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Ethical Origin Emeralds

Brilliant Earth offers emeralds of exquisite color and impeccable origin as part of our broad collection of fine jewelry from ethical sources. Our emeralds come from two countries known for producing intensely green emeralds with ideal tone and saturation: Zambia, in southern Africa, and Colombia, in South America. In both countries, we have selected emeralds that come from sources with a unique commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Our emeralds can be purchased loose or set into one of our many engagement ring settings. We also offer a few stunning emerald designs, including our Willow Ring with Lab Emerald Accents and our Emerald Halo Diamond Earrings. Our ethical origin emeralds are perfectly suited to many special occasions.

Zambian Emeralds

Ethical Origin Emeralds

Most of our emeralds are sourced from a remote region of farms, forests, and grasslands in central Zambia. Emeralds from Zambia are considered unusually perfect and rare due to the even distribution of their color and their relative lack of flaws, or inclusions, compared with most emeralds. They are also distinctive for occasionally having secondary hues of blue or yellow, which add to their allure.

The mine that produces our emeralds, the Kagem mine, is a leader in socially responsible gemstone mining. 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 contributed to the area economy byOur Zambian
and Colombian
Emeralds are
verified to come
from sources
that use
responsible labor
and environmental
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. All necessary safety precautions are taken to protect miners’ health; an-site environment officer, for instance, regularly tests for environmental hazards such as dust in the air.

In addition, the Kagem mine has taken steps to minimize its environmental impact. The mine has eliminated the use of toxic chemicals, trained employees in eco-friendly mining techniques, and invested in technology that reduces its environmental footprint. By creating an underground mine shaft rather than digging entirely from above, the mine saves energy and limits the amount of earth it disturbs per carat of emerald. In areas where mining is no longer active, the mine restores the land by replacing lost soil, planting trees, or creating freshwater lakes.

The mine has forged a close partnership with the World Land Trust (WLT), a conservation group dedicated to preserving biologically important habitats. Through the WLT, the mine recently has commissioned studies examining what additional steps it should take to help develop the local economy, while protecting the environment as well as the culture of the local Lamba people. The mine also has raised money to support a WLT program that preserves elephant habitat in India.

Colombian Emeralds

We source some of our emeralds from the Muzo mine region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Colombia. Emeralds from the area are famous for their high quality and their ability to shine a deep green in every light. The Muzo region is isolated from the crime and violence that plague other parts of Colombia.

Colombian emeralds are generally extracted using simple tools such as picks and shovels, causing minimal environmental impact. No harsh chemicals are used to mine the emeralds, and debris is confined to pure sediment and rock. 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, which remains lush.

We obtain our Colombian emeralds from a gemologist who cares passionately about fair labor practices. Our emeralds are selected from mines that treat workers with respect, offering them room and board and sharing with them 10 percent of the profits. Our partner also has funded nonprofit groups operating in Colombia and the United States that help at-risk youth and bolster support for the arts. Since 2005, he has been working with organizations including Communities and Small Scale Mining, the World Bank, and the National Federation of Colombian Emeralds to develop certification standards for fair trade emeralds.

The Ethical Emerald Guarantee

Brilliant Earth's ethical origin emeralds are verified to be sourced under strict environmental protection and fair trade labor practices. We track each of our natural gemstones from the moment they are mined to their final delivery in order to provide genuine, high-quality ethically sourced emeralds.



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