Posts Tagged ‘Conflict Free Diamonds’

Really a No-Brainer: An Eco-Friendly Jewelry Gift for the Bride

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Brilliant-Earth-Bride-Gift-Rings

By Guest Blogger BrilliantEarth.com

So you’ve found the right girl, secured an engagement ring, proposed to her, selected wedding rings, and helped plan every last detail of the wedding down to the DJ’s vegetarian dinner. The long-awaited event is just around the corner. If you’re thinking to yourself that now is the time to relax and get ready to enjoy the festivities, think again. There’s one small detail you may have overlooked: an extra gift of jewelry for the bride.

Bride-with-flowerFor the bride? After the long road you’ve traveled, the idea that your bride now needs an extra jewelry gift may sound a bit bizarre.  Buck up, weary wedding traveler. Yes, the whole wedding has been designed to please your woman, but that doesn’t mean that as the wedding approaches, a small gift of jewelry, given as a surprise, isn’t a good idea. In fact, such a gift could pay you enormous, enormous dividends.

It’s perfectly normal for the bride and groom to feel some jitters in anticipation of the wedding. A pre-wedding jewelry gift is the perfect way to calm her nerves—yours too. She’ll be enthralled by your thoughtfulness and you’ll receive the pleasure of thinking about what a thoughtful guy you are. The benefits don’t stop there.  Over the long-term, she’ll have one more piece of jewelry that she associates with magic of your wedding, not to mention your rock-solid romantic credentials. Last but not least, she may actually need some earrings or a pendant to wear on your wedding day and in the years to come.

Deciding to get your bride a piece of jewelry in advance of the wedding is really a no-brainer. The harder challenge is selecting a piece that she’ll like. Fortunately, when it comes to pre-wedding jewelry gifts, you need look no further than Brilliant Earth.  All of our jewelry is meticulously crafted, conflict-free, and sourced according to the highest ethical standards. And, we offer a range of earrings, pendants, and rings that make perfect gifts for your bride.

A good option is always to go with something classic—such as diamonds.  Girls like diamonds not just because of their radiance and beauty but because diamonds go with just about anything. For instance, she’s sure to love our Platinum Four-Prong Diamond Pendant, featuring a ½ carat round diamond mounted into a four-pronged setting. She’ll also go nuts for our 18K Gold Round Diamond Stud Earrings, made from a beautifully matched pair of Canadian round brilliant diamonds. A more budget-conscious option is our Silver Heart Pendant, a heart-shaped silver pendant studded with a single sparkling, conflict-free diamond.

Some brides are looking for earrings or pendants to match an engagement or wedding ring. If her ring has sapphires, you can help her achieve a stunning look by showering her with more blue sapphires. Take a look at our 18K White Gold Sapphire Stud Earrings or our 18K White Gold Sapphire Halo Diamond Pendant. A less expensive option is our Silver Wave Pendant, featuring a small blue sapphire attached to the crest of a wave.

If she already has “something blue”, try something green! We recommend either our Green Emerald Halo Diamond Pendant or our budget-friendly Green Sapphire Leaf Pendant, both featuring exquisite, ethically-sourced green gems.

When it comes to jewelry and girls, sometimes more truly is better. Sure, you could get her a diamond pendant, but why not get her one with a center diamond surrounded by—more diamonds? Our 18K White Gold Diamond Halo Necklace features a 1/3 carat diamond surrounded by pavé-set diamond accents.

OK, so she’s already gotten two rings out of this wedding, but isn’t three is the perfect number? For her right hand, or the one without the wedding and engagement rings, we recommend our 18K White Gold Flora Ring, an intricately detailed ring with diamond-accented leaves and buds. Or, add splendor to the rings on her left hand by stacking alongside them our 18K White Gold Pavé Diamond Eternity Ring, one of the most elegant rings in our collection.

If you’ve gotten this far into the wedding process, you know that it never hurts to ask for help from all those wedding people who know weddings inside out. Don’t forget that our own fashion experts are there to assist you in selecting the ideal piece of jewelry to give her in advance of the wedding. With our help, she’ll be going bonkers for you as the big day approaches. So be the groom who goes the extra mile. While we can’t promise that a jewelry gift at this point will endear you to her for every second of every day once the wedding is over, you’ll have one more tool in your arsenal—and in her jewelry box—to add a sparkle to your lives together.

