The holiday season—in particular the month of December—is one of the most popular times of the year to get engaged, according to a recent survey by Wedding Wire. Add this to the fact that many people give diamonds and fine jewelry as gifts over the holidays, and it’s a great time of year to get up to date on sustainable diamonds and the most popular brands that offer them.
A sustainable diamond can fall under one of three categories: a lab grown diamond made using eco-friendly practices, a diamond that has been ethically sourced, or a recycled diamond that is being re-used in some way (for example, reset or re-sized), per industry experts.
Sustainable diamonds are important for a variety of reasons, including helping to reduce the impact the diamond industry has on the environment. For example, research from Diamond Foundry, a popular diamond creator, shows that for every carat of natural diamond mined, companies use up to 127 gallons of water, release up to 143 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air, and move up to 250 tons of earth.
If a sustainable diamond is in your gift giving plans—or on your holiday wish list—here are some brands to keep in mind.
With the tagline, “Diamonds made from air,” Aether diamonds are said to be the world’s first carbon-negative, positive-impact diamonds, according to the company. “Each carat is expertly crafted from carbon extracted from the atmosphere using 100% renewable energy, directly benefiting our environment and providing unparalleled transparency and traceability,” cites Aether. Customers can visit the Aether website to purchase a variety of jewelry pieces or build custom jewelry.
Since 2005, Brilliant Earth has been known for quality ethically-sourced jewelry with the goal to “create a more transparent, sustainable, and compassionate jewelry industry,” according to the company. This holiday season, Brilliant Earth launched an exclusive, limited edition cocktail ring collection. “The collection of 21 rings is made with one-of-a-kind, limited-edition, natural and lab grown gemstones in striking colors set in recycled precious metals,” cites the company’s announcement. The collection includes bicolored gemstones in exclusive settings.
On “a mission to improve the diamond shopping experience,” Clean Origin has been creating sustainable diamonds and jewelry since 2017. “With an environmentally conscious approach, we can say that 100% of our diamonds are 100% ethical—giving our customers peace of mind and a diamond with a beautiful, pure beginning,” according to the company. The popular sustainable brand offers everything from engagement rings to daily wear pieces.
MiaDonna is a long-time sustainable jewelry retailer that exclusively sells American-grown, lab-made diamonds, according to the company. Perhaps more impactful than their sustainable diamonds is the story behind the brand—its founder, Anna-Mieke Anderson, started the company to help disrupt the diamond mining industry and transform communities impacted by diamond mining. This includes helping and providing for children caught in the middle of the unethical harvesting of diamonds, according to MiaDonna.
Described as “accessible sustainable luxury,” VRAI diamonds are created in the brand’s zero-emission foundry in the Pacific Northwest via 100% hydropower from the Columbia River. Featured in multiple media outlets and eco-friendly guides across the globe, VRAI offers fine jewelry and engagement rings created with sustainable diamonds and recycled gold.