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Close to home: Ethical engagement rings with low carbon emissions

4 min read

Close to home: Ethical engagement rings with low carbon emissions

Engagement rings, wedding bands, commitment rings and bespoke heirloom jewels are ‘forever’ pieces that bear great sentimental significance; everyday symbols of cherished moments in time. Naturally, quality craftsmanship and the right aesthetic are crucial. Equally as important, however, are the journeys these jewels take before being packed carefully away into their gift boxes, ready to make their mark on the world. If your piece of jewellery is to tell a story that you can feel proud to share, traceability is key.

At Lebrusan Studio, we define an ‘ethical engagement ring’ by uncomplicated margins. Put simply, an ethical engagement ring is one created with minimal negative impact on the environment and no violations of human rights. Even better is if its existence has given back, in some way, to the communities responsible for bringing it into fruition.



In the context of ethical jewellery, discussions about environmental sustainability tend to centre on mining methods. For example, whilst ‘industry standard’ gold is responsible for an estimated 180 million tonnes of toxic waste per year, Fairmined Ecological Gold is extracted using no toxic chemicals whatsoever, thus wreaking significantly less havoc on surrounding ecosystems. Meanwhile, it’s thought that for each diamond recovered by industry standard mining, 200- to 400-million times as much rock must also be extracted. On the other hand, artisanal Ocean Diamonds are recovered by hand just a few times a month by experienced divers who understand how to bring them to the surface with little disturbance to the seabed. Even kinder on the environment still are recycled metals and reclaimed diamonds and gemstones, which require no new mining whatsoever.

We know, however, that the transportation sector generates the greatest share of greenhouse gas; year by year, cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes are thought to contribute around 27% of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s why it’s not enough to stop at sustainable mining methods. As we reach a state of climate emergency, it’s time for us to start looking a little closer to home… Literally.




At Lebrusan Studio, we’re proud to say that 100% of our jewellery is manufactured in the UK. Whilst the majority of our creations begin their lives at our casting house in Melton Mowbray, all finishing processes – that’s cleaning, polishing, hand-engraving, stone-setting and hallmarking – then take place in Hatton Garden, London’s famed jewellery quarter. As all of our specialist manufacturing workshops are clustered within a square 150m radius, our jewellery can be easily transported from A to B on foot. The positioning of our London Diamond Bourse showroom then enables us to deliver many of these completed pieces of jewellery to our clients in person, meaning few miles covered and no need for any form of vehicle from the casting process onwards.

Any jewellery not personally delivered by us in the capital is posted via Royal Mail, which boasts the lowest reported carbon emissions per parcel of any major UK delivery company thanks to its 2,100-strong fleet of electric vehicles and ever-growing network of on-foot deliveries.



In the immediate context of a mine site and its vicinity, the extraction of new diamonds is responsible for soil erosion, deforestation, ecosystem destruction and carbon emissions at the hands of diesel-powered heavy equipment... But the impact doesn't stop there. Beyond this point, the structure of the entire diamond industry lends itself to overseas demands. Whilst customers on the side of the Atlantic where diamond deposits don't exist are seeking good deals - no matter the cost to the planet - diamond companies on the other are all too keen to satisfy these wants with low prices and international FedEx shipping every day of the year. With thousands of diamonds journeying around the globe by plane or van at any given minute, how on earth are we to measure the extra unnecessary carbon emissions of their travels? 

When possible, we prefer to use diamonds that are already in London - the vast majority of which are recycled and have thus been in the UK for a long time, waiting for lovely new owners. When you visit us at the London Diamond Bourse for an in-person appointment, you may wish to peruse our stock of reclaimed diamonds and gemstones, all carefully removed from old jewellery, sourced at auction or bought directly from jewellers and individuals who no longer needed them. No 'good deal diamonds' that need flying in from the other side of the world; just little chunks of British history ready to take on the world again.



Sustainability isn’t exclusively about the planet, however. It's also about sustaining people and their skills; honouring our collective histories and ensuring that practises can continue to be passed down from one generation to the next. Brought to life by the experienced hands of UK-based artisans passionate about their craft, our jewellery showcases traditional techniques, champions time-honoured tools, upholds British cultural heritage and tells stories about Hatton Garden, one of the world’s most iconic jewellery quarters… Which just so happens to be on our doorstep!



We are proud members of Created in the UK, the National Association of Jewellers’ scheme for championing British production and a chance for jewellers like us to shout about the local provenance of our creations. From now onwards, every new piece of Lebrusan Studio jewellery will celebrate its small carbon footprint and London heritage with a special ‘Created in the UK’ stamp.

Hallmarking is the oldest form of consumer protection in the world but only proves the purity of precious metal. Like a badge of honour, Created in the UK is now branded inside our rings by the Assay Office alongside the usual hallmarks; additional proof of authentication and provenance. All members of the Created in the UK scheme comply with strict criteria and a rigorous auditing process, which makes this a provenance mark you can trust.


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Love, Arabel & Team
Ruby McGonigle
Ruby McGonigle

Ruby McGonigle is a copywriter and digital marketing professional with over five years of jewellery industry experience. After graduating with a BA in Linguistics, she combined her passions for written word and all things sparkly by joining the Lebrusan Studio team as in-house wordsmith and content creator. Among bi-monthly blog posts, notable examples of Ruby's work include a think-piece on the ‘natural diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds’ debate, a probe into why traceable and third party certified ASM gold is so important, and an investigation of why platinum is no longer more expensive than gold.