Buying a diamond ring is a huge investment. Therefore you want to be confident that the ring you’re buying is legitimate. This goes double for buying ethically-sourced, conflict-free jewelry. So how can you be sure that what you’re paying for is as clean as it claims to be? Do you just take the company’s word for it? We propose that to determine a jewelry company’s legitimacy, you need to examine its sourcing processes.
In this article, we’re going to examine the sourcing system of jewelry company Brilliant Earth. This Brilliant Earth review will look at where the company gets its diamonds and how we can be certain that what they say is true.
Brilliant Earth claims that they go “above and beyond” the standards set out by the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process characterizes “conflict-free” diamonds as diamonds that have not been used to finance civil war. In Brilliant Earth’s opinion, this doesn’t go far enough. They require that their diamonds come from mine operators that follow internationally recognized trade, labor, and environmental standards. This means that the mines must maintain safe and responsible labor practices, protect against human rights abuses, support community development, and reduce environmental degradation.
This all sounds well and good, but how does Brilliant Earth ensure that their diamonds actually come from mines that adhere to these standards?
Brilliant Earth meticulously selects its suppliers. They will only work with suppliers that can show that they can follow their high sourcing standards. Much like chocolate or wine, diamonds can be tracked through a global supply chain that uses documented chain of custody protocols in addition to secure tracking and inventory systems. Brilliant Earth uses transformational blockchain technology to securely and seamlessly track gemstone origin. This technology is used to clearly demonstrate the sources of diamonds, proving that they come from where they say they do. Each diamond supplier is, therefore, vetted to determine if they are able to track and separate diamonds based on origin. These suppliers are required to demonstrate a transparent chain of custody protocol with verified documentation showing the source of diamonds from Canada, Russia, and “Botswana Sort.”
Their Canadian diamonds come from the Diavik and Ekati mines. These mines are committed to upholding the highest possible environmental and human rights standards. They are committed to hiring local Indigenous people, supplying a skilled apprenticeship program, and offering scholarship funds. Additionally, both mines have plans for land rehabilitation and reclamation in place. Furthermore, they have both been audited by the Responsible Jewellery Council as well as independent environmental monitoring organizations.
Brilliant Earth’s Russian diamonds come from the Yakutia region of northeast Siberia and the Arkhangelsk region along the White Sea coast. These mines provide jobs to local residents, allowing many of them to earn almost double the average Russian salary. Additionally, miners receive housing and health care benefits as well as a pension. These mines adhere to international safety and responsible mining practices.
Diamonds from Botswana Sort come from mines that adhere to internationally recognized labor and environmental standards. Most of the diamonds come from Botswana, although some originate from mines in Namibia, South Africa, and Lesotho. Money from these mines is re-invested into education, health care, and infrastructure. Furthermore, these diamond mines are committed to reducing their environmental footprint by monitoring their impact and rejuvenating land after use.
This examination shows that Brilliant Earth is strict about what mines their diamonds originate from and the suppliers they will work with. Brilliant Earth has a robust definition of what makes a diamond ethically-sourced and conflict-free. They only accept diamonds that come from mines that undertake safe and responsible labor practices and where there are no human rights abuses. Additionally, the mines must minimize their effect on the environment and demonstrate support for their community. Lastly, the diamonds cannot be used to finance civil war. Furthermore, they only accept diamonds from mines that meet internationally recognized standards and practices of operation.
Finally, they require that their suppliers be able to prove a robust chain of custody and tracking system to show that the diamonds come from their approved mines definitively. In this way, Brilliant Earth can prove that their diamonds are ethically-sourced and conflict-free.