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Honest Review Of The Brilliant Earth Conflict Free Diamonds | 2023 Edition

Honest Review of Brilliant Earth


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Looking for an in-depth and honest Brilliant Earth review to help you determine whether or not the ethical splurge is really worth it? 

Our SKL guide covers the most critical checkpoints of conscious engagement ring shopping: ethics, transparency, quality, and pricing. Let’s dive in!

Brilliant Earth Review: Beyond “Conflict-Free” Quality.

are brilliant earth diamonds worth it?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (pun intended), you’ve probably seen Brilliant Earth engagement rings decorating the fingers of thousands of soon-to-be brides on your social media feeds. They even manage to score a place in every ethical jewelry roundup. 

If you dig deep into the thousands of Brilliant Earth reviews, you’ll soon realize how much their customers love the brand’s quality, ethics, and transparency.

Heck, even Forbes named them “diamond industry disruptors” highlighting their “mission to cultivate a more transparent, sustainable and compassionate jewelry industry with a strong emphasis on social impact.”

We took it upon ourselves to create an all-encompassing Brilliant Earth review/guide to answer some of the most asked questions from the sustainable community. Is Brilliant Earth a good brand? Are the Brilliant Earth lab-grown and conflict-free diamonds worth the cost? Are the diamonds truly conflict-free and ethically sourced? Can you find affordable options in the ethical diamond industry? 

Let’s get into it!

Who Is Brilliant Earth?

Brilliant Earth’s woman-led brand is a global leader in ethically sourced fine jewelry. Ethical, stunning, and one-of-a-kind, their engagement rings and fine jewelry collections are crafted for the big day and every day. 

After searching high and low for an engagement ring with ethically sourced and conflict-free diamonds in 2005, co-founder Beth Gerstein partnered with classmate Eric Grossberg to create an ethical place for dazzling, conflict-free jewelry– Brilliant Earth. Fast forward to 2023, they have 33 showrooms in major cities across the US, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver.

If you happen to live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Denver, we highly recommend checking out the Google reviews from these locations (these will be featured with the logo of each Google review).  

Aside from loose diamonds and ethically-sourced stones, the company also sells natural, intricate-colored, and lab-created diamonds.

What is the difference between conflict diamonds and conflict-free diamonds?

No matter if you are a diamond expert or a luxury jewelry shopping newbie, you’ve most likely come across the terms “Blood Diamonds,” “Conflict-Free,” and “The Kimberly Process.”

Conflict diamonds (Blood Diamonds) are rough diamonds mined in areas controlled by armed rebels who use the proceeds from their sale to finance their activities. The trade-in conflict diamonds have been linked to human rights abuses, including forced labor, child labor, and violence.

The Kimberley Process, established in 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly, is an international certification scheme that aims to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. 

In order to get this certification, mining companies must provide detailed information about their operations (environmental impact, health and safety measures, and community engagement activities). 

Once diamonds are mined, they must be transported and traded in a way that complies with Kimberley Process regulations. The diamonds are then valued, and the exporting country must issue a Kimberley Process certificate for the shipment. 

The importing country must also have a legal framework in place to support the KPCS. Once the diamonds have been inspected and verified, they can be sold and traded on the international market. 

Brilliant earth review

What are the limitations of the Kimberly Process?

Under the Kimberly Process, there is no way to 100% ensure a diamond is entirely conflict free for several reasons:

  1. The Kimberley Process only focuses on rough diamonds and does not regulate the cutting, polishing, and retailing of diamonds. This means that once a diamond is cut and polished, it can be difficult to trace its origin and whether it was involved in any conflict.
  2. Ultimately, The Kimberley Process is a voluntary scheme, and not all diamond-producing countries are members. Non-member countries can still trade diamonds through other channels, bypassing the Kimberley Process certification.
  3. Last but not least, The Kimberley Process relies on each participating country to enforce its regulations. Some countries may not have the resources or even the political will to do so effectively.

For example, despite being suspended from the Kimberley Process in 2013 for failing to comply with regulations, diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR) continue to be smuggled out of the country and sold on the international market. The CAR government has limited resources to enforce the Kimberley Process regulations, and the country’s diamond trade has been plagued by violence and corruption. 

Additionally, in 2018, the Kimberley Process was criticized for not taking action against Venezuela, which was exporting diamonds without the required certification. The country’s diamond trade has been linked to human rights abuses and the funding of armed groups.

Brilliant Earth Go “Beyond Conflict-Free.”

What sets Brilliant Earth apart from the competition is its commitment to going “Beyond Conflict-Free.” Jewelers that offer “conflict-free” diamonds limit themselves to the Kimberley Process definition, which narrowly defines conflict diamonds as rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments.

Brilliant Earth, on the other hand, ensures that the stones are ethical in many ways –including human rights abuses, environmental problems, and other ethical practices. In short, the ethical jewelry company reviews the history of its diamonds which are sourced from Canada and Botswana Sort via blockchain diamond technology. 

Enter: Blockchain diamonds.

What are Brilliant Earth’s Blockchain Diamonds?

Currently, on Brilliant Earth’s virtual shelves, you can find thousands of diamonds that offer unparalleled transparency of a diamond’s origin – all backed by blockchain technology. In fact, Brilliant Earth is the first ever retail to offer them. Brilliant Earth has partnered up with Everledger, a blockchain technology company.

