Feature photo by Swamibu
As a socially and politically conscious consumer, it is my duty and responsibility to seek out companies like Brilliant Earth. As a dedicated fiance, it was my distinct pleasure to give an engagement ring from a socially, politically responsible company like Brilliant Earth.
Based in San Francisco, Brilliant Earth is the result of a guy like me who wanted to marry his best friend but had trouble finding conflict-free diamonds. Eric Grossberg did what any American with a little bit of gumption would do: he, along with wife Beth Gerstein, started his own company and- POOF!- Brilliant Earth was born!
It is a struggle to maintain global dignity while shopping for an engagement ring. It is difficult to find one that you can be certain does not have ties to the historically evil, traditional business of the diamond trade. Perhaps you’ve heard of this morally massacred business, listened to second hand stories, or seen the movie ‘Blood Diamond’. Well, friends, that shit is real. It isn’t a movie or some through-the-grapevine story for some of our fellow humans. It is real life. And I refused to be a part of it.
My search began earlier this year. I should preface this by pointing out that Stacey and I have been dating for the better part of a decade, both of us knowing we’d eventually get married someday. The whole “conflict diamond” fiasco prevented me from even thinking about buying anything diamond related, let alone a diamond engagement ring that I could never afford. Our discovery of Brilliant Earth allowed me to jump over both of these hurdles with ease. Before we found out about Brilliant Earth, I visited just about every jewelry store this side of the Mason Dixon Line to do some research on what they had to offer in regards to their stances and policies regarding the hot topic of conflict diamonds. Every jewelry chain I went to (Jared, Kay, Helzberg, Zales, even Tiffany’s) had the same old song and dance, albeit very well prepared: “Terry, you look like enough of an idiot. Take this generic pamphlet (with insert sneaky company’s logo here) and call our customer service number. Their specially trained staff will answer your questions with lies.”
When I asked an associate at one of the aforementioned chains about their company’s position on the issue of conflict diamonds, she actually lowered her voice and whispered back to me,”You mean like blood diamonds?” This is what I mean about ignorance.
Every jeweler is required by Federal Law to adhere to what’s known as The Kimberely Process to certify their diamonds and gemstones as conflict free. Do not be fooled by this phony cop out of a law to protect them! The Kimberely Process does not really address any of the real issues including, but not limited to, providing fair wages for the miners and ensuring no human rights abuses. In reality, The Kimberely Process only addresses nations “in an official state of civil conflict.”
This is why I am so excited about buying jewelry from Brilliant Earth. The name actually says it all – a brilliant idea to help save Mother Earth. You don’t have to worry about the technicalities of a vague Kimberely Process. You don’t have to worry about the disputed origin of your purchases. A note card accompanied my order with Canadian Mine of Origin: Diavik up in the Northwest Territories. Their diamonds are primarily mined throughout Canada with some of their diamonds come from Namibia as part of the Ethical Origin African Diamonds series. The process is much more streamlined, worry-free, and (believe it or not) fun! The ring is presented in a super sleek, eco-friendly, hand-crafted, sustainably harvested Rimu wood box too.
Now all they need to do is legalize marriage for any couple that loves each other, regardless of gender, and they’ll be all set!