Latest Jewelry News

The Kimberley Process Stalls in Australia

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:39

I went to Brisbane, Australia last month to attend the annual meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP), the international certification scheme for diamonds.

My purpose was to observe specific sessions regarding new blockchain technology as well as engage many of our critical partners in the industry. But more specifically, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of where the KP stands today and what its future holds. As a big believer in working within systems to see their continuous improvement, I was hopeful to see a way forward and how I could contribute.

But after three days of panels and speeches, I came away with little confidence that the KP will be the driver of an ethical diamond trade in 2018… or 2019… or perhaps not even in 2020.  In short, the KP has not adapted its mandate since 2003 to reflect the social and environmental impacts that our customers care about. On its current trajectory, the KP will be less and less relevant to the modern customer, and the diamond industry will fall further behind current responsible sourcing practices across non-diamond industries. The lack of continual improvement on responsible sourcing practices will continue to be concerning to millennial customers, who will increasingly seek alternatives if consumer confidence declines.

When the KP was launched as a certification system in January 2003, it was considered innovative and forward-thinking. The KP’s designers adopted the then-ambitious goal of eliminating conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. To accomplish this goal, they enlisted governments from most of the countries where diamonds are mined, manufactured, and consumed.

Though it is not a treaty-based system, governments in the KP committed to adopting and implementing laws regulating their diamond trades and certifying their rough diamond exports.  Civil society groups and diamond industry representatives joined as observers, providing the KP with a diverse range of expertise and voices.

Fifteen years later, customer and stakeholder expectations of the KP have not been fulfilled. The KP’s definition of eliminating conflict diamonds (defined as rough diamonds used to finance rebel militias) is too narrow to deal with the full range of ethical challenges facing the diamond trade in 2018. Although the KP was supposed to help prevent the international sale of illicit diamonds, because they would be traded outside the formal and legally-mandated system, KP countries either have been unwilling or unable to stop diamond smuggling.  Violence by governments and private security firms, corruption, child labor, gender-based violence, environmental degradation, worker and community exploitation in the mining areas, illicit financing and other issues associated with the diamond trade are all considered to be outside the KP’s mandate.

At Brilliant Earth, we thought that part of the problem was that there was a split in the KP between governments that want to expand its mission and those opposed to reform. So when I traveled to Australia to attend the plenary session in December, I was curious about whether I would encounter an animated discussion about whether the current scope of the KP adequately addressed issues facing the diamond industry in 2018. Unfortunately, I saw little sign of it.

The plenary was held in a large convention hall with all the trappings of a professional, government-led event including the rows of tables, mints,  and headsets for simultaneous interpretation for the audience. Based on interviews subsequent to this event, I was informed that while the KP working group meetings provide opportunities for debate on critical issues, the debates that do occur hover around the interpretation and application of the current KP model and end in word-smithing the final communiques to avoid any questions to that model.  Instead, that much needed spirited debate about the KP’s future has been occurring in the diamond industry press.

During the official proceedings, as can be read in the published notes from the meeting, no reform to the mandate was placed on the table or seriously considered. This is particularly disappointing given that the KP launched a formal review cycle in 2017 offering an opportunity for advancing a reform agenda. Yet after 12 months, the culmination of that review was the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Review and Reform to be chaired by India and co-chaired by Angola.  So, the year of review resulted in the formation of another committee being responsible for that review of reform agenda? This lack of progress should not be a surprise given the official proceedings announced that a professional secretariat was being approved in December 2017—a secretariat that has (sort of) been in place for 5 years and on the table for many more.

Perhaps the most exciting and telling outcome of the plenary was the announcement by IMPACT, a participating civil society group and co-founder of the KP, that it would withdrawal from the KP. In withdrawing from the KP, IMPACT cited the deterioration of a space for respectful engagement with civil society and frustration with lack of reform. IMPACT’s withdrawal further demonstrates that others at the plenary session were reaching the same conclusion: If broader change is to happen in the diamond trade in the near future, the KP will not be the driver of it; it is time to focus resources elsewhere.

The good news is that those who care about building a more transparent and responsible diamond trade are not waiting for the KP to wake from its slumber. For me, the most encouraging part of the plenary was the chance to have side conversations with those government officials and industry leaders who are eager to go beyond the KP’s mandate. They will continue to do their part to support the efforts by civil society representatives from African producer countries and European and US countries to improve the lives and communities connected to diamond mining, manufacturing, and trade. Together, we may be able to implement new technologies to improve transparency and traceability in the diamond supply chain. By engaging in parallel to the KP, we can support and launch projects to improve conditions in artisanal and small-scale diamond mining.

So what will happen to the KP? Either it will continue as is and eventually fizzle into purely a paperwork exercise, or some outside development or change in circumstances will provide the political support for those in the KP to force the KP to evolve. Maybe IMPACT’s withdrawal, the increase of non-KP due diligence efforts, or even the threat from changing consumer behavior, will be the wake-up call that the KP needs to address increasing consumer expectations about traceability and responsibility. With the European Union and India, two of the most active diamond trading and manufacturing centers, leading the KP over the next two years, we hope they will be able to take this opportunity to heed that call and push for real change. We will support their efforts in and out of the KP for real reform to meet increasing customer expectations and our own expectations for good ethical business.

