How to pick an environmentally friendly gemstone.

Illuminating answers to environmental questions.
Aug. 3 2010 7:05 AM

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Green

How to pick an environmentally friendly gemstone.

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If your beloved must have a new and natural stone, you're just going to have to deal with the information gap. The best thing you can do is seek out jewelers who have stated their commitment to buy gems from sustainable sources. Many such companies are involved in the cross-sector working group known as the Madison Dialogue; its list of participants  would be a good place to start looking for ring-shopping options. (Check out, for example, the work being done by Columbia Gem House.) The Web site also maintains a list of ethically minded companies. Several experts the Lantern spoke with also had praise for the efforts being made at Wal-Mart and Tiffany's. However, without an independent organization certifying a jeweler's sustainability claims, you're going to have to decide for yourself whether you trust the company's marketing department.

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Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.