Jewelry Guide

Brilliant Earth Review – Pros, Cons, and What to Know

Affiliate Disclosures

Brilliant Earth is the go-to place for ethically sourced fine jewelry, with an inventory covering a range of responsible niche products and unique settings and designs.

Positive
  • Good inventory with large selection of various mined or lab-created gemstones
  • One of the largest online stores for lab-grown diamonds
  • Certificate of origin provided for diamonds through blockchain tracking
  • Wide range of unique designs and settings
  • 14  showrooms throughout the US
  • Clear and easy-to-navigate website with many specific search filters
  • Detailed jewelry information
  • High-quality, classy, and unique packaging
  • Free shipping both ways
  • Free resizing within 60 days
  • Lifetime warranty and upgrade policies
  • Very friendly and supportive customer service
Negatives
  • Not all diamonds have images/videos
  • Does not have 24/7 chat options
  • Online purchases and stone selections rely solely on the judgment of the salesperson
  • Consistently changing stock, nothing stays listed for too long

When it comes to the world of ethical diamonds, Brilliant Earth stands out as a leader in the industry. Apart from having some fantastic jewelry and diamond options, you can be sure that any jewelry obtained from Brilliant Earth will be a responsible purchase. This is due to the company’s commitment to scrupulous sourcing.

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If you are environmentally and socially conscientious, then this might be ideal for you! In this comprehensive review, we cover everything you need to know about purchasing diamonds and fine jewelry from Brilliant Earth.

How are they different to other major diamond vendors?

Founded in 2005, Brilliant Earth aims to create a more conscientious, transparent, and sustainable jewelry industry. In fact, Brilliant Earth has been credited for creating a market for ethically-sourced jewelry. They’re mindful about every aspect of their products, from recycled metals to lab-created gemstones and refurbinshing pre-owned jewelry to packaging.

The company guarantees that their diamonds are:

  • Beyond Conflict-FreeTM
  • Free of Human Rights Abuses
  • Harmful Environmental Impacts Reduction
  • Humane Labor Practices

Brilliant Earth makes an effort to make positive contributions to community development. They also donate 5% of their profits to charities supporting African communities afflicted by blood diamond mining campaigns.

In addition, Brilliant Earth is a part of some organizations focused on principled practices. The Diamond Development Initiative works to improve conditions for small-scale miners worldwide. Brilliant Earth is also a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council, an organization that prides itself on top-notch standards for jewelry

They are also pushing for changes in certification in the diamond industry and leading by example. With rigorous standards of sourcing, verification and certification, Brilliant Earth dedicates itself to honesty and transparency.

Where does Brilliant Earth source their diamonds from?

Brilliant Earth offers Beyond Conflict-Free diamonds and stones. They source their diamonds from countries such as Canada, Russia, Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. Brilliant Earth audits, tracks and verifies their diamonds’ origins and provides customers with this certification.

You can find information about the diamond’s origins in the Diamond Details section. You can also filter the diamonds based on country of origin in the advanced search filter. In comparison, most other diamond retailers don’t know the origins of their diamonds, unless it’s from a country like Canada.

Billiant Earth is one of the first jewelers to offer block-chain tracing of their diamonds throughout the mining, cutting, and polishing process. 10,000 of their block-chain-enabled diamonds are searchable on the website.

See their diamonds here.

What about lab-grown diamonds?

Brilliant Earth is currently one of the largest online vendors of lab-grown diamonds. Bear in mind that these are not “fake” diamonds. They are chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds, it’s just that their production happens in a lab rather than the earth.

They cost 15-20% less than natural diamonds because it’s not nearly as expensive to make them as it is to mine them. This makes these diamonds not only humanely sourced, but also a far better and more sustainable practice.

Where do they get their metals from?

Brilliant Earth acquires their gold, platinum, and silver from recycled precious metals. According to the website, they use things like recycled jewelry, industrial products, and components from electronics. These metals are identical in value to newly mined ones, since they are refined back to their pure state.

They don’t compromise quality or beauty of the jewelry produced. So, not only will people not notice the earth-friendly make up, but it will last for a lifetime.

How much do the diamonds cost?

Brilliant Earth’s diamonds do tend to be somewhat pricey. However, in terms of socially-conscious jewelry, they provide a great value at the lowest possible price.

Regardless, their pricing is competitive. But these will vary depending on the type of gemstone, setting and customization. For instance, you can find a loose aquamarine for as low as $350, like this stone. But, if you want that in a setting, it can range between $700 for earrings, like these simple studs,  to over $1,000 for a necklace, like this one. Of course, this will depend on whether you get this customized or buy an already created piece.

What does the packaging look like?

BrilliantEarth-engagement-ring-packaging

Brilliant Earth scores high with their unique, creative, and classy ring box! It is not the typical kind we have come to expect. Easily distinguishable, it is a hand-made wooden box created in New Zealand, aligning with the company’s commitment to sustainability and using recycled materials. The box looks luxurious and classy with an understated elegance.

How easy is the search interface and website to use?

Search filter option brilliant earth

The Brilliant Earth website is easy to use and dynamic. The search interface is convenient and provides many filters to narrow results. There are sections devoted to engagement rings, wedding rings, jewelry collections and jewelry education. You can sort by skin tone, recycling, setting, carat size, price, and many other features.

