Do the Right Engagement Ring Thing: Choose a Fairtrade Gold

The metal for an engagement ring is as important as the diamond on it. If you buy a new gold ring, make sure it’s Fairtrade Gold.

Across the ocean, all he wanted to do was help his boss John Sutter build a water-powered sawmill. Carpenter James Wilson Marshall, a New Jersey native, was at work on the American River, at the base of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was January 28, 1848 (only days before the Mexicans handed over all control of California to the US. The British Empire was thriving under Queen Victoria. But far, far away, in Coloma, California, Marshall noticed bright flakes and says his heart thumped… “for I was certain it was gold.”

Despite a valiant effort, it would not remain a secret for long. From all over the world, prospective miners poured into the area surrounding Sutter’s Mill. Thus began the watershed (pun intended) California Gold Rush, from which more than 750,000 pounds of gold was extracted. In March of 1848, the population in the area was 800 (by 1860, it was 380,000).  Unsurprisingly, conditions for the 49ers (as they grew to be called) were challenging. Competition was fierce, the work difficult, and the weather was alternately very hot or very cold.

The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush was responsible for California’s rapid growth, and the state’s eventual position as a much-desired destination. Gold mining in the “Golden State” eventually levelled out, and gold continues to be mined throughout the world. However, conditions for gold mining have changed little, despite almost 170 years. Worldwide, a shocking 100 million people depend on the artisanal and small-scale mining of gold to survive. The $135 billion industry gives rights to large-scale industrial miners, resulting in poor conditions and forays into the illegal by the miners.  According to the U.K.’s Fairtrade, “Conditions are hazardous and health and safety measures are inadequate, with real health risks posed from handling toxic mercury and cyanide which is used in the extraction process. These miners are at the end of long and complex supply chains and have little option but to accept the price offered by traders, however low.”

Fairtrade Gold

It is for this reason, you should consider only Fairtrade gold for your jewellery. An engagement ring is one of the most precious pieces of jewellery a woman can own. You can purchase Fairtrade Gold engagement rings at


Fairtrade gold is extracted, processed and traded in a fair and responsible manner.  If you have a choice, and you want gold engagement jewellery, there’s no option but Fairtrade gold.

Put a Ring on It

Americans who want to purchase gold or diamond engagement rings or jewellery from a reputable dealer in the UK may wonder what the differences are between the jewellery of the two countries. After all, in clothing, a size 14 US is a whopping size 18 in the UK. In shoes, it’s the opposite (the numbers are smaller): A US size 6 is a size 4 UK. So what would be a US ring size 6 in UK size? For starters, while US sizes are presented numerically (as are EU sizes, albeit in much larger numbers), UK sizing is done alphabetically. For example, that US size 6 is a size L in the UK. A US size 8 is a “P” in the UK.


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