Thanks for being here. [music] hi, everyone! Welcome to not trashy. My name is Megan and welcome to my channel today. I’m going to talk about ethical engagement rings. And if you missed my last video about me becoming debt free. I talked about what was next for me. So the biggest thing that happened to me. Since I paid off, my debt was nine days later. My boyfriend asked me to marry him and check it out. Oh, yeah, check it out. I’m a caged I’m trying to be, you know, a little quiet because my new fiance is taking a nap in the living room. So oh, my God, this is so cute. So since I just got engaged, I wanted to go over. Why diamonds may not be the most sustainable option for you and how to choose an ethical engagement ring and how we chose ours. So if you weren’t aware the diamond mining industry is pretty corrupt, especially if it’s sourced from Africa and a lot of the times, you don’t know where your diamonds are sourced from, you could be putting your money towards really unsustainable practices like unhealthy working conditions, low wages, you might be contributing to wealth wars and a lot of other things that I won’t go into in this video, but if you wanted to learn more about why diamonds are unethical and unsustainable, then just look up what blood diamonds are and you’ll find a wealth of information about why. Well, why I decided not to go with a natural diamond, so I know a lot of people are worried about where their money goes and want to make really smart purchasing decisions, and that’s why we decided to go with something a little bit more ethical or sustainable and listen, It’s its 20 20 people are becoming less traditional and I don’t mind being different. I don’t mind making a decision that no one else is making when my boyfriend and I started to talk about engagement. I think this was the biggest conversation. We did not want to contribute to the blood diamond mining industry, like it’s really important for us to know where our money is going. So here are all my ideas for finding a sustainable engagement ring, and I did go through all of these options with my boyfriend, and I’ll tell you why we decided to go with what we went with. So the first option is you can get a lab created Diamond and I think it’s crazy that we can create a diamond in the lab. I think it’s completely insane, so getting a lab created Diamond means that you’re not getting a diamond that was mined naturally, and so there’s no chance of you really contributing to that blood diamond industry and typically they are a little cheaper than natural diamonds. So the reason why we didn’t go with a lab created Diamond is has nothing to do with the sustainability of it. We actually just wanted to be different and find something that was not diamond. My problem with it is that it still keeps us building a demand for diamonds, which also fuels the blood diamond industry. So that’s. Why elaborated, Diamond was not what I wanted, But if you want a more sustainable option to a natural diamond, a lab created Diamond is a great option. The next option that we considered was a second hand or vintage engagement ring, so we didn’t necessarily have like an heirloom. But if there’s an heirloom in your family for an engagement ring, I’d say go for that. I mean, like you. Don’t have to pay for it and it stays in the family and it can continue to stay in your family. I love just passing down things from generation to generation. I think that’s awesome. So the reason why we didn’t go with a second hand. One is my boyfriend or no, my fiance. He didn’t want to get something that he didn’t know the backstory for so if he went to a second-hand shop and found a diamond engagement ring, he was concerned that you know if that engagement ring was used and, uh, that marriage fell apart, He didn’t want that bad juju on our marriage, so I had never thought about that and for a lot of people, that’s not an issue, but for him, apparently, that was an important thing for him, so he wanted to get something new for us and wanted to get something that could be an heirloom going forward, so buying secondhand. I mean, it will save you money and by getting a secondhand diamond, you’re like circulating something That’s already been mined and reducing the demand from the blood diamond industry, so the third option is if you find a company who will source diamonds ethically, And I didn’t look too much into this option I. I think it’s a great option for people who want natural diamonds. So if you’re going to get an ethically sourced natural diamond ring, then I would say, just make sure that you vet these vendors and you ask them the really important questions. So where are your diamonds from? And how do you validate? If it’s ethical or not. And where is it cut? Where was it mined? All of those things. Make sure that you talk to someone on the phone. So by vetting these vendors, you’re making sure that you’re not getting green washed and making sure that what they’re saying on their websites is actually true, so the next option is finding a non-traditional engagement ring, which is what we chose to do. So we decided on a Montana sapphire, but you can choose really anything I’ve seen. Amethyst, I’ve seen like Topaz I’ve seen, um, so many different gemstones. I’ve seen Pearls be used as engagement rings, so a great option, which is pretty popular right now is moissanites and they’re a clear gemstone, and they look exactly like diamonds and a lot of the times You can’t tell the difference between them. They cost a lot less and they look just like diamonds, and they’re more ethical than diamonds. So that’s a good option, too. If again, you want that traditional diamond look, so the reason why we went with a