Brilliant Earth is known for offering responsibly sourced diamonds and jewelry. According to their website, they take pains to ensure that everything from their diamonds to their packaging is socially and environmentally friendly. However, choosing an ethical high road is not cheap. This explains why their diamonds sell at a premium. Or does it? Is Brilliant Earth as ethical as they claim? Are their diamonds worth the price? We’ll explore the answers to these questions in this Brilliant Earth review.
According to Brilliant Earth, their diamonds are conflict-free and then some. They call it “Beyond Conflict Free.” Beyond Conflict Free means that their diamonds exceed the ethical standards set out by the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process defines a conflict-free diamond is one that hasn’t doesn’t finance rebel movements. Brilliant Earth defines Beyond Conflict Free diamonds as diamonds that, in addition to not funding civil wars, also come from mines without human rights abuses and who use fair labor practices. Furthermore, they have to be mined in an environmentally friendly way, and the mines need to be involved in community development initiatives. It can, therefore, be said that Brilliant Earth is more exacting in its diamond sourcing then companies who only source diamonds according to the Kimberley Process definition.
Beyond Conflict Free diamonds ensure that jewelry purchased from Brilliant Earth is mined responsibly. However, Brilliant Earth also donates five percent of its net earnings towards improving the conditions in mining communities. The money goes towards bettering employment, stopping abuse, conserving the environment, and empowering mining communities. One of the projects that this money fund is scholarships to gem cutting and leadership schools. Additionally, the money has funded an education initiative designed to improve the government regulation of diamond mining. In this way, they are helping reduce the demand for blood diamonds and helping bolster the living conditions of miners.
In addition to their Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds, Brilliant Earth offers lab-grown diamonds and recycled diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds have the same properties as mined diamonds. However, they don’t come with the same ethical and environmental issues. Recycled diamonds were previously purchased and are now being repurposed. As a result, they don’t involve any new mining. This means that the purchase of a recycled diamond avoids the abuses of new mining.
Brilliant Earth’s jewelry settings are likewise ethically and environmentally sourced. Metal mining is known for destroying the environment, and for paying miners low wages to work in dangerous situations. In order to reduce the demand for newly mined metals, Brilliant Earth uses recycled metal in their jewelry settings. They refine the metal into its pure elements so that the resulting jewelry is of the same quality as metals that have been freshly mined. This recycled metal comes from existing jewelry, industrial-use metals, and electronic components. They also have a program for their customers where they will give customers credit for their old jewelry or turn it into something new.
Additionally, Brilliant Earth’s ring boxes and shipping materials come from responsibly managed sources. Brilliant Earth gets their shipping materials from forestry companies that cut wood in such a way that the forest is protected from erosion. This helps prevent environmental devastation. They also make their ring boxes out of FSC certified wood. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC works to prevent deforestation by protecting against clear-cutting.
Lastly, Brilliant Earth is a certified Carbonfree company. This means that they offset their carbon emissions by contributing to the Tropical Rainforest Conservation in Brazil. This project focuses on helping reduce global carbon emissions, improve the local water quality, protect 750,000 acres of Brazillian tropical rainforest, and conserve the rainforest habitat for endangered and threatened plants and animals.
Therefore, if we consider that when you buy from Brilliant Earth, the price you’re paying goes towards ethical and ecological projects, doesn’t the price make sense? The price you pay goes towards supporting ethical and environmentally friendly mining, preventing deforestation, and reducing carbon footprints. It’s true that you will likely find lower jewelry prices elsewhere. However, if you’re socially conscious, then you realize that the price is worth it.