The Truth About Ethical Jewelry Companies: Fake vs Real

Article by MiaDonna

We are very excited to see that in 2021 conscious consumers are on the rise. Maybe it was a result of spending more time at home, and after some long deep conversations on life with your faithful plants, you started to reevaluate how you were living. It doesn’t matter how you got here, all that matters is we are all taking the time to rethink the culture of fast fashion, food, and way of life. At MiaDonna, we spend a lot of time educating consumers on the horrors of the mining industry, and as the gemstone and gold mining industries don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, neither do we! It is because of more people becoming aware of how much power they hold in their wallets that positive change is happening. As we vote with our purchases, the jewelry industry is more or less being pushed in a direction of ethical practices, and ethical jewelry companies are on this rise.


It’s exciting to see some jewelry companies make sustainable changes, but there are just as many that are making PR moves to make themselves look ethical in hopes of not losing out on sales. But how can you tell if an ethical jewelry company is truly ethical? We have some tips for you wonderful conscious consumers!

ethical diamond engagement rings made with recycled gold

Don’t trust the Kimberley Process certification.


Jewelry companies put the stamp of conflict-free on their earth-mined diamonds by throwing out words like, “certified by Kimberley Process.” Blinded by the sparkly gems, people don’t really dig deeper before purchasing. We all want to believe in this mythical "humanity saving" Kimberley Process the jeweler speaks of. You should think again. The definition of a ‘conflict diamond’ as the Kimberley Process sees it is “a diamond which is funding an armed group which is trying to unseat a legitimate government.” However, the links between mined diamonds and human rights abuses go far beyond that definition. This means someone could have been enslaved, tortured, raped, beaten, or killed to mine that diamond and it is marketed to you as a conflict-FREE diamond because it didn’t directly fund a war. For example, the diamonds currently coming out of Zimbabwe, Angola, and Congo, which are notorious for killing, raping and maiming hundreds of artisanal miners, are considered “conflict-free” under the KPCS.


In addition, the smuggling of blood diamonds into batches of KPCS certified diamonds is common practice. According to the BBC, “Diamonds pass through multiple trading hubs on their journey from mine to shop and often end up mixed with diamonds from other countries of export. The result is that even among diamonds with Kimberley Process certification, many companies cannot trace the diamonds they use back to their country of origin. A 2018 report from Human Rights Watch, which investigated major jewelers revealed, “None of the companies can identify all of their diamonds’ individual mines of origin.” So even if a diamond is certified, it is mixing with non-certified diamonds which all end up under the bright lights of their showcases for us to ogle at.

child laboring at a diamond mining dig site in Africa

Choose Lab-Grown Gemstones and 100% recycled metal.


The only way to ensure you have a conflict-free diamond is to choose Lab Grown. Not only are they optically, chemically, and physically identical- they generally cost up to 40% less. As well as choosing Lab Grown Diamonds and Gemstones you will want to look into the metal. The gold mining industry is just as atrocious as the gemstone mining industry, so make sure you are purchasing 100% recycled metal. Some “ethical” companies will use the words ‘recycled metal 'instead of ‘100% recycled metal.’ That's a huge indicator that they aren’t being truthful about their product. In most cases, jewelers only use about 60% recycled metals, mixed with newly mined metal.

An ethical vintage style ring

Do your research to uncover fake vs real content.


You may have heard in the news recently about Belle Gibson, an Australian wellness influencer that lied to thousands about her recovery from brain cancer through healthy eating. In March 2015, an Australian publication exposed that Belle had been falsely claiming to followers that she was donating a portion of her book and app sales to charity. She wasn’t. When that came out journalists began questioning whether she had actually had brain cancer. She hadn’t. This is just one example of someone using the power of story to deceive people.


Sometimes things are so beautifully presented that we want to believe what is being told. We are busy after all so if a company says they donate to so-and-so charity we want to trust they will follow through on that. It’s worth doing your own quick research to see whether the company you are interested in purchasing from actually does what they say they do.

someone doing research about ethical jewelry companies on a laptop.

Look for B Corp certification.


What makes a company ethical? Companies can make various claims, and we all want to believe them. We want to feel good about what we are purchasing, but unfortunately, companies still get away with false advertising in 2021. If you really don’t have the time to research a company then look for the B Corp stamp. To gain and retain B Corp certification, a business must meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Becoming certified is a rigorous process that requires a company to meet the highest standards of verified accountability in balancing profit and purpose.


When you purchase from a B Corp Certified business, you can rest assured that the company's claims of sustainability have been verified. At MiaDonna, we are proud to have the B Corp stamp of approval showing that we are committed to helping our planet, people, and industry by moving toward a greener future.


We send you back out into the world of countless ads and marketing campaigns hopefully a little bit wiser. Thank you for being a conscious consumer and when you shop with us you are part of our #miadonnaheroes community!