For years, diamonds have been a symbol of love, commitment, and fidelity, instantly recognizable and treasured around the world. But shopping for jewelry in a pandemic takes some getting used to: virtual appointments are replacing store visits.
According to a study conducted by MasterCard Spending pulse, online jewelry sales went up 45% this holiday season. For many, online shopping has taken the place of travel and in-person entertainment, now unavailable during the pandemic. But buying diamonds on the internet can be a little nerve-wracking.
Diamonds, known for their beauty, are known just as widely for their rarity and high price tag. Buying a diamond is an investment, and committing to such an expensive piece of jewelry through a screen is intimidating for some.
With the holiday season in our rearview mirror and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to find out where and how you can buy ethically responsible and high-quality diamonds from the comfort of your living room.
Here are some tips on how to find the best ethical diamonds online.
1. Make sure the diamond is certified under The Kimberly Process
The first thing to note when hunting for ethical diamonds online is whether or not the diamond is certified under the Kimberly Process (KPCS).
KPCS was created as a means to control rough diamond production and trade. This documentation is an extensive ethical legitimacy, certifies diamonds as ‘conflict free,’ and prevents conflict diamonds (commonly known as blood diamonds) from entering the trade. The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme was created to ensure that diamond purchases don’t end up funding violent movements seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
In other words, if your diamond is certified under KPCS, you can rest assured that it is not a conflict diamond.
2. Find out what country the diamond is sourced from
The next thing to look for when shopping online for ethically sourced diamonds is the diamond’s country of origin.
South Africa was originally the world’s largest diamond exporter, but over the past twenty years, other countries have begun to catch up.
Diamonds from Botswana, for example, are not only some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world, they are also ethically sourced. Botswana produced over 24 million carats in 2018 and created revenue for over two million of its people. When you buy a diamond sourced from Botswana, you’re not just getting a beautiful and rare piece of jewelry, you’re also helping to support and improve the lives of many Botswanans.
Another great example is Russia. To date, Russia is the world’s largest diamond producer, supplying over 43 million carats in 2018 alone. Diamonds sourced from Russia are also socially, economically, and environmentally responsible. Alrosa, a leading company in the diamond mining industry, aims to make a positive impact on the community in Yakutia, where its diamonds are mined. Using proceeds from diamond sales, Alrosa is able to give back to local residents and help the towns that support their business.
All in all, it’s best to do your research and find out where your diamond comes from. Who knows — you may find out your diamond is actually helping feed a family in need or helping save the planet.
3. Buy from ethically responsible online jewelers
Finally, which online jewelers can you visit to find ethical diamonds?
Brilliant Earth, Blue Nile, and Miadonna are three great jewelers that are easily accessible online and have access to thousands of different ethically sourced and elegant diamonds.
Brilliant Earth offers Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds on their website, which are selected specifically from ethical and environmentally responsible origins. Brilliant Earth is also conscious of using recycled metals with their jewelry pieces and delivers your items in FSC certified environmentally-friendly packaging. This particular jeweler offers virtual appointments in order to create a worry-free online buying experience.
Blue Nile has a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds, so you can be sure you’re getting an ethically sourced diamond on this platform. They also openly support the Kimberly Process and adhere to Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold Golden Rules of responsible mining. This site offers virtual appointments for its customers as well.
Miadonna is another great option for purchasing ethical diamonds. This retailer sells only conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, lab-grown gemstones, and recycled precious metals. Miadonna also offers an at-home try-on experience where customers can sample their diamonds from home and send them back within 7 days at zero cost.
These three online jewelers are not just ethically responsible, they’ve also made the online diamond shopping experience less daunting and easier to navigate for first-time buyers.
4. Do your research
Within the last few years, certain jewelry companies like Alrosa, DeBeers, and Tiffany Co. have taken initiatives to ensure the ethical quality of their diamonds.
For example, Diamonds That Care, a socially responsible jewelry brand created by Alrosa and available at brilliantearth.com, has donated one hundred and sixty million dollars to 500 charitable and social initiatives, eighty million dollars to environmental projects in Yakutia and Siberia, and seven million dollars to local hospitals in Russia for medicine, equipment, and protective gear during COVID-19.
While COVID-19 has impacted many lives, Feeding America has provided groceries for food-insecure families, since poor nutrition puts them at higher risk. Diamonds That Care has taken it upon themselves to donate 10% of sales from the I Care jewelry collection to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. In partnership with jewelry designer Anna Hu and auction platform Christie’s Diamonds That Care also raised $338,781 for the families of frontline healthcare workers and volunteers who lost their lives to COVID-19.
These tips will ensure you feel good about your purchase. Buying diamonds online doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience anymore.