. Ethical wedding rings are produced without dangerous and destructive mining. Workers are paid fairly and the environmental effects are way less harsh. Specifically, these “conflict-free” diamonds are fair trade and do not originate within war zones as they do with blood diamonds. The best part is that these fairmined options look just as good as more expensive but less ethical alternatives!
It isn’t just wedding rings that can be sourced more ethically. There’s a whole section of the jewelry industry devoted to ethical jewelry, which is only growing each year as people search for jewelry with clean origins.
Things to Keep in Mind When Considering an Eco-Friendly Option
Yes, diamonds that have been traded fairly and aren’t blood diamonds are better than the alternative. Did you know there is an even better option when it comes to ethical engagement rings, though? Consider a lab-made simulated diamond, which is an option that requires no mining, deforestation or other negative effects on the environment. Lab-created simulated diamonds look, feel and sparkle like the real thing without any unethical repercussions, and many are made in America. The very best part? They are the best option for affordable engagement rings!
Lab-grown diamonds are a popular option when it comes to ethical and conflict-free engagement ring options. It’s important to know that just because lab-created simulated diamonds will save you a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality or size. Simulated diamonds can be cut into just about any shape and come in all your favorite settings, center stones and band materials. You can get everything you want in a traditional engagement ring using a simulated diamond.
Another benefit of lab-grown diamonds is that they offer incredible clarity and color. Their beauty rivals that of natural diamonds, but they’re an ethical, affordable alternative. What’s not to love?
Another way to be more ethical is to be deliberate with your consumption. Just because your ring doesn’t fit anymore doesn’t mean you need a new one. If resizing is an option, see if your local jeweler can help you get your ring fitting as perfectly as it once did.
Shop Sustainably-Made Rings From Modern Gents
When choosing an ethically produced engagement ring, wedding band or wedding band set, Modern Gents is the way to go. We’re committed to providing you with high-quality metals and plating in addition to excellent service at every point in the buying process. Our simulated diamond and gemstone rings are also some of the most affordable options on the market for their quality. While it is natural to be skeptical of an affordable engagement ring, here’s why you should choose a Modern Gents ring for your engagement and marriage.
You and your partner shouldn’t have to spend your life savings on a ring, especially one that comes from contentious manufacturing processes. Our beautiful hand-crafted options offer an alternative that makes you feel like you’re not compromising at all. With the money you save when you buy our rings, you can put those funds to something like your wedding, dream honeymoon or even your future home! Our diamond engagement ring alternatives are made to last, so you can count on us to make a ring that will withstand everyday life. And, no, our rings will not turn your finger green!
Lastly, we’re committed to helping you find your dream ring and making it something you will love forever. Our hassle-free return and exchange program makes it easy to find exactly what’s right for you. We offer a lifetime warranty and stand by our products completely so you can enjoy your ring to the fullest extent.