Sustainable Engagement RingsWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Anna Sheffield
Anna Sheffield is a pioneer of the alternative bridal marketplace, priding herself in following the highest standards of fine jewelry production. She is the “go-to” source for tips on advising couples how to shop sustainable but perhaps are unsure of where to begin. Read our interview with the designer below:
Why is it important to look for sustainable engagement rings?
We all have a responsibility from maker to consumer to do our best by the earth and everything in it. Amulets for everlasting love made in a sustainable, ethical and responsible way imparts the best of the best to the amulet itself, which is what LOVE is all about.
Where do you get the recycled gold and antique pieces? Tell me about the process of reforming those into new pieces.
We have specific vendors who focus on this specifically - we have worked to find the most talented in the field and have formed relationships with them over the years. For example, there are particular diamond dealers who work only with reclaimed diamonds of all sizes such as tiny ones and larger ones - like what could be center stones in an engagement ring. We also work with a casting company that uses recycled gold alloy when you opt for that versus other metal options. There are many lab-grown diamond companies but the only one that is carbon neutral is Foundry. Who we work with.
What got you into wanting to source jewelry sustainably?
I was raised to be conscious of my impact on the planet and to honor our precious and limited natural resources. In New Mexico, there are often droughts, so using less water is the norm. And recycling was a household activity. It just seemed crazy to me not to try and do the best we can within this industry to make jewelry sustainably as possible.
Should I be worried about having to compromise anything if I go with a more sustainable option for my engagement ring?
Absolutely not. There are perfectly beautiful, high quality and unique options - and the process is the same in terms of choosing a design. You would not be limited to one silhouette or style. There are even ways to make your engagement ring more unique with sourcing - like diamonds from the 1800’s - and choosing wedding bands made with the same reclaimed and recycled materials for you and your spouse.
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