We are all familiar with the song turned popular phrase, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. So naturally, you want to make sure that your ‘best friend’ is beautiful yet responsibly sourced. Whether you are diamond shopping for an engagement and wedding ring, or a ‘just because’ gift for yourself or someone else, do consider these options to ensure that your diamond choice is an ethical one.
1. Know the Kimberley Process
In 2003, the U.S. Government signed the Clean Diamond Trade Act, which implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process unites administrations, civil societies and the industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds, which are also known as rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments around the world. The act requires that all diamonds imported to or from the United States have a Kimberley Process Certificate. Be sure to purchase your diamond from a jeweler that requires a mandate for this process.
Photo Courtesy of The Balance
2. Choose a Canadian Diamond
You will find that these are beautiful diamonds from the highest quality diamond mines in the frozen Canadian tundra. The pristine environment allows for some of the cleanest diamond roughs in the world. A Canadian diamond, such as Northern Lights, comes with a Certificate of Origin proving it is mined, cut and polished in Canada—which has strict environmental regulations for mining, cutting and polishing as well as a commitment to social responsibility.
3. Know Your Supplier
Know your supplier. De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, produces Forevermark diamonds which come with a guarantee that each one was mined with stringent criteria on responsible sourcing. These diamonds are genuine, untreated and natural. Though you can’t trace your Forevermark diamond back to the exact mine where it came from, the company invests significantly in local communities by building schools and hospitals near its mines. Selected by hand, less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond.
Photo Courtesy of Diamond Foundry
4. Love for the Lab-Grown
Although traditional diamond mines have gone to great lengths to offset the environmental impact of mining, lab-grown diamonds’ environmental impact is significantly less than that of a mined diamond. You can, with 100 percent certainty, know the origin of your diamond with this eco-friendly option. Likewise, a lab-grown diamond has the same exceptional color, clarity, beauty and brilliance as a mined one because it is identical in composition. If you’re sensitive to how products you own are produced, as owner of a lab-grown diamond you can take pride in knowing your diamond had less impact on the Earth. This makes it an affordable and attractive option too. To explore the world of lab diamonds, click here.
After you have identified an ethically sourced diamond that you love, it's time to decide on the design of your new ring or another jewelry gift. Luckily, someone who is trying to stay eco-friendly and fashionable can have the best of both worlds with either a classic solitaire, stackable jewelry, and fancy diamond shapes — three of the hottest trends of 2017/2018.
5. Eco-friendly Classic Solitaires
When it comes to a woman's jewelry wardrobe, classic solitaries and pendants are staples. These simplistic, yet beautiful items can be found in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Classic solitaire rings, necklaces, and earrings are traditional pieces of jewelry that have made a huge comeback. Many people are looking for a clean, yet a dainty piece of jewelry that they can either wear casually or dress up for a special occasion. Solitaries are a very popular lab-grown diamond, containing the same quality of color, beauty, brilliance, and clarity as a mined diamond would have.
6. Go-green with Stackable Jewelry
Why only wear one piece of jewelry when you can show off multiple? One of the hottest trends in jewelry is layering and stacking pieces together. Whether you stack rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. they all can make a bold statement with any outfit. Most stackable jewelry also contains mixed metals, gemstones, styles and more between each piece which gives every look a hint of glam and personality. The style options are limitless, making it easy for someone to combine ethically sourced jewelry pieces for that extra chic appeal.
7. Ethically Sourced Fancy Diamond Shapes
Fancy diamond shapes have been one of the hottest trends in 2017 and are forthcoming for 2018 as well. Vintage-inspired shapes such as emerald, pear, marquise, oval and more are gaining increased attention due to the uniqueness and personality that they bring to your jewelry collection. Each fancy shape acquires excellent versatility and looks great in almost any style of ring, necklace or earring design. With each shape already possessing a unique look to them, having them ethically sourced makes them even more exceptional. With that said, all of these shapes can be mined or created in a lab. Eco-friendly couples who want an ethically sourced diamond but also something extraordinary, fancy-shaped diamonds are the way to go.
