10 Great Brands for Ethical Engagement & Wedding Rings UK

Ethical engagement and wedding ring on hands

10 Great Brands for Ethical Engagement & Wedding Rings UK

There are few jewellery pieces that have as much significance as an engagement ring. From lab grown diamonds to transparent supply chains, there are more companies now embracing ethical values and making ethical engagement rings for UK consumers.

Given that an engagement ring is a symbol of love to be cherished for a lifetime, it’s particularly important that it’s not tainted by unethical practices. You can not only show love and commitment to your partner but to the world around you by supporting responsible and environmentally friendly approaches.

While engagement rings are a special piece of jewellery, they don’t come cheap. In the UK, the average person splashes out just under £1,500 on an engagement ring. These rings are often made from precious metals and gems and many are bespoke designs.

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What makes an engagement ring ethical?

While every company has slightly different ethical policies, there are some key trends across the ethical ring industry, particularly with regard to diamonds and gold.

Responsible Jewellery Council certification is a good standard to look for to ensure ethical production.

Lab-grown diamonds

As far as the actual product goes, lab-grown diamonds are the same as mined diamonds. The only difference is how and where they are made. Natural diamonds form under the immense pressure of the Earth’s Upper Mantle.

On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds are formed in a lab. Pressure and heat is still used to form the diamonds, but it’s done in a machine.

While they may not have the romance of a naturally formed diamond, the controlled environment that lab-grown diamonds are formed in can result in diamonds of superior clarity and quality.

These diamonds also come without the incredibly harmful environmental impact of the diamond mining industry. An industry that requires twice the amount of energy per carat for mined diamonds than their lab-grown counterparts.

ethical engagement and wedding ring on a flower

Supply chains

The diamond trade has famously been a source of conflict and human rights transgressions. Ethical diamonds come with transparent and traced supply chains to ensure that they have been sourced and transported with the safety of workers, communities and the environment at the forefront. 

This means policies to ensure diamonds were not sourced from, nor supported conflict in areas in which they were mined. It also means practices such as child labour were prohibited.

Ethical sourcing means looking out for animals as well as people. Many brands making sustainable engagement rings are vegan, giving the greatest assurance of animal welfare.

For more on ethical and slow jewellery see our article What is slow jewellery?

Ethical gold

Gold also is a prominent material in engagement and wedding jewellery. UK ethical wedding rings and engagement ring companies source gold from ethical supply chains, including certified fair trade gold. Many use recycled gold and precious metals, as well as gold sourced from transparent and safe supply chains.

UK Ethical Engagement Rings

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So, where can you find ethical engagement rings and wedding rings?

1. Edge of Ember

Based: UK.       Ships to: Worldwide
Price: £58 – £475
Sustainability creds: Use of lab grown diamonds, recycled materials, sustainable packaging, producers certified by the Responsible Jewellery Standards (RJS)

Rings from Edge of Ember are classic and elegant while remaining a more affordable option than many conventional engagement rings. The brand takes inspiration from nature and implements the use of quality materials that will never go out of style.

From its use of recycled metals to its decision to use sustainable packaging, Edge of Ember has adopted an eco-friendly approach. The label works to create a more ethical jewellery supply chain by ensuring that producers are RJS certified.

2. Monica Vinader

Based: UK         Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India, Thailand, Italy, Portugal
Price: £40 – £650
Sustainability creds: Recycled materials, handmade production model, product traceability program, sustainable packaging

While this brand doesn’t have a specific range of ethical engagement rings for UK lovebirds, its standard jewellery range does lend itself to a more contemporary style engagement. Mirroring the natural flow of nature, rings feature subtle undulations, glittering gemstones and delicate details.

Monica Vinader works to give consumers a level of production transparency that is rare in the conventional jewellery industry. The brand incorporates sustainable materials, such as recycled metals, to offer a more sustainable take on creating stunning jewellery designs.

3. Ethica Diamonds

Based: UK          Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price: £1,110 – £4,600
Sustainability creds: Lab grown diamonds, Fair trade and recycled precious metals, slow production model, 1% for the Planet member

Specialising in ethical lab-grown diamonds, Ethica Diamonds has a range of stunning engagement rings with a timeless appeal. The brand has dazzling vintage inspired styles incorporating art deco themes alongside more contemporary designs.

Understanding the issues connected with diamond mining, the label opts for lab grown gems. Precious metals are also recycled and Fairtrade to minimise the environmental and social risks associated with the precious metal trade.

