Doing Good by Omission, or, How I Found Out I’m a Weird Bride

When it comes to lifestyle and doing good, we have choices. Trying to make the ‘right’ choice in every area is pretty much impossible. Even if you’re prepared to live in a solar-powered hut in the woods and grow your own food using water harvested from rainfall and dew, you’ll probably still have some sort of negative impact.

So we pick our battles, right? We each have our thing(s) we take a stand on.

For me, it’s diamonds. I’ve studied international history pretty extensively, and I’m just not comfortable buying into such a problematic industry. I know there are diamonds available from ethical sources, but to me, it’s fruit of the poisoned tree. The whole industry seems like a bit of a scam, really. Somehow, they’ve managed to convince the majority of the population that these little bits of broken-glass-looking stuff are worth thousands of dollars; that we must all shell out to prove we’re in love. Are they pretty? Sure. Pretty enough for the trouble we go to over them? No way.

So feel free to disagree, but that’s my opinion of diamonds.

Apparently, in terms of my upcoming wedding, this makes me downright bizarre. When shopping for wedding bands, my fiance and I quickly realized that there are about 10,000 options with diamonds for every one without. The jewellers look at me like I’ve lost my mind. They ask if there’s any way I would consider just a little one. It gets awkward. Then they give up on me and turn their attention to my groom. It’s ok for him not to want diamonds, apparently.

My point is this: sometimes, when we want to do good, it’s more about not doing something than it is about doing something. When the thing we’re choosing not to do is extremely common and socially acceptable, that can be difficult. But sometimes it’s the best way to make a difference.

P.S. Anyone know of a place where I could find a nice, pretty, good quality ring without stones? Here in Edmonton?


  1. Deborah Merriam April 24, 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Nadine, so many conventional jewelry shops are beholden to the diamond industry that maybe your best bet instead is to look for someone who specializes in custom work, like David Keeling or Crowley’s (not that I have personal experience with either), or someone just starting out who’s on Etsy. No idea if any of them are in Edmonton but this search pulls up only those who give Canada as their location:
    Good luck!

    • nriopel April 24, 2012 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Deborah, you’re amazing! (Almost called you a gem, but that’s a little too on-the-nose ;-).

      Thanks for the advice.

  2. Angela Watt April 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Love love love this post! I agree completely with you. There are so many options for rings that don’t include using diamonds, problem is that they’re harder to find amongst an industry that is so large.

    • nriopel April 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Angela – this whole process has really got me thinking about your work in sustainable events A LOT.

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