When using the advance search function, you can choose the country of origin fo­r whichever gemstone you’re after. There is also the option of choosing between recycled, used or lab-grown diamonds obtained from secondary sources.

The focus of the education section is broader than most other vendors. It gives detailed and easy-to-digest information on a range of jewelry-related topics.

What can I buy from Brilliant Earth?

Brilliant Earth offers their wide range of niche products at any one of the 14 showrooms across the United States or direct from their website.

  • Natural Diamonds: Brilliant Earth is very particular about the mined diamonds they sell and only .01% of the world’s diamonds can pass their criteria on quality and ethics. There are about 20,000 mined gemstones in their inventory.
  • Lab-grown (cultured) Diamonds: Brilliant Earth has one of the largest inventories for lab-grown diamonds and is a go-to place for anyone interested in mined diamond alternatives. About 10,000 lab diamonds are currently listed on their website. They are great not only for the environmentally conscious but also for the science buff!
  • Colored Diamonds: You can also find natural and lab-colored diamonds in blues, yellows, greens, and pinks.
  • Settings: Brilliant Earth has a range of settings, gemstones, and metals for engagement and wedding rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and even men’s jewelry.  You can mix-and-match designs or try out your jewelry in a temporary setting for 30 days. They also carry an unusual selection of vintage and antique style settings to give engagement rings classic appeal.
  • Gemstones: Brilliant Earth is not just a diamond dealer, they also offer sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, , morganites, and moissanites. These are gorgeous alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring.
  • Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry: While some people prefer to design their own jewelry, there are large arrays of pre-made fine jewelry available. You can find rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. Many of these are ready to ship, so you can have a beautiful piece in no time.

Do they have videos and photos of their diamond and gemstone inventory?

Unfortunately, only 80% of Brilliant Earth’s diamonds have images and video to accompany their stock. While they list all the details clearly, they only show a diagram and sample photo for most gemstones.

After choosing a stone, Brilliant Earth performs an eye-clean check on it. If it is not suitable, they will find you one with similar specifications. This means that you would essentially be buying blind, relying on the judgment of the salespeople.

When searching, ensure that you select the ‘Real View Available’ tab to filter the diamonds with actual images.

How good is their customer service and care?

Brilliant Earth provides a personalized customer service experience. The sales representatives are friendly and not pushy. They assist customers with every aspect of the purchase and are knowledgeable. However, you can only contact them at certain hours, which can make it difficult for international shoppers.

Brilliant Earth’s online experience is as close to walking into a brick-and-mortar store and having a chat with the friendly salesperson there. Their showrooms are equally as customer-friendly and accessible.

The sales reps also take extra pains to accommodate your requirements to ensure that your engagement ring remains a surprise.

What services does Brilliant Earth offer?

  • Shipping and Returns: For customers in the US, Canada and Australia, Brilliant Earth offers free shipping both ways through FedEx. So if, by any chance, you find that you have to return you ring, they will cover the cost as long as you send it back within 30 days. However, there is a 10% goods and services tax for Canadian and Australian shoppers. Also, they will not accept returns on personalized or engraved items.
  • Payment Options: Brilliant Earth gives customers flexible payment options. There is the Wells Fargo Jewelry Advantage credit card, which gives you 12-month interest free if paid in full within that period (only for US customers). Bank wiring is available for any order over $500. If you choose this option, you are eligible to receive a 1.5% discount on the total price of your purchase (US and Canada). There are also lay-away options to give you a chance to make monthly installments (US and international customers). You can also go with their Affirm Financing program too. Of course, you can always use your standard credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.
  • Lifetime Upgrade Policy:  For any loose stone purchased, you can get an upgrade at anytime. But, this applies only to mined colorless diamonds and it must be at least 50% more in value. Also, you have to ensure that you have all the original documents and the stone must be saleable.
  • Lifetime Warranty: Their lifetime warranty covers all manufacturing faults, which should give you peace of mind. So, when you receive your piece, you can have it repaired free of charge if the fault is due to manufacturing defects. Plus, they offer an extended warranty service plan for added protection. This includes regular inspections and cleanings along with repairs.
  • Complimentary Resizing: Within 60 days of purchase, you can get one free ring resizing with free shipping. This is very convenient and takes worry about the ring’s size and fit. Remember, you can also order a free ring sizer from their website. They send this to you directly.

Does Brilliant Earth have showrooms?

Currently, Brilliant Earth has 14 showrooms throughout the United States. You can make an appointment to browse their collections of rings and to chat with their jewelry experts about any questions you may have. So, if you tend to prefer an in-store experience, this will tick that box for you. While these offices aren’t glamorous, remember that you pay for the glamour at traditional shops!

Customer reviews of Brilliant Earth

Over 200 customer reviews of Brilliant Earth burgeon with praises of good experiences with Brilliant Earth. Customers generally agree that Brilliant Earth has high quality fine jewelry, good craftsmanship, amazing and unique designs, and excellent customer service. The main complaints revolve around poor craftsmanship, causing stones to get loose or fall out. These are rare cases, though, as the majority of customer reviews report positively about Brilliant Earth’s high quality.

To Sum Up

Brilliant Earth offers beautiful and unique jewelry that you can trust. They go through rigorous standards to ensure they derive every aspect of their jewelry from ethical and sustainable sources. You will have to be patient and work with the sales reps to find what you need, but it’s well worth the time and effort. Click here to browse diamonds at Brilliant Earth.

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