Whatever that impetus is, I hope that someday, the KP can restructure and again move to the front of the movement to build an ethical diamond supply chain. In the meantime, companies like ours will continue to push in our own direction toward more ethical and responsible sourcing practices.

 

Carrie George is Brilliant Earth’s Director of Responsible Sourcing. This blog is based on her general impressions of the plenary and on information that became public after the meeting. Statements made maintain the confidentiality asked of KP guests.

 

The post The Kimberley Process Stalls in Australia appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Marriage Is Over, but the Jewelry Is Mine

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:05
Give back the ring and other bling? Nah. It could pay for summer camp. Or be made into a bracelet or necklace.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Our Award Winning Design Team’s Favorite Styles

Brilliant Earth - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 02:18

 

At our San Francisco design studio, our award-winning design team perpetually strives to create distinctive new jewelry designs, while dreaming up ways to subtly update classic styles with fresh modern appeal.

Here’s what they have to say about some of their favorites!

Mountain Range Pendant

“Great for the modern adventurer. The mountains have been sculpted with crests and valleys to create a realistic representation of an alpine landscape.”
– Meghan, Product Development Manager

Wren Diamond Ring

“It’s simple, chic, sophisticated, and can be dressed up or down.”
– Kathryn, VP Strategy & Merchandising

Lab Emerald and Diamond Petal Earrings

“These earrings are a great way to incorporate a splash of color and elegance.”
– Dan, Product Development Manager

Baguette Clusters

“These earrings are the perfect modern update to the classic diamond stud.”
– Kathryn, VP Strategy & Merchandising

Valentina Ring

“Inspired by Old World charm, this ring merges masterful engraaving work with sleek lines. This beautiful design is one of my favorites because it has just the right amount of detail to stand apart from the rest.”
– Omar, Design Specialist

Rainier

“Wearing this band is like putting on a well-fitted tuxedo. The recessed black rhodium details outline the brushed matte finish make this design stylish and stately at the same time.”
– Ryan, Sr. Product Development Manager

The post Our Award Winning Design Team’s Favorite Styles appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Why I Can’t Quit You, Hoops

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:08
Like many Latinas, my mother took my sister and me to get our ears pierced when we were newborns. I gave up hoop earrings for 12 years, though. Here’s why.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Thieves Steal Qatari Jewels in Brazen Theft at Ducal Palace in Venice

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 00:05
The thieves made off with jewels owned by a member of the Qatari royal family. Reports of the value of the jewels ranged from $36,000 to a few million dollars.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What to Give a January Birthday Girl

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 20:35

Individuals born in January are associated with the garnet birthstone. Garnets are known for their rich, vivid colors and are associated with peace and prosperity.

You probably think of garnets as being deep red. But, these month’s birthday girls actually have many options when it comes to January birthstone jewelry. Did you know that these gems also come in green and purple? And that’s just for starters.

Garnet Colors and Characteristics

In fact, garnets appear in the greatest range of color of any mineral, pretty much every color except blue. Those well-known deep red garnets are the varieties pyrope and almandine, but you’ll often find fine jewelry made of grape garnets, bright pink-red rhodolite garnets, the gorgeous green tsavorite or demantoid varieties, and orange-red hessonite garnets.

Not only do they come in gorgeous colors, garnets can have unique properties that make them especially eye-catching. They sometimes exhibit asterism, a star-shaped pattern of reflections, and chatoyancy, a “cat’s-eye” pattern in reflected light, and can appear to change color under different types of lighting.

Garnet Birthstone History and Meaning

 

Garnets have been valued for their beauty since the Bronze Age. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore red garnet necklaces, and ancient Roman rulers used rings with carved garnets to stamp the wax on important documents. More recently, garnets were very fashionable in the Victorian era. The January birthstone’s meaning has been influenced by many different cultures. They signify friendship, romantic love, sensuality and intimacy, and have been thought to heal and strengthen the blood, heart and lungs.

Buying and Caring for Garnet Jewelry

If you’re shopping for a January birthday girl, garnet jewelry is a can’t-miss choice. Consider elegant garnet stud earrings, a garnet pendant or a piece of  vintage garnet jewelry.  Brilliant Earth garnets are sourced from protected reservations in the Southwestern United States, from mines that provide Native Americans with safe livelihoods and which employ eco-friendly mining practices.

 

In the middle range of hardness and toughness, garnets should not be subjected to rough wear, though they are not affected by exposure to light. Clean them with mild soap and warm water.

Final Thoughts

Do you love garnet jewelry?  Let us know on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter, or in the comments below!

The post What to Give a January Birthday Girl appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The 10 Most Stunning Pieces of Jewelry Featured in T This Year

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 12/28/2017 - 16:28
From mismatched pairs of earrings to a riff on Richard Burton’s 40th birthday gift for Elizabeth Taylor, 2017 sure sparkled. Here, a roundup of the gorgeous gems that made it to our pages.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Pavé Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 17:00


Diamonds are precious for many reasons—they are rare, billions of years old, and one of the hardest materials on earth—but they are perhaps most revered for how they interact with light.

Light is captivating, inspiring, and undoubtedly beautiful. Light slows down significantly when it passes through a diamond, and once inside, it bounces, bends, and refracts until it can find a way out. Depending on the way light moves within the diamond, it can disperse into every color of the rainbow. It’s no wonder why diamonds were once thought to be shards of fallen stars. If you crave a ring that shimmers and dazzles from every angle, choose a pavé engagement ring.

