11 Ethical & Conflict-Free Engagement Rings For The Socially Conscious Couple

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 socially conscious couples, an ethically sourced engagement ring is a must and, thankfully, there is a range of stunning and affordable options. These jewelry companies source recycled or fair trade gold, as well as vintage and conflict-free diamonds and jewels, to create engagement rings. Many of these brands are also green-certified and give back to local communities and environmental projects.

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.

For further ethical & sustainable wedding brands, check out our guide to eco-friendly wedding dresses!


 

1. AUrate New York

Ethics | Rigorous social responsibility standards, diamond traceability, uses recycled gold, gives back
Best For | Minimalist wedding bands made in the USA
Price Range | $65–$2,500

AUrate New York believes you shouldn’t have to choose between high quality, fair pricing, and doing good when it comes to purchasing jewelry. The brand goes beyond the Kimberley Process and tracks every diamond from mine to its local New York workshop to ensure it comes from verifiably ethical and environmentally sound sources. Plus, with every piece of gold purchased, AUrate donates a book to a local organization helping to support literacy in New York.


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2. Catbird

Ethics | Recycled & fair trade gold
Best For | Variety of designers
Price Range | $230–$13,980

Catbird has been based out of Brooklyn for the last 12 years, and the brand only keeps growing. These pieces are handmade in a small Brooklyn studio, using fair-trade and recycled gold, while all of the stones are conflict-free. The engagement rings are crafted by a variety of designers, like Erstwhile, Jennie Kwon, and Kataoka, in addition to the Catbird Wedding line. Named after princesses, swans, and fairytales, your significant other will feel like royalty with one of these beautiful and exquisite pieces.


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3. James Allen

Ethics | Conflict-free, 100 percent natural
Best For | Designer collections, loose diamonds, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer service
Price Range | $240–$8,310 (setting only)

Since 2006, the four minds behind James Allen have turned the brand from idea to the largest privately held online diamond retailer worldwide. With more than 200,000 conflict-free diamonds, every setting imaginable, pre-made designer collections, and even loose diamonds, you can create the ring of your dreams with confidence. Even better: James Allen offers 24/7 customer service with real-time inspection, so you can see what gemologists are seeing. There's a 100 percent 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.


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4. Mejuri

Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds, ethically sourced gemstones and recycled metals, fair labor
Best For | Affordable rings for all genders
Price Range | $215–$2,200

Mejuri’s fine jewelry is more than just “fine”… it’s impeccable. In addition to everyday pieces, you can find engagement rings and bands for all genders, starting at just $215. Rings are made with ethically sourced natural gemstones and conflict-free diamonds, and 40 percent of gold used is recycled. Production takes place around the world in Thailand, India, Italy, Korea, and Canada, where makers have safe and fair working environments. Mejuri also gives back by providing scholarships to Black women and non-binary people, partnering with the Black Business Professionals Association and the United Negro College Fund. Get a ring that will have a lifetime of memories and impact.


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5. Taylor & Hart

Ethics | Ethically sourced diamonds
Best For | Custom rings
Price Range | $825–$12,450

An utterly bespoke process, we love that Taylor & Hart walks you through creating your perfect piece. The company goes beyond the Kimberley Process to ensure that the 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 personal consultation to design the perfect ring within four weeks.


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6. Noémie

Ethics | Conflict-free diamonds, recycled gold
Best For | Free overnight shipping & returns, lifetime warranty, IGI Diamond Certification
Price Range | $390–$12,840

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. All of the brand’s 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.


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7. Vintage Engagement Rings on Etsy

Ethics | Sustainable
Best For | Unique and antique rings
Price Range | Varies

One of the simplest ways to become more sustainable (and create less waste) is to wear and use your items for longer. And this can include your jewelry! On Etsy, engagement rings from all over the world are given a second life. As shoppers can filter their options by desired gemstone, shape, band material, price, and more, you’re bound to find something you’ll love. Some of our favorites include Estate Antique Jewelry, Cileone Jewelry, and Pebble and Polish. As a certified B Corp, Etsy also offsets 100 percent of carbon emissions from shipping, so every time you make a purchase you’re creating positive environmental impact.


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8. Vrai

Ethics | Ethical labor practices, lab-created diamonds
Best For | Simple, clean styles
Price Range | $825–$2,495

Committed to transparency and quality, Vrai crafts engagement rings without the markups. Standing for truth in French and gold in Spanish, the brand's classic styles are affordable and timeless. The collection includes 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.


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9. Sofia Kaman

Ethics | Ethically sourced, recycled metals, lab-grown diamonds
Best For | One-of-a-kind rings
Price Range | $880–$40,000

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly ring, Sofia Kaman has a lot to offer. Whether you want a band made of recycled metal or an antique gem that won’t result in any additional environmental costs, the company’s selections are romantic, modern, and everything in between. And they’re all handcrafted in Los Angeles. When it comes to diamonds, Sofia Kaman sources its stones through dealers who abide by the Kimberley Process and can guarantee them to be conflict-free. Or, you can work with the company to create a custom ring using a lab-grown diamond that was made with renewable energy!


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10. Valerie Madison

Ethics | Recycled and conflict-free diamonds, ethically sourced gems and stones, uses recycled metals, low waste packaging
Best For | Responsibly sourced diamond alternatives
Price Range | $685–$25,610

If mainstream diamonds aren’t your best friend, we recommend Valerie Madison’s gorgeous alternative engagement rings. The brand’s rings and bands are made with recycled gold and diamonds, ethically sourced gems, and diamond alternatives such as lab-produced Moissanite. Choose from an array of pre-made stunners, or create a custom one of your own (see past custom orders here), with beautiful options like salt & pepper diamonds, teal sapphires, or lavender spinel. If you live near Seattle, you can also schedule a consultation or pick-up at Valerie Madison’s new showroom in the Madrona neighborhood to further lower your carbon footprint. 

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11. Automic Gold

Ethics | 100 percent recycled gold, ethically sourced gems and stones, recyclable packaging
Best For | Size- and gender-inclusive rings
Price Range | $225–$1,295

Automic Gold is redefining what it means to be inclusive, and we are here for it. This queer-owned brand handcrafts all sorts of sustainable fine jewelry out of their NYC studio, including earrings, necklaces, and of course, wedding rings. Responsibly sourced, all gold is certified recycled, diamonds are completely natural, and gemstones are ethically mined—and it’s all affordable! Offering customization, engraving, and inclusive size options (2–16), there are rings for every gender, size, and style.

Shop Automic Gold


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