Diamond wedding engagement rings have been the go-to trend for more than 500 years, but we know a lot more about the negative social and environmental impacts of diamond mining than our ancestors, or even our parents. For millennials who wants to see our world become a more socially aware and sustainable place to live, mined diamonds are simply no longer an ethical choice.
Thankfully, Clean Origin exists. Clean Origin is paving the way with their collection of ethical lab grown diamond wedding engagement rings available in a variety of vintage-inspired, classic, halo, and solitaire styles. There are a lot of good reasons to opt for a Clean Origin diamond engagement ring, but here are a few of the factors that really stood out to us here at Catalyst:
1. A Show-Stopping Diamond without the Ethical and Environmental Baggage
If you’re someone who dreams of sporting a big ol’ rock on your finger, then we say, “You do you.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your ring finger to shimmer and shine. Thankfully, you now have an ethical option that can provide you with that show-stopping aesthetic.
Lab grown diamonds are an ethical and environmentally conscious choice for couples who want the aesthetic of a diamond wedding engagement ring, but who also want to be thoughtful of how they spend their money and what business practices they support. As their name suggests, these diamonds are developed in a lab using the same processes that create diamonds in nature, only sped up to allow for a quicker delivery time to the customer. The best part is that once the process is complete, there is no discernible difference between a mined and a lab-grown diamond. Plus, the environmental impact is a tiny fraction of that of mined diamonds, and for those of us who are uncertain of how climate change will impact ourselves and the next generation, that’s a major consideration.
2. Millennials Are Redefining Marriage, and It’s Time We Redefined the Engagement Ring
When we sat down with the team at Clean Origin, it became clear that much of founder and owner Alexander Weindling’s motivation for going with lab-grown diamonds was because he’s noticed a big shift in what marriage and weddings look like. Why did jewelers continue to produce the same diamond engagement rings when couples were no longer adhering to the same traditional marriage norms?
“Millennials are not interested in the engagement rings of marriage past,” said Clean Origin team member Haley Anhut. “Their interests, beliefs and styles have pushed them towards a new alternative for engagement rings — lab grown diamonds.”
A big part of that comes back to climate change. Business Insider reported this past year that climate change and stopping the destruction of nature was the #1 concern for millennials, and that makes a lot of sense. It’s hard to think about marriage and building a family when you aren’t sure what this planet will look like in 20 years.
Weindling is a third-generation jeweler, so he was well aware of what was involved with the traditional mined diamond jewelry making process. After taking a long look at the industry, he decided he wanted to be on the right side of history when he started Clean Origin.
“We’ve long used methods that hurt the environment or other people,” said Weindling, and he knew that it was time for that to stop.
3. A Jeweler’s Eye, and an Heirloom Quality Ring
The fact that Weindling comes from a long line of jewelers is a major reason why Clean Origin is your best choice for a lab-grown diamond. While there are other companies providing lab-grown diamonds, Clean Origin Jewelry is owned and operated by experienced jewelers…not individuals who only have a background in business.
This means that Weindling and the Clean Origin team can talk to the 4C’s of their diamonds: cut, clarity, color, and carat. They offer consultations with their jewelers so that you can openly discuss your budget for your engagement ring, and they can help you decide what combination of the 4C’s will create the heirloom quality diamond engagement ring you want at the price you can afford. Their staff is made up of diamond experts who you can trust to give you the best advice possible.
Lab grown diamonds are equal in every way to mined diamonds, and even the most skilled jeweler won’t be able to tell your Clean Origin lab grown diamond from a mined diamond. It’s important to note that there is a microscopic inscription on our diamonds to differentiate lab grown, however, to the naked eye, the diamonds are indistinguishable. You can rest assured that the beautiful diamond ring you pass down to future generations will be durable, stunning, and free of ethical guilt.
4. The Same Quality Ring at a Fraction of the Price
Millennials are also changing their spending habits when it comes to weddings. More couples are living together before they get married and usually wait till they are a bit older before deciding to say “I do.” This means that modern couples are usually more focused on saving for the future than spending all their money on their wedding day.
Clean Origins lab created diamond engagement rings offer the same quality of diamonds at a fraction of the cost of mined diamonds, and that’s simply because the amount of energy and labor involved with lab grown diamonds is significantly less.
“Mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds have the exact same costs when it comes to cutting, polishing, and inspection. However, up to that point, the costs and processes are very different,” says the Clean Origin team. “Mined diamonds have a long supply chain. To get a diamond from its raw form to a retail-ready gem requires miners, distributors, cutters, polishers, jewelry manufacturers, and retailers. On the flip side, the lab-created diamond supply chain is much shorter by skipping the mining process. To put it simply, a lab-created diamond touches fewer hands, making it ultimately less expensive.”
That means that couples with a smaller budget can still enjoy the beauty and quality of a diamond engagement ring without having to start their marriage in debt. That multi-carat diamond you’ve been salivating over for years might actually be attainable thanks to the team at Clean Origin.
5. Flexibility to Get the Stones and Style You Really Want
One of our favorite things about Clean Origin is that their stones and settings can be purchased separately. Part of why this is so awesome is that you can buy their diamonds individually. Already have an heirloom setting from a relative that you want to upgrade or that is missing a stone? No problem. Pick out the diamond shape and size that you want and they’ll ship it to you for no extra fee.
Love the look of Clean Origin’s classic settings, but have your own gemstones that you want to incorporate into your ring for added personal value or to add a pop of color? Clean Origin allows you to buy the diamonds and setting separately so you can have your dream ring assembled by your local jeweler.
This proves that Clean Origin Jewelry’s primary goal is to get you high quality jewelry that you really want. They believe in quality and craftsmanship, and will do whatever they can to make sure you get the ring you’ve been dreaming of.
6. A Belief That Love Is Equal
Weindling and the Clean Origin team want to offer quality rings and customer service to all couples in love, and that includes the LGBTQ+ community. They believe that an engagement ring has become a universal symbol for love, and they want to help you show that love to your partner.
“In our eyes, love is love! If you are blessed enough to find someone who loves you as much you love them, your life will be fulfilled in the most important way,” said the Clean Origin team in a recent interview with Equally Wed. “Your love is what defines you.”
While most of Clean Origin’s rings can be considered traditionally feminine, they haven’t put constraints on who their rings are for. All of their rings, including their diamond eternity bands, are available in sizes 3 to 15 ¾. Many other jewelers don’t offer engagement rings in sizes larger than 9, which can be incredibly limiting. We love that Clean Origin offers rings sizes for all bodies.
7. No Questions Asked Returns and Stellar Customer Service
Even though most of us are used to ordering everything from groceries to furniture online, buying a diamond engagement ring online is still a big commitment that might give some couples a moment’s pause. That’s why Clean Origin is so focused on delivering the best customer service possible, and that includes a 100-day no questions asked return policy. If in 100 days you still aren’t sure about the ring, you can send it back for a full refund.
With 24/7 customer service available, you can also feel comfortable reaching out to the Clean Origin team at any point in your decision-making process. Most importantly, when you talk to the customer service team at Clean Origin, you’re talking to diamond experts, not salesmen, so they will never try to upsell you on a diamond ring you don’t really want.
At the end of the day, Clean Origin wants you to feel as confident in your decision to buy a lab grown diamond engagement ring as you are in your decision to marry the love of your life.
Jen Siomacco is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Catalyst Wedding Co. She works to mesh together her love of feminism, love stories, accessibility, equality, and design into the Catalyst brand. When she’s not traveling the country working to make the wedding industry a more inclusive place, she’s writing on her couch and snuggled up with her husband and SUPER lazy cats.