When you are getting married, it all begins with the engagement ring. I became engaged for the very first time at the age of 46, so I’ve had a long time to think about my ring! Like most women, I knew I wanted a ring that I’d be proud to show off (because everybody wants to see the ring, don’t they?); however, as I became more educated about conflict diamonds, I realized I wanted to be proud of my ring’s origin.
When I was producing special events, specifically The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase, I became aware of jewelers like bario-neal whose jewelry is handcrafted in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals, ethically sourced stones, and low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. They are committed to environmental responsibility, ethical sourcing and marriage equality. Now that is a business I like to support! And then I read The Story of Stuff, by my heroine Annie Leonard, who is internationally known for her video series which began with The Story of Stuff (a must watch for the entire world). Annie wrote in her book about a ring she received from a long-ago love:[quote align=”center” color=”#83b93a”]When he wanted to buy me a ring, I insisted on an old one and a small one. I’d seen gold mines in South Africa. I knew that gold mining is horribly polluting, is routinely linked to human rights violations, and that more than three-quarters of the gold mined around the world ends up in jewelry. Since there is a lot of gold in jewelry rattling around in old ladies’ dresser drawers and increasingly in piles of e-waste, why fuel the market for mining more? So he got me an antique ring from the Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C.[/quote]
When your heroine writes that her special ring came from a jeweler a mere seven miles from your home, you go to that jeweler! So 6 days after John asked me to marry him, we took the subway to Tiny Jewel Box where Rich Spero showed us their lovely collection of vintage diamond rings. If vintage isn’t your thing and you want a good-old, brand new diamond, they have a conflict-free diamond policy so that you may sleep peacefully. I picked out a sparkler estimated to originate from the 1920s/1930s. I love it. It’s me. And I’m very proud to wear it, show it off, and share the story that some other couple enjoyed it before us.
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