I’ll never forget the day my husband and I went to pick out an engagement ring at the local jeweler and were pleasantly surprised when the jeweler encouraged us to design our own ring. Although I’m sure I would have been thrilled with any ring that sparkled, the process opened my eyes to the complicated world of luxury jewelry and why it matters what gems we purchase, and now I’m so grateful that we had the chance to make a conscious purchase that was meaningful on multiple levels.
Since that year (2012—so long ago!), the jewelry industry has expanded to include more ethical indie designers, and some larger, established jewelers now offer a greater selection of ethical, conflict-free stones. That’s not to say that purchasing fine jewelry is always a completely transparent process—indeed, the precious stone industry as a whole remains somewhat murky and troubled. Fortunately, however, there are some savvy ways to navigate this complicated industry and avoid purchasing a conflict stone, which we learned in our interview with jewelry designer Barbara Polinsky of Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry.
But you don’t have to take it from us! Prince Harry wowed the world with the ethically sourced engagement ring he gave to Meghan Markle, which features a cushion-cut diamond from Botswana, flanked by two round diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection—swoon! (Using vintage stones is a lovely way to reduce your impact.) The Prince’s choice of rings illustrates that it is possible to have a special, glamorous piece that’s ethically sourced. It’s predicted that this gorgeous, sweet ring will further inspire the jewelry industry–and its customers–to place even more value on conflict-free engagement rings. (Yassss!)
So whether you’re getting engaged and shopping for a ring, planning to design your own—or if you just love jewelry, keep scrolling to get inspired by these conflict-free engagement rings, perfect for the modern bride (princess or not!).
5 Conflict-Free Engagement Rings for 2018
Love Markle’s three-stone engagement ring? Check out the Selene Diamond Ring from Brilliant Earth, arguably the most well-known jeweler committed to responsibly sourced stones. This classic, simple ring features one diamond flanked by two smaller ones on a tapered band with the metal of your choosing. Whether you chose the cushion-cut diamond like Markle or a more dramatic marquise-cut diamond, this beautiful ring will surely be a timeless piece.
Purchasing stones that predate political and ethical conflicts, Isadoras offers an array of stunning vintage gems that date back as early as the early 19th century. The jeweler uses settings inspired by past eras to compliment the vintage gems. This Art Deco-esque ring is unique in its asymmetry and is unquestionably glamorous. With a platinum setting and 2.21-carat baguette diamond, this stunner is très luxe!
In addition to ethically sourcing its stones, Do Amore helps underdeveloped areas have access to clean water by helping to create new wells. Do Amore also uses recycled precious metals. This eye-catching engagement rings features a central diamond with pavé diamonds and mil-grain edges along the band. This version features the ever-elegant emerald-cut diamond.
Aili uses conflict-free stones and recycled precious metals. Their offerings are truly contemporary in design with just a hint of vintage charm. Case and point—this three-stone, princess-cut diamond, 18k gold ring. Its delicate quality is perfect for the bride who loves minimalism.
Bario Neal sources its gems from conflict-free areas, including Canada, Namibia, the US, and Australia. Moreover, a portion of proceeds benefits organizations that support marriage equality and environmental sustainability. This handmade, four-stone ring features a 4 mm round Blue Sapphire from Australia, a 5 x 4 mm hexagonal Green Sapphire from Montana, a 3 mm recycled princess-cut Pink Tourmaline, and a 2.5 mm round Orange Sapphire from Montana. Now this is a fun ring.
Which of these conflict-free engagement rings suits your fancy?
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Photo: Time, Respective Jewelers