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15 Amazing Facts About Sapphires (the September Birthstone)

Setting the Record Straight

At Brilliant Earth, we take ethical sourcing very seriously, and supply chain integrity is of the utmost importance to us. Recently we were confronted with false and malicious YouTube videos that questioned our sourcing practices.

Despite our best efforts to share the truth with the video creator, he has continued to spread false information about Brilliant Earth and we were left with no alternative but to take legal action to set the record straight.

Our suit focuses on the true issues at hand and preventing the continuing spread of misinformation. Here, we discuss these issues.

 

Diamond origin can be tracked.

The video’s main point is one of the biggest lies of them all—that you can’t track diamond origin. Tracking origin requires effort, and very few retailers do it. But diamonds—like everything from shoes to strawberries—can be tracked through the global supply chain. In fact, because of their high value, diamond whereabouts are continuously tracked to prevent loss.

Brilliant Earth’s robust chain of custody protocols allow our diamonds to be tracked from mine operator, to cutting and polishing, to GIA grading, to Brilliant Earth.  Suppliers have systems in place to track and identify diamonds through receiving, inventory, and dispatch. Tracking and identification practices are required so diamonds can be tracked back to the mine operator. Suppliers have robust inventory systems to identify, track, and segregate Brilliant Earth eligible diamonds from other inventoried diamonds.

The video suggests that the only way to track a diamond would be for a Brilliant Earth employee to be a literal “man on the ground” watching a diamond at each stage in its path from mine to retail. This is false and inconsistent with how tracking operates in any industry. Companies that track the origin of their goods – from wine to chocolate to organic tomatoes – rely on documented chain of custody protocols and robust tracking and inventory systems.

Third party auditor SCS Global Services conducted an independent verification audit of Brilliant Earth’s chain of custody protocols to confirm the country of origin for the natural diamonds we offer.

 

The diamond highlighted in the video is Canadian origin.

This individual states that the diamond he featured in the video is not from Canada. This is false. He bases this only on a comment from an unknown man at a desk who appears to say the diamond is not Canadian. We can track this diamond from its original purchase from the Ekati Mine to its purchase by Sauraj Diamonds to offering it for purchase at Brilliant Earth. In February 2012, Sauraj purchased 648.75ct. of rough diamonds from BHP Billiton (Canada), the owner of the Ekati Mine at that time. Sauraj shipped the 648.75ct. of rough to its affiliate S. Narendra (India) for cutting and polishing. S. Narendra split the rough parcel into three lots – #133 (189.65 ct.), #134 (285.88 ct.), #135 (173.22 ct.). Rough diamonds in the lot were given serial numbers. One of the diamonds in Lot 135 was given serial number 80 (2.26 ct.). The rough diamond was cut into a .96 ct. polished diamond, vendor stock number 106414. S. Narendra shipped the diamond to GIA to be graded. GIA graded the diamond as .96 ct., D, SI1, VG cut. GIA shipped the diamond back to S. Narendra. S. Narendra shipped 106414 to Sauraj (New York). In August 2016, Brilliant Earth purchased the diamond 106414 from Sauraj (New York) which was listed as Brilliant Earth stock number 1107816Y. The supplier of the diamond has confirmed the diamond’s origin with a statement on their letterhead.

See chain of custody diagram below.

 

Brilliant Earth’s suppliers carry Canadian diamonds.

The video further tries to assert that Brilliant Earth’s suppliers do not offer Canadian gems at all. The Canadian diamond mines we source from publish lists of authorized buyers (sometimes referred to as siteholders) which include many of the suppliers included in the video. Many of the suppliers also state on their websites which mine operators they source from. The author of the video could have confirmed this with a simple web search. The author of video claims to have spoken with Brilliant Earth suppliers, but our suppliers don’t have any record of contact.

 

Many other retailers do not know the origin of their diamonds.

In the video, the individual appears to call another retailer to ask about a particular diamond that had been for sale on the website of both Brilliant Earth and the other retailer at different points in time. He indicates that Brilliant Earth’s website has identified the diamond as Canadian while the other retailer has not. This isn’t surprising. Because the other retailer doesn’t track the origin of most of its diamonds, it can’t identify the diamond as Canadian or otherwise. That does not mean, however, that the diamond is not from Canada; it only means that the other retailer does not trace the gem’s origin.

 

GIA certification does not verify origin.

The implication that Brilliant Earth relies on GIA for tracking origin is false and misleading. GIA grading reports do not specify diamond origins and instead provide technical grading information about the diamond. Brilliant Earth relies on robust chain of custody protocols to verify origin – not on GIA.

 

SCS Global Services is a neutral independent auditor.

Third party auditor SCS Global Services conducted an independent verification audit of Brilliant Earth’s chain of custody protocols to confirm the country of origin for the natural diamonds we offer. SCS is a recognized neutral third party auditor and verification body, with a 33-year track record of proven performance. The practice of hiring independent auditors to conduct audits has been well-established for decades, and is approved by government agencies, NGOs, and international standards bodies.  The job of the independent auditor is to provide clients with the independent perspective needed to conduct credible audits to determine conformance with standards, to help clients evaluate their own performance, to identify improvement opportunities, and to build customer and stakeholder confidence.

SCS clients include companies, NGOs, government agencies, and institutions and associations, and its third-party status is corroborated through multiple national and international accreditations. SCS is financially independent from their clients, they have no financial backing from any institution with an interest in representing their clients or their products, and their fees are unrelated to their audit findings.

 

Final Thoughts

The individual who made the video is not an independent journalist and has other motivations to promote his own jewelry business. We welcome an informed discussion about sourcing methods and about how to create a more transparent diamond industry. What we object to is individuals carelessly and intentionally disregarding the facts.

For more information, visit our traceable diamond origins page and our statement on sourcing.


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