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HOW TO CHOOSE AN ETHICAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS?

Hello my nuts, I am meeting you again today to talk to you a little about ethical Engagement Rings jewelry , I will explain to you in particular how I found my engagement ring and what are the issues surrounding the jewelry industry . So let's decipher the making of a classic engagement solitaire in gold and diamond.

CHOOSING AN ETHICAL ENGAGEMENT RINGs?

And yes unfortunately, jewelry is no exception to the rule, there are few ethical jewelry stores nowadays and therefore most engagement rings are not either. Fortunately, as I explained in my previous article, it is a situation that Ben was aware when I made his marriage proposal and that is why we went together to search my engagement ring . Finally, I really enjoyed this research and sharing these moments together, we learned a lot about jewelry, stones and minerals by learning. I will try to explain all of this to you as simply as possible.

CHOOSE A DIAMOND THAT IS NOT A BLOOD DIAMOND ...

Have you seen the movie Blood Diamond with Leonardo Di Caprio? If not, I recommend it to you, it is a first introduction to the subject that will allow you to imagine the situation a little ...According to the definition adopted by the United Nations, conflict diamonds are  “rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance their military activities, in particular attempts to undermine or overthrow legitimate governments” . This definition is very restrictive and it does not adapt well to the real conflicting realities of our world today and it would benefit from being extended. Calling for a redefinition of the ethics of diamonds is what many international NGOs are trying to achieve, including Amnesty International.in order to provide a definition today that would allow us, the buyer, to have a real idea of ​​what happened behind these diamonds. We must nevertheless be aware that on the African continent, in Angola, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Liberia, the profits drawn from the diamond trade (diamonds in their raw state) have been used to finance armed conflicts during which millions of civilians have been killed, or victims of homicides, rapes, mutilations, kidnappings ... It is therefore with this in mind and to stop the trade in "conflict diamonds" that the Kimberley process, the effectiveness of which today is largely to be qualified ...

WHAT LABEL FOR AN ETHICAL DIAMOND? 

The Kimberley process was put in place in 2003 by certain state organizations, diamond professionals and civil society organizations (mainly associations and NGOs), to put an end to the international trade in blood diamonds. It aimed to  assure consumers that the diamonds they buy are not rough diamonds used by rebel movements,  or their allies, to finance conflicts.

Basically, this process requires participating governments (that is to say, you will understand, not all, if there is not the Kimberley certification, you can be sure that they are blood diamonds) that each shipment of diamonds rough is exported in a secure container and accompanied by a certificate validated by the government, with a unique serial number attesting that the diamonds do not come from countries at war. The certifying government is therefore responsible for this diamond and it engages “its responsibility”. According to the Kimberley Process , certified diamonds can only be traded between signatory countries. No shipment of uncertified rough diamonds is permitted to enter or leave the territory of a participating Engagement Rings country.BUT (you have understood it well since Georgette's time there is often a “but”) the Kimberley process is based only on the States! In other words, they must themselves put in place an “effective system” of export and import controls, in order to prevent the circulation of conflict diamonds. So, you can imagine, the effectiveness of these control systems are very, very variable depending on the country since the one who certifies is self-checking! In addition, the Kimberley Process does not take into account at all the social rights of workers and environmental issues related to diamond mining.

SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN ETHICAL RING WITH A DIAMOND IN THE TRADE, YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT: 

  • Most diamonds from large jewelry chains are diamonds whose provenance we do not know and often blood diamonds
  • They can also be synthetic diamonds made by synthesizing a real diamond, but they are not real stones, they will not have virtues in lithotherapy for example despite the fact that they are almost indistinguishable from a real one. diamond .
  • There is Kimberley Process certification but it is not 100% effective in ensuring that the ring is ethical . For ethics to be ascertained, the person certifying the ethics and the inspection body must be two distinct identities, otherwise there may be conflicts of interest.

NOW LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT GOLD

You should know that today, the production of gold reaches 2000 tonnes per year in the world, causing significant damage to the environment:

  • The social conditions offered to minors are often deplorable (salary, working conditions, job insecurity, legal working age).
  • Big mining companies often pay ridiculous royalties to their host country (sometimes 3%, compared to over 40% for the oil industry) so that small countries with gold ores are exploited by big companies and this makes the premises more precarious.

