Sustainable engagement rings are now a thing and they definitely have wow factor 6 months ago

Sustainable engagement rings are now a thing and they definitely have wow factor

Say yes to sustainability.

For 2020, a lot of us have pledged to try to be kinder to the planet. For brides-to-be that's meant looking at their wedding plans to see where it's possible to incorporate sustainable, eco-friendly and zero-waste touches.

But did you know that you can make a sustainable choice with your engagement ring?

'Cultured diamonds' are gem stones that are man-made. These stones are engineered in a laboratory setting, which either mimics the same conditions that causes diamonds to form within the earth's mantle or uses a form of high tech 3D printing.

Unlike the cheap cubic zirconia that you see in costume jewellery, cultured diamonds have the exact same chemical make-up as natural diamonds. Simply put, they are 100% real diamonds.

The process of creating cultured diamonds uses less water and creates less waste than traditional techniques. Where mining causes soil erosion, deforestation and pollution, lab-made diamonds have a minimal impact on the environment. Plus, they are guaranteed to be conflict free.

Seeing as the stones are human engineered, they don't contain the flaws found in naturally-occurring diamonds, meaning that they are high quality when it comes to the all-important colour, cut and clarity.

However, those who oppose the idea of 'above-ground' diamonds – and there are many – say that the synthetic stones are not ancient and one-of-a-kind like their below-ground counterparts. There's also very little resale value for cultured diamonds, so although they are cheaper when you make your initial purchase they don't hold their value in the marketplace.

However, if being sustainable is your priority, there's no doubting their green credentials.

UK company Lark & Berry is one of the leading fine jewellery brands that uses cultured diamonds, it says that "design is at the core of the brand along with sustainability and exceptional quality a given".

Prices range from £3,000 to £100,000 for the brand's fine jewellery and wedding collections, which can be made in two-to-four weeks. They have a store in London and ship worldwide from their website, which is also currently offering video consultations.

The range includes solitaires, trilogies, pavés, halos, swirl settings and diamond bands in 18k gold and platinum.

Going the extra mile on sustainability, Lark & Berry uses only renewable energy to create its diamonds and plants five trees per every purchase.