Bottom Line Recommendation
In a nutshell, Brilliant Earth falls short in comparison to competitors like James Allen, particularly when it comes to diamond visualization. Unless you’re seeking a very specific engagement ring unavailable elsewhere, their inventory and diamond videos are not good enough to make a safe purchase (for my taste). For that reason, I don’t see any reason to buy from them when you can buy from a much more reliable retailer like this one.
While Brilliant Earth offers you a 1.00 carat E VS1 for $8,740 with a “standard” (poor) quality video, you can buy the same grades here for $7,100 and see a clear video of the diamond you get.
Same goes with a 2.00 carat E VS1 lab-grown diamond – Brilliant Earth sell it for $4,710 but you can see a much more reliable video, at a better price of $3,880 here.
James Allen Discounts
Blue Nile Discounts
Table of Contents
You are on the search for the right diamond, probably a lab-grown. One name you came across is Brilliant Earth, and for a good reason. With a clear slogan of “beyond conflict-free,” they are one of the most famous players in the lab-grown diamonds market. But are they a good fit for you? In this article, I will cover their prices, selection, shopping experience, and much more.
Expect to get my honest review.
Let’s dive in.
Brilliant Earth: A little background check
Since we are talking about a large investment, I believe it’s essential to ensure we are in good hands. The diamond market can be pretty sketchy at times. For that reason, we need to feel safe that if we pay someone, we can ask for help in the future if needed and, of course, get what we paid for.
So let’s check:
Have you heard the term “Blood diamonds”?
There’s a famous movie with Leonardo Decaprio that discusses the following problem: In the past, some diamonds were mined in war zones. When we bought a diamond, with or without knowing, we financed the war. The warlords and mining companies enjoyed the profits while the civilians suffered.
Why am I telling you this?
Because Brilliant Earth started its way back in 2005 with a mission to raise the diamond industry’s ethical standards and give access to beautiful and conflict-free jewelry to you and me.
The only suppliers they work with are the ones that follow their “Beyond Conflict Free” protocol, along with internationally recognized labor, trade, and environmental standards.
In 2018 Brilliant Earth took one step further to bring transparency to its customers. By partnering up with Everledger, they created “Blockchain diamonds.” By doing so, they give us access to detailed information about the diamond’s journey: where it was mined and manufactured, the hands that were involved in the process, and more.
Read more about Everledger and Brilliant Earth press release here.
Ok. So Brilliant Earth presents itself as a company that cares about the world. Still, how can we know it’s trustworthy? By looking at their financial information.
Brilliant Earth is 17 years old, with a $428.64M market cap and a $380.2M fiscal yearly revenue. At the end of 2021, they went partially public under the name Brilliant Earth Group, Inc. (BRLT)
Long story short, they are big players, not just another online retailer that pops out of nowhere. They have an excellent reputation, and they work hard to keep it this way. Moreover, they need to show good results every quarter to keep their shareholders happy and make their stock’s price go to the moon. How? by giving us good products and service.
So yeah, they are trustworthy.
Diamond inventory and selection
Suppose you are interested in buying a diamond from Brilliant Earth. In that case, I am willing to bet that you are interested in a lab-grown diamond. I have a feeling that roughly 10%-20% of their customers come for a natural stone. However, if you want a natural diamond, I do think that their natural selection won’t give you “the best bang for your buck.” Still, there are other reasons why you should buy a natural diamond from Brilliant Earth; the main one is their beautiful settings. If you come across your dream setting, don’t worry. With close to 100,000 natural diamonds, we can find the right one for you. It might cost you a little bit more, but hell! It’s worth it.
Starting from a 0.26 carat pear diamond for $270 up to a 16.72 carat Asscher cut for $149,940, Brilliant Earth offers pretty much any lab-created diamond you can ask for. Right now, there are 128,503 lab diamonds available in their inventory; around 80% of them are photographed with a 360 HD video available. If you need help narrowing down those 128,503 to the right one, you can contact me here.
If you read some of my articles or watched my youtube videos, you might know already that I’m not a big fan of CVD diamonds. The good thing is that Brilliant Earth offers both CVD and HPHT lab-created diamonds. Each stone was graded by well-respected grading labs: IGI, GIA, or GCAL.
One thing that I do want to mention is their stunning lab-created fancy colored diamonds. While most of the market is focused on colorless diamonds, I strongly recommend checking their fancy diamonds gallery. You might fall in love with a one-of-a-kind piece because, let me tell you something, no one in the market offers such a variety of colors. For instance, the following 1.15 fancy intense pink diamond is sold for only $4,110. A similar natural diamond would be sold for $100,000 and higher!!! (not including insurance)
Something about those colored and magical stones can give any piece of jewelry a personal touch. Currently starting from $750, a gemstone can be an attractive solution for those who have a tight budget or just want gorgeous jewelry at a reasonable price. You can create your own engagement ring here or check their gemstone jewelry in this gallery.
A significant advantage in the e-commerce world is that businesses have fewer expenses: no rent and less staff. As a result, an online business can offer the exact product at a much better price. Same here with Brilliant Earth. While offering fair and competitive prices compared to their online competitors, they offer better prices than most brick-and-mortar stores.
