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Ethically Sourced or Ethically Made?

How to select a conflict-free diamond that you can feel great about.

Frank Darling prides itself on sustainability. We go to great lengths to make sure our diamonds and materials are ethically sourced. But, with all the terms and jargon, it can be difficult to know what it means and why it matters. Diamonds are the hardest thing on earth, but we’ll try to make this easy.

Should I buy lab grown or ethically sourced natural diamonds?

Think about ice. You can make it in your freezer, or find it outside. Diamonds are like that too. Lab grown diamonds are “grown” with electricity, carbon, and gas. The result? Diamonds that are identical to natural mined diamonds. They are real diamonds.

There are some important differences, though. Natural mined diamonds are billions of years old, intrinsically rare, and each one is unique. They retain their value and can be sold back to diamond buyers.

Lab diamonds are beautiful, sustainable, and significantly more affordable. They’re better for the planet, and better for your wallet. So, it comes down to you and what you want. Whether you purchase a lab diamond or an ethically sourced natural diamond, if you buy it from Frank Darling, you can feel good about.

Why you should care where a diamond is from

Lots of reasons you would feel good or bad about your diamond are decided by governments. From environmental policy to labor laws, knowing the country a diamond is from tells you what laws control it’s producer and if it’s been ethically sourced. It doesn’t tell you everything, but it’s a good start. For a list of countries we buy from, and why, read more about our sourcing policy.

How we buy diamonds, and why it’s better

Diamonds are bought and sold dozens of times before they reach you. Because they are small and high in value, these diamonds are almost impossible to trace. That means you don’t know where they’re from, or where they’ve been. There is a large and active wholesale marketplace for diamonds. With all those middle men, it also makes them more expensive.

The best way to know where a diamond is from, and if it’s been ethically sourced, is to buy it from the source.

We buy our diamonds from cutting businesses with exclusive rights to buy rough diamonds directly from mines in the countries that we approve of: Canada, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. These countries have all made big strides in environmental, economic and social responsibility.

Read more about our sourcing policy and how we go beyond the Kimberley Process.

We love diamonds with history and you should too

The diamond industry goes out of its way to conceal diamond recycling. Diamond companies buy old diamonds, recut them, get them a new certificate, and voila, “new” diamond. There’s a 10% chance any diamond you buy had a previous life.

We go out of our way to source reclaimed diamonds. Reclaimed or “heirloom” diamonds are the most environmentally friendly purchase option and are valued exactly the same as “new” diamonds. Diamonds are literally billions of years old, so being “new” is relative.

100% recycled gold

Newly mined, ethically sourced gold is extremely challenging. Because of this, we’ve chosen to use 100% recycled gold, no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. We buy from post consumer sources where the gold has been reclaimed and refined, resulting in a zero new damage and a neutral environmental footprint.

While diamonds get more attention from the news, gold mining is one of the dirtiest kinds of mining today. Over 20 tons of toxic waste is generated to mine enough new gold for a ring. Waste is often dumped directly into nearby water, releasing toxic substances like cyanide and mercury into the environment.

Expertly crafted, honestly priced.

Made in the USA

We know who made your ring, and they’re good people. Frank Darling rings are all made in the USA by a family owned business in Queens that has been making fine jewelry since 1982. Crafting your engagement ring locally gets us access to experienced craftspeople with more attention to detail than working overseas. It also happens to be more cost effective for you. Frank Darling products on demand, from scratch, the moment they’re ordered. So we don’t have to keep big piles of rings around, it saves lots of money. Now that’s just smart, isn’t it.

Custom made, from scratch

Many rings sold online, especially at lower price-points, are mass produced and machine made in factories overseas. Their prongs are then bent to accommodate gemstones they weren’t designed for, which can result in quality that looks imperfect, and can fracture or loosen around your gemstones over time.

Frank Darling rings are custom designed using 3D CAD software for the measurements of your unique gemstone. Then they’re cast, hand set, and polished by our talented team of artisans in New York City. Your ring is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. It’s not that we don’t want to see you again. We just like to get it right.