BESPOKE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT JEWELLERY MADE IN THE UK
Bespoke diamond engagement rings are increasingly popular, and many customers come to us with a specific idea of how they want their engagement ring to look, or with ideas for another piece of jewellery, or an engagement and wedding ring set.
If you are considering a bespoke, custom designed engagement ring, you’re probably thinking about how it will look, but how much through are you giving to where it has come from?
Will your diamond engagement ring be ethical, eco-friendly, sustainable and with a light environmental footprint? And who can you trust to make sure it’s ethical through and through?
Put it another way – would you want to be starting your engagement with a ring that originated from environmental destruction and human rights abuses?
We will walk you through the ethical choices involved with creating a bespoke ring, and in the end, hope that you feel you can trust us with this most precious and important purchase.
CHOOSE ALL THE ELEMENTS FOR THEIR ETHICAL ORIGIN
The design of a ring is the part that many people think about first, with consideration given to whether you want a diamond, a ruby, or something else; how many stones, what cut, how it will be shaped, and whether it will sit alongside a wedding ring. But there are other elements to consider as well.
The origin of the stones you choose is important. Are your diamonds mined, or lab grown, or something else? Do your sapphires come from Madagascar?
The metal you use in the ring is also important. You obviously need to consider whether you want gold (and what colour of gold), platinum, or something else, but where has that come from?
And where is the ring going to be designed? Will you be involved in the process, who will be making the finished ring, will you see trial versions? All these are important questions when considering a bespoke purchase.
So, let us start with the metal.
WHICH PRECIOUS METAL IS BEST?
Choosing a type of metal to suit the hand, skin tone and lifestyle of the wearer is important.
Platinum is more durable than gold, and heavier on the hand. It is bright, shiny white, and is a popular choice for men’s rings, and to set diamonds. As it is sold by weight, and is roughly 60% heavier than gold. The platinum we use is 95% pure, and hallmarked.
Gold can come in the traditional yellow, as well as rose gold and white gold. The gold that we use is 18 Karat, meaning 75% pure gold, which is the Karat weight used in most jewellery. In rose gold, the colour is given by copper and other metals, where white gold is alloyed with white-coloured metals, to give it a distinctive silvery colour.
Choosing an ethical metal for your ring is actually straightforward – you look for the information about where the metal has come from. The key words are ‘Fairtrade’, or ‘recycled’.
All the gold and platinum we use at Ethica Diamonds is Fairtrade, or recycled.
Regular mined gold comes from hugely destructive gold mines, where mercury is freely used as part of the extraction process to separate the gold from its ore. Often this is left to drain away and poison the surrounding watercourses, and the workers are offered little or no protection from this toxic metal. Some of the appalling deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest is due to the rise in gold mining, both illegal and government sanctioned.
Fairtrade gold is mined in conditions which ensure fair pay to the workers, as well as safe working conditions, and better environmental controls. Recycled gold is extracted from waste sources, and reused as jewellery. We have a blog about Fairtrade gold, if you want to know more. Fairtrade Gold
Platinum does not yet have official Fairtrade designation, but all our platinum is from recycled sources.
WE CAN HAND FORGE YOUR BESPOKE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING USING TRADITIONAL METHODS, FOR THE MOST INTIMATE AND PERSONAL BESPOKE JOURNEY IMAGINABLE
WHY CHOOSE AN ETHICAL DIAMOND?
If you choose a diamond or diamonds for your jewellery, you should give careful through to the origins of the stones.
Mined diamonds are extracted from the Earth under conditions of extreme environmental damage, in some cases using exploited labour forces, and many people consider them to be an unethical purchase. You can find out more about the ethics and environmental damage associated with the diamond mining industry in our blogs, but it really isn’t pretty!
The Kimberley Process was brought in in 2002 to attempt to remove ‘blood diamonds’ from the international diamond trade, but even now, there are concerns that diamonds associated with human rights abuses, illegal arms deals and corrupt governments are being certified as ‘conflict free’. And the Kimberley Process has nothing to say about catastrophic environmental destruction at all.
