i love diamonds! i mean, i really love diamonds. back when my boyfriend and i were talking about getting engaged, i spent some a lot of time looking at rings. i picked out a setting and a cut that i liked, printed the image and gave it to him. subtle, right? well, we hadn't been together long and i remembered that episode of sex and the city where aidan is going to give carrie an outdated pear-shaped diamond with a gold band, so i was "helping" my boyfriend pick the right ring. but more important than the cut or clarity was that the stone be ethically sourced. i absolutely did not want a blood diamond. i'm happy to say my engagement ring is a canadian diamond and actually has a tiny maple leaf cut into the stone to prove its source.
if you feel strongly about your ring, here are a few sources of jewelers who care about where their gems come from and how they get to you. remember to ask for proof of the stone's path from mine-to-market or the certification that it's a fairly traded gemstone.
artisan wedding rings - they not only promote transparency from mine-to-market, but they are activists in the industry. they are "spearheading a major fair-trade initiative: the establishment of fair trade jewelry manufacturing principals and standards."
brilliant earth - they use only conflict-free, ethically-sourced stones from canada, namibia and botwana. they donate 5% of their profits to africa and promise that "our diamonds are wholly free from all types of violence, such as torture and rape committed by government militaries. Workers are paid fair wages, child labor is completely absent, local communities benefit economically, and care is taken to protect the environment."
earthwise jewelry - launched in 1999, they were one of the first jewelers to sell conflict-free pieces. their jewelry is "made ethically with conflict-free canadian diamonds, fairly traded gemstones, and recycled precious metals."
they say that every jeweler in the world will claim to have "conflict-free" stones, so if you can, do the research to be sure the jeweler also promotes fair-trade and sustainable extraction practices.
disclaimer: i can't promise that all the stones i put on my blog or on pinterest are ethically-sourced. some of them are but far too many aren't.