No More Objections: Earth-Friendly, Guy-Friendly Wedding Bands

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

New Wedding Edit0337_low

By Guest Blogger: BrilliantEarth.com

It’s just one of those things. Society has decreed that the act of marriage be solemnized by the exchange of wedding rings. Not that this tradition is beyond critique. In fact, in honor of Earth Day, the next time you attend a wedding ceremony (not yours), you might even consider voicing an objection—not to the marriage, but to the rings.

Standing up and clearing your throat, you’d have at least two good points to make. First off, why must it be jewelry? Couldn’t something a tad more guy-friendly—or at least gender-neutral—be the object of exchange? And second, has anyone out there, anyone at all, stopped to consider the environmental consequences of this ring exchange?

Your first point would be self-evident. For a lot of guys, it’s difficult to get hyped up about jewelry. Your second point would require some elaboration. Something along the following lines would suffice: Rings are made of precious metals and gemstones, and mining for those materials can be devastating for the environment. Gold mining is a particularly dirty process, releasing toxic chemicals like mercury and cyanide into the environment and generating about 20 tons of mine waste for every gold ring. On top of this, in many countries around the world, mining for precious gemstones and metals is fueling civil conflicts and leading to all sorts of human rights abuses, from worker exploitation to child labor.

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Happy Earth Day from BrilliantEarth.com & The Man Registry

Should you manage to complete your rant without first being dragged out of the room, congratulations. But we think that both you, and the unfortunate groom, could avoid this unpleasant scenario by first checking out Brilliant Earth—the leading provider of ethical origin jewelry. We use only recycled gold and platinum in our wedding rings, thereby avoiding the need for dirty mining. In addition, our diamonds and gemstones are all conflict-free and originate from sources adhering to the highest labor and environmental standards. We are certain that our wide selection of eco-friendly jewelry will address the concerns of even the most environmentally-ardent wedding ring critics.

But what about that other objection to wedding rings: guy-friendliness? At Brilliant Earth, we are careful to be guy-friendly, as well as eco-friendly. We’ve helped many a marriage-bound lad to select a wedding band that suits his preferences and needs. We find that guys can get pumped about wedding bands, just as girls often get ecstatic about their wedding rings. In our experience, we’ve learned that the issue is not so much the band itself, but that jewelry tends to be described in terms that appeal mostly to ladies.

We’ve therefore decided to describe our major wedding band styles in language that guys may appreciate more. The daunting task of selecting wedding bands doesn’t have to be just about choosing the perfect beveled edge or matte finish. Instead, why not choose a ring that brings to mind an expensive, high performance, luxury automobile? A basic rule of advertising is to associate your product with things your customers like. So, we’ve shamelessly taken the liberty of associating each of our ring styles with “equivalents” in the world of sports, booze, and cars. Let us know if you have any objections.

BrilliantEarth makes it easy for you guys by breaking ring styles into manly categories

BrilliantEarth.com makes it easy for you guys by breaking ring styles down into manly categories below:


Classic Bands

Standard Description: Unsurpassed quality and elegant design. For a classic look, try our Comfort Fit Wedding Ring, featuring a rounded inside edge for increased comfort. Another excellent option is our Beveled Edge Matte Wedding Ring with Grooves, featuring a soft matte finish balanced with two high-polished grooves and light-catching beveled edges.

Sports, booze, and automobiles: Guys appreciating our classic bands may also know how to appreciate the 1961 New York Yankees, featuring the famous home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle; a glass of scotch whiskey, single malt, no ice added; or a spin in a Ferrari 250, the legendary Ferrari convertible featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – using veggie-oil diesel, of course.

Nature-Themed Bands

Standard Description: Make your ring a constant reminder of your shared commitment to the environment. For instance, our Equinox Ring with Beveled Edges is an intriguing band featuring the smooth lines of a wave balanced with two high polished grooves and light-catching beveled edges. Or, take a look at our River Ring, a distinctive band that comes with a hammered, matte-finish center; two high polished grooves; and light-catching beveled edges.

Sports, booze, and automobiles: Fans of these rings may also be fans of Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; pinot noir, the light, silky red wine featuring flavors of berries and spices; and the Toyota Prius, the most successful hybrid vehicle on the road, averaging 50 miles per gallon.

Modern Bands
Standard Description: Progressive styles, perfect for the forward-thinking couple. For a modern look, try our Beveled Edge Matte Wedding Ring. A handsome band with contemporary detail, this distinctive ring features a soft matte finish balanced with two polished beveled edges. Or, try our Flat Matte Comfort Fit Wedding Ring, featuring a matte, brushed finish and a stylish, modern look.