What Is a Pavé Engagement Ring?

The pavé setting was created with maximum light and brilliance in mind. To create these stunning rings, accent diamonds are set closely together for a dazzling, diamond-encrusted look. The word pavé comes from the French word for “paved,” so these engagement rings look as if their surfaces have been paved with diamonds, creating a glittering, unbroken expanse of light and sparkle.

Small beads of precious metal are applied in the spaces between the diamonds, securing them in place. The goal of this setting is to cluster diamonds as close as possible with the least amount of visible metal. This setting allows diamond rows to be placed very close to each other, creating a solid swath of diamonds and light.

Pavé Bands

A popular style of pavé engagement rings features a band covered with pavé set accent gems to enhance the center diamond. There are endless ways to integrate pavé set diamonds into your engagement ring’s band. For example, you can choose delicate pavé diamonds surrounded by milgrain for an antique look, or opt for a ring with three rows of pavé diamonds to create a glamorous band of light.

Pavé Halos

Halo engagement rings are becoming increasingly sought after for their brilliance and sparkle. Pavé halos feature a glittering halo of pavé set diamonds encircling a center gemstone, and are a popular option both with glamour-loving brides-to-be and for budget conscious couples, because a pavé halo makes a center diamond look much larger. The accent gems enhance the beauty of the main diamond, reflecting light back and forth in a rainbow of brilliance. Halo designs become even more stunning when the band of the ring is also covered in pavé diamonds, whether the diamonds take the form of a single row, a split shank, or a subtly twisting vine design.

French Pavé

French pavé refers to a method of setting accent diamonds to maximize the amount of light that hits them from the sides, increasing their sparkle. In French pavé settings the metal forms a “fishtail,” or a small U or V shape underneath each diamond, exposing the sides of the diamonds. The Odessa Diamond Ring and the Sienna Diamond Ring are two examples of designs that feature luminous French pavé diamond detailing.BE2H1R871-18KW

Micro-Pavé

If you love pavé engagement rings but would like your ring to have a very thin, delicate look, consider micro-pavé diamonds. This style features extremely small diamonds in a pavé setting, creating a whisper thin band of feminine shimmer. Micro-pavé diamonds can be set in the band or around the center gem, creating a highly detailed look. The diamonds may be small, but these rings are valued for their delicate beauty, and the masterful skill involved in their creation.

The History of Pavé Engagement Rings

Pavé settings have been used in fine jewelry since the 1700s, but were not widespread in engagement rings until the 20th century. You’ll often find Retro engagement rings featuring pavé diamonds, because big, bold designs with lots of shimmer ruled the day during that era.

Famous Pavé Engagement Rings

Celebrities are known for wearing engagement rings featuring eye-poppingly large center diamonds, and those dazzling gems are often accented by delicate pavé set diamonds to further accentuate the rings’ sparkle. Natalie Portman’s engagement ring features a pavé halo as well as pavé diamonds on the band (which is made of recycled platinum—we approve!). Reese Witherspoon’s 4 carat Ashoka diamond ring features pavé accents along the band, as do the engagement rings of famous brides Blake Lively and Katherine Heigl.

Matching Pavé Wedding Bands

Why let your stunning pavé engagement ring be lonely? Pair your engagement ring with a gorgeous matching pavé wedding band to create a solid expanse of shining light encircling the finger. Or, mix it up and pair your pavé engagement ring with a bezel set wedding band or a prong set wedding band for a unique ring style ! Make sure you read up on women’s diamond wedding bands before you buy.

Final Thoughts

Do you adore pavé engagement rings? How many rows of pavé diamonds would your dream ring have? Let us know on InstagramFacebook or Twitter, or in the comments below!

The post Pavé Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

How to Match a Wedding Band to Your Engagement Ring

Brilliant Earth - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 19:55

 

Today, jewelry specialist Stephanie Chan shares the advice she gives Brilliant Earth customers who are trying to decide how their engagement rings and wedding rings should complement each other, and whether to custom design a wedding ring:

Choosing an engagement ring that embodies your unique style, feels timeless, and suits the kinds of activities you engage in on a daily basis can be challenging enough; on top of these considerations, I also see ring shoppers worry about whether they will find a wedding band that sits flush with the engagement ring. When my customers get brow-furrowingly concerned about it, I like to remind them that this decision is like any other they have made in their relationship: Be true to your style and values, and the rest always falls into place. Choose the engagement ring of your dreams, and the wedding ring will work itself out—and we’re here to make sure of it!

The first step to choosing a closely fitted wedding band is determining whether your engagement ring can sit flush with a straight wedding ring. Many classic engagement ring styles are already designed to sit flush with a straight band. Look for an elevated head that allows the center gemstone to sit above the band, like in the Petite Shared Prong Diamond Ring and the Halo Diamond Ring with Side Stones.

These styles and similar designs offer the simple option of pairing with a straight wedding band for a close fit. In addition, many Brilliant Earth engagement rings can be purchased as part of a matched set that includes a perfectly coordinated wedding band. But if your engagement ring has an elaborate shape that requires a custom fitted wedding ring, just contact our custom design team—we are happy to help you explore designing a custom piece!

