By all accounts, the tradition of everyday couples exchanging wedding rings can be traced back to the 18th century. The practice wasn’t vanity or because of demands by the potential wife, it actually served a practical purpose. Rings were a symbol of commitment and showed the community the bond between two people. Wedding rings also acted like insurance and could be sold if the family fell into a bad financial situation.
Today, diamonds have been caught up in ethical debates and many are from war-torn countries. As a result, stones that were made in labs are popular as an ethical and, still, beautiful option. From diamonds to lab-created sapphire engagement rings, these are options that will fulfill the traditional purposes of wedding rings without all of the ethical baggage attached.
Many diamonds come from mines in Africa. Several large diamond companies cornered the market during the colonization of Africa in the 18th through the 20th centuries. Not all, but many diamond mines have terrible conditions and don’t compensate the workers much or anything at all. They have also created distribution networks that have their hands in various types of organized crime and other unsavory business.
It’s no wonder that couples want to start their marriages without this kind of dark undertone. Opting for synthetic stones eliminates the potential for the ring to be tied to something so sinister.
Getting lab-created stones for your engagement ring also gives the chance to make something truly unique. You can choose colorful stones and mix and match different types or arrangements. Custom rings are all the rage this year, with many couples opting to design their rings in collaboration and with symbols that correspond to personal events and interests.
Myths about alchemists state that they were searching for a way to turn lead into gold. Wouldn’t they be surprised if they could see precious stones growing in labs around the world today? Lab-created sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds all look nearly identical to their in-earth cousins. They are made with the same principles, but the lab environment accelerates the amount of time needed to produce them, from thousands of years to several. This means that you’ll also be able to save some money while marveling at the power of science when you look at your very own lab-created sapphire.