Start your wedding off right by investing in one of these best ethical engagement rings!
By Chere Di Boscio
Many newly engaged couples look forward not only to the glamour and romance of their impending Big Day, but also to starting a family in the near future. And for those who do plan to have children, there is often a concern about what state the planet will be in when those kids are grown up.
There is no better time for couples to start ensuring they safeguard their children’s future as much as possible by consuming less, and consuming greener – starting with their ethical engagement rings.
Whether they’re traditional diamond or more edgy tungsten carbide rings, fortunately for those in the market for conflict-free, sustainable engagement rings and wedding bands, there are more and more jewellers who incorporate eco-friendliness into their businesses to ensure they are not contributing to unethical and polluting practices in the mining of their stones, gems, and other precious materials, mainly by upcycling existing ones.
The best part is, you won’t have to win the lottery in order to afford one of these ethical engagement rings: although they’re greener, they’re often not as expensive as most mainstream ‘dirty’ jewellery, so you can save money whilst saving the planet.
10+ Of The Best Ethical Engagement Rings
Founded in 2018 by childhood friends, Jessica Warch and Sidney Neuhaus, Kimai is an ethical fine jewelry brand paving the way for beautifully designed jewelry that doesn’t cost the earth. Their designs exclusively use lab-grown diamonds and 18k recycled solid gold.
The innovative brand is breaking form and tradition with their newly launched ethical engagement ring collection consisting of six styles, including modern asymmetric styles to more traditional pavé bands with central diamonds.
Handmade in their Antwerp atelier, the rings can include any diamond cut or carat of your choice (but only high quality colour grade), are available in white, yellow or rose gold and they offer a bespoke service too (with virtual consultations, of course).
2. Anita Ko
Anita Ko’s unique and delicate Art Deco-inspired ethical engagement ring is perfect for the bride-to-be who prefers a more vintage look. Cast from 18-karat rose gold, this dainty design has a hexagonal-cut diamond center and 0.20-carats of hand-set pavéd stones that reach halfway around the band.
Anita Ko is a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, which ensures human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, mining practices and product disclosure are all ethically dealt with throughout the creation of each and every ring.
Founded by two Stanford graduates, Brilliant Earth produces refined and eco-friendly jewellery items. Their ethical practices ensure that all of their materials come from mines that follow strict labour, trade, and environmental standards. They also only accept diamonds from areas that possess a fair trade diamond certification.
All of their gold and platinum is recycled in order to further reduce the need for mining these materials, and part of their proceeds are donated to help diminish the unfair labor issues in other mining countries.
So which is the best ring from this brand? The one you create! Brilliant Earth has a simple three step process, allowing customers to choose the setting, diamond and cut of the ring they’ll be wearing for a lifetime.
4. Monique Pean
If you are looking for one of a kind ethical engagement rings, look no further than Monique Pean’s workshop. Known for using unique materials, including fossilised dinosaur bones and ancient shark teeth, she has a signature avant-garde style unlike any other. She uses recycled gold and platinum and all of her diamonds, gems and even fossils are guaranteed to be conflict and devastation free. As an added bonus, proceeds from her sales go to bringing those in developing countries clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
Our pic from her engagement ring line would be the mineraux oval rose cut diamond, crafted from recycled oxidised platinum. This stunning ring is set with an antique white oval rose-cut diamond surrounded by a halo of pave diamonds, as seen below.
This unusual engagement ring is crafted from 14-karat gold in an elegant wishbone shape, which allows you to change the direction of the tip to suit your style. Stone and Strand are strict adherents of the standards and ethics of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Priced at just over $500, this is one of the most economical of all the ethical engagement rings here – but it looks much more expensive!
This ethical engagement ring by EOS is made from certified Fairtrade gold and conflict free diamonds. We love the beautifully cut diamond as its centrepiece: it’s an old mine cut, which is the earliest form of the modern brilliant cut, faceted by hand in an almost round shape with a high crown, small table and open culet.
Old mine diamonds were cut for candlelight, which makes them sparkle in even dim light. They have such a lovely antique look and feel about them!
This Cherry Blossom ring by sustainable jewellery designer Arabel Lebrusan features a polished, simple band with a central round-cut diamond in a size of your choice. Two small roses complete the design as within lies 1.5mm and a 1mm diamonds with a grain setting.
These stones are responsibly sourced, are set in an 18ct Fairtrade gold band. The ring even comes with a certificate of origin to assure you that your engagement ring has been made with the most ethical materials available.
You can also see this stunning ring in our main picture. It’s simple, it’s chic, and it’s one of the most timeless ethical engagement rings in our list.
