Almost everybody loves the look of a beautifully cut diamond, and their monetary value makes them all the more appealing for jewelry of any kind. Diamonds are among the most precious stones on earth, and their crystal clear color allows them to match pretty much any outfit you can imagine with very little effort. However, there are many downsides to choosing diamonds as the main focal point for your wedding jewelry, the most obvious of which is the human suffering that goes into the mining process. Most diamonds come from mines in Africa where the workers are salves, children, or at the very least highly underpaid. Even diamonds that come from reputable sources play into this problem because they keep the profitability absurdly high and encourage this type of unscrupulous business practice.
Additionally, the process of mining diamonds is very harmful to the Earth causing a scarring of the surface wherever diamonds have been excavated. Wildlife areas suffer greatly because of the mining techniques that are used because the landscape is so drastically altered, and some of the chemicals they use to wash away the dirt to retrieve the stones are horrible for these otherwise beautiful ecosystems. Fortunately, you don’t have to be part of the problem; you can be part of the solution by choosing conflict-free wedding jewelry. There are many great options out there that are eco-friendly and completely sustainable, and here are a few choices to give you the idea.
One of the best choices for conflict-free jewelry that doesn’t require any compromises are freshwater pearls. Tahitian, Australian South Sea, and Philippine Golden South Sea pearls are all completely organic and highly renewable; plus they are consciously harvested using very sound practices. Best of all, pearls are also considered to be very precious, so you still get the benefit of having “fancy” wedding jewelry without any of the guilt. There are dozens of varieties of pearl necklaces, earrings, and tiaras available in many styles to fit any budget.
Another great choice for conflict-free wedding jewelry is manmade stones that look just as beautiful as the stones mined from the Earth; and in many cases even better. The cut and clarity of manmade stones such as ruby, sapphire, and emeralds will be much nicer in appearance than any stone you will find from nature unless you have an outrageous budget. Even cubic zirconia is available as a diamond substitute if you want that look without any of the downsides that come along with the real thing. Manmade stones may not be as valuable on the open market as natural stones mined from the Earth, but they will look absolutely amazing, cost a fraction of the price, and come with that great feeling of making a difference.
Lastly, there many great pieces of wedding jewelry hitting the market that are made from recycled plastics. Most of these items are not intended to simulate precious stones, but rather create unique and interesting shapes that simply cannot be found in nature. You can have recycled plastic jewelry that looks like doves, butterflies, or anything else your heart wishes, and best of all you’re not only staying away from the negative effects of mining diamonds; you’re also helping to eliminate plastic from landfills.
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