They say that purchasing a diamond ring is one of the top ten most important purchases in a lifetime. According to Warren Buffet, choosing the person you give that ring to is the biggest decision you’ll ever make.
Will You Marry Me?
“I take thee to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Published in 1549, from the Book of Common Prayer.
These historical, eloquent words can be some of the most significant words you will ever say to your partner, in front of those you hold dear, as you slide on your (very soon to be) husband or wife’s wedding ring.
But, there’s another important ring to be purchased that symbolizes love and commitment way before you get to the chapel — the engagement ring.
An engagement ring signifies a special and specific time in one’s life and will forever be a cherished gift. So, you want to make sure it is something you or your partner will love from this day forward!
But with the environment, sustainability, and ethics at the forefront of so many individuals’ minds, how do you go about creating an ethical engagement ring?
There is no denying that diamonds are the best of the best. They outshine pearls and rubies, and there is no other piece of jewelry that sparkles like a diamond engagement ring.
And, although there used to be only one option for what kind of diamond you could buy, today’s couples now have the option between mined and lab-grown diamonds.
What’s a lab-grown diamond?
First and foremost, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, they are not fake, nor are they cubic zirconia. Lab-grown diamonds are grown using cutting edge technology that replicates the process which creates natural diamonds. The result? A diamond that is atomically and optically identical to a mined diamond.
Lab-created diamonds can sometimes be referred to as “synthetic” diamonds. While not technically an inaccurate term (although even the FTC discourages the use of it), the term “synthetic” may be the reason people believe lab-created diamonds are not the same as mined stones.
Are they flawless?
Once lab-created diamonds are grown, they go through the same process as mined diamonds in terms of cutting, polishing, and grading. Contrary to what some may think, they are not flawless and can be purchased using the same 4 C’s grading system as mined stones.
The goal of lab-grown diamonds isn’t to produce a flawless stone, it is simply to give consumers the ability to purchase a diamond that was 100% ethically sourced.
How much do they cost?
Due to their shortened supply chain, lab-grown diamonds can be up to 40% less expensive than the exact same stone (in terms of the 4 C’s) that was mined. This is a huge benefit to couples that are ring shopping on a budget, as they can get a bigger or better diamond for less than they would be able to afford when buying a mined stone.
Once you’ve decided on your diamond, you’ll need to choose what it is going to sit in — AKA your setting. There are endless styles to choose from, but in general, they can be broken down into the following categories: solitaire, classic, halo, vintage, 3 stone, and modern. Each collection has its own feel and should align with the style of the future ring wearer. While your diamond might come down to a careful balance of cut, color, clarity, and carat, the setting will really just boil down to personal preference.
Shopping for an ethical engagement ring is hard to do if the metals are not recycled. Just as there are negative effects of mining for diamonds, extracting metals is no different. When you buy from a company that uses recycled materials, you’re doing your part to cut down on the need for this unsustainable practice.
Another small, yet effective practice when done by many, is to purchase your engagement ring and wedding band together. Not only will this save you time down the line, but it will cut back the need for another shipment. Companies such as Amazon have implemented the option to have all your items shipped together and this is a very similar idea.
The Completed Ring
Now that you have your lab-grown diamond engagement ring made with recycled metals, it’s time to pop the question to the love of your life. But don’t stop your ethical journey with this purchase. Incorporate this ideology in your proposal, on your wedding day, and throughout life. Making small changes, like buying an ethical engagement ring, will eventually add up.