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Thanksgiving Day through Valentine’s Day is what we call Peak Engagement Season. The holidays are here and the ring boxes are ready to be filled, but there is more to the process than just picking a pretty rock for your pretty bae.
The engagement ring, historically, is all just one massive marketing scheme, from 1948, gone WRONG. You see a jewelry company by the name of De Beers had this great idea back in the day to try out a new approach to gain the interest of broader audience, connecting diamonds with a universally emotional life event- Getting Married. I would write more about this fun history, but I feel like this amazing College Humor video breaks it down perfectly!
Now that you have been better educated and entertained, we wanted to take a moment and talk about 3 reasons why a little eco-friendly thoughtfulness could go a long way, in regards to your engagement ring selection. After all, who doesn’t LOVE a nice shiny new ring? We just want to make sure you have all the right reasons to buy the BEST ring for that special someone’s finger.
REASON #1 – Buying an Eco Engagement Ring is Best for the Environment
I used the phrase in second paragraph above ‘marketing scheme gone wrong’, because if you haven’t lived under a rock the past 20 years you are probably familiar with Blood Diamonds, or Conflict Diamonds. The supply and demand for engagement rings, and diamond consumerism created a great opportunity in war tore African countries, such as Sierra Leone, Republic of Congo, etc. These diamonds were mined across the African continent and sold, illegally, as a means to pay for an insurgency, invasion or other warlord activities in some of the most inhumane environments in the world. Often times it was common for children and adults to mine diamonds, in these remote areas, against their will to receive nothing in return, but another day of life.
And let’s not mention the sheer impact gold mining has on the environment too. Producing enough gold for one wedding ring alone is worth 20 tons of waste. That is why going with recycled gold and lab-tested diamonds (like the one shown above by MiaDonna®), or Moissanite alternatives (like the one shown below by Vena Amoris Jewelry) are best.
REASON #2 – Buying an Eco Engagement Ring is Better for the Wallet
A traditional retail jeweler’s price point on engagement rings drop 50-75% once purchased by the love-struck good-intentioned fellow that financed the bad boy and walked it out of the store. Surprisingly, I know this first hand, because when I learned about conflict diamonds and gold mining’s environmental impact I tried to sell my 2 karat $4000 wedding band/engagement ring set and they were going to give me … drum roll please… $350 buckeroos. I was told the high price was due to the labor it took to make the ring. In any case, when you purchase an eco-ring you are often times avoiding a lot of the hidden expenses and major corporation costs. Eco-rings are often using recycled gold, silver, etc, and lab created (more accessible) gems so the cost is less, but the product is better. You will also find that your dollars invested in eco-jewelers are being re-invested into programs they are passionate about, like restoring war-torn diamond towns in Sierra Leone.
REASON #3 – Buying an Eco Engagement Ring is Better for Your Story (a.k.a. ‘Your Rep.’)
With engaged Millennials at every hipster coffee joint, fair trade market and organic farm-to-table eatery this side of the Mississippi, there is one thing for certain… They like to share! Sharing how their purchasing habits make a bigger impact is how they feel a part of the larger scale solution to global issues. It goes without saying that you get major Do-Gooder Brownie Points if you tell your S.O., This Bario Neal ring (shown above) was designed in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals, Fairmined gold, ethically sourced stones. You will get an extra BIG YES, along side of making an extra BIG IMPACT!
To find more ethical engagement ring options visit Black Sheep Bride, the only online wedding publication devoted to featuring vendors, products, and wedding couples that value giving back.