  • Gold miners do not rehabilitate soil after depleting a mine, so there is considerable soil degradation and depletion of natural resources.
  • The production of gold is polluting: gold mines use basins filled with cyanide (lethal at this dose for living things) and chlorine to separate the gold from the impurities. Obviously, you can imagine, the question of rejection in nature is not taken into account and is not dealt with.


For this, no need to look far, for example in Guyana, illegal operators infiltrate their mercury gold into the legal sector, so we cannot know whether we are buying “clean” gold or not in jewelry stores ( even those who claim the use of French gold from Guyana, you will understand, claiming " made in France " is not a guarantee of ethics in gold). Mercury is used here to capture gold and it is an environmental disaster: on soils, rivers, ecosystems. They are therefore gradually destroying the food chains of animals and humans living near these mines, causing them irreversible neurological disorders. So it is not only palm oil that destroys ecosystems and it is important to also reveal the other devastating industries ...

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF GOLD IS ETHICAL?

Fairmined  is a certification process for the gold sector (the gold sales industry) introduced in the 2000s by 2 associations: Fairtrade Labeling Organizations, an association networking fair trade initiatives and by the Alliance pour une responsible mining.

This certification aims to guarantee more environmentally friendly practices in the exploitation of gold mines , and to guarantee the social responsibility of the companies concerned. It also aims to place the entire sector concerned by the use of the precious metal, from the gold mine to the display case, in a logic of fair trade . It is therefore ring essential as a buyer to claim this Fairmined certification from jewelers and jewelers Similarly, a hardening of international standards in this area would be a major step forward that must be encouraged by raising awareness. Let us not forget that the gold we buy in our western countries often comes from small mines in countries which are not yet able to develop, it is our moral duty to participate as much as we can by our actions and our purchases for a fair distribution of wealth on the planet.


HOW DID I RECONCILE AN ETHICAL RING WITH MY TASTES?


I decided to go for a vintage engagement ring . My ring is therefore not a new jewel it does not participate in encouraging all this suffering and you can imagine that for a jewel as symbolic as this one and while we are informed Ben and I, I could not do otherwise . I understand when we ignore these facts and we can go very easily to “known” jewelry stores which are easily accessible and whose prices are sometimes attractive, but it is often not for nothing… I must admit Also while doing my research I found brands that surprised me and that I would not have bet on commitment, like Tiffany & Co which buys its gold from a responsible mine in Utah.But ultimately, I can only recommend if you can, to always go through second hand and recycling. You know this, because these are values ​​that I have been defending for a while now, but buying and consuming objects that already exist on the planet rather than building new ones can effectively limit its impact on Earth and that is it. rule number 1 in ethics!   

NO, VINTAGE IS NOT MOCHE AND VIEILLOT!


It is imperative to get out of the cliché that vintage is ugly, old-fashioned or dirty. Just as I present it to you for ethical fashion regularly in the ethical tone look  . Vintage adapts to everyone, to all tastes and styles. You will therefore find inevitably by looking for YOUR VINTAGE ETHICAL JEWEL. What I appreciate even more about vintage jewelry is that they have a story and for an engagement ring I just found it wonderful to tell myself that other couples had loved and married each other with this jewelry before us and that we kept their bits of history alive thanks to ours.

For me, therefore, it is a yellow gold diamond ring and a  diamond daisy from the 1920 Art Deco period (a period that I really like in the style), it comes from Great Britain and is hallmarked of the jump of the crown of England. I liked it very much because I lived in the suburbs of London during my childhood. I found it at an English second-hand store that runs a physical store and on Etsy where she sells vintage jewelryShe searches for jewelry at garage sales and flea markets then resells her finds after having them authenticated. I then made the ring shrink, I advise you to always choose a jewelry larger than a smaller one, it is easier to shrink vintage jewelry rather than to have it enlarged. Personally, I went from a size 67 ring to a size 47 ring (yes I know I have tiny fingers) but that is not visible if the job is well done. The whole cost us 350 € is much less than all the rings of the trade new (for an equivalent weight of gold / diamonds), then yes the 13 diamonds are not of a dazzling transparency but they shine so much and always represent as much the eternity!

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