Ethical and Sustainable Engagement Ring

The Issue & Problems with Sustainable and Ethical Engagement Rings

Sustainable and Ethical are two words that resonate with the values of the new generation.

Today’s buyers are more conscious and aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing choices. They do their due diligence and research so they can make smart, informed, and ethical decisions.

Through these actions, they hope they will minimize harm to our planet and support ethical practices in the jewelry industry.



We all know that metals used to produce jewelry are scarce in nature. Metals like gold are mined using hazardous chemicals that are toxic to the environment. The jewelry industry uses more than half of the gold mined by workers who work in exploitative environments. Choosing recycled gold over newly mined gold is a sustainable and ethical alternative. Gold is melted away from used electronic components, old gold jewelry, gold in gold coins, gold teeth, etc by using lesser chemicals and reused to make jewelry.


The natural diamond in the ring that has captured your heart can be sourced from a conflict diamond or a “blood diamond.” The natural diamonds may have been mined in a warzone and the rough sold to finance armed conflict. Couples looking for conflict-free and ethically sourced diamonds can look for diamonds that come with certifications like the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). These certificates’ purpose is to ensure that the mined diamonds are traded without supporting conflict.

Another alternative and so-called guarantee approach to being ethical is Lab-Grown Diamonds.

Lab Grown Diamond Sustainable Engagement Ring?

Lab Grown diamonds have become a very popular choice these days. They have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds but are ‘grown’ in laboratories. They are much cheaper in price than naturally sourced diamonds.

Couples also find them attractive as a diamond engagement ring as it does not involve:

a) Destructive mining practices
b) Are more environmentally friendly
c) And are fully traceable.

To know more about lab-grown diamonds you can read our blog post.

What about gemstones? Compared to diamond mining which has a large-scale mining operation, gemstone mining is usually done at a smaller scale. This better ensures fairer practices and responsible mining. So technically, that reason may make gemstones more ethical than natural diamonds.

All this seems good, but a question still arises, “Is there a guarantee that your ring is 100% ethical and sustainable?” The answer is debatable.


In my opinion, the short answer is No. No one can absolutely guarantee that your ring is 100% sustainable and ethical.

Some questions that need some answering.

Is your recycled gold really ethical if you don’t know its origin? Recycled gold can come from various sources and once mixed you will never know where it has come from and whether it has been mined responsibly. So the answer is, most likely NO.

    Can using recycled gold really reduce the mining of gold? Sadly the answer is no. If there is a resource available, it will be mined. According to the World Gold Council, in 2021, the supply of recycled gold had a sharp drop to 1150 tons as compared to mined gold that 3560 tons. **Source

    What will make an impact or difference is

    a) if the mining of gold is carried out more responsibly.
    b) ethical working standards are followed and maintained.
    c) recycled gold goes hand in hand with fairly mined gold. The Fairmined certification steers ethical gold mining in the right direction. It certifies gold from skilled workers and small-scale mining organizations that meet their requirements for responsible mining operations.

    Are natural diamonds with a Kimberly Process Certificate completely ethically sourced? When it comes to natural diamonds, even the Kimberly Process Certificate which had some success in reducing the conflict diamond trade, has its flaws. It has failed to guarantee that a diamond has been ethically sourced because of corruption, lack of transparency, and loopholes in it. In comes Lab Grown Diamonds.

    Are Lab Grown Diamonds the perfect replacement for Natural Diamonds? Lab Grown Diamonds are being marketed as ‘100% ethical and conflict free, but they come attached with their own demons. Lab-grown diamonds need tremendous amounts of energy to be produced because they are made in laboratories owned by private companies. They lack transparency when it comes to the amounts of chemicals being used to manufacture these diamonds.


    Globally we all can see the harmful effects our actions are causing on our planet. People are trying to take ethical and sustainable actions that may lessen our carbon footprints. However, the opinions are still divided when it comes to ethical and sustainable engagement rings due to the various issues stated above.

