Diamonds are one of the most lauded and beautiful gemstones on Earth. There’s just one problem: Diamonds come with baggage. In recent years, environmentalists, journalists, and politicians have revealed a number of drawbacks caused by our diamond-obsessed culture, citing strains on the environment as well as unfair and inhumane mining practices.
For jewelry enthusiasts, reading this information can be discouraging. But, don’t fret. There is good news: It’s possible to flaunt a natural diamond with a good conscience. With a bit of research and an undying commitment to conflict-free values, it’s wholly possible to find a natural diamond without compromising your beliefs.
Geologists estimate that diamonds began to form nearly three billion years ago, approximately 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Since then, volcanic eruptions have pushed these beautiful gems closer to land. Even so, they’re far from earning an easy access badge. Not to mention the fact that greed and trend culture have made the mining process even more difficult.
Environmentally-conscious diamond mining may seem challenging, if not impossible. Diamonds are a precious result of Mother Nature’s handiwork and in order to get a piece, we must break into the surface of the Earth, which has resulted in contamination, harm to animals and plant species, sinkholes, air pollution, and much more.
In hopes of disrupting the diamond industry altogether, ethical diamond ring shoppers have become open to the idea of simulated diamonds, lab diamonds, and synthetic diamonds—all of which offer a beautiful, conflict-free alternative to natural diamonds. (A quick note: A simulated diamond is made from cubic zirconia or moissanite whereas a lab diamond is made with the chemical components found in Earth-mined diamonds.)
Some good news is that many jewelers that offer conflict-free engagement rings, necklaces, earrings, and other fine jewelry options are leaning on a wholesale model to make their sales as conflict-free as possible. This is good news for the environment and online shoppers alike.
Throughout the years, the media has revealed horror stories about the poor working conditions for miners in South Africa and other countries—these conditions often including dangerous, politically-charged situations, and in some cases, child labor. To help protect miners from this bleak reality, many jewelers and diamond retailers have adopted a new approach.
If your fiancé or significant other has their eye on a specific “rough” diamond ring, you should consider looking into a conflict-free alternative, including lab-made diamonds, synthetic diamonds, or simulated diamond options. In some cases, you may be able to find an ethically-sourced natural diamond. Find a jewelry store with a customer service rep who’s willing to be transparent about their practices.
The practice of fairly buying and trading diamonds doesn’t have any effect on the quality of the jewelry itself. Wholesale companies can offer gorgeous diamond engagement rings and other accessories for an affordable price because by doing so, they’ve removed the middleman. You may even find an in-house designer to sell you a custom ring.
When looking for a high-quality jewelry store, it’s important to read through the company’s sourcing practices and customer reviews. Sure, finding an honest company may take some time, but once you find it, you’re bound to have a great experience. In addition to your sizing information, some companies may ask personal questions to get a sense of your taste and style. the well-known online diamond retailer Agape Diamonds, for example, offers customers the option to make free returns to ensure that their customers are satisfied with their final product. Sound too good to be true? Browse the Agape Diamond reviews to see why this Tampa-based company leaves its customers in awe.
Feel good about embracing your style and personality.
Shopping for an ethical diamond doesn’t mean compromising your style. If you love the way diamonds look, go for it. (There’s a reason “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” is a saying.) At the end of the day, only you can decide what constitutes a perfect diamond engagement ring. If you’re interested in shopping conflict-free, the above tips can be a good start to validate your choices.