Sports, booze, and automobiles: Guys drawn to our modern bands may also have a soft spot for the Chicago Bulls of 1995-1996, led to 72 wins by Michael Jordan, the man who modernized and defined the present era of NBA basketball; any alcoholic beverage with Red Bull, the high-powered energy drink; and the Chevrolet Volt, the promising electric vehicle on which GM is staking its future.

Antique-Style Bands
Standard Description: Vintage look, reminiscent of a romantic era. An outstanding antique-style option is our Wide Antique Scroll Ring, a handsome, antique-style ring featuring a high-polish center balanced by two rows of engraved scrolls on either side. Another good choice is our Milgrain Wedding Ring, which features fine milgrain detailing along the edges for a refined finish.

Sports, booze, and automobiles:  Fondness for our antique-style bands goes hand-in-hand with fondness for the Chicago Cubs of 1908, the last Cubs team to win the World Series; a pint of Guinness, the dark Irish beer with a tradition dating back to the 1700s; and the Mini Cooper, the popular small car with an old-fashioned, boxy, British design.

Glamorous Bands
Standard Description: For those who believe that glamour need not come at great human or environmental cost. A superb option is our Brushed Diamond Ring with Polished Edges. This stylish, modern band features a brushed center set with six evenly-spaced round diamonds.

Sports, booze, and automobiles:  Those opting for a glamorous band may also be enthusiastic about the New England Patriots, winners of three Super Bowls in the past decade and headed up by quarterback Tom Brady, married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen; vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, James-Bond style; and the Tesla Roadster, the all-electric luxury convertible able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 4 seconds, silently.

A Better Bling without Blood Diamond

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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You are looking for a diamond with a good cause. You’re a diamond lover. You’ve got countless pieces of jewelry studded with diamonds. You are looking to find an engagement ring with the right cause. You are one of those people who just can’t resist the glitter and brilliance that goes with a diamond. Then you learn about the existence of blood diamonds. Your world is suddenly turned upside down.

That may be a satiric narrative but the subject is dead serious. Blood diamonds are used to fund wars and other brutal activities in certain parts of the world. Diamonds sold in this illicit trade promote violence and kill people; you want to make sure that your own non conflict diamonds.

A blood diamond is defined as a diamond that was mined and taken from a war zone (usually an African country, but not always) and sold for purposes such as perpetuating child labor, state sanctioned violence and worker exploitation, to funding a war, providing payment to diamond companies throughout the world, or payment directly into a warlord’s pocket. This is why they are called blood/conflict diamonds. Plenty of people have even died over these diamonds, specifically in countries such as Angola, Liberia, Zimbabwe, and of course, Sierra Leone.

Whiteflash ACA Diamonds

Whiteflash ACA Diamonds

So what can you do help? There are alternative diamonds you can buy—conflict free diamonds, which can even be bought online. Conflict-free diamonds are those gems which were not obtained due to human rights abuses, child labor, violence, or environmental degradation. Whiteflash.com, offers conflict-free diamonds, which are also no less real than the blood diamonds. Whiteflash also give guidance about how to differentiate between blood diamonds and certified conflict-free diamonds.

Whiteflash Initiatives
Dreams of Africa, a Whiteflash initiative, is a program funding relief for children in Africa. 100% of the profit from sales of a designer line of conflict-free diamond jewelry and merchandise goes to the (WCCCI) to give children affected by the illicit trade of rough diamonds the chance for a brighter tomorrow.

Whiteflash was the first online jewelry retailer to be awarded membership to The Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices (CRJP).

Whiteflash introduced Dreams of Africa to such luminaries as the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in September 2006, at the largest-ever gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners on American soil, where we selected the WCCCI, established by Nobel Laureate Betty Williams, as our charity partner.

Dreams of Africa designer jewelry
We continue to be proactive, raising awareness for the victims of blood diamonds through our website, philanthropic celebrity endorsements, donations to charitable foundations, and communication with the media, but we would like your help.

Our message:
Blood Diamonds still exist. Buying “conflict-free” protects you as consumers but it doesn’t stop the pain. As one company we can’t change governments or politics, but we can turn diamonds into a gift for life.
Beyond the protectionist work Kimberley Process, the Patriot Act, NGOs and the CRJP are doing, we believe there must be people-centered answers to help actual humans without industry or red tape in the way

How can consumers help?
Spread awareness. Take part in the global discussion involving exploitation in areas where natural resources are rich and people are poor. Share this link and links to information given by other responsible organizations. Support “development diamond” initiatives such as Dreams of Africa. If possible, donate to organizations like UNICEF and the WCCCI.