There are a few jewelry design techniques that allow a wedding band to sit flush with the engagement ring: Contouring, notching, and a contouring and notching combination.

Contoured Wedding Rings

A contoured wedding band is designed to match the curvature of your engagement ring. Most frequently, that means a contoured band is shaped at the front to follow the contours of your engagement ring, and then straight in the back.

Contouring is the most common technique for flush wedding ring design, and elegantly accommodates a wide range of engagement ring styles. The Chamise Matched Set above is one sought after example of this option.

Notched Wedding Rings

Unlike a contoured wedding band, a notched wedding band is completely straight. Instead of bending around an engagement ring, the wedding band features a notch that allows the two rings to fit together like puzzle pieces.

A notched wedding band is a great option, but keep in mind that the wedding ring must be wide enough to safely accommodate a notch. The custom design above is a classic example of this style.

Contoured and Notched Wedding Rings

If your engagement ring both has a dramatic, elongated shape (which might be the case if your center gemstone is an oval, marquise, or emerald) and there are very fine details around the center gemstone, your wedding ring may need to be both contoured and notched to create a beautiful close fit.

 

Pros and Cons of a Custom Designed Matched Wedding Band

A contoured and notched wedding ring will follow the overall shape of your engagement ring, and additionally have notches in the contoured band that allow the engagement ring’s finer details to sit perfectly against it. The custom design above is a beautiful example.
Designing a wedding ring that sits perfectly flush with your engagement ring can have gorgeous results, but there are a few things you should consider. Weigh the pros and cons of creating a flush wedding ring:

PROS

  •  Your engagement and wedding rings will fit together beautifully with minimal gap between them. The look of the two complementary rings is breathtaking!
  • If you’ve had trouble with your engagement ring spinning on your finger before, then a flush wedding band style can often help keep your engagement ring more securely in place.
  • Since you plan to wear these two rings for the rest of your life, the extra effort of the custom design process will likely be well worth it.

CONS

  • In order to create a perfect fit, our jewelers need to keep your engagement ring on hand for 4-8 weeks while we create your wedding band. We know it can be difficult for a soon-to-be bride to part with her engagement ring, which is why we offer insured and prepaid shipping both ways to help you rest easy.
  • A custom designed wedding ring is not eligible for Brilliant Earth’s complimentary return, exchange, or resize policy, but its quality and craftsmanship is guaranteed under our Lifetime Manufacturing Warranty.
  • One potential style concern with a contoured or notched wedding ring is that it may be harder to wear when you take your engagement ring off  (when you’re traveling or exercising, for example). Because the wedding ring is designed with a complementary ring in mind, some women feel like something’s missing when worn on its own. Other women don’t mind the look at all, or simply turn the contoured or notched section around to show the straight back of the ring when wearing the wedding ring alone.

Finally, while the stacked, flush-fitting engagement ring and wedding band have become something of a modern tradition, don’t forget that we are making our own traditions all the time! If a straight wedding ring does not sit flush with your engagement ring, yet you aren’t drawn to a contoured or notched band either, consider wearing your two rings on separate hands. Alternatively, stack the rings on the same ring finger, but wear them with a gap. Either of these approaches recognizes that each of your rings has its own distinct personality, and deserves individual attention.

Final Thoughts

If you have questions about the best wedding band to pair with your engagement ring, contact a Brilliant Earth representative for personalized assistance. We’re excited to help you create a beautiful match!

The post How to Match a Wedding Band to Your Engagement Ring appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

9 Unique Custom Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 17:22

The Brilliant Earth custom design team loves to help couples bring their unique vision to life. With all of their friends getting engaged at once, some people want to have a ring that nobody else has.

Others have an idea of their ideal ring design in their heads and need help creating it. Still others have seen a ring that they like sold elsewhere but want us to make a similar style using ethically sourced gemstones and recycled precious metals. Whatever the reason a couple goes custom, an absolutely breathtaking, utterly unique ring is always the outcome. Here are some gorgeous custom engagement rings we’ve created for Brilliant Earth couples:

Sweeping Three Stone Sapphire and Diamond Ring

The Sweeping Three Stone Sapphire and Diamond Engagment Ring features a brilliant center diamond accented by two deep blue sapphires. Set in a sweeping yellow tone metal, this ring is unique and elegant.

Vintage-Inspired Woven Circle Diamond Ring

The Vintage Inspired Woven Circle Diamond Ring has an intricate web of delicate filigree encircled by colored stones. A stunning bezel set center diamond completes the romantic look.

Geometric Emerald Cut Diamond Ring

In the Geometric Emerald Cut Diamond Ring, a dazzling bezel-set emerald cut diamond is sits within a delicate band of diamond geometric shapes. Each shape features a pave set stone.

Aquamarine and Diamond Baguette Ring

A dazzling emerald cut aquamarine center us accented by four baguette cut diamond accents on each shoulder in the Aquamarine and Diamond Baguette Ring. The delicate tapered band adds allure to this beautiful piece.

Citrine and Pavé Diamond Ring with Garnet and Peridot Accents

The Citrine and Pavé Diamond Ring with Garnet and Peridot Accents is a one-of-a-kind engagement ring with a citrine in a compass point setting. The uniquely designed band features a row of pavé set diamonds with a single garnet at the end.

