Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Put a (Greener) Ring On It

Brilliant Earth ring
The Green Girlfriend needs a new nickname.

We recently got engaged, and of course The Green Miles went with the greenest ring available. The most environmentally-friendly engagement ring option is to go with a family ring, or even a family diamond in a new setting. However, it's only a lucky few who have that option available.

So I went with Brilliant Earth, a sustainable jewelry company. Their diamonds are harvested using socially responsible practices. Brilliant Earth also donates 5 percent of its profits to help communities who have suffered from unethical practices in the jewelry industry. Even the ring boxes are made with sustainably-harvested wood.

Were the diamonds more expensive than other options? It depends on your perspective. Could I have gotten a cheaper stone online if I didn't care if it was a blood diamond from some war-torn African nation? Yeah, I probably could've saved five or ten percent. But The Green Girlfriend was at least ten percent happier with the ring knowing it was a diamond she could feel good about. And Brilliant Earth had just the setting she wanted.

Could I have paid a lot more for the same diamond? Absolutely. Try going to a jewelry store in DC, where you'll be paying at least an extra ten percent (if not more) just for the store's location.

And if you want a good laugh, try going to Tiffany and asking about their sustainability policy. The look on the clerk's face will be somewhere between "how do I explain this away" and "I'm about to lose any chance at this commission."

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