Taking your relationship to the next level should be exciting and stress-free. In a world where there is a vast multitude of different brands, shapes, colors, and cuts of diamonds, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
If you’ve been on the hunt for diamonds, you’ve likely noticed an increase in sponsored ads on your various social media platforms. Amongst those may have been promotions for Brilliant Earth. This company is recognized for marketing itself as one of the industry’s most eco-friendly jewelry providers.
In this review of Brilliant Earth, we’ll take a look at some of the essential factors in designing a perfect piece of jewelry for your special someone. So, whether you’re getting ready to pop the question, making final plans for the big day, or searching for the perfect gift, here are a few thoughts to make your search a little easier.
If you hear wedding bells in your future, you might feel inclined to head straight for the diamonds. There’s just no other option when it involves a lifelong commitment with your partner. Well, you may be wrong. Diamond engagement rings, in particular, are a more recent tradition in popular culture. They weren’t always the standard for symbolizing long-term commitment. Many people are turning to more unique representations of their relationships when the price tag of a diamond doesn’t meet the budget.
Gemstones like sapphire, morganite, emerald, and ruby are popular alternatives to the classic diamond in that they provide a more personalized option and are easier on the wallet. Unlike diamonds, however, gemstones tend to be less durable and will likely need to be replaced within a few years.
The Mohs scale indicates a gem’s hardness, which refers to how well a stone can withstand accidental damage. On a one to ten, diamonds are a solid ten, while other gems such as morganite and emerald are closer to an eight. It is possible to get the sparkle and durability of a diamond at a more affordable price.
Enter Moissanite. With a 9.25 rating on the Mohs scale, Moissanite might be the next best thing to a diamond when durability matters. Even cubic zirconia, the typical go-to in place of diamonds, is only an 8-8.5. Moissanite tends to be more radiant in color and even more brilliant than the conventional diamond. And, to add even a little more sparkle, Moissanite can cost up to 90% less than its traditional competitor. What if diamonds aren’t the only girl’s best friend?
If you’re searching for a diamond that will not only bring a smile to someone’s face but will also leave a positive impact in communities around the world, it’s essential to understand the difference between the terms “conflict-free” and “ethical.”
Conflict-free refers to how jewelers obtain the diamonds. If you’ve ever heard the term “blood diamonds,” it was likely in reference to war-torn countries or mob violence. The bottom line? They’re a no-go when it comes to a gift of love. These diamonds are often mined in war zones using forced labor and are trafficked by rebel groups to fund militarization. Fortunately, the Kimberley Process was enacted in 2003 to reduce the number of conflict diamonds from entering the U.S. market. However, this alone doesn’t guarantee a guilt-free purchase.
Ethical diamonds are those obtained without violating human rights. A diamond labeled conflict-free doesn’t mean there weren’t underpaid, unprotected miners or even child laborers involved. The key to an informed decision is to understand the industry language and the origins of any diamond you are considering.
A diamond seller is only as good as its supplier. Keep in mind that diamonds are often channeled through multiple intermediaries before ending up in the display case. Jewelers often have to rely on the transparency of their contractors to obtain legitimate gems. Brilliant Earth, like many popular jewelers, doesn’t own their inventory. Brilliant Earth has to trust that a journey that starts in the mine and ends in its distribution still results in accurate and authentic documentation.
Brilliant Earth takes care to verify the conflict-free status of its jewels, but there are steps consumers can take to make sure they are not supporting unethical practices:
- Your jeweler should be able to trace an ethical diamond from mine to store, so if they try to avoid the question, it may be a red flag.
- There are certain countries with better track records when it comes to mining diamonds. Some of these include Namibia, Botswana, and Canada. Avoid countries like Zimbabwe and Angola, which both have reputations for violating human rights.
- Ask the jeweler about their engagement with the diamond industry and what they are doing to influence positive global change in regards to ethical jewelry standards.
Know your stuff
The greatest gift you can give in purchasing a diamond is to make every effort to validate its origins and understand its impact on communities around the world. Buying a diamond or alternative gemstone doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming, but it does require a bit of know-how and prior research.
Identify sources that give you confidence before you make an appointment with a jeweler; know which questions to ask, which certifications to look for, and trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right. If you’re giving a gift that will last a lifetime, it’s worth knowing whether or not that gift is making the world a better place.