Socially Conscious Commitment Rings

Eco-jewelers help you avoid buying a rock from a hard place


| November 17, 2005


Regardless of whether you dream of wearing your beloved's ring, have been wearing it long enough to have its shape permanently imprinted on your skin, or scoff at the whole marriage thing, there's no denying that commitment rings are an important cultural symbol. But for green-minded couples, a shop window full of diamonds and gold can call to mind exploited laborers and decimated landscapes.

The No Dirty Gold campaign reports on indigenous communities harmed and displaced by gold mining, and stresses that a single gold ring represents a shocking 20 tons of waste. Not to mention the rock on that band: The San Antonio Current notes that even celebrities like hip-hop artist Kanye West and actor Leonardo DiCaprio are among those taking a stand against 'blood diamonds' mined by African rebel groups to finance civil wars. Suddenly there's something very unromantic about that little velvet box.

Fortunately, socially conscious couples have options. The folks at greenKarat are doing their part to end diamond and gold mining while providing recycled gold rings for the earth-minded. Enough gold sits aboveground to supply the jewelry industry for the next 50 years, and greenKarat hopes that by creating a market for recycled gold, they can reclaim some of that idle metal. Also check out Sumiche Jewelry Co., where Mich? and Susan Onaclea craft rings from certified fair-trade gold and platinum and use only conflict-free diamonds.

As ConsciousChoice reports, when husband and wife Brian Leber and Joanne Aono took over the family jewelry business from Leber's father, they decided to run it their way, with sustainability and fair labor in mind. Now, Leber Jeweler Inc. offers 'earthwise' jewelry made with reclaimed metals and Canadian diamonds.

You wouldn't commit to a partner who mocked your dedication to ecologically and socially responsible living, so why choose a ring that does just that?

Go there >>No Dirty Gold