Can My Wedding Ring Be Gorgeous and Eco-Friendly?

eco-friendly wedding ringsYou have been lucky enough to find your soul mate, the one amazing person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now you are ready to choose your wedding ring, an enduring symbol of your love that will remain on your finger, a constant reminder of your devotion to your partner. You want this symbol to be beautiful through and through – you don't want it tainted by pollution or ecological damage. There are many socially and environmentally responsible options for wedding rings, and with a little extra care you can choose a wedding band that lets you celebrate your love without harming the earth. 

One option for obtaining a green wedding ring is to purchase one crafted from recycled gold or platinum. Metal mining is one of the most environmentally destructive types of mining, and it often involves harmful chemicals and unfair labour practices. Precious metals like gold can be recycled and re-refined many times with no decrease in their quality. Recycled gold can come from existing jewelry, metal used in industrial processes, and electronic equipment. There are numerous companies that specialize in this kind of reclamation, and create unique wedding rings without mining any additional gold. Alternatively, if you have gold jewelry that is damaged or no longer to your taste, many jewellers can take it and re-purpose it into a custom wedding band designed just for you. It is essentially taking the classic environmental principle of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' and applying it to the world of fine jewelry, with fantastic results. 

A second eco-friendly option for wedding bands that is gaining popularity is the choice of wood rings. A wedding ring crafted from wood, a renewable and sustainable material with none of the devastating impacts associated with metal mining, means choosing a warm elemental piece of the earth to represent your love and commitment. Just like jewels, each variety of wood has particular symbolic qualities associated with it. Oak, for example, represents strength and courage, maple symbolizes balance and promise, and fir suggests immortality. The combination of colours and kinds of wood available are astonishing: black walnut, juniper heartwood, and rosewood all make exquisite rings. In addition, the rich grain running through each piece makes every ring absolutely unique. Are you looking for an even more environmentally responsible option? Some artisans are crafting rings solely from salvaged wood rescued from antique instruments and fine furniture, creating rings with a rich history as well as an environmental conscience. 

Finally, rather than designing or redesigning a brand new wedding ring, consider choosing a piece of heirloom jewelry. Explore family attics and jewelery boxes – you might be surprised at the beautiful wedding bands hidden inside, and be drawn even closer to your family history through the romantic stories they hold. If the family coffers don't yield any appealing treasures, peruse the vintage wares of a few antique and estate dealers. Particularly popular right now is jewelry crafted in the intricately geometrical Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s. You are likely to find many stunning pieces that, aside from their beauty and history, don't require any excess environmental cost. 

You are looking to bring the values of green living to your wedding celebration, and it can certainly be a challenge. Choosing an ethically sourced wedding ring, however, doesn't have to mean compromising either style or quality. There are several options available, from recycled gold to handcrafted wood rings and heirloom jewelry, that offer wedding bands that are both eco-friendly and astonishingly beautiful. In fact, knowing that your wedding ring is environmentally and socially responsible can make that enduring symbol of your love even more precious.

Nadina Giurgiu

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