    Being philosophical here – but the fact is as humans when we are born on this planet our actions (or karma) always have two sides of the coin. Having a benefit and/or harmful effect. So, even though our intentions are good and we try our best to be as ‘sustainable’ as possible in the end we are going to do some harm to the planet or the creatures on it even if we try to avoid it completely.

    Our daily actions like driving a car, taking a plane, keeping the electricity on for our house, refrigerator, internet, etc., or eating our meals (both vegetables or meat) do have a harmful effect on the planet. We cannot avoid these actions completely as we do have ‘sustain’ ourselves. It is just part of being a human or a creature of this planet.

    Buzzwords like Sustainable Engagement Ring borderline on being a ‘Marketing Gimmick’.

    Sadly, even with all the good intentions, the system is greatly flawed. As you have read from the post above, there are alternatives and they each have their pros & cons. However, this does not mean if we choose the alternatives we will avoid any harm & make our jewelry 100% sustainable. It is a simple truth that it is not possible and practical to achieve this goal. Honestly, I feel it is more of a ‘marketing’ tactic than actual facts and reality.

    A great example is how vegetables in supermarkets are sold at ‘premium’ prices as they state it is ‘organic’ and we assume it is. However, do we actually go check if farmers are doing the ‘best’ organic farming practices or is it just a sticker added to attract you? For making jewelry or sourcing gemstones the same issue applies. Practically, it is impossible to check if all actions are done in a sustainable and ethical way.

    So, in my personal opinion, do your due diligence if you must, but believe the information with a grain of salt.

    Not to let you down, but there are people and companies who are truly trying to make a difference. Maybe in the near future, more sustainable solutions will be available to us. Everyone has to do their bit to contribute so that the links from production to consumption are maintained.

    As a jeweler, we do our best to give the clients the correct information upfront. This ensures that there is no ‘wastage’ in gold, diamond, or gemstones. This is Thai Native Gems’ core principle as we strive to keep our inventory minimal and just custom-make what is required. We believe we are already contributing in our own small way toward a sustainable and ethical path.

    Thai Native Gems Lab Grown Diamond Search & Custom Engagement Ring service (Best way to buy lab-grown diamonds in Bangkok):

    If you are in the market looking for lab-grown diamonds and custom handmade engagement rings.  Contact Us and let us know what your budget is and what you are looking for.

    From this initial information, we will swiftly find and email you 4 to 5 center diamond options.  Unlike other traditional or online dealers, I am not looking to sell you anything. But will provide you with an honest, frank, and objective opinion on what we think is best in the budget you offer.

    This service is free, and there is absolutely no commitment to buy any of our suggestions. The only thing you have to do is not respond to our email and you won’t hear from us again! So, you truly have nothing to lose!

    How do we compile this diamond list?  Our search process is provided below:

    1) We first will contact our local diamond supply network and check if there are any stones that fit your requirement in Bangkok. We have over 50 contacts in Bangkok and will check ALL to make sure we can provide you with the best deal.

    2) If not satisfied, we will then check online through our extensive global network sifting through over 900,000+ diamonds. And will find you the best diamond. The only setback when choosing the diamond from this global list is, it can take one to two weeks to arrive to Bangkok.

    What type of engagement rings can you make and how are they made?

    1) We usually set our engagement rings in 18k yellow or white gold or 950 platinum settings.  Our rings are all hand-crafted and made by highly skilled Thai craftsmen.

    Examples in some of the rings we made you can see on our YouTube channel and shown below:

    YouTube Channel PLAYLIST

    Contact us today to get all your wholesale gemstones, diamonds, and jewelry needs.  We can Source, Search and Supply anything you require.

    What will you get if you contact us

    • Start a conversation with us at
    • Get wholesale and highly competitive prices of gemstones & diamonds from anywhere through our extensive network of contacts around the world
    • All stones sold by us are verified in-house by our GIA Graduate Gemologist or certified
    • We provide personalized service and NOT the same old “One Size Fits All” Approach

    You can learn more by clicking here or the image below

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *