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May 23, 2011 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Looking for conflict-, cruelty-, blood-, ecocide-free engagement rings in central NJ.

I'm looking for ethical jewelers along the NYC-to-Philly axis. I'm totally down with lab-created stones, since the priority here is to avoid conflict stones; metals which were extracted with at least a modicum of concern for the environment are welcome as well. Any recommendations, tips, or suggestions for where to start looking would be greatly appreciated.

(Anonymized in an attempt to preserve the element of surprise!)
posted by anonymous to Shopping (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
would you be willing to do recycled or vintage? You can do a geographical search on etsy for jewelers in your area making engagement rings out of recycled metals/stones...
posted by Acer_saccharum at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2011


Are online stores OK? My wife got me my engagement from Green Karat, and I think we were looking at Leber Jeweler too.
posted by kmz at 12:59 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you looking to buy ready-made, or are you open to ordering a custom set? Because it is *really* easy to get recycled metals, all the suppliers offer it, and any gold or silver smith should be able to honor your request. Just find someone doing work you like and ask them to make yours in recycled and conflict-free materials.
posted by pajamazon at 1:07 PM on May 23, 2011


Use your own bone cells to create rings. If not those people, the technology is out there.
posted by Wolfster at 1:15 PM on May 23, 2011


If you're okay with online shopping, McFarland Designs is wonderful.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:17 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I see 2 different things you find acceptable:

1. Lab stones
2. Stones that are ethically acquired.

Thats great. The difference in price between 1&2 is HUGE. It gets larger as the stone you want becomes more rare.

If lab is cool for you, buy them over the internet.

In fact, looking at your "surprise", I would suggest acquiring all materials on your own.

About 1-3 carat of stone (if you're gonna lab it...lab it BIG), and enough metal to make a "setting". Find a jeweler in your area (check etsy) who will use your materials and not charge a fee for not using his. Then present all the stuff and pay for just labor.

Excellent deal, handpicked materials by you, and customized like a motherfucker.

Good luck!
posted by hal_c_on at 1:19 PM on May 23, 2011


My Canadian cousin is all aboot Teh Canada and recently got a Canadian diamond ring. They are supposedly conflict free. So perhaps go with the above recommendations for recycled metals and get a Canadian diamond, too?
posted by jillithd at 2:01 PM on May 23, 2011


the clay pot in Brooklyn NYC sells bridal jewelery from several designers who state they used ethically sourced materials and conflict free stones. perhaps give them a call?
posted by wayward vagabond at 2:04 PM on May 23, 2011


I got a lab grown diamond from D.NEA and I and my fiancee are both very happy with it. We provided it to a NYC jeweler who had a setting she liked, and he set it.

In our case it was easy to chose lab grown as she wanted a yellow stone; yellow diamonds are much cheaper to buy lab grown than colorless diamonds. FYI, lab grown diamonds, while cheaper than natural ones, are not cheap in the same way that lab grown rubies or sapphires are.
posted by pombe at 3:42 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Buying a used diamond will help reduce trade in ill-gotten gems. When I bought an engagement ring 4 years ago, How to Buy a Diamond taught me what I needed to know.
posted by neuron at 4:12 PM on May 23, 2011


Seconding McFarland Designs, if you are willing to do internet(she also has an Etsy shop, as noted above). We could not find anything that was as close to the level of disclosure and honesty as what Tamara was willing to offer, and her work is lovely, to boot. These are ours. Aren't they pretty?
posted by rockindata at 5:13 PM on May 23, 2011


Castor Jewelry in Lambertville. Lovely collection, and website contains a statement about their commitment to conflict-free materials.
posted by apparently at 6:06 PM on May 23, 2011


Try Canadian diamonds. They are all marked with a laser etching to prove that they are conflict free (usually a polar bear but other canadian creatures are used as well) Canada is a progressive democracy with a fairly strict environmental policy and workers have basic rights and protection under workers compensation, right to organize etc.
posted by paralax at 8:30 PM on May 23, 2011


Or avoid the whole diamond/sapphire family.
Eschew preciosity!

Semi-precious gems are gorgeous, and far more individualistic.
My engagement ring is a garnet...the color of my wedding dress and about every third thing I wear.

I've heard good things about Turtle Love Co.
posted by Jezebella at 8:43 PM on May 23, 2011


Thirding McFarland Designs, Tamara made my engagement ring. If you are uncomfortable buying online without seeing the quality, I work in central Jersey and I would be happy to meet up with you so you can see her work in person.
posted by crankylex at 6:43 AM on May 24, 2011


My lab-created diamond came from Diamond Nexus and I adore it. I can't recommend them enough.
posted by whatideserve at 7:28 PM on May 26, 2011


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