It’s a given that when you shop for engagement rings, your whole world zooms in your proposal. The irony here is that when you shop at Brilliant Earth, you're introduced to something bigger than you&her!
Brilliant Earth lets you see the harsh realities of diamond mining and offers you a chance to be part of a worldwide initiative by choosing their stunning “beyond conflict free” jewelry.
Brilliant Earth’s Honest Origins
For Beth Gerstein, co-founder of Brilliant Earth, it started as a personal mission before it became a business and a movement. In 2004, Beth was about to be engaged but had a hard time finding a conflict free engagement ring with her fiancé Alex.
While Eric Grossberg learned in his research that ethically-sourced jewelry could help make social and environmental changes. With the two Stanford alumni’s shared vision, Brilliant Earth began in 2005.
Today, it has evolved into a collective of jewelry designers, sales associates, gemologists, and customers that share the same hopes – a jewelry industry that’s more humane!
Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds
The Kimberley Process, if you don’t know already, prevents the flow of diamonds that finance wars against recognized governments. Most diamond shops comply with the KP nowadays. But Brilliant Earth’s edge is that they claim to be “beyond conflict free” or beyond the Kimberly Process standards!
Aside from not financing civil wars, Brilliant Earth diamonds are said to originate from pure sources with traceable origin. These diamonds are also ethically mined from areas without poor labor practices, human rights abuses, violence, and environmental degradation.
Now, I see a lot of jewelers promoting sustainability these days. And when customers hear it, they trust the branding on a whim. So, it’s good to see how Brilliant Earth takes it further by keeping us in the loop on their projects, offering local jobs, and providing safe working conditions.
But What’s the Guarantee that These Diamonds Come from Ethical Sources?
Brilliant Earth suppliers are audited to ensure that their diamonds come from Brilliant Earth approved sources. They are also asked to implement a documented process that tracks and identifies received and dispatched diamonds.
In 2016, third party auditor SCS Global Services conducted an independent verification audit of Brilliant Earth’s chain of custody protocols to confirm the country of origin for the natural diamonds we offer.
SCS performed a detailed examination of our supply chain document trail from rough diamond to finished product for diamonds originating from Canada, Botswana Sort, and Russia. Based on their audit, SCS verified our country of origin for our natural diamonds and our chain of custody protocols.
We are continuously improving our processes and working with our partners toward ever more rigorous procedures to give maximum assurance of our country of origin verifications and lead the diamond industry in traceability. – Brilliant Earth Environmental Claims Validation
Aside from promoting ethical fine jewelry, Brilliant Earth also minimizes your “environmental footprint” by offering eco-friendly alternatives!
Pioneering Lab-Grown Diamonds and Recycled Metals
Let me first clarify that lab-grown diamonds are created by duplicating the natural process of diamond formation. And that is under extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process. So the result is a diamond that has the same physical, chemical, and visual properties as the natural ones. These stones are made of pure carbon, unlike Cubic Zirconia and other simulants!
The great thing about this phenomenon is that the diamonds are ethically grown and harvested using safe methods with minimal environmental impact. I think only purists will shrug their shoulders and stick with nature-made diamonds. Because if it looks like and is valued as one, what’s not to love?
Brilliant Earth is one of the largest online suppliers of lab-created diamonds in the US. And another thing that makes them shine among the rest is their promise of only using recycled precious metals.
“The objective of Brilliant Earth is to diminish the negative impacts of dirty gold and other precious metals by reducing the demand for newly mined materials.”
Brilliant Earth Diamond and Jewelry Quality
It would be a regal bummer if they’re able to make the world a better place but fail in the quality department because of so-so diamonds. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that because Brilliant Earth proves to bear superb quality with diamonds coming from Canada, Botswana, and Russia, to name a few. They also have a wide selection of diamond cuts, carats, colors, and engagement ring styles backed with a grading report, and ASET and Idealscope Images for an in-depth analysis.
