UPDATED: Author is no longer single and has included alternative suggestions at the end, as well as updated/added a few things throughout.
I'm single right now. But should that ever change, I will make sure that any guy lucky enough to convince me to change that status never gifts me any "real" jewelry. Update! I'm NOT single anymore and my guy wants to get me jewelry. But I still don't want it to be "real," of course. OK ladies, I heard that gasp all the way over here, regarding not accepting "real" jewelry. Just hear me out. There are several reasons I won't be adorning any diamonds, gold, or other "precious" or "semi-precious" metals or stones.
Haven't you seen the movie "Blood Diamonds"?
It's not just a movie. That's the way that industry has operated in the past and in some cases, still does. It isn't always the case since the Clean Diamond Trade Act. But I just can't bring myself to value wearing something someone may have risked their life -- or even died -- for. I'm not here to judge those who choose to wear diamonds or other mined jewels. This is my personal choice and you have the right to yours. But I just can't take the chance, not knowing where they may have originated from.
I'm a natural kind of girl.
Many people consider gold, diamonds, and other similar jewelry the "real" jewelry. Call me a hippie. Call me whatever you want. But I like my skin to stay in its natural state. If I do wear any jewelry at all, it's usually going to be something handcrafted by my kids, myself, or someone else special to me -- and will not ever involve any "precious" metals or stones. We use only recycled or natural materials for anything we create. I personally find most jewelry to be quite wasteful and unnecessary. But again, it's all a matter of opinion and perspective.
I value people more than things.
I've never been very material and don't generally get excited over possessions. For me, time would be a better gift than jewelry any day. I don't shop unless it's out of necessity. I don't admire the jewelry or or other "fancy" things on others. In fact, most of the time, I don't even notice unless someone else mentions it. It's very possible to look nice without all of that. In fact, to me, a more natural person is often more attractive.
I don't believe in jewelry for commitments.
The million dollar question people always ask me is what will I do if I get proposed to. Will I wear a ring? If there must be a ring to symbolize the relationship -- and I don't think there needs to be one -- then, most likely I'd be called a hippie because I'd like it to be something natural, such as hemp. But more importantly, it is my belief that when two people care about each other, they shouldn't need to prove it with a ring or a piece of paper -- and especially not an expensive piece of jewelry that goes against my personal morals. If it meant something to the person I desired to spend the rest of my life with, then of course I would honor the ring and the legal procedure. But it's not a requirement for me. And again, the ring could not include mined metals and stones.
"Diamonds Are Forever?" Not so much.
Did you know that the whole "diamonds are forever" thing was concocted by none other than a company who sells diamonds (DuBeers)? By the way, diamonds really aren't forever. They can wear down, just like anything else. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have a forever that was a lie representing my relationship commitment.
Alternative options can be just as romantic.
Three of my favorite alternatives to traditional wedding and engagement rings include wood, hemp, and tattoo rings. There are independent artists on sites like Etsy.com who make beautiful handcrafted wooden engagement and wedding rings. I'd much rather support an independent artist, while also making a better choice that doesn't kill as many people. While it's true that the wood industry isn't exactly a clean one either, making wise choices with it, such as choosing fair trade wood can improve the chances that people are treated fairly in your ring's production. The same can be said in regards to hemp. Tattoo rings can be done with natural inks and are permanent. This is a more solid commitment option than the falsely "forever" diamonds. In all of these options, choosing companies that treat their employees well -- or choosing independent or lesser-known artists (make sure tattoo artists are licensed properly) makes your ring choice a much better one in terms of moral responsibility.
Jeffrey Beall via Flickr.com
tnarik via Flickr.com
Clean Diamond Trade Act
Another Side of Poverty
Blood Diamond Facts
*** I originally published this piece here: http://www.bubblews.com/news/279881