Featuring a more classic style, Andrea Bonelli is also a jeweller dedicated to eco-friendly practices. She uses mostly recycled materials and does her best to work with outsourced stone cutters and diamond suppliers that follow ethical mining standards. Many of her engagement rings feature simple bands and designs which add to a rustic look. She does have stores that feature her designs in California and the UK; however, if you are in any other location your best bet is to shop her online gallery.
A delicate moissanite ring cast in eco friendly 14k gold is our pick of the Bonelli bunch.
9. John Hardy
The Bali based brand takes forest management and water conservation seriously, and the cultivation of bamboo in particular helps them maintains both goals For starters, the company offsets its carbon output by planting bamboo all over Bali. Moreover, for each piece of John Hardy’s Bamboo Collection sold, the amount of bamboo that will be planted by the company as a consequence of the purchase is written inside the ring, bracelet or pendant, to remind the wearer of how their purchase will benefit the Earth. And the benefits are substantial: total of over 600,000 stalks were planted at last count.
Aside from their forest management and water saving activities, the company supports many eco-charities, ranging from the Hong Kong Shark Foundation to the WWF and Redress, and also provides job training for Balinese orphans. What better way to kick off a marriage than by knowing the purchase of the symbol your union has contributed to such good?
The brand’s Bamboo Diamond Slim Ring, below, was crafted from sterling silver enlivened with brilliant diamonds. It’s one of our favourite ethical engagement rings from the brand, because it’s carbon-neutral, and its band, in the form of a bamboo stalk, lends an exotic touch.
10. Turtle Love Co.
Whether you haven’t got a huge budget or just want to avoid a diamond engagement ring, this Green America Certified business has a ring for you! All of their jewellery is handcrafted and their selections range from artisan style, to vintage, to classical yet ethical engagement rings.
Their attention to detail in all of their handmade pieces will ensure your happiness with the finished product. Prices here are very affordable, and their shipping and return policies are also very flexible, making them a worry-free option if you decide to go the eco-friendly ring route.
Turtle Love’s hand-carved Florence ring, below, is but one of the stunning vintage-style ethical engagement rings the brand offers for sale.
11. I Do Now I Don’t
Josh Opperman knows how to turn heartache into money. After being dumped by a former fiancee, he decided to sell the ring he bought for her. Wishing to sell the engagement ring for its maximum value, he created a platform where sellers could unload leftover relationship assets and buyers could find recycled jewellery at the right price.
Today, I Do Now I Don’t has grown from a simple website into a major luxury e-tail site, expanding its goods from second-hand engagement rings from prestigious brands like Tiffany’s and Cartier to now include estate jewellery and watches. The site has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN and more, and Opperman promises it will always remain a “green retailer” – a critical component for its customers.
The most ethical engagement rings in our opinion are those made from lab-grown diamonds. And Akind makes them beautifully!
This Swedish based brand sets their stones in recycled gold or silver, and is well known for its delicate designs. One of our favourites is their minimalistic black diamond ring. This makes an unforgettable impression as it delivers a distinctive look compared to traditional engagement rings. The diamond reveals tiny glimpses of deep ocean blue, making it super sparkling and vibrant.
But if traditional rings are more your thing, their three pronged diamond, pictured below, will always look elegant and modern!
13. Ingle & Rhode
Founded in 2007, Ingle & Rhode makes some of the most beautiful ethical engagement rings in the world! The company was born from the desire to offer an ethical alternative to traditional jewellery brands. Today, they offer the finest quality products without compromising their ethics.
Specialising in ethical engagement rings and wedding bands, they use pure gold and platinum from only certified Fairtrade or recycled sources. Their diamonds and gems can be easily traced back to the mines of origin. And these diamonds aren’t just guaranteed conflict-free – they also come only from suppliers that are guaranteed to treat workers with dignity.
All their jewellery is designed and made in the UK by some of the most respected craftsmen in the industry to ensure the most exquisite finish of each piece. Featured below is one of our favourite pieces: The La Mer engagement ring, which marries the beauty of a royal blue Sri Lankan sapphire with the sparkle of the two brilliant cut Canadian Diamonds.
14. Stefano Navi
Stunning jewelry brand Stefano Navi deals exclusively with sustainable lab-created diamonds, and makes bespoke pieces from them that can be passed down through the generations.
You start out by choosing a setting. With Stefano Navi you can either choose a setting, pick from their selection of lab-grown diamonds, and order – without the need for a sketch artist consultation. OR you can contact them and meet with a sketch artist to make the entire ring unique and customised to your liking.
In case you’re unsure, lab-created diamonds are diamonds in every way. They have exactly the same brilliance, sparkle, chemical composition and lustre as mined diamonds – but they’re far more eco-friendly.
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