Lab grown diamonds are a modern alternative to mined diamonds, with a clean record on human rights and environmental bad practice. Lab grown diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, are created in labs, under strict safety conditions, with the most popular method being CVD – Chemical Vapour Deposition. A seed of diamond is placed in a methane rich environment, and subjected to either plasma or microwaves. This causes the methane to break down, into carbon, which condenses onto the seed, and water, which is a waste product.
Once the diamond is grown, it needs to be cut and polished, the same as with a mined diamond, but the process is considerably quicker, (weeks, rather than millennia) and much less environmentally damaging. The price for a lab-grown diamond tied to the rates for mined diamonds, and is usually around 20-30% less than an equivalent mined stone. Therefore a lab grown diamond maybe an ethical choice in terms of humanity and environment, but the way they are artificially priced is not so ethical.
At Ethica Diamonds many of our collections feature the Ethica Diamond, which is also grown using the CVD method, but using an ultra-high-tech ceramic core, rather than a diamond, to seed the process. This means that the process is shorter, and there is less wastage, because the core can be cut to exacting standards as the most desirable diamonds and created in the shape that is required of the finished product, so princess cut, or heart cut, for example. This means that there is also less wastage. The Ethica diamond is not priced in the same way that lab-grown diamonds are, but according to the costs of manufacture and retail. This means that our Ethica Diamonds is fairly priced, not artificially inflated.
If you opt for stones other than diamonds, or as well as diamonds, then there are many options available to you. Sapphires with their lush blue colouring, rubies, in a deep red, and amethysts, with a smart green hue, are always popular, and all of these are available as ecologically sound lab-grown gemstones, and using the same technology as the Ethica Diamond. Ask us, if this is something you’re interested in!
Using the mined versions of these gems is not an ethical option, in most cases. See our blog about mined sapphires, the large majority of which originate in Madagascar for more.
SO WHAT MAKES OUR BESPOKE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT JEWELLERY SPECIAL?
The final question is about who makes your jewellery. To whom do you entrust such a special piece?
If you’d like a ring that’s completely personal to you, then our bespoke design service is the perfect way to bring your vision to life. From the initial design process to the hand finishing by our master craftsmen in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham, we’ll help you to create a uniquely ethical ring that’s right in every way.
The process is entirely geared around ensuring that you, the customer, get a finished piece of jewellery that is exactly what you wanted, and hopefully, better than you imagined it could be!
We start by discussing with you your design ideas, the metal(s), stone(s) and other specifications, for example, to fit against an existing ring. Any Pinterest ideas, magazine articles, links or other inspiration are welcomed at this point.
We will send this information to our designer, who will then produce a series of trial drawings, looking at different ways that your engagement ring or other jewellery could look. These come back to you, and you can give your feedback. Most bespoke creations bounce back and forth several times, at this point, with ‘more like this’, ‘yes, but with a wider band’, ‘combine the shoulders from this and the stone setting from that’, and other similar comments being taken into account.
Once the customer has settled on a design that they like, we offer the option of having a test ring created in silver, with glass gems. This can help, if you are struggling to envisage the finished piece in three dimensions.
Once you are completely happy with your design will production commence and we ask for a 50% payment. After final approval is given, You can then relax knowing we are bringing your ring to life. The manufacturing process takes approximately 4-6 weeks for our highly skilled craftsmen to work their magic. Regular emails will be sent on the progress of your design and you will be notified once your ring is ready .
The customer is involved in the process, from start to finish, and able to make changes to ensure that the finished piece is all that you want it to be. Even with our catalogue rings we never use mass production, and everything is hand-made to order.
This is how we ensure that the bespoke diamond jewellery that our customers require is ethical as well as beautiful.
- From £1500
- Design to delivery in 4-6 weeks
- We work with a dedicated designer to create a truly bespoke diamond engagement ring
IF YOU’D LIKE A RING THAT’S COMPLETELY PERSONAL TO YOU, THEN OUR BESPOKE DESIGN SERVICE IS THE PERFECT WAY TO BRING YOUR VISION TO LIFE
Find out more by viewing our Bespoke Creativity page or book an appointment by completing our booking from below.
Book a free, no pressure consultation at our beautiful boutique showroom in Truro,
located in the heart of Cornwall.
Give us a call on 01872 222248
Appointments available Monday to Friday
between 10.00am and 4.00pm.
We are also happy to welcome you during weekends upon request.