Let me share with you a female doctor and CEO's life hack: if you are not trying to 'make' a baby, you do NOT have to bleed every month. As doctors, we have seared into women's minds: you must have a period every month (if you are not on any medications). However, we now have the technology to safely and effectively "turn off" periods.
The idea of #PeriodsOptional first came to me when I was trying to get pregnant with my first child. Each month the uterus builds a rich blood filled lining to accept an embryo. But without an embryo, that lining gets shed, and the whole process starts over again. Basically, the only reason that we (those with uteri) bleed each month is because we didn't get pregnant. An average woman will begin her period at 12 years old, have two children in her lifetime, and remain fertile until the age of 50. That's approximately 35 years of incessant menstruation for no good reason.
Each time you build up that lining (endometrium) and slough it, you risk endometrial cancer. And each time you pop out an egg for that lining, you risk ovarian cancer. The only way to prevent ovarian cancer that we currently know of (short of taking out your ovaries) is to turn off the monthly egg-popping using birth control. Women who used birth control pills for 5 or more years have about a 50% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never used oral contraceptives.
Dr. Beverly Strassman, who studied the Dogon tribe in Mali, found that it might be "more natural" to have fewer periods. In the old days, we had about 100 periods in our lifetimes. Now, we have 350-400. Historically, we'd start periods at 16 (we now start at 12 years old), we'd have eight babies (we now have two on average), and we'd breastfeed for 20 months (we now do zero to six months at best).
Since the creation of the birth control pill, doctors have known that the one week withdrawal bleed (aka "period") is optional. Dr. John Rock, one of three co-founders of the birth control pill, was the one that pushed for a bleed one week out of four. It was to see if he could get the method through the Catholic Church. He said it was just to make the periods regular and thus Catholics could better utilize the rhythm method. He also thought that women would be more likely to accept the method if it was consistent with what they were used to. Thus since the beginning the birth control pill, women have been forced to bleed one week out of four. Needless to say, if I were one of the co-founders, I would have pushed for #NoPeriods or #PeriodsOptional.
Let's explore other benefits of skipping your monthly bleed:
- You save money – we use 12,000 feminine hygiene products in our lives.
- You save the planet from landfill.
- You decrease your risk of certain medical conditions – ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and anemia
- Certain diseases do better on stable hormonal levels – acne, PCOS, diabetes, seizure disorder, depression/psychological conditions.
- Increased productivity – the number one cause of missed work/school in a woman under the age of 25? Her periods.
Using birth control to skip periods:
- You can use the hormonal IUD, the implant, the shot, the ring, the patch and the pill. Note: You cannot use the patch for longer than 12 weeks in a row, because too much estrogen will build up in the blood.
- You do not have to use "special pills" that come in 84 or 91 days packs. You can use any pill and just skip the last week (if it is a four week pack) or go straight into the next pack (if it is a three week pack). Though if you are paying cash, those are sometimes cheaper.
- If you get breakthrough bleeding and have taken at least three weeks of active pills in a row, then you can stop the active pills for five days, have a bleed during that time, then restart on day six whether or not you are bleeding. This "cleans out the uterus" and allows you to start fresh.
- There are 40 different formulations of the birth control pill. So if one doesn't work for you, there are at least six other progestins and two levels of estrogen to play with.
- To skip the bleed on the pill, you want a progestin with higher progestational activity. Go to this chart that I created to review the options.
As the only female founded/led reproductive health company in the birth control delivery space, Pandia Health set out to make women's lives easier by sharing cutting edge, evidence-based women's healthcare. We commissioned a study of 1000 women ages 20-35 in the US to see what they knew about the topic. We found that:
- 66% of women had never been informed by a doctor that they could skip their periods safely.
- 46% have missed school because of periods.
- 58% would turn of their periods if they knew it could be done safely.
So make your uterus a happy uterus. A happy uterus is one that is not "crying" unnecessary bloody tears.