Vintage Style Cluster Halo Diamond Ring

Inspired by romantic vintage style, the Vintage Style Cluster Halo Diamond Ring is truly a statement piece. A cluster halo of brilliant accent diamonds encircle a stunning center white diamond.

Modern Diamond Three Stone Ring

The sleek and classic Modern Diamond Three Stone Ring features two blue stones and one center diamond prong set within sweeping ribbons of smooth metal.

Compass Point Princess Diamond Ring

The Compass Point Princess Diamond Ring is set in a compass point orientations, while the body of the ring features delicate channel set princess cut stones. Ribbons of metal meet at the compass points of the diamond center stone creating a balanced piece.

Double Milgrain Bezel Halo Diamond Ring

A diamond lover’s dream, the Double Milgrain Bezel Halo Diamond Ring features a double halo of bezel-set diamonds encircling a round emerald. Milgrain surrounds each gem for an exquisite vintage-inspired look.

Final Thoughts

Do you love custom rings? Which of these designs is your favorite? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section! Read our Unique Engagement Ring Guide for more inspiration!

The post 9 Unique Custom Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

2018 Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 05:14

 

Every December, the Pantone Color Institute announces its Color of the Year to influence and inspire design in the upcoming year. Ultra Violet, a beautiful blue based purple, has been chosen as its 2018 Color of the Year. 

A bright combination of red undertones and deep indigo, Ultra Violet is intended to communicate “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points towards the future.” Ultra Violet’s stunning purple shade can be seen in our amethyst ring collection and vintage amethyst ring collection. Although sapphires are most traditionally associated with blue tones, they also come in striking purple shades that closely resemble Ultra Violet. Perfect for adding glamorous touches to your holiday looks or brightening your spring wardrobe, Ultra Violet is versatile and unique.

Get ahead of the 2018 trend with these jewelry pieces showcasing Pantone’s Ultra Violet shade:




FINAL THOUGHTS

Will you incorporate Ultra Violet into your holiday or spring wardrobe? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The post 2018 Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gifts that Give Back 2017

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 18:59

 

At Brilliant Earth, we’re proud to give back 5% of profits to help build a brighter future in communities impacted by the jewelry trade.

For purchases that you can truly feel good about this holiday season, consider gifts that support causes that are meaningful to you or your loved ones. We compiled a roundup of our favorite gifts that give back:

KAYU CLUTCH

Featuring red stone clasps and a drop-in chain, this elegant Kayu clutch is perfect for holiday and New Year’s Eve parties. It is handmade from sustainable, natural straw that has been harvested, stripped, and dyed by hand. By employing female cooperatives in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, Kayu is helping preserve unique cultural heritages and providing fair living wages.

S’WELL WATER BOTTLE

This limited edition S’well water bottle gives back by donating to (Product) Red’s fight against HIV/AIDS. (RED)’s fight against AIDS is focused on African countries with a high prevalence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Plus, reusable water bottles are an eco-friendly choice and perfect for on the go!

SILVER BOUQUET PENDANT

Contemporary and playful, the Silver Bouquet Pendant makes a unique and stunning gift. Featuring pink and yellow sapphires, a morganite, and a diamond, this pendant is guaranteed to catch the eye this holiday season. Made of recycled silver and featuring vibrant gemstones, the Silver Bouquet Pendant is a gift you can truly feel good about.

ONE GRID CANDLE

Get cozy this holiday season with candles from OneGrid. Every candle purchase from OneGrid delivers a solar light to a person living without electricity in a rural part of the world, which reduces the use of dangerous kerosene lamps. Each candle’s fragrance is inspired by the country to which the proceeds are donated. For example, the African Petals candle smells of African violet and rose, and donates a solar light to a Kenyan family.

THE LITTLE MARKET ROSE GIFT BOX

Founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla, The Little Market is an online fair-trade shop with gorgeous products handmade by artisans all around the world. This Rose Gift Box is the perfect treat for yourself or a loved one during long and chilly winter evenings. It comes with a sugar scrub, soaking salt, and a soy candle all made by young mothers and refugees in the United States. A beautiful ceramic tray handcrafted by artisans in Morocco completes this special gift set.

LOCAL AND LEJOS BOWL SET

Handcrafted in Rwanda by the People Who Are Together Cooperative, this beautiful and versatile Muhanga Nesting Bowl Set is the perfect holiday gift. The baskets are handwoven by Rwandan women and help to provide fair wages and ethical working conditions.

BEYOND CONFLICT FREE DIAMOND JEWELRY

For a truly personal and special gift this holiday season, consider ethical diamond jewelry. Opt for classic diamond stud earrings or a distinctive diamond necklace, or create your own diamond earrings or necklace by selecting an earring or necklace setting and pairing it with your ideal Beyond Conflict Free Diamond.

FIRE DEPARTMENT COFFEE

Stock up on coffee beans and support our first responders this holiday season with a purchase from Fire Department Coffee. The FDC Christmas Blend is roasted to order and makes a warming and seasonally appropriate gift. A portion of every purchase supports firefighter and military charities.

LUSH CHARITY POT

Lush’s charity pot does a lot of good—and not just for your skin! 100% of the price is donated to environmental, animal welfare, and human rights grassroots organizations. The sticker on the lid of the pot indicates which specific cause your charity pot is supporting. Treat your skin in the chilly winter months using this hydrating lotion featuring ylang ylang and rosewood oils.

