Brilliant Earth specializes in the conflict-free ethical sourcing of diamonds, other gemstones, and precious metals. While consumers like the concept of buying from a jeweler with a solid reputation for its ethical sourcing and eco-friendly practices, the jewelry is more costly.
Before we discuss pricing, it is essential to understand the business model of Brilliant Earth. If you know anything about diamonds, precious metals, or mining, then you know that there are ethical and ecological concerns associated with buying fine jewelry. Brilliant Earth seeks to address those problems.
How does Brilliant Earth address the concerns associated with fine jewelry?
Brilliant Earth has brick and mortar showrooms in several cities around the country, but they also offer a sleek, sophisticated, easy to use website if you do not live near a showroom. On the site, you can shop from a wide selection of fine jewelry, or you can use their online tools to design your own engagement ring.
Brilliant Earth uses numerous means to address the ethical and ecological concerns associated with fine jewelry. They employ a holistic approach to every step of the process, including:
- Responsible sourcing from mines in conflict-free areas
- Tracking each gem from where it is mined initially to their display room
- Offering vintage pieces that have been refurbished to their original glory
- Using recycled precious metals for most jewelry settings
- Supporting ecological conservation in the areas around the mines where Brilliant Earth receives its gems
- A lab-based diamond creation process that produces diamonds of the same chemical composition as that of mined diamonds, at a fraction of the costs, and with a significantly reduced carbon footprint
The company also has a substantial social mission, including donating five percent of its profits to improving environmental practices, protecting human rights, and supporting economic development in mining areas.
Brilliant Earth has funding the building of schools to provide education for children in impoverished areas surrounding mines and funded scholarships for gemology training to promising young students. Brilliant Earth also supports and manages a program for restoring mining land once stripped bare for agricultural use.
Brilliant Earth takes measures to both reduce and offset its carbon footprint. From recycled packaging for its fine jewelry to contributing to the conservation of the rain forest in Brazil, Brilliant Earth does its part to be both socially and ecologically responsible.
Is it worth the costs?
Responsible consumerism is a growing and significant trend. Consumers are continuing to realize how much good they can do for the world by supporting eco-friendly and socially conscious businesses. However, most consumers draw the line at significantly overpaying for products simply because they claim to be green, or make donations to worthy causes.
Here is where Brilliant Earth shines. Each claim that it makes about its ethical sourcing of gems, giving back to mining communities, and striving to reduce its carbon footprint can be verified. It is not a sideline attempt to hustle consumers who by throwing some recycling into its packaging. Instead, it is a sustainable business model that has evolved as the company has grown.
For small diamonds and semi-precious stones, Brilliant Earth is slightly higher than many other fine jewelers. However, as you move up the size scale to larger stones, you will find that Brilliant Earth offers pricing that is competitive with other fine jewelry retailers.
Lab-made diamonds are another economical choice that allows consumers to be sure of the reduced carbon footprint of their jewelry. Lab-made diamonds can produce comparable clarity, color, and overall beauty to that of a mined diamond at a fraction of the cost.
In answering the question of whether Brilliant Earth jewelry is worth the costs depends on the values and beliefs of each consumer. As the green movement continues forward, it is clear that consumers have learned that they can speak volumes with where and how they spend their money. Fine jewelry is something you may wear for the rest of your life. Jewelry is often known as a “statement piece,” so what do you want your statement to be?