Ethical Engagement Rings
When it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring, there are both human rights and environmental concerns to be considered. The harvesting of diamonds has a history of fueling conflict and the mining of precious metals is often damaging to the environment. Beyond this, miners are frequently denied fair wages and adequate health and safety provisions.
For the socially conscious bride-to-be, an ethically-sourced engagement ring is a must and thankfully there are a range of stunning and affordable options. These jewelry companies source recycled or fair trade gold, and vintage and conflict-free diamonds and jewels to create their engagement rings. Many of these brands are also green-certified and give back to their communities or the environment in a number of ways.
And don't forget—secondhand rings from auction sites like eBay, vintage finds on Etsy, and online or local consignment shops are a great option if you're looking for something that's new-to-you without the new carbon footprint!
If you're looking to plan an ethical & sustainable wedding, check out our guide to eco-friendly wedding dresses!
Ethics | Recycled and fair trade gold
Best For | Variety of designers
Average Price Range | $455–$6,500
Catbird has been based out of Brooklyn for the last 12 years, and only keeps growing. Their pieces are handmade in a small Brooklyn studio, using fair-trade and recycled gold, while all of their stones are conflict-free. Their engagement rings are crafted by a variety of designers, like Erstwhile, Jennie Kwon, and Kataoka, in addition to their own Catbird Wedding line. Named after princesses, swans, and fairytales, your bride-to-be will truly feel like a queen with one of these beautiful and exquisite pieces.
Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds, recycled gold
Best For | Free overnight shipping and returns, lifetime warranty, IGI Diamond Certification
Average Price Range | $450–$2,000
Noémie is a pioneer in the direct-to-consumer fine jewelry industry, offering stunning pieces at fair pricing by cutting out the retailer markup. The brand works only with the highest quality conscious materials, using recycled 18K gold and certified conflict-free diamonds for their pieces. All of their jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty, and diamonds arrive with IGI certification cards, eliminating any element of uncertainty when investing in fine jewelry. You can also visit the brand's SoHo loft by appointment to discuss the jewelry and design process prior to purchasing, and Noémie offers free overnight shipping and returns for online orders.
3. Taylor & Hart
Ethics | Ethically-sourced diamonds
Best For | Custom rings
Average Price Range | $995–$2,500
A completely bespoke process, we love that Taylor & Hart walks you through creating your own perfect piece. The company goes beyond the Kimberly Process to ensure that their diamonds are conflict-free, and believes that by purchasing an ethically-crafted ring, one of the greatest moments of your life can also be a small step towards a better world. Taylor & Hart will work closely with you through a personal consultation to design the perfect ring within four weeks.
4. Bario Neal
Ethics | Ethically-sourced metals & stones, fair trade gold, environmental sustainability
Best For | Custom rings, marriage equality proponents
Average Price Range | $2,500–$10,000
Using environmentally-conscious practices, Bario Neal handcrafts one-of-a-kind engagement rings that mix dynamic shapes with unique settings. Sourced from conflict-free regions such as Canada, Namibia, and Australia, all styles comes with the option to customize each part of the ring, including an option for engraving. Plus, a portion of proceeds benefit organizations that support marriage equality and environmental sustainability. With a wide range of prices and multiple causes, there’s a ring for every heart and budget.
5. Vrai & Oro
Ethics | Ethical labor practices, lab-created diamonds
Best For | Simple, clean styles
Average Price Range | $125–$1,040
Committed to transparency and quality, Vrai & Oro crafts engagement rings without the markups. Standing for truth in French and gold in Spanish, their classic styles are incredibly affordable and timeless. They offer pieces with either white or black diamonds, stacking rings, and various stone sizes, striking the perfect balance between simple and unique. Made in the USA with lab-created diamonds from Diamond Foundry (also made in the USA), getting back to basics has never been easier.
