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Millions of people around the world are making a conscious effort to be more sustainable in their everyday lives. Even the basics such as switching plastic for paper, choosing to shop local, being sure to steer clear of fast fashion and being more mindful can really help make a difference. But how can we be more ethical when it comes to our jewellery?

Is the stone Fairtrade?

Even if your diamond hasn’t been sourced from an area of conflict, many precious stones are still cut and polished in poor conditions by labourers who are paid significantly less than the minimum wage. Make sure to ask your jeweller if the stone is fair-trade and enquire about the stone’s journey.

A GIA certificate authenticates the ethical origin of a diamond. We partner with the GIA because of their impartiality whilst analysing and grading gemstones. A certificate is vital when considering the purchase of loose diamonds, diamond jewellery and engagement rings.

Is the metal either Fairtrade or recycled?

Make sure you research a jeweller beforehand to find out whether they’re fully certified with Fairtrade practices.

Gold that’s certified to Fairtrade standards provides miners and communities with a better standard of life. With this in mind, make sure your jeweller sources its gold from one of the world’s four Fairtrade certified mining organisations: MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru, and SAMA in Uganda.

If you’re still unsure, you could consider reworking a vintage piece of jewellery or using a stone from a family heirloom for your engagement. Not only will this give your ring a sentimental meaning, but it will also help to avoid the risk of using conflict stones in the process.

Should I choose a lab grown diamond?

Lab grown diamonds are another great alternative to natural diamonds, omitting the need to worry about the source of the stone.

Under a microscope, you would struggle to tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and something that grew naturally in Africa or Russia. This is because they share the same chemical composition, optical properties and hardness as mined diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds are made up of actual carbon atoms, arranged in the same characteristic diamond crystal structures as natural diamonds.

As making a diamond in a lab is less energy intensive than mining, prices of jewellery involving lab-grown diamonds are at least 30 per cent less than those featuring mined diamonds.

Recent reports show that 62% of Gen Z, who will begin entering the workforce this year, prefer to buy from sustainable brands. Additionally, 50% of millennials state that they are willing to spend 10% or more on sustainable products. When it comes to lab grown diamonds, China is currently the global market leader, and reports indicate that the lab-grown diamond market volume could rise to 19.2 million carats by 2030.

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