4. Futura Jewelry

Based: USA         Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: USA
Price: £895 – £5,700
Sustainability creds: Made to order, plastic free packaging, Fair-minded Ecological Gold,

Creating made-to-order jewellery, engagement rings from Futura Jewelry feature unique design details that make them stand out in the market. With designs such as those depicting delicate gold laurel wreaths, this label offers quality pieces that are truly works of art.

The label exclusively uses Certified Fairmined Ecological gold, meaning it was mined without the use of toxic chemicals. The organisation has also achieved the commendable ‘great’ rating on Good On You.

5. Taylor & Hart

Based: UK.        Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India, Hong Kong, UK
Price: £810 – £12,360
Sustainability creds: Works with manufacturers that comply with United Nations Kimberley Process, use of lab-grown diamonds

Making bespoke engagement rings, Taylor & Hart brings a personal touch to an important piece of jewellery. During the design process, customers get to speak to a design consultant and see what their ring will look like with the aid of 3D images.

The brand has the option of natural or lab-grown gemstones and through its bespoke design process, it supports a slower production model. Further policies to reduce carbon emissions and ensure fair labour practices would be beneficial to see.

6. Clean Origin

Based: USA         Ships to: Worldwide (available through FedEx)
Price: £487 – £15,257
Sustainability creds: Lab grown diamonds

With rings featuring a dazzling display of jewels, styles from Clean Origin are intricate and eye catching. Rings feature shimmering lab grown diamonds and vintage inspired designs to make pieces that can become treasured keepsakes for years to come.

Clean Origin has made some good commitments when it comes to ethical practices and its use of lab grown diamonds should be recognised. Further evidence of, or implementation of, other concrete ethical and sustainable policies across the organisation would be great to see.

7. Brilliant Earth

Based: USA          Ships to: Worldwide (free UK shipping via FedEx)
Made in: USA
Price: £280 – £19,925
Sustainability creds: Conflict free diamonds, recycled materials, lab-grown diamonds, FSC certified packaging, CarbonFree commitment, transparent supply chain

Offering services to create bespoke rings and collections of non-bespoke engagement rings, Brilliant Earth is the home of stunning, ethically sourced jewellery. The label has simple designs and styles with more intricate details such as Celtic love knots and engraved finishes.

Brilliant Earth offers a high level of transparency regarding where it sources its diamonds, which can be rare in the precious gem trade. The company has commitments to source ethically and has certifications and assurance to back up these commitments.

8. Goldsmiths

Based: UK.        Ships to: Worldwide
Price: £200 – £82,500
Sustainability creds: Use of some recycled materials

Established over a hundred years ago, Goldsmiths has earned its place in the UK jewellery market. The label now offers a limited range of rings crafted from recycled materials. These rings are simple and classic, embracing a timeless design theme.

The majority of Goldsmiths range does sit more comfortably in the conventional rather than ethical jewellery market. While it is great that it has begun to incorporate some recycled materials, more ethical and sustainable policies and practices are still needed across its collections.

9. Steven Stone

Based: UK         Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price: £850 – £89,500
Sustainability creds: Ethically sourced diamonds, use of recycled precious metals, use of lab grown diamonds.

Founded in Manchester in 1937, Steven Stone is a veteran in the jewellery sector. The label’s range of engagement rings are made to shimmer and sparkle. The wide range of rings suits a variety of tastes, from fans of the sleek look to those that love some bling.

Steven Stone has made an effort to source responsibly. It shares information regarding its supply chain and has made commitments to ensure materials are sourced ethically. In some styles the brand also uses lab grown gems.

10. Bario Neal

Based: USA         Ships to: Worldwide (available through FedEx)
Made in: USA
Price: $1,100 – $8,680
Sustainability creds: Use of recycled materials, use of lab grown diamonds, Fairmined gold, supports charitable initiatives

Believing in the power of jewellery to tell a story, Bario Neal makes custom jewellery to tell the tale of every special moment. The label’s ethical engagement and wedding rings have a dainty and sculptural aesthetic and incorporate quality precious stones and metals.

Bario Neal takes an ethical approach to material sourcing, making a conscious effort to use recycled and ethically sourced materials. It has supported movements and organisations such as the Philadelphia Bail Fund, Better Without Mercury, and the Women’s Medical Fund.

Recreating an industry

With sparkling wedding bands and shimmering engagement rings, these ethical engagement ring companies in the UK are giving customers a sustainable choice.

These brands are supporting a diamond industry based on fair wages and safe supply chains, avoiding blood diamonds and conflict diamonds. Utilising lab-created diamonds, ethical materials and fair labour practices, these companies are recreating the story of the jewellery sector. 

See our other article for more ethical jewellery for before, after or during your big day!

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