Eco-friendly and Conflict-free Wedding Rings
As you commit yourselves to each other, why not make a commitment to the environment?
More and more couples are making a conscious effort to have an eco-friendly wedding, and that mandate can extend to wedding rings as well.
There are beautiful, cruelty-free, sustainably mined options available in a wide array of materials. The following engagement and wedding rings are just as much an enduring symbol of your union as traditional precious metals and diamonds, but come with the guarantee that you can rest easy knowing exactly where they came from.
Wooden wedding rings
Rings made from wood are surprisingly durable and available in a range of colors, depending on the type of wood you choose. Touch Wood Rings are custom made in British Columbia by Nicola and David Finch, who create each set by hand.
Recycled Precious Metals
greenKarat is devoted to recycling precious metals in order to preserve the ecosystem and eliminate exploitation of miners. The company is one of the most ecologically responsible around, and has its own standards and ethics evaluation system, known as Green Assay. Green Assay evaluates the ecological characteristics of each component of the jewelry you buy, from the metal used in the setting to the conditions in which the stones were mined. greenKarat supports Fair Trade and ecological gold initiatives, and is opposed to all forms of diamond mining, even Canadian diamonds.
Leber Jeweler Inc of Chicago also constructs its rings from reclaimed and re-refined 18k gold or platinum for its Earthwise line, and it uses fair trade colored gemstones and Canadian diamonds in its designs.
Fair Trade and ‘Clean’ Gold & Platinum
The NGO No Dirty Gold campaigns not only for environmental safety and human rights, but also aims to hold jewelry retail firms accountable for the gold they sell. Conscious consumers can find a retailer in their area that is committed to sustainably sourced metals.
Did you know a diamond can be grown in a lab? Apollo Diamond Inc. uses a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) that creates sparkling diamonds without putting a strain on the environment. These cultured diamonds are chemically and structurally identical to a mined diamond.
Can you tell the diamonds below are cultured?
While extracting any metal from the earth has some ecological impact, there are certain metals that are less exploited than others. Titanium is an excellent for jewelry, because it does not tarnish or cause skin irritation to those with nickel or other metal allergies.
Titanium Style offers affordable rings made of three distinct grades of titanium, including ultra-durable aircraft-grade titanium alloy. Titanium can have a brushed appearance or a high-shine polish, depending on the look you desire.
Tungsten carbide is one of the most damage-resistant metals available for jewelry. According to Tungsten World, tungsten is about 10 times harder than 18k gold, five times harder than tool steel, and four times harder than titanium. This metal measures between 8 and 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness (diamonds are the highest, at a 10), so tungsten is an excellent choice for those who work with their hands or just want a guarantee that their wedding ring will keep its shine and shape.
Is choosing an eco-friendly and/or conflict-free wedding and engagement ring important to you? Discuss it in the comments section!