ONE HOPE SPARKLING WINE

OneHope’s wines and celebration bubbly make festive holiday gifts while also giving back! This California Celebration Brut Sparkling Wine provides 15 meals to a child in need. Your OneHope purchase this year is especially impactful because it provides economic support to California’s Wine Country following devastating fires that occurred earlier this fall.

OPAL CADENCE RING

Featuring a shimmering opal cabochon set in a warm, rose gold setting, the Opal Cadence Ring perfectly captures the glow of the season. Subtle and chic, this responsibly sourced solitaire ring is perfect for everyday wear.

FINAL THOUGHTS

What are your favorite ethical gifts? How do you plan to give back during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

The post Gifts that Give Back 2017 appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

7 Stunning Vintage Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 19:40

At Brilliant Earth we are crazy for vintage rings. Though it’s hard to pick favorites, we’ve rounded up seven especially stunning engagement rings from vintage periods spanning the Victorian era of the late 19th century to the Retro era of the mid-20th.

All of these vintage engagement rings have a distinctly antique allure but are timelessly beautiful enough to look just-right for this century. Take a look and let us know your favorite!

The Becky Ring

Geometric designs are characteristic of the chic Art Deco style, and the Becky Ring is a gorgeous example of the aesthetic. A dazzling cushion cut diamond forms the centerpiece of the platinum ring, surrounded by single cut diamonds in a tiered pattern.

The Munro Ring

Rings from the Art Nouveau era frequently feature curving, asymmetrical designs and this beauty is no exception. The Munro Ring features a pearl and old European cut diamond.

The Embarcadero Ring

A stunning round brilliant cut diamond makes the perfect centerpiece for the Embarcadero Ring. The thirty four diamonds surrounding the center and the milgrain detailing adorning the setting complete the Edwardian look.

The Edyta Ring

The Edyta Ring features twenty eight surprise diamond accents encrusted in the gallery along with a stunning round brilliant center diamond.

The Esquivel Ring

With an oval-shaped amethyst surrounded by a halo of twelve opals, the Esquivel Ring exudes Retro glamour with its floral motif.

The Barsky Ring

The Barksy Ring showcases a beautiful brilliant cut diamond accented by two channels of single cut diamonds.

The Ola Ring

A gorgeous example of a quintessentially Edwardian design, the enchanting Ola Ring features a round brilliant diamond in a detailed 18K white gold setting.

Final Thoughts

Which of these vintage engagement rings is your favorite? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

The post 7 Stunning Vintage Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What Does Mugabe’s Fall Mean to the Diamond Trade?

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 00:08
PHOTO: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released

 When Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, resigned last month after 37 years in office, it marked the end of an era. Zimbabwe’s people are heaving a sigh of relief at the downfall of a corrupt dictator. But will Mugabe’s demise bring about real change in the country—such as reduced corruption and a diamond trade that benefits all Zimbabweans?

It is hard to say. Our best guess is that it would be unwise to expect change, but foolish to discount the possibility. We also know that this is a question of vital importance both to the people of Zimbabwe and to the global diamond industry.

Diamonds from Zimbabwe have long cast a shadow over the world’s diamond supply. Following the discovery of a massive diamond deposit in the Marange area of Zimbabwe about a decade ago, Zimbabwe’s army violently seized control of the area, massacring civilians and enslaving adults and children. After an international outcry, Mugabe’s government turned over mining operations to a group of companies controlled mostly by members of Zimbabwe’s security establishment. NGOs suspect that these companies have stolen billions of dollars worth of diamonds and that the money has been used to enrich military leaders and fund oppression by the government’s secret police. Despite this, diamonds from Zimbabwe continue to be labeled “conflict free” under the Kimberley Process’s limited conflict free definition.

Advocates for responsible mining have repeatedly urged Zimbabwe’s government to clean up its act.  Two steps are long overdue.  Zimbabwe needs to end military involvement in diamond mining. It must also require mining companies to open their accounting books, which would force them to share their profits equitably with Zimbabwe’s treasury. With increased diamond revenue, Zimbabwe’s government could take steps to alleviate poverty and promote development.

As long as Mugabe was president, there was little chance that Zimbabwe’s government would undertake needed reforms. His resignation led to joyful celebrations by Zimbabweans who were tired of his rule. The question now is whether Zimbabwe’s new government, led by former vice-president Emmerson Mnanagagwa, will be any better.

There is reason to be skeptical. Mnangagwa, whose nickname is “the crocodile,” has a reputation as a wily and ruthless politician. He has been accused of playing a role in the persecution of citizens of the Mtabeland region in the 1980s. When it comes to diamonds, his record is not exactly spotless. UN records show that he may have profited from blood diamonds during a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1998 to 2002. He is also mentioned in a September Global Witness report as the defense minister who attended a ceremony awarding a mining license to a company that is 40 percent owned by Zimbabwe’s defense forces.

The biggest reason to doubt Mnangagwa’s reform credentials has to do with how he came to power—through a military coup. Prior to the coup, he was known as being closely aligned with the military and security wing of the ruling ZANU-PF party.  It could be hard for Mnangagwa to now turn on the military leaders who brought him to power and require them to give up their diamond profits.