In simple terms, a diamond can have a transparent, traceable, and permanent record that can’t be altered by using blockchain. That’s because they are tracked and recorded on a blockchain ledger from the point of origin, such as the mine, to the point of sale. 

By using blockchain technology to track the journey of a diamond from the mine to the consumer, the entire supply chain can be recorded and verified, ensuring (as best as they can) that the diamond is conflict-free and ethically sourced. 

Each step in the supply chain is recorded on the blockchain, including information about the diamond’s origin, cutting, polishing, certification, and sale.

Note: Sadly, to this day, there is no way to be 100% sure that a diamond is absolutely, without a doubt, conflict-free. But Brilliant Earth is far beyond its competitors in ensuring that they are doing everything it can to source the most ethical diamonds on the market.

brilliant earth review

What Type Of Diamonds Does Brilliant Earth Carry?

The company carries conflict-free diamonds, lab-created diamonds, and recycled diamonds, which are pre-owned diamonds that have been recut and repurposed into a new center stone.

Lab-grown diamonds are said to have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. They are both composed of the same material, which is pure carbon in a crystalline form. 

However, natural diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s mantle, under extreme heat and pressure, over millions of years. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are created in a laboratory using advanced technology that replicates the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions that occur naturally in the earth’s mantle. Therefore the latter is more affordable!

For reference, a pair of Round Diamond Stud Earrings is $2,295, while 14K Yellow Gold Heart Lab Diamond Stud Earrings are $450.

Note: While we love lab-grown diamonds and stand behind their sustainable ability to give us some dazzling diamond bling on our fingers, the SKL team wants to make one thing clear. If you are looking to resell your lab-grown ring to a traditional jeweler down the line, you will not be able to sell this ring as a diamond ring. It is a lab-grown diamond ring (expert jewelers with microscopes will know the difference).

We noticed a few reviews talking about this subject and want to clear this up!

Is Brilliant Earth Worth The Price?

Yes, Brilliant Earth is definitely worth the price! 

For starters, Brilliant Earth jewelry is made with ethical and beyond conflict-free diamonds as well as recycled gold, platinum, and silver. In addition to the high quality, there are so many benefits when purchasing from Brilliant Earth, such as a lifetime warranty, free appraisal, free resizing for 60 days, free returns up to 30 days, free lifetime diamond upgrade, free engraving, and so much more! 

The blockchain diamonds are truly what sold us! We want to be absolutely sure about the authenticity and origin of their diamond, as well as confident that it has been ethically sourced and handled throughout the supply chain. Plus, they hold Independent Certifications (Responsible Jewelry Council), are carbon neutral, and ship everything in sustainable packaging. 

Does Brilliant Earth Make Affordable Jewelry?

Yes! Brilliant Earth’s ethical jewelry comes in various price points– some under $1,000!  Their top sellers include tennis bracelets, diamond stud earrings, and gemstone earrings. But how can they keep the pricing so affordable? It’s all because of the materials. 

You can find pieces adorned with 1 carat of shimmering lab diamonds individually set in lustrous links. But instead of spending new resources to craft gold and other precious metals, Brilliant Earth uses recycled metals from existing gold jewelry and excess production metal. Of course, they solely trust refiners that have been audited by the Responsible Mining Initiative and London Bullion Market Association.

Additionally, certified lab-created diamonds are more affordable than real diamonds despite their striking resemblance. That’s because they are produced in a controlled laboratory environment, which is less costly than mining and extracting natural diamonds from the earth.

The Four-Prong Petite Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring is only $450! Their delicate Engravable Diamond Sunlight Charm costs $475. So it’s safe to say that there is a striking piece of ethical jewelry for every budget. 

Where Does Brilliant Earth Ship To? 

Brilliant Earth ships Worldwide. They offer free FedEx shipping on every US, Canadian, UK, and Australian order. To make your Brilliant Earth purchasing experience as stress-free as possible, they also offer free return shipping on all orders from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia).

Giving Back  

You all know how much we love companies that give back! And Brilliant Earth is no different. They give back to the community through various programs.

Oftentimes, they launch specific collections or jewelry pieces to fund certain causes. For example, a portion of the Simone I. 

Smith Jewelry Collection goes to the NAACP’s mission to seek structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education. 

They’ve also partnered with the Diamond Development Initiative to fund a primary school in a rural diamond mining community.

Last but not least, Brilliant Earth formed the Brilliant Earth Foundation in 2021–  a donor-advised fund seeded with an initial grant of $1,000,000. The foundation was built on their three commitments to compassion – Responsible Sourcing, Social Impact, and Climate Action.

Through this beautiful initiative, the luxury jewelry company managed to increase its contributions and provide long-term commitments to organizations—like Pure Earth, DDI-Resolve, and Carbonfund.org —that are aligned with their Mission and advance causes that they champion.

Brilliant Earth Diamonds Reviewed

Ultimately, Brilliant Earth rings and fine jewelry are a worthy investment. The ethical company is very committed to social change. 

Brilliant Earth goes beyond it and offers a deeper look into a diamond’s past using blockchain technology. They also focus on lab-created diamonds and recycled jewelry, saving many natural resources. 

Lastly, they thrive on giving back in so many ways, which is definitely admirable. So whether you are on the hunt for something small and affordable or want to go all in with a custom-made engagement ring, make sure to check out their collections at www.brilliantearth.com.

If you enjoyed this ethical review, you may also like these related blog posts:

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