Post # 1
Hi there, hoping some of you members on here can help me.
Having made the decision to propose to my girlfriend of eight years, I have been going about the business of finding an engagement ring over the past month or so. I pretty much know what the specifics of the diamond will be but where I need advice is this: I want a guarantee of a non-conflict related diamond and, as such, am drawn to purchasing a Brilliant Earth diamond.
However, I have read elsewhere of problems with the stones falling out of their settings (admittedly a small percentage, but enough to have me worried as I live in the UK and would be taking a bit of a gamble ordering from a US-based company).
My current persuasion is to order a loose diamond from BE (likely between £1700-£2200) and visit a local jeweller to choose a setting. I have contacted a few and this would cost me between £700-£1200 depending on the setting I selected.
So my question is two-fold: 1) Am I taking too much of a risk in ordering from BE at all? and 2) Likewise, am I overcomplicating this by considering buying a loose diamond and setting separately?
Any and all advice/experience/opinions welcome on this – it is unbelievably important after all!
Thanks in advance.
Mods: I’ve selected the Rings section for this rather than engagement, feel free to move if incorrect.
Post # 2
smarti51 : I know people who have purchased a loose diamond from BN and had it set in a custom setting elsewhere. They had a great experience!
Post # 3
In order to guarantee a truly conflict free stone, you may want to consider a cultured diamond as well. A cursory reading will often highlight loop holes in the Kimberly Process.
Post # 4
How about a Takara diamond from BTD? They’re made in a lab, so it’s safe to assume they’re 100% conflict free pretty much.
Post # 5
A fellow UK bee here! 👋
I understand your concerns, however I would order the finished ring. Sadly, I get the impression that the finish from a reputable supplier in the US (mall/ high street jewellers excepted) is higher than a local jeweller in the UK is likely to be. Secondly, jewellers prefer to supply the diamond as well as the setting, for the obvious reason that they make much more money for the same margin as the diamond is usually the costliest element, I fear, perhaps unfairly, that without a lot of first hand recommendations, a local jeweller is less likely to feel invested in the quality of the job. Thirdly, many jewellers in the UK offer a limited number of mass produced settings.
That said, with research, you could probably find a good and keen, proper bench jeweller in Hatton Gardens or the Birmingham jewellery quarter.
As a previous poster has alluded, you should be aware that the vast majority of Brilliant Earth’s diamonds are sourced from De Beers (although it’s buried deep in their website) that’s because De Beers led the way in developing the Kimberly Process and their chain of custody is probably the most secure there is when it comes to mined diamonds (with the exception of some Canadian producers although there are ethical concerns around those too for some). For me, the De Beers chain of custody and was enough ethically, my ring comes from De Beers in London, however the PP is correct that for some people the only 100% guarantee is to steer clear of mined, natural gemstones.
Post # 6
rcanlyn : BE’s whole schtick is that they openly acknowledge that Kimberly standards are not good enough, and so they go “beyond conflict-free” and trace the diamonds from mine to store, only supporting small, ethical, and environmentally friendly mines
smarti51 : i had the same ethical concerns, and we got my ring from BE (though we went with a natural sapphire as the center stone, and a diamond halo). i don’t think you have anything to worry about quality-wise from BE. their quality it top-notch, and (supposedly) they stand behind it. if you have a stone fall out (which i’m guessing is because someone ordered a pave setting and had it significantly resized….that’s a common issue to pave in general, not to BE rings specifically) they should replace it for you. that said, from a customer service standpoint, i can’t recommend them at all. we had an AWFUL customer service experience with them – a true nightmare. they give a lot of lip service to CS and it’s importance, but don’t seem to follow it up in the end. so while i think that you shouldn’t actually have any quality concerns, i wouldn’t want to deal with them in the event that something did happen. so you might be better off just buying the stone and having it set locally by someone you can easily take it to if necessary.