And yet, there is always the possibility that Mnangagwa has some surprises in store for his military friends. One reason for optimism is the example of Angola, another African country with a record of human rights abuses in its diamond trade. In August, Angola elected a new president, João Lourenço, after 38 years of rule by dictator José Eduardo dos Santos. Lourenço has defied expectations by taking steps to reduce corruption. These include replacing the head of Endiama, Angola’s state-run diamond company, and standing up to the business empire of the corrupt dos Santos family—despite being handpicked by dos Santos as a successor.

We hope that Mnangagwa, in Zimbabwe, will similarly decide to act independently of political and military insiders and enact a reform agenda. One of his first moves has been to appoint Winston Chitando as his new Minister of Mines. It is somewhat encouraging that Chitando is not a military leader and that he appears to have international mining expertise.  Perhaps Mnangagwa, the crocodile, is already using his political skills to take a bite out of corruption.  We will be watching closely.

The post What Does Mugabe’s Fall Mean to the Diamond Trade? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Most Popular Colors for Sapphire Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 19:23

 

You probably know that a sapphire is a gorgeous and traditional choice for an engagement ring, and may have heard that before the twentieth-century engagement rings more often featured sapphires than diamonds.

We bet you don’t realize how many gorgeous hues sapphires can be found in–deep blue is just the beginning! In fact, sapphires occur in every color of the rainbow (though red sapphires go by their other name, rubies). At Brilliant Earth, we create engagement rings using ethically sourced sapphires in every hue. These are the colors that are most popular for sapphire engagement rings:

Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

Classic deep blue remains the most sought after choice for sapphire engagement rings. At Brilliant Earth we offer blue sapphires in round, oval, and cushion cuts as a standard option in most of our engagement ring styles, which means that these rings can be yours quickly, sometimes in as little as a week from when you place your order.

Peach Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

 

You may not have known that sapphires come in lovely shades of peach, but peach sapphires are among the most popular colors for sapphire engagement rings. They offer the feminine beauty of pink sapphires in a more understated shade.

Green Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

If you adore the color green, consider a green sapphire as the centerpiece for an engagement ring. Because sapphires are harder and more scratch-resistant than emeralds, a green sapphire may be a better choice for an engagement ring than an emerald.

Yellow Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

Bright and brilliant yellow sapphires are the second most requested gemstone for sapphire engagement rings. We offer oval yellow sapphires in two sizes as a standard option, and often offer other shapes and sizes in our collection of Unique Colored Gemstones.

Pink Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

Beautiful pink sapphires are a feminine and very romantic choice for an engagement ring. They come in shades ranging from bright pink to deep fuchsia, and look especially beautiful against cool white gold or platinum.

Purple Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

If purple is your favorite hue, consider a purple sapphire as the centerpiece for an engagement ring. These gemstones usually feature a deeper shade of purple than that of amethysts, and make a very distinctive choice.

Orange Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

A bright and beautiful orange sapphire exudes joy, making it a perfect, if unexpected, choice for your engagement ring. Orange sapphires work equally well in traditional and contemporary settings.

White Sapphire Engagement Rings

 

Many people have never heard of a white sapphire, but these stunning gemstones make beautiful engagement rings. They are nearly as scratch-resistant as diamonds, making them perfect for everyday wear, but cost significantly less.

Final Thoughts

Which of these sapphire engagement ring colors is your favorite?  Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

The post The Most Popular Colors for Sapphire Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Beautiful Bezel Set Diamond Rings

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 23:06

 

Bezel set rings are beloved for their sleek design and modern curves. This distinctive diamond setting is stunning when featured at the center of an engagement ring, but also looks utterly unique when used in accent stones and wedding bands.

What is a bezel setting?

A bezel setting surrounds the gem’s girdle (its widest point) with a thin band of precious metal to create a perfectly smooth edge and keep the gem secure.

 

Bezel Setting Vs. Prong Setting

Rather than surrounding the gemstone in precious metal, prong settings hold the diamond in place with either bead, peg, or claw prongs. The prong is notched at the gem’s girdle to secure it in place. Since prong set styles use less precious metal to hold the gemstone in place, more light filters through the diamond. This causes prong set diamonds to appear more brilliant than bezel set diamonds. Solitaire prong settings tend to be less expensive than solitaire bezel settings since less metal is used.

Prong settings leave the diamond more exposed, so if you live an active lifestyle your diamond might be at a higher risk of getting damaged.

Bezel settings leave the diamond completely wrapped in metal, keeping it very secure. Although less light reaches the diamond in a bezel setting, a band of lustrous precious metal may make your gemstone appear larger.

Advantages of bezel settings

If you live a highly active lifestyle, or work in an environment where your ring is likely to get bumped often, bezel settings are a great choice! A stone held in a bezel setting is less likely to get loose and fall out, making this setting an excellent choice for active people.

Bezel setting can also be great at hiding a gemstone’s visible defects, such as chips or inclusions. If you are opting for a softer gemstone, such as an opal or emerald, a bezel setting will protect them from scratches and chips better than a prong setting would.

