If you're shopping for an engagement ring, you may take inspiration from the likes of the Duchess of Sussex and Bindi Irwin – we don't just mean by choosing their ring styles, but also opting for ethically sourced metals and gems.
READ: A guide to lab grown diamonds: all you need to know about sustainable engagement rings
What makes an engagement ring ethical?
Ethical engagement rings are those that create a low impact on the environment and don't violate any human rights. For example, lab-created diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds without any of the negative environmental impact.
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Many jewellery companies also source recycled or fair trade gold for eco brides and grooms. Plus, there's always the option of a vintage, second-hand ring from places such as Etsy.
What is the most ethical stone for an engagement ring?
It is hard to know with any certainty exactly which stones are the most ethical since it depends on the origin and the working conditions. However, there are many companies that are doing their best to offer customers conflict-free or synthetic stones, including Brilliant Earth, Catbird, Pandora and more. We've rounded up some of our favourite ethical and sustainable options to get you started…
Create a bespoke ring at Taylor & Hart, a company that ensures all of its rings are made with ethically sourced diamonds. We've got our eye on this oval diamond ring with fishtail pavé diamonds.
Oval engagement ring, £1,260 (excluding centre diamond), Taylor & Hart
Brilliant Earth reassures customers its metals are created from existing gold jewellery and excess production metal. Get your hands on these tapered baguette diamonds, which can be customised with different diamond shapes and metals.
Tapered baguette diamond engagement ring, £1,285 (setting only), Brilliant Earth
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Fenton is selling made-to-order rings in your choice of recycled 18k yellow, white or rose gold and platinum, and set with ethically-sourced, natural gemstones such as emeralds, pink sapphires and aquamarines - stunning! This one was inspired by the art deco rings of the 1920's and features a colourful centre gemstone with two sparkling halos of diamonds.
Halo engagement ring, starting at £2,750, Fenton
Catbird sells jewellery from a range of designers that use fair-trade and recycled gold and conflict-free stones, such as Jennie Kwon and Kataoka. This stunning design, from Laurie Fleming, is made with 14k gold, a center rose cut diamond and four recycled brilliant-cut diamonds.
Rose cut engagement ring, £2,591, Catbird
Ethical jewellery house Ecksand, loved by Meghan Markle, offers a range of beautiful styles to suit everyone, but we particularly like this pear cut diamond ring made using ethical diamonds and 100 per cent sustainable recycled gold.
Pear cut diamond ring, $1579 (£1,149), Ecksand
Pandora now offers Pandora Brilliance, which is a collection of sustainably lab-created diamond jewellery. How beautiful is this solid 14k yellow gold ring hand-set with a one-carat lab-created diamond in a round brilliant cut? Plus, it can be stacked with other rings from the collection, meaning it's perfect for sitting alongside your wedding band.
Infinity engagement ring, £1,290, Pandora
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Ethica Diamonds engagement rings are crafted from a choice of either Fairtrade 18k gold, 18k recycled gold or platinum and set with lab-grown diamonds that are certified carbon neutral. Choose which design you're interested in (like this classic solitaire ring with a romantic compass setting), plus the carat weight and clarity and they'll provide some lab-grown diamond options.
Solitaire engagement ring, from £1,190, Ethica Diamonds
You can choose from over 7,000 conflict-free independently certified lab-grown diamonds when creating your dream engagement ring with Carat* London. Pick out your initial setting, such as this princess cut diamond in 18K rose gold, before comparing colour, clarity and price of the diamond.
Princess cut diamond ring, £850 for the setting only, Carat* London
Etsy is filled with pre-owned rings that look incredible but contribute to none of the ecological damage that comes from mining – and they're so affordable. Take a look at this second hand, 9-carat yellow and white gold ring complete with an oval sapphire and diamond set cluster.
Second-hand ring, £150, Etsy
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