sapphire is because it is a precious gemstone, and it’s the second hardest under the diamond, and we wanted to get something that was lasting and the ability for it to chip or scratch, or, you know, basically get messed up is not as common as if you chose a gemstone like an amethyst or a topaz. The second reason is sapphire is a normal engagement rock. It’s a normal engagement. Uh, gemstone to use like princess. Diana used a sapphire. It’s a it’s a traditional blue sapphire. Um, and that engagement ring is now on Kate Middleton, the Duchess. It’s really not uncommon for royals to use sapphires for their engagement rings. So it’s really not non-traditional but it is not a diamond ring, so we decided on Montana sapphire, because we are in the US in Montana is a state in the US. They actually come in like teal, some yellows. Um, some pinks in different shades of all these different colors. So when we explored that option, we found like a teal type color. The final reason we went with a teal color is that it’s very similar to my now fiance’s eyes and his eyes change color in different lighting, and it turns out that this sapphire also has that same effect, so we thought that was really cool and kind of like a personal touch to why we chose the stone that we chose. My China Sapphires are mined in the US, so we know that they are protected by at least the US. Labor laws. So when we were looking into sapphires, we were looking for someone local to work with, like I wasn’t going to go to a sales or a case jeweler because their specialty is really in mass producing jewelry, so I was looking for specifically a vendor that knew about Montana sapphires and understood the industry and had a big selection of Montana sapphires and I couldn’t find a vendor in the East Coast and I’m in Connecticut, so I looked into the West Coast and I was looking through different vendors, and I eventually found Green Lake jewelers and on their website. They had a bunch of different Montana sapphires, different clarities, different sizes, different shapes so on their website. I found the stone that I’m actually wearing now. It is a hexagon shape which I’ve never seen before and it’s a light teal blue. And I just thought that it was the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen, so I called them and I asked them about it, and they said that it, you know, obviously they were like it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s in our case right now and the highest clarity that you can find for a sapphire. I was like that’s it. It was 3.23 carats. And I was really looking for something That was like two carrots tops, but it just caught my eye and it was like the one. So we went with it on top of that when we called. They told us that they had a 10 off discount for anything that they had in their case right now so we were super thrilled because we’re just gonna get a 10 discount off the stone. So they connected me with a designer. His name was Mitch and he helped us. Create a setting for it. I know what you’re thinking and a lot of people thought the same thing. Is that, like I’m like super involved with choosing my engagement ring. But Matt wanted it that way he was. Just like, you know, you know exactly what you want. You’re gonna have to wear it for the rest of your life and it’s a huge investment, so I don’t want to just go out there and guess what you would like so, um, I just stepped in and worked with the worked with the designer so he was able to answer all of our questions and really, like use his expertise to create the perfect setting for us, and in the end, I decided I didn’t want any other stones on the engagement ring because the stone was so big that I wanted that to be the biggest centerpiece of the ring, and so I wanted something going on under it or on the side, so he suggested this filigree wiring underneath it and some engraving on the side and it was exactly what I wanted exactly, so I only saw a drawing of it, and then after I I was like, yes, that’s what I want. Matt took over and, um, he was able to get like a 3d rendering of the ring and and took it from there. I’m extremely grateful to have found this vendor. Um, on their website. They say that they are an ethical jeweler, and they’ve been operating as an ethical jeweler for 20 years, So I asked them where they sourced the sapphires. They said they sourced them straight from Montana in the end. I’m glad I chose this ring and I cannot stop looking at it. Like I am absolutely obsessed with it. At the end, they actually sent us a an email with all the details around who was working on our ring from the setting the design, the CAD rendering. It’s so nice to know who had a hand in creating something. That’s so important to me. I thought it was a really nice touch from them, and if you’re looking for an ethical engagement ring, and if you’re interested in a Montana sapphire, I would highly suggest them, and I’ll put a link down in the description. I also made a post on my Instagram and, uh, tags their Instagram as well. I believe they’re still doing their 10 off situation. So if you’re in the market for an engagement ring. I hope that this helped you decide what you wanted to go with. I’d love to hear your ideas about ethical engagement rings and non-traditional engagement rings. Um, if you’ve chosen something different like a pearl or or a colored lab created diamond, like, let me know in the comments. I do want to hear what you decided. If you liked this content, please subscribe. And if you like this video, and you found it helpful. Please give it a thumbs up and I will see you in the next one. Bye [Music]! Um, Lastly, thank you to matt. I love you so much and I cannot wait to marry you.