Avoid conflict diamonds.
Consumers can aid in the effort to ensure that diamonds do not fund conflict.  When shopping, here are four questions suggested by NGOs Amnesty International and Global Witness to test the seller’s commitment to preventing trade in conflict diamonds:
1.    How can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?
2.    Do you know where the diamonds you sell come from?
3.    Can I see a copy of your company’s policy on conflict diamonds?
4.    Can you show me a written guarantee from your diamond suppliers stating that your diamonds are conflict-free?

Whiteflash Answers
1.    Whiteflash diamonds are produced exclusively by Kimberly compliant manufacturers.
2.    All Whiteflash ACA and most ‘Expert Selection’ diamonds are produced on the same fine-make floor of our Kimberly compliant Antwerp site holder. All diamonds brought to Whiteflash, whether from Antwerp or our known USA suppliers are in strict compliance with the Kimberly Process and the USA Patriot Act.
3.    This page represents our policy and position.
4.    Our unique sourcing situation allows great comfort in knowing our diamonds are conflict-free.  Additionally, every diamond we bring to Whiteflash is accompanied by this written guarantee:

The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.
Every dealer should be prepared to provide you with the above written statement or words to that effect.

The Future
The political obstacles to creating free, fair and competitive markets in conflicted areas are historically considerable.  Beyond the protectionist work Kimberly Process and the Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices are doing we feel the information age presents an opportunity to work toward people-centered solutions.

Ways to Save Money Buying the Engagement or Wedding Ring

Monday, June 1st, 2009

BrilliantEarth.com shares their top 10 tips on saving some money while shopping ethically for your engagement ring or wedding band.

Conflict free diamonds at BrilliantEarth.com

Conflict free diamonds at BrilliantEarth.com

It’s tough times out there, but you don’t need to sacrifice your ethics in order to save on your engagement and wedding rings. Here are some tips from our jewelry specialists on how to save a bit of green when shopping green.

1. Opt for one special ring in place of both an engagement ring and wedding band. Look for rings with ornate patterns, unique details, conflict free diamond accents, or a more substantial width to serve as your all-in-one symbol of love and commitment.

2. Instead of giving an engagement ring with a larger center stone, give her multiple bands – each with its own meaning – that she can stack. One for the engagement, one for the wedding, another to symbolize your families coming together….The possibilities are endless!

3. Purchase your wedding bands before purchasing the engagement ring. This way you will both have a ring to wear as a symbol of your love for one another. You will have plenty of time together to design that perfect conflict free diamond ring down the road.

4. While platinum is a beautiful choice, you may want to consider the less expensive 18K while gold option, or even alternative precious metals, such as palladium. Palladium is a naturally white precious metal from the platinum family, but costs less than both platinum and gold. All of Brilliant Earth’s rings are also available in recycled palladium- contact us for more information.

5. Select classic, recycled metal wedding bands. They are simple, understated and elegant, and are reminiscent of many of our parents’ traditions. They are also a beautiful, classic accompaniment to any diamond engagement ring.

Brilliant Earth gives 5% of profits to support African communities

Brilliant Earth donates 5% of profits to the support of African communities

6. Select an ethical origin sapphire center gem for your engagement ring, which is more affordable than most diamond options. Precious sapphires have been revered all over the world for centuries. They are very durable, and are therefore an excellent choice for engagement and wedding rings. Deep-blue sapphires are most well-known, but they also come in many other colors, including pink, orange, green, yellow and purple.

7. Select recycled metal rings that gleam with light-catching details, such as milgrain and engraving. These brilliant features will make your ring sparkle without the additional cost of diamond accents.

8. Take advantage of upgrade policies! You’ll want to start your life together in a strong financial position, so be realistic about what you can truly afford. Down the road you will be able to upgrade to a larger conflict free diamond – which will be an especially romantic gesture of your growing love.

9. Recycle your gold and platinum jewelry that you no longer wear for a credit towards any Brilliant Earth purchase. By selecting jewelry made of recycled metals, you will help to decrease the global demand for newly mined metals. Contact a Brilliant Earth customer service representative if you are interested in sending us your jewelry for recycled metal credit.

10. Shop online! You won’t be paying the retail store overhead for bright lights and glass display cases. Brilliant Earth will even ship your rings to you with free fully insured next day shipping.

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