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What makes an engagement ring ethically sourced?

People may consider many factors when buying a ring that symbolizes their love and commitment to another person. The choice of a ring may rest on its aesthetic shape or design, its history or emotional significance, or the materials used to make it. There is a growing awareness around what goes into sourcing and processing metals and gemstones. People are increasingly aware of the ethical choices they can make when selecting engagement jewellery.
The definition of ethical sourcing is the process of ensuring the products sourced are obtained responsibly and sustainably, that the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly, and that environmental and social impacts are taken into consideration during the sourcing process. Ethical sourcing also means the procurement process respects international standards against criminal conduct and human rights abuses and responds to these issues immediately if identified.

To ensure your engagement ring is ethically sourced, I have come up with some questions to help you find a ring that fits these criteria as much as possible.



Where is the gold from?

At Bobbi's, we source our gold from an SCS-certified refinery where they only use recycled gold that is already in the market. This means that no gold is sourced from current mines, and there is no further environmental impact. The old gold is processed at the refinery, where its employees are well paid and protected from the harmful chemicals involved in the refining process. The refinery also properly disposes of the chemicals used when processing the gold.


Where is the gemstone from?

Ethically sourcing gemstones can be the most complex thing you undertake. You want to find a jeweller with good connections to their suppliers to ensure the gemstone is sourced ethically. Generally, gemstones come from the earth, and a lot of the time, they come from mines which negatively impact the environment. However, some gemstones are found in rivers and can be sourced with little environmental impact. It can be extremely fruitful for people to find jewellers who can source gemstones this way. Lab-created gemstones are very ethical and a great option when choosing the most ethical gem.

When considering a diamond, the most ethical option is a Canadian or lab-grown diamond. Unfortunately, most diamonds cannot be traced back to their origin and there is no guarantee the diamond you receive was not sold in a way where the money was used to fuel armed conflict -- the origin of the term, "conflict diamond." There is also no guarantee that the Kimberley Process, which prevents conflict diamonds from reaching consumers in the marketplace, has been followed.


Where is my ring made?
At Bobbi's Jeweller, I create each engagement ring individually by hand. None of my rings are mass-produced, and I have control over the environmental impacts that my business creates. With Bobbi's Jeweller, you get the whole story behind the craftsmanship behind your ring, which I believe is an important piece to ethically sourcing. Buying from a local designer like myself means that you can avoid investing in a mass-produced engagement ring and the negative impacts that the mass engagement ring industry has on the environment and the people that work within it.
Finding an ethically sourced engagement ring can be a fun adventure where you get to educate yourself and make connections.
I'm Erynn Guild, owner, goldsmith, and designer at Bobbi's Jeweller. I am always here to answer your questions about engagement jewellery and would love to connect!
Till next time,
Awesome images from @flightphotographyos 
Flight photography specializes in portrait, landscape, events and weddings. 

This blog post is also featured on Georgian Bay in Love. A fabulous website Showcasing the Georgian Bay region as the perfect setting for your love story.