6. AUrate New York
Ethics | Rigorous social responsibility standards, diamond traceability, uses recycled gold, gives back
Best For | Minimalist wedding bands made in the USA
Average Price Range | $150–$900
AUrate New York believes you shouldn’t have to choose between high quality, fair pricing and doing good when it comes to purchasing jewelry. They go beyond the Kimberly Process and track every diamond from mine to their local New York workshop to ensure they come from verifiably ethical and environmentally sound sources. Plus with each purchase, AUrate donates to a local organization helping support literacy in New York.
7. Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Ethics | B Corp, fair trade and fair-mined nickel-free gold
Best For | Custom rings, proposal loaner ring
Average Price Range | $995–$5,495
Fair Trade Jewellery Co. is a Canada-based online retailer that provides both pre-set engagement rings and custom-made rings for every proposal. They became the first North American business to use Fair Trade Certified gold, and is also a certified B-Corp. In addition to being sustainable and environmentally responsible, they have strong partnerships with the Responsible Jewellery Council, the North American Gem Association, and the Competition Bureau of Canada. Ready to propose but don’t have the perfect ring yet? No problem! They provide proposal loaner rings for just the occasion.
8. Blue Nile
Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds
Best For | Free shipping, build your own ring, referrals, 24/7 customer service
Average Price Range | $1,000–$5,000 (for preset rings)
Blue Nile is a popular online retailer for engagement rings, but did you know they use conflict-free diamonds that are ethically sourced? Whether you’re buying a pre-set solitaire style ring or building your own, they have an outstanding customer service policy to ensure satisfaction with each purchase. Each ring listed also comes with reviews, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting with every piece. Every order is shipped free, guaranteed and returnable within 30 days. They’ve made the work of ring shopping as effortless as possible.
9. Brilliant Earth
Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds, environmentally responsible, fair labor practices
Best For | Free shipping and returns, giving back to the community
Average Price Range | $1,500–$10,000
Brilliant Earth is one of the leading sources for engagement and wedding rings around the world; each of their materials are environmentally sustainable and goes beyond “just conflict-free”. Their diamonds, stones, and metals come free of any human rights abuses, use fair labor practices, and contribute to local community development in countries like Canada, Russia, and Botswana, and they also offer lab-created and recycled diamonds to reduce the carbon footprint of your ring. With vintage, non-traditional, and custom rings, there is endless potential to create the perfect piece for the perfect person.
Ethics | Lab-created diamonds, uses recycled metals, gives back
Best For | Affordable, quality synthetic diamonds
Average Price Range | $388–$3,800 (setting only)
MiaDonna was founded with the belief that beautiful diamonds shouldn’t come at a human cost—that’s why all of MiaDonna’s diamonds are created in a lab. Plus, they allocate five percent of their profits to build educational programs, urgent relief programs, and agricultural farms in diamond mining communities to help restore economic opportunities. Read up about the synthetic diamond process on their extensive educational page, and then browse their brilliant rings and dream of saying “I do!”
11. Trumpet & Horn
Ethics | Antiques, conflict free, eco-friendly
Best For | Vintage styles, wide range of prices, free US shipping
Average Price Range | $775–$10,000
Trumpet & Horn believes that vintage engagement rings are treasures, valued and passed on through generations. Their antique rings are created with recycled metals, repurposed jewelry, and diamonds found prior to conflict mining, ensuring that their pieces are conflict-free, eco-friendly, and one-of-a-kind. Adhering to the American Gem Trade Association’s Code of Ethics, and a supporter of the Kimberley Process, Trumpet & Horn is leading the way for sellers to be both environmentally and socially responsible. If you want a ring that is truly the only one in the world, Trumpet & Horn is the way to go—and they offer free shipping and free sizing on all orders!
12. Stone & Strand
Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds
Best For | Personal concierge, hand engraving, free shipping and returns
Average Price Range | $2,000–$6,500
Working with a collaborative of US-based designers, Stone & Strand is an e-commerce retailer that provides all kinds of creative and exquisite engagement ring options. With brands like Crow’s Nest, Stephen Webster, and Jennie Kwon, Stone & Strand elevates the online shopping experience into with a concierge service and gemologists on staff. Their rings include styles shaped as leaves, the evil eye, and even words like “boom”—each piece can bring an incredible amount of personality into a proposal.