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From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

How Brilliant Earth Is Redefining the Diamond Industry

Entered in Social Movement


In 2005, when Beth Gerstein was about to be engaged, she and her fiancé experienced firsthand the challenge of finding a diamond engagement ring that represented her values. Most jewelers didn't know where their diamonds came from, nor could they demonstrate that the diamond was untainted by issues including violence, child labor, and environmental degradation. Recognizing an opportunity in the market, Beth partnered with her Stanford classmate, Eric Grossberg, who was impassioned with the idea that responsibly sourced jewelry could be an effective tool for social change, and together they founded Brilliant Earth.

Beth and Eric set out to redefine the diamond industry by promoting more ethical and transparent practices. They've worked tirelessly since the company's inception to implement stringent sourcing practices, foster change, and promote industry transparency and responsibility. Today, Brilliant Earth is the leader in ethically sourced bridal and fine jewelry with an ever-growing audience who – like its co-founders – have a passion for beyond conflict free jewelry and industry change.

Strategy and Execution

Brilliant Earth's mission is to create beautiful jewelry while cultivating a more ethical, transparent and compassionate jewelry industry. The company goes above and beyond the current industry's standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds™ that have been selected for their ethical and environmentally responsible origins. As part of the company's commitment to environmental responsibility, Brilliant Earth's jewelry is crafted from recycled precious metals and arrives in distinctive, eco-friendly packaging. Additionally, Brilliant Earth is committed to building a brighter future in mining communities, donating 5% of profits towards education, environmental restoration and economic development. The company's giving back initiatives are focused on improving livelihoods, preventing abuses within the industry, protecting the environment and empowering mining communities.

Diamonds are meant to be symbols of love, commitment and new beginnings, but for many people in diamond-rich countries, these stones have darker connotations. Since the launch of the Kimberley Process certification, there has been a false impression that KP-certified diamonds are responsibly mined. The Kimberley Process claims to have solved the problem of conflict diamonds, but it systematically ignores issues including human rights abuses, worker exploitation, violence, and environmental degradation. It does not require tracing of diamonds to their mine of origin, allowing smuggled diamonds to obtain "conflict free" certification and enter world markets.

Brilliant Earth goes above and beyond the current industry standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds™ with a listed country of origin. The company's select group of diamond suppliers demonstrate a robust chain of custody protocol and have the ability to track diamonds by country of origin. These suppliers are required to source diamonds that originate from specific mine operations or specific countries with groups of approved mine operations that follow internationally recognized labor, trade, and environmental standards. Brilliant Earth also offers lab created and recycled diamonds, both environmentally responsible alternatives.

Many retailers make vague claims that their jewelry is ethically sourced and conflict free, but few take the time to understand the chain of custody for their supply chains. Brilliant Earth completed a voluntary audit to certify the recycled metal content of its jewelry, as well as a voluntary audit of its diamond origins and chain of custody to verify the practices used to identify country of origin for its natural diamonds offered from Canada, Botswana and Russia.

In its latest initiative to improve industry transparency, the company recently announced a partnership with global technology enterprise Everledger. Together, the two companies are piloting a system to securely track the verified provenance of high-value assets using blockchain technology, providing an undisputed history of authenticity and ownership. The partnership comes at a critical time for the diamond industry, given the renewed criticism of the Kimberley Process certification and its limited impact on constricting the conflict diamond trade. By integrating Everledger's blockchain-based solution with existing practices, Brilliant Earth hopes to establish a next-generation standard for addressing social and environmental issues related to mining and manufacturing of gemstones and metals.



Entrant Company / Organization Name

Brilliant Earth


Entry Credits