All these are great, but to put their diamond quality to the test, I randomly selected a diamond in these parameters: 1 Carat Super Ideal Cut, G VS2. By nature, Super Ideal Cuts should be within these parameters I recommended in my post on Diamond Cut.
Let’s see if this Brilliant Earth Diamond is up to par:
While its table and pavilion angles are within suggested proportions, the depth and crown angles are off by .2%. I’m not sure if this goes for all of their super ideal cut diamonds. But this one, in particular, is slightly off. An excellent stone, nonetheless!
Brilliant Earth’s vintage jewelry collection is also remarkable. Each gem is strictly evaluated to meet their quality standards and pure sourcing. Handcrafted by master jewelers in the US, they only select creators with years of experience and solid reputation. See their antique jewelry here!
The Website Experience
Everyone likes a clean and user-friendly website. It makes diamond shopping convenient especially for those who browse their phones and laptops on the daily. Although Brilliant Earth’s website is modern, it’s comparable to other online diamond shops’ interface.
But I like how neat it is. You'll only see the most important buttons on the homepage. Photos are of excellent quality, and their diamond content is easy to skim perfect for those who need information right away. Filtering is concise as they also use the standard search tool used by most diamond shops.
Their “About Us” is packed with everything you need to know about their history and advocacy. It’s a one-stop section for you to be truly immersed in their vision. All things considered, Brilliant Earth lets you shop comfortably so you could focus on the most important factors in diamond shopping – the 4Cs!
High-Tech Imagery: Keeping Up with the Times
It’s easy to trust numbers when we’re talking about the technicalities of diamonds like clarity, but still, to see is to believe! Visual appeal is still what draws most people to diamonds. That's why online vendors should be able to showcase their collection in the most accurate way possible.
These days, shops like James Allen offer high definition 360-degree imagery with 40x zoom. That’s even better than viewing in person because shopping at a brick and mortar store will only let you see the diamond in a 10x loupe!
Brilliant Earth is still in the process of incorporating light performance and diagnostic images for all their diamonds. But most of their pieces have HD videos, reports, and certificates of origin to show you what you're paying for. Click the image above to see what I mean!
Hip and Green Packaging
Now, going green has become popular in the past decade. From organic food to recycled materials, the green revolution can now cater to a wider market. Some see it as a trend, but it’s a good kind of trend because it’s relevant! Brilliant Earth’s unique packaging makes it cool because it’s green and not the other way around. Not only does it smell nice. Their wooden ring box handcrafted in New Zealand just fulfills their promise of eco-friendly practices!
Brilliant Earth Warranty and Guarantee
They also have a 6-month payment plan with zero interest and another plan where you can pay with multiple credit cards.
Apart from all these, they also contribute to communities affected by mining casualties. So when you shop at Brilliant Earth, you’ll also be taking part in a worldwide initiative!
So how are you, a mere customer, going to be part of this? Nope, you won’t be asked to fill up a form, sign anything, or donate (unless you want to). By choosing Brilliant Earth’s beyond conflict free diamonds, you are automatically supporting their cause!
Aside from donating 5% of their profits, the company has also gifted $10,000 to Diamond Development Initiative’s (DDI) to help prevent child mining in Congo. They’ve also built The Brilliant Mobile School for “children aged 7 – 14 who may otherwise accompany their parents to the nearby Lungudi mine.”
I can’t say that Brilliant Earth is the best online shop for super ideal cuts nor the one with the finest imagery. They also don’t offer the lowest prices online. But their premium pricing is justified by their conflict-free, eco-friendly, and traceable high-quality diamonds.
You have to admit though; it’s refreshing to know where your diamond comes from! Furthermore, Brilliant Earth stands out for their unparalleled vintage jewelry line and inventory of lab created diamonds that’s one of the largest in the US!
All in all, if there’s an environmental catalyst in you wanting to contribute in some way. Or if you simply want to wear a brilliant diamond created out of love for Mother Earth, you know where to browse:
Questions? Suggestions? Two-cents? Feel free to drop a comment below or email me!
I usually respond within 24 hours. 🙂