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|Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg, co-founders and co-CEOs|
Brilliant Earth is a company that designs and sells engagement rings and other jewelry that it certifies as being ethically sourced, although the accuracy of these certifications has been disputed. According to Businessweek it has been influential in creating a market for jewelry that appears to be ethically-sourced.
The idea for Brilliant Earth was conceived in 2004 by two Stanford alumni, Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg. After having difficulty finding her own ethically-produced engagement ring in 2003, Gerstein found out Grossberg had done a feasibility study at Stanford that indicated that there was enough consumer demand to validate the business model. The two founded Brilliant Earth in August 2005. The company's website was launched in July 2006.
Canadian mines are the industry's primary source of ethically mined diamonds, because the working conditions are regulated by the government. The company initially sourced its diamonds exclusively from the Diavik and Ekati mines in Canada, but has since also started sourcing diamonds from Namibia and Botswana, where it assessed that the diamonds were sourced to the company's ethical standards. Brilliant Earth uses recycled gold, silver and platinum materials or obtains them from co-ops that meet standards set by the Alliance for Responsible Mining. The company's sapphires are from either Australia or Malawi. It also sells "vintage rings" that have had previous owners, as well as "lab-grown diamonds".
Brilliant Earth sells jewelry via its website as well as in showrooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Denver. The company donates five percent of its profits to charities that help African communities affected by conflict diamonds. It also "champions the concept of buying 'conflict-free' diamonds that don’t contribute to warfare and dictatorships." In 2015, Brilliant Earth helped to fund a mobile school in Lungudi, a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for students at risk of working in the local diamond mines.
In June 2017, The Next Web reported Brilliant Earth was indicating significant numbers of their available inventory as having Canadian origins, despite eight of the ten listed Indian suppliers indicating none of the so-listed diamonds were from Canadian mines. The report was initiated following an April 2017 YouTube video posted by diamond industry insider Jacob Worth, wherein he investigated the origin of a Brilliant Earth diamond he had purchased, allegedly with a Canadian origin, to the New York supplier who indicated having no records of those origins. Brilliant Earth filed a lawsuit against Worth for defamation, but the suit was "discontinued with prejudice and without any costs or disbursements, according to a notice filed Oct. 27 in New York Supreme Court." No settlement is known to have been reached. The video and related content posted by Worth were also taken down.
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