As consumers, we are responsible for making moral choices regarding our purchases’ impact on the environment and our fellow human beings. Unfortunately, this can be difficult. In some cases, we have no choice but to partake in products that are not the most ethical or environmentally-friendly. However, one purchase that we can ensure is environmentally and ethically-sourced is diamonds.
Any company can claim that they offer ethically-sourced diamonds, so how do you know if they’re legit? One way to determine a company’s legitimacy is to examine the sourcing of their diamonds. If a company can accurately account for their diamonds’ journey from ground to store, we can consider their environmentally and ethically sourced diamond claims as true. Therefore, our Brilliant Earth review will look at Brilliant Earth’s claims that they offer ethically-sourced and environmentally friendly diamonds by tracing their diamonds’ sourcing from their origins to the store.
Brilliant Earth’s Pledge
Brilliant Earth has decreed that they will not only sell conflict-free diamonds, but they will also sell “beyond” conflict-free diamonds. In their definition, this means that their diamonds will meet the following criteria:
- Diamonds have not been used to finance civil wars.
- Diamonds come from mines that protect their workers against human rights abuses.
- Diamond mining is done in a way that minimizes environmental degradation.
- Mines maintain safe and responsible labor practices.
- Mine owners support community development.
Where Brilliant Earth’s Diamonds Come From
To ensure that their diamonds come from places that adhere to beyond conflict-free criteria, Brilliant Earth offers diamonds from three different places:
Botswana diamonds are sold by the De Beers partnership with the Botswana government called Debswana. Debswana is Botswana’s largest private-sector employer. They provide livelihoods for over 5000 locals. Anyone purchasing rough diamonds from Botswana mines has to invest heavily in local infrastructure. Furthermore, they’re required to polish the rough diamonds locally to provide additional employment to the local economy.
Canadian diamonds come from Diavik and Ekati mines. These mines are known for being committed to high human rights and environmental standards. Additionally, they have shown a strong commitment to hiring indigenous people through sponsoring scholarship funds and providing a professional apprenticeship program.
Russian diamonds come from mines in the remote Siberian regions of Russia. In this part of the world, diamond mining is the economic lifeblood. Diamond mining is responsible for providing jobs to locals and offers above-average wages, pensions, and healthcare.
How They Guarantee Their Diamond Sourcing
It’s one thing to say your diamonds are beyond conflict-free and that they come from places that adhere to the beyond conflict-free criteria, but how can Brilliant Earth guarantee this is the case? According to their website, Brilliant Earth employs blockchain technology to track each of their diamonds from the moment it comes out of the ground to the time it arrives in their store. They have partnered with Everledger, an industry-leading blockchain technology enterprise, to integrate blockchain-based technology seamlessly with their supply chain. As a result, they say they can guarantee gemstone origin.
As a consumer, how can we guarantee that the diamonds we purchase are as ethical and environmentally friendly as their sellers claim them to be? We first have to ask, what is the company’s position on ethical diamonds? Do they actively support it, and in what way? With Brilliant Earth, it’s clear that they are active supporters of ethical diamonds from their devotion to not only buying conflict-free diamonds but to going a step further and ensuring their diamonds are beyond conflict-free. We then have to ask, where do these diamonds come from? Knowing where a diamond comes from will tell you whether it is ethical. Brilliant Earth gets their diamonds from mines that practice beyond conflict-free procedures. Lastly, we have to ask how can we be sure the diamonds originate from the source they claim to be from. Brilliant Earth verifies the sourcing of their diamonds through blockchain technology that has been integrated with their supply chain. In this way, they can track a diamond from the time it comes out of the ground to the moment it arrives in their stores. Therefore, we conclude that Brilliant Earth diamonds are ethically sourced for all of these reasons.
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