These settings also offer versatility in style. They’re especially great if you love modern engagement rings, but you want a ring with a bit of vintage flair. Choosing a bezel setting with light-reflecting milgrain detailing can add a touch of old world charm. If you want something a bit more glamorous, you could choose a bezel setting with diamond accents. Semi-bezel rings—featuring a bezel that does not surround the entire circumference of the gemstone— are also secure and create gorgeous, flowing styles.

 

Bezel Set Engagement Rings

Luna Ring

This beautiful modern ring features a bezel set center gem with a sleek band for a contemporary look.

Alvadora Diamond Ring

This truly exceptional vintage-inspired ring features a bezel set center gem surrounded by lavishly detailed latticework and a halo of shimmering diamonds.

Rosebud Ring

This romantic rose cut diamond solitaire evokes a vintage yet timeless feel. A popular style during the Georgian and Victorian eras, rose cut diamonds feature a flat base and multi-faceted crown.

Malia Diamond Ring

An intricate halo of pavé-set diamonds embraces and accentuates the center bezel set fancy shaped gem of this brilliant modern style ring. Diamond accents on the band and a chic open gallery add a truly dazzling effect.

Petite Semi-Bezel Ring

Modern and graceful, this ring features a thin band that tapers into a smooth semi-bezel setting. The bezel arc forms around the East and West sides of the center gem, showing off the diamond’s brilliant facets.

Sierra Ring

Slightly lofted within an intricate milgrained halo for a brilliant sparkle, this striking ring features a gorgeous bezel set center gem. The distinctive and beautifully detailed gallery lends exceptional appeal.

Trilogy Ring

This dazzling three stone ring features rose cut diamonds, creating a vintage-inspired yet timeless look.

 

Bezel Set Wedding and Anniversary Rings

Luxe Solstice Eternity Diamond Ring

Round bezel set diamonds encircle the finger in this glamorous band. Milgrain detailing adds another dimension of interest, making for a timeless look.

Petite Ivy Scroll Diamond Ring

Swirling vines of precious metal and bezel set diamonds wrap around the finger in this delicate wedding band.

Bezel Diamond Ring Stack

This modern ring stack features three bezel set rings with a princess, round, and pear shaped diamond for a chic and contemporary look.

Quintessa Diamond Ring

Five bezel set round brilliant diamonds are encircled by glittering pavé diamond accents in this striking ring.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re attracted to bezel settings for their sleek and modern appearance, or you prefer them for practical reasons, there’s no doubt that these rings are striking! Let us know what style is your favorite on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

The post Beautiful Bezel Set Diamond Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

8 Amazing Antique Halo Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 19:49

Halo engagement rings have been sought after for the past several years, but this popular design is by no means new.

Vintage halo rings featuring halos of diamonds or other gemstones encircling a center gem were designed at least as early as the Victorian era and were popular in the Art Deco and Retro eras as well. Halo engagement rings highlight the center gemstone by surrounding it in dazzling sparkle, and they have a beautiful symmetry that many people are drawn to.  If you love vintage engagement rings and are a fan of halo designs then you’ll adore these eight amazing antique rings:

The Amel Ring

In the Amel Ring, a stunning old European cut diamond is surrounded by sparkling diamond accents in a beautiful square halo. This white gold ring makes for a chic Art Deco take on a halo design.

The Tania Ring

The distinctive Tania Ring exudes Art Deco-era style, with a halo of French rubies encircling a princess cut diamond. Round diamond accents on the shoulders add beautiful vintage detail.

The Narita Ring

 

The lovely Edwardian-era Narita Ring showcases a cluster of glittering round brilliant diamonds. The textured yellow gold band adds a unique touch to this gorgeous vintage ring.

The Dayneko Ring

The elegant and feminine Dayneko Ring is a stunning Art Deco piece showcasing a deep blue center sapphire encircled by a  halo of eleven round brilliant diamonds.

The Oxnard Ring

The graceful Edwardian-era Oxnard Ring showcases a ravishing oval-shaped opal center cabochon, encircled in a halo of diamond accents for an enchanting look.

The Beverly Hills Ring

In the breathtaking Beverly Hills Ring, a glistening round brilliant cut diamond is surrounded by a luxurious halo of thirty diamond accents. This ring is a true vintage beauty.

The Boneta Ring

 

A gorgeous peridot is accented by a halo diamonds in the Edwardian-era Boneta Ring. With a yellow gold band and a platinum head, this two toned ring is absolutely lovely.

The Bonsai Ring

This Edwardian Bonsai Ring features a stunning old European cut center diamond. Diamond accents surround the center in a luminous halo.

Final Thoughts

If you love the antique allure of rose gold settings, consider a rose gold halo engagement ring. Which of these antique halo engagement rings is your favorite?  Explore more styles in our collection of vintage halo rings.

The post 8 Amazing Antique Halo Engagement Rings appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gucci Moves Its Fine Jewelry Line Upmarket

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 05:54
Alessandro Michele adds a collection of gem-encrusted designs, expanding the house’s offerings to its already adoring (and buying) fans.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Louisa Guinness Showcases Jewelry by Artists in Her First Book

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 05:54
The London-based dealer seeks to turn the page on misconceptions about jewelry made by artists, featuring works by Picasso, Calder, Dalí and Kapoor.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Macho Home on Guys’ Wrists

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 18:56
The colorful jewelry combo of turquoise and silver is showing up in magazine spreads, social media feeds and hip urban enclaves.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

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