Brilliant Earth is a jewelry company that claims that their diamonds are not just conflict-free, they are “beyond conflict-free.” A conflict-free diamond is a diamond that has no connection to rebel or terror groups. These diamonds are mined and shipped in a way that doesn’t involve any social or environmental harm. This procedure is known as the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process is a series of regulations and requirements that ensure that diamonds are obtained and delivered in a manner that doesn’t support criminal activity. Furthermore, the Kimberly Process guarantees that the diamonds are mined and shipped humanely.
However, according to Brilliant Earth, this process doesn’t go far enough. In their view, these regulations and requirements don’t address the many diamonds that are acquired and exported in ways that violate human rights, degrade the environment, and contravene safe labor practices. For this reason, they pride themselves on selling “Beyond Conflict Free” diamonds.
In Brilliant Earth’s definition, Beyond Conflict Free are diamonds that are procured without:
● Financially supporting rebel movements,
● Engaging in human rights abuses,
● Degrading the environment.
Additionally, they must:
● Exercise safe and responsible labor practices,
● Assist in community development.
According to Brilliant Earth, their diamonds are sourced from Canada, Botswana Sort, and Russia. They state that the suppliers they work with are required to be able to track and separate the diamonds according to where they originate from. Brilliant Earth insists on being able to follow a diamond from the moment its mined to the moment it arrives at their company. They require their suppliers to only obtain diamonds from mine operations or countries that they have verified are committed to following international labor, trade, and environmental principles. This vigilance is how Brilliant Earth can guarantee that the diamonds indeed come from where they say they do.
In addition to their strict guidelines for the mining and shipping of their diamonds, Brilliant Earth has demonstrated a commitment to improving the conditions in mining communities. The company contributes five percent of its net profits towards a variety of projects in mining communities. The money goes towards bettering the lives of individuals, countering abuses, safeguarding the environment, and improving communities.
Brilliant Earth’s contributions help mining communities in the following ways:
● Funding scholarships so students can learn the craft of gem cutting.
● Establishing fair wages and safe working conditions for artisanal diamond miners.
● Creating long-term opportunities in artisanal diamond mining by providing youth with the necessary education, vocational training, and skill development.
● Supporting the Center for Research and Development, which monitors mines, reports abuses, and advocates for local communities.
● Funding a new education initiative that is focused on improving government regulation of diamond mining.
● Sponsoring education programs to assist children in escaping from diamond mines.
● Restoring land for agricultural use.
● Building community centers where miners are able to negotiate fair diamond prices and receive training.
● Donating to MedShare International, a nonprofit that provides prosthetic limbs and lifesaving medical supplies to injured people in Sierra Leone.
● Providing funding for a 1-year scholarship to a leadership training school in South Africa.
These contributions help provide more sources for environmentally and socially sound diamonds. At the same time, they are reducing the causes of unethical and harmful mining and delivery practices, also known as blood diamonds.
Based on the definition of conflict-free, as iterated by the Kimberly Process, it would appear that Brilliant Earth meets these criteria. Furthermore, Brilliant Earth has expanded the conflict-free definition. Their diamonds not only do not support rebel movements, but they are sourced from mines that aren’t socially or environmentally harmful. Additionally, the company’s commitment to helping improve mining commitments is commendable. The support that this company shows for mining communities demonstrates that they are dedicated to expanding the availability of conflict-free diamonds. Brilliant Earth has therefore demonstrated a commitment not only to sourcing their diamonds ethically and in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment, but they appear committed to helping mining communities flourish as well.