Diamond mining is a very touchy topic. We all would love to have a beautiful diamond - but what about those that are concerned about the impact diamond mining has on the environment and the people that live in that area?
Since wearing jewelry is an important part of honoring the tradition of marriage in all cultures around the world, no one expects you to forgo the wedding rings. There are ways for each individual to lessen their impact. Check out Green Karat for information on using recycled gold. Green Karat also has some unique rings available for purchase in their shop.
Cultured Diamonds and gemstones are among the most ecologically friendly stones available. These stones are grown in a lab rather then mined from the earth. And they can also significantly less expensive. You can build your own conflict-free diamond ring at Brilliant Earth or purchase ready-to-wear jewelry at Elizabeta Jewelry.
Another really great alternative is to purchase a vintage/antique ring. Choosing an antique ring is like selecting a work of art. Estate rings date from the Victorian era through the 1950's. So rings from different eras will have different characteristics. I found some beautiful rings available at Leigh Jay Nacht Inc and the Antique Jewelry Mall.
Don't feel comfortable ordering your rings online? Why not shop local? There are several vintage & consignment shops near every major city. Shopping locally helps support the neighborhood businesses and allow you to try on the rings and check the quality out in person.