Post # 1
FI & I stopped into Tiffany’s this weekend to start browsing for wedding rings and got a little sticker shock. we are looking for plain bands in a sturdy metal, probably matching but not in yellow gold. (my e-ring is gold & white gold but a non-traditional shape & won’t sit with a band so i will wear it solo on occasions or on my right hand so that isnt a concern) There is a lot of info about gold vs platinum (supposedly FI’s grandmother wore her platinum band 24/7 for 70 yrs before it cracked)… but is a Tiffany’s platinum band "better" even if there are no diamonds? We more concerned with quality than name-brands. There are also Eco-wedding bands out there which I find interesting but how do you know their quality if they are online? Where are you buying your rings?
Thanks for your help!
Post # 3
I’d be kinda careful buying eco-friendly bands. I’ve neber heard of them and if they’ve not been tested to stand the test of time I’d be worried it woulnd’t hold up.
Also I just have a problem buying something that important off line with out seeing it in person first, but that’s me.
If you’re not totally interested in the name brand I’d skip Tiffany’s, though the little blue box is a dream of mine…lol – and just go somewhere else. You could probably have something hand made for the two of you and spend less then Tiffany’s – and have a one of a kind item just for you two!
Post # 4
I can’t speak for all eco-friendly jewelers, but my FI got my e-ring from BrilliantEarth.com after doing a lot of research on several different eco-friendly jewelers.Â Buying an eco-friendly ring was very important to us, and I really can’t detect any difference between my platinum e-ringÂ versus my friends platinum e-rings.Â Â With that said, I’m not sure if the price was much lower either. I’m pretty sure that Eco-friendly rings that are of good quality will be comparable in price (if not higher in price) than similar rings that are not eco-certified.
Although Brilliant Earth is an online vendor, they do have an office in San Francisco, so we were able to go and see the rings and quality first hand.Â They also have a very flexible return policy.Â We had a fantastic experience with them and I would highly recommend you check out their website.Â Â
Post # 5
I found a ring I loved at Tiffany’s – printed out a picture of it from the website and took it to a local jewler — he made an exact copy using the materials I wanted. I’m allergic to Nickel and some other alloy’s, so I am very picky about the materials in my ring. A good jeweler can custom blend any metal for you and make exactly what you want!
Post # 6
I’ve studied materials at length, and selecting materials for product design is part of my job as a mechanical engineer. While platinum is a safe material for humans to wear and use, its processing and production methods have some of the worst environmental impacts of any material that I have encountered. I don’t believe there is such a thing as an “environmentally friendly” platinum.
The EPA created a method for assessing environmental impacts of materials called TRACI (Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other Environmental Impacts). Through much research and evaluation, materials are assigned a number (or factor) that encompasses total environmental impact from cradle to grave. TRACI bases this value on the following impact categories:
1. Global warming
3. Ozone depletion
5. Photochemical Smog
6. Human Health
7. Ecological Toxicity
8. Fossil fuel depletion
9. Habitat alteration
10. Criteria air pollutants
11. Water intake
12. Solid and hazardous waste
The TRACI impact factors can be used to compare the environmental preferability between two or more materials. This method helps designers choose materials that will have the least amount of impact when deciding between the alternatives. Platinum has one of the highest TRACI Impact Factors of any material (730,000!!). Other metals: Stainless steel is 21, Nickel is 130, and Copper is 46. (Unfortunately, I do not have data for gold! It is a common material used in industrial applications and in electronics). As a comparison, plastic materials (while not desirable for jewelry) are typically in the 10-50 range. So, another way to think of this is that platinum is more harmful to the environment on an order of magnitude of tens of thousands compared to other metals.
Some jewelers may use recycled metals. This would certainly reduce your carbon footprint, but those metals came from inside the earth at some point. My post is about environmental responsibility. Social responsibility (as in conflict free diamonds) is an entirely separate concern.
Post # 7
thanks for all the advice. mrspomegranate- wow! thank you for that information on platium, i had no idea platinum was so hard on the earth. if you find out the TRACI for gold could you let me know?
Post # 8
A friend of a friend mentioned getting a wedding band (for male) with a platinum-look, but made of magnesium and ?Titanium? alloy (I’m not really sure. Unfortunately, I was pre-engagement and not paying very much attention.) Does anyone know about this (potentially an alloy??) and its TRACI value?
Post # 9
I recieved a ring from Brilliant Earth too. it is exquisite! The craftmanship is wonderful and its above and beyond any mall jewelers. I went to look at wedding band styles in the mall to go with the e-ring and i could clearly tell how much better the Brilliant earth ring was. I wanted to change the stone of the intitial ring I got and I wanted a palladiium band instead of platinum. they were very easy to work with, responsive and prompt. They care about their product and their customer. I’m really not one to rave about a company but the fact that they are eco and socially conscious makes me very happy.
Post # 10
eco friendly. in a matter of a few years, you will not want to have anything that is not eco friendly because of the stigmatism against it and you certainly don’t want your wedding and engagement bands to have anything negative against them, especially knowing in advance.
Post # 11
If you are really concerned, buy estate jewelry. Causing no new materials to be mined or processed is the utimate in environmental responsibility.
Post # 12
MrsPomegranate makes some great points. Brilliant Earth does use recycled metals, so if that is important to you they might be worth checking out.
Post # 13
If you want a plain band (they’re hard to find for women–I’ve definitely struggled), check out ArtCarved. I know BenBridge and a few local retailers carry them in Seattle. They have pretty designs in all sorts of widths, mostly in white gold. Can’t comment on the eco part of it though.
Ditto the estate jewelry though, plus then you have your "something old" 🙂
Post # 14
I second suzanno. I was worried about conflict diamonds and the impact of mining, etc. So I got my e-ring from an estate jeweler.
Post # 15
I think there are so many eco-friendly options out there you should at least take a look. A lot of companies can even melt down a family piece for you. I have put together a collection of links here:
Good luck and have fun!
Post # 16
I second (third/fourth?!) the recommendation to go to Brilliant Earth. We also got our engagement ring through them, and can’t say enough nice things about their jewelry, ethos, and personnel. Brilliant Earth uses recycled metals, gives part of their profits to charity, and contract only with responsible mines. Plus their customer service is unbelievably helpful! We are definitely going back to them for our wedding bands.