Colored Gemstone Origins

OUR ETHICAL PRACTICES

Brilliant Earth offers colored gemstones that are sourced in alignment with fair trade and environmentally responsible principles. Many obstacles still exist in obtaining information about gemstone mining conditions around the world which makes it challenging to trace gemstone origins and track the conditions under which they were mined. We strive to promote higher standards for gemstone sourcing to transform dangerous mining conditions and encourage responsible practices.

SAPPHIRES

Our sapphire rings, sapphire pendants and sapphire earrings feature sapphires sourced in alignment with fair trade and environmentally responsible principles from our partner mines in Australia, Malawi, and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, local gem miners rely on traditional mining practices that have been employed for 2,000 years with little to no environmental damage. Governmental oversight of gem mining in Sri Lanka means that low-impact mining practices are employed and requires that any new projects undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment. Australia's strict environmental regulations for mining include no impact on water quality and restoration of mined land back to original or better condition. Our Malawi sapphires are sourced from the Chimwadzulu Hill Mine in the red hills of Southern Malawi. The mine embraces fair trade principles by paying above-average wages and offering health benefits to all workers. We sometimes offer sapphires from other vetted origins, such as Montana

PEARLS

Our lustrous pearls are sourced from small scale farms in Tahiti and the Sea of Cortez that are dedicated to harvesting pearls and committed to preserving the unique species that create them. These pearl farms offer fair wages, practice natural techniques, and respect the local ecosystems. The Sea of Cortez pearl farm is founded, owned, and operated by a collective of marine biologists dedicated to preserving a rare oyster species and protecting its delicate natural habitat. The farm employs fair labor practices and helps contribute to the local economy of the state of Sonora in northwest Mexico. Brilliant Earth’s Tahitian cultured pearls originate from a distinctive pearl farm located 300 miles northeast of Tahiti. At the pearl farm, known as Kamoka Pearl, electricity is supplied entirely by solar and wind power. Fresh water comes from harvesting and storing rainwater. The small owner-operated farm is comprised of expert farmers who live and work together in a communal setting. Because fair wages are paid and turnover is low, the farm is able to retain expertise and foster a shared sense of enterprise. The result is pearls that are consistently high in quality. We also offer pearls from other vetted origins, such as Akoya pearls from Japan.

EMERALDS

We offer emeralds of deep, stunning color and ethical origins. Many of our emeralds come from the Kagem mine in central Zambia, where the mine’s owners have funded social investment projects such as upgrading a local clinic to a hospital and creating a new secondary school. The mine has helped stimulate the local economy by supplying farmers with seed and fertilizer and regularly purchasing fresh vegetables from local farmer cooperatives. The Kagem mine itself employs about 500 people, providing miners with good jobs as well as housing and meals. A portion of our emeralds come from the Muzo Mine region in Colombia, where miners are employed under fair labor standards. Colombian emeralds are generally extracted using simple tools such as picks and shovels, causing minimal environmental impact. For hundreds of years, people in the region have used these techniques to mine for emeralds while causing little to no degradation to the environment.

SEMIPRECIOUS GEMSTONES

Brilliant Earth’s red garnets are from the Four Corners region of Arizona, while our peridots are from Arizona’s San Carlos Reservation. Both gems are harvested without the use of heavy mining equipment, only minimally altering the landscape. The mining of these gems provides employment to local communities, mostly Navajo and Apache Native Americans, living in rural areas of the United States. Our amethysts, aquamarines, morganites, and fire citrines meet a higher standard of social and environmental responsibility than other available sources. Our amethyst is traceable to Uruguay, while our aquamarines and fire citrines come from Brazil. Our morganites come from Brazil or Mozambique. For our amethysts, aquamarines, morganites, and fire citrines we know at least a country of origin, but we cannot independently verify the labor and environmental conditions in which they were mined. By continually working with our colored gemstone suppliers to improve standards, we strive to promote higher standards for gemstone sourcing to increase traceability.

LAB CREATED GEMSTONES

Lab created gemstones are made of the same chemical crystal as mined gemstones and exhibit the same sparkle and beauty. Because they are grown in controlled environments using advanced technology, they require no mining to produce. Their origins are therefore traceable and eco-friendly.

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