Big beautiful gemstones on the wedding finger are a favorite highlight to any celebrity wedding announcement. We’ve seen it recently with Jennifer Aniston who was given a showcase rock of a ring by her fiancé Justin Thoreaux, which was estimated to be worth a cool $500,000.
These celebrities know how to reflect their own personal style by selecting unique designs, with rare cuts and wonderfully colorful gemstones.
However did you know that luxury custom engagement rings are available without such a huge price tag – and with an ethical touch?
The mining of rare and precious jewels is rampant with ethical issues. Mining isn’t an easy business and often occurs in lesser developed countries under conditions that can scar the landscape. It can often exploit those doing all the hard work – from not providing a fair wage to throwing up all sorts of health and safety issues. Child labour is still used in the raw material sourcing and production of the finished product, despite global gem suppliers trying to improve the system.
However there is a better alternative.
Working with an ethical jeweler to create your beautiful bling engagement ring offers much more transparency and removes many of the issues within the precious gems and metals supply chain. Oh Angelina Jolie would be proud!
The Fairtrade Foundation in the UK launched the first ever globally certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold. This allows artisanal mining cooperatives the opportunity to earn a premium that can be re-invested back into their families, communities and into their land, so that there is employment even after their mines are exhausted.
In recent years, there is also better transparency with diamonds and other gems like sapphires and rubies, if you look around.
A certificate alone cannot leave your gemstones guilt-free, as David Rhode of the luxury ethical jeweler, Ingle & Rhode highlights: “The Kimberley Process has failed, and conflict diamonds are still reaching the market.”
Responsible jewelers should be able to tell you exactly how they source the elements that make up your engagement ring.
Ingle & Rhode provides gorgeous, luxury Fairtrade engagement rings for clients across the world with their focus on considerate sourcing of precious metals and jewels as much as the quality of the finished product.
As Rhode adds, “We believe it’s important not to contribute to these problems, and that helping to raise consumer awareness will put pressure on the industry to gradually reform itself. Boosting demand for certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold will really help the lives of the producers.”
Do something positive, rock on down the aisle with an ethical wedding ring.
Jen Marsden is the author of Green Guide for Weddings.