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 | Conflict-free diamonds, recycled gold
Best For | Free overnight shipping and returns, lifetime warranty, IGI Diamond Certification
Average Price Range | $370–$8,340
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.
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.
Ethics | Rigorous social responsibility standards, diamond traceability, uses recycled gold, gives back
Best For | Minimalist wedding bands made in the USA
Average Price Range | $50–$2,000
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 to support literacy in New York.
4. James Allen
Ethics | Conflict-free, 100% natural
Best For | Designer collections, loose diamonds, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer service
Average Price Range | $1,000–$10,000+
Since 2006, the four minds behind James Allen have turned it from an idea to the largest privately held online diamond retailer worldwide—with more than 200,000 conflict-free diamonds. With every setting imaginable, pre-made designer collections, and even loose diamonds, you can create the ring of your dreams with confidence. Even better: they offer 24/7 customer service with real-time inspection so you can see exactly what gemologists are seeing and a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not happy for any reason. It’s no secret why James Allen has grown to be one of the most reputable conflict-free retailers in the world—so you can put your trust in them for the most important ring purchase of your life.
5. 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 to support, there’s a ring for every heart and budget.
6. 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 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.
Ethics | B Corp, fair trade, 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.
Ethics | Ethically-sourced stones, small business, seven-free
Best For | Simple yet bold styles, made-to-order
Average Price Range | $225–$4,000
After inheriting her grandmother’s vintage pieces, Jess discovered her love for jewelry—which then grew into J.Hannah. These made-to-order pieces connect classic beauty with the modern era, using ethically-sourced stones, solid 14k gold, and sterling silver. We love their take on simple, timeless designs while still remaining unique. Made in downtown Los Angeles, you’ll receive the ring of your dreams within 5–15 business days—a small time to wait for a lifetime of pure joy and awe.
9. 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.
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!”
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.
12. 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!