Post # 7
Congratulations on your upcoming proposaI! How exciting! I think it’s incredibly sweet and considerate that you’re willing to go out of your way to buy a conflict-free diamond, and supporting local businesses earns bonus points in my book. I think if it’s important to you and your fi, it’s definitely worth the extra effort. From what I’ve been told, BE provides excellent customer service, so I’d feel secure ordering from them. I think you should go for it!
Post # 8
smarti51 : A couple of other options:
- Canada Mark Diamond – they are mined here in Canada, and right at the mine they are cut and given a number – so you have an unbroken chain of the diamond’s history from start to finish. Many jewellers carry CanadaMark. I know my jeweller here in Ottawa had some loose ones to choose from. I see you can also get them at James Allen online.
- Lab Created Diamond – I bought a Pure Grown Diamond (a lab-created diamond) because I don’t like the idea of mining at all. I worry that a person might have died mining my diamond, and I worry about the environmental damage from large-scale mining. So, I got a Pure-Grown diamond, which is an ACTUAL diamond – not a simulant – which is made in a lab. They still have flaws – if you get a “perfect” diamond, I would worry it’s a simulant. They cost about 30% less than a mined diamond, and they can only grown to about 2 ct – but at least I know no one died making them.
- Moissanite – I wish I had known about this earlier. It’s beautiful – it’s an actual gem itself – not a simulant; it’s 2nd only to diamonds in terms of hardness (10 on Mohs scale = diamonds; 9.25 Mohs = Moissanite). It’s s more refractive than diamonds – so breaks up light and disperses it more (so it’s sparklier). It’s found naturally in meteorites, but is produced in labs here on Earth. It’s cheaper than Diamonds, but it’s not cheap. Because it’s so hard, it will last a lifetime.
Do some reading – some articles say conflict-free isn’t even an issue anymore – all diamonds on the markets are conflict free. Others say that as many as 1 in 4 are still a problem. I see that other online vendors – like Blue Nile – also claim to be conflict free.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2017 - Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
My e-ring is from Brilliant Earth, and so far no problems! We visited the showroom in person to look at the quality of the settings beforehand and were so pleased with the customer service. My Fiance then ordered online and it arrived with no issues and just gorgeous. They were really transparent with the whole process and any concerns we had. Out of all the places we researched, we felt most comfortable with BE and couldn’t be happier with the decision. If you have any further questions, let me know!
Post # 10
Thanks for all the responses so far.
RE: Lab-created diamonds. The local jewellers I have contacted have all said they can easily mount a loose diamond if it is certified. I’d rather not ask them, but do those of you with experience of lab-created diamonds know if this would then be a problem for me?
RE: Brilliant Earth. I must admit I still find myself gravitating towards using them. Whether that be for the diamond alone or a whole ring, I’m still woefully undecided about.
For what it’s worth, I know her favourite is princess cut and that she has mentioned in the past a preference for a ring that doesn’t have pave diamonds (though she did actually express her surprising admiration for a friend of mine’s ring last month which did have such a setting).
The other major consideration about my being in the UK is that I’d essentially be paying a lump sum for the diamond/full ring from BE as opposed to installments/finance from a UK jewellers. Not to mention import tax or VAT that I might be liable for and possible customs problems in shipping.
I have savings set aside and can add enough to afford doing this, but it’s a consideration nonetheless.
Thanks again for all responses – it makes a difference asking real people who don’t have a vested interest either way on this.
Post # 11
smarti51 : have you posted on the pricescope website forum?
Post # 12
UK-bee : No. I chose this forum because the types of questions I was Googleing threw up a lot of hits for here. Reckon it’s worth a thread over there, too?
Post # 13
smarti51 : definitely – especially when it comes to the specs.
Post # 14
UK-bee : Thanks for the heads up, I’ll pop a post up on there as well then.
Still hoping for a few more responses on this thread as well, though.
Post # 15
Update: I’ve found a 0.609ct stone I really like, had almost decided on a platinum knife-edge setting but now think it may set the stone too high.
Keeping in mind I’m from the UK and not the US, my next question is – is 0.609ct too small?