When buying online, you can look for “the best deal”; the lowest price per carat you can get. However, I don’t think that’s what you should focus on. Also, keep in mind a lower price doesn’t necessarily mean the diamond is beautiful. You may come across companies like Clean Origin, another well-known website in the lab diamonds niche. Although they offer lower prices than Brilliant Earth, their buying experience is not that good (to say the least).
If your budget is tight, I can understand why you’ll pick a cheaper option. But if you can invest a couple of hundred more, Brilliant Earth is worth it.
Diamond pricing comparison
Brilliant Earth excels mainly in its jewelry and engagement ring designs. However, there are alternatives that provide better pricing for both natural and lab-grown diamonds, along with superior video visualizations. Unless you’re dead set on a specific Brilliant Earth design, it’s wise to explore other options to ensure you’re not overpaying.
Let’s dive right into the price showdown between James Allen and Brilliant Earth. By doing so, you’ll quickly grasp which retailer delivers greater value for your money, allowing you to either pocket some savings or upgrade to a superior diamond.
Each diamond features identical color and clarity, boasts a triple X cut, has no fluorescence, and is GIA-graded. The selection criteria focused solely on affordability, rather than aesthetic appeal.
|Brilliant Earth||James Allen|
|0.5 Carat E VS1||$2,350||$1,800|
|1.00 Carat E VS1||$10,550||$9,700|
|1.25 Carat E VS1||$14,160||$13,860|
|1.50 Carat E VS1||$21,100||$20,340|
|1.80 Carat E VS1||$30,420||$27,790|
|2.00 Carat E VS1||$39,370||$35,940|
|2.50 Carat E VS1||$57,400||$50,910|
|3.00 Carat E VS1||$104,950||$81,760|
So in the natural diamonds competition, obviously, James Allen wins.
Here’s where the plot thickens. If you’ve made it this far in the article, there’s a high chance you’re eyeing a lab-grown diamond. We’ll tackle two distinct comparisons to cater to three primary customer profiles:
1. Those aiming for the highest-quality diamond their budget allows.
2. Those prioritizing size over color and clarity.
3. Those seeking an optimal balance among all factors.
When it comes to premium diamonds, there’s no settling on color and clarity – we are going to the top. Each diamond in this category is a D color, with VVS2 clarity and a triple X cut.
|Brilliant Earth||James Allen|
|1.00 Carat D VVS2||$1,740||$1,560|
|1.25 Carat D VVS2||$2,190||$2,290|
|1.50 Carat D VVS2||$3,690||$3,540|
|1.75 Carat D VVS2||$5,590||$4,970|
|2.00 Carat D VVS2||$6,780||$6,010|
|2.50 Carat D VVS2||$10,600||$9,880|
|3.00 Carat D VVS2||$17,830||$18,710|
The largest option
To maximize size within your budget, we’re willing to be flexible on color and clarity. All diamonds fall within an I-H color range and have VS2-VS1 clarity. Here, I’ve selected the most budget-friendly options within these parameters:
|Brilliant Earth||James Allen|
The Best Balance
For an ideal balance across all factors, we’re targeting E color diamonds that are virtually colorless, along with VS1 clarity for an eye-clean appearance.
|Brilliant Earth||James Allen|
|1.00 Carat E VS1||$1,610||$1,550|
|1.25 Carat E VS1||$2,250||$2,130|
|1.50 Carat E VS1||$3,380||$2,900|
|1.75 Carat E VS1||$4,810||$4,520|
|2.00 Carat E VS1||$6,470||$6,140|
|2.50 Carat E VS1||$9,750||$9,580|
|3.00 Carat E VS1||$16,730||$15,580|
In summary, James Allen provides more budget-friendly lab-grown diamonds. However, their current inventory is lacking in the nearly colorless grades. If you’re working with a limited budget and prioritize size, Brilliant Earth presents better alternatives. Their 1.00-carat option for $1,300, for instance, could be a great fit for many buyers.
Brilliant Earth buying experience
Imagine yourself taking a walk in your local mall. You are on the hunt for the perfect diamond, looking around for something to catch your eyes. Some stores look dull, old school, and sketchy, but one store pops up and actually gives you inspiration. Something about their overall design, colors, and how they present their products; just makes you want to buy. That’s Brilliant Earth, but online.
Design-wise, I admit that Brilliant Earth beats all their competition. You can browse their website and Instagram and have that feeling that “This! This is what I was looking for!”. You can start your way by choosing the setting, after that the diamond, or vise-versa. Either way, their clean gallery makes the buying experience very clear and straightforward.
Searching for a diamond is very simple. With over 100,000 diamonds available, I believe you can find what you are looking for. Start by choosing the diamond shape, and narrow it down with all the filters. I strongly recommend using the “Real View” filter to see a 360 HD video of the diamond you are about to buy. If you are in a hurry, you can also use the “Quick Ship Diamonds.”
With 20 showrooms across the US, you can set up an appointment to see the diamond in person. If you can’t make it, no worries, you can schedule a virtual appointment and chat online.
Most people spend 3-6 months doing market research. Unless you need to save money for the investment, I recommend avoiding overcomplicating it. If you need help finding the right diamond, contact me here.
Buying online with Brilliant Earth is very simple:
- Choose your dream setting
- We will find your diamond together
- Choose a wedding ring
- You are good to go.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out here.
Not everything is perfect about Brilliant Earth; the 360 HD videos they provide are not the best. When inspecting different diamonds with videos and photos, you need to see them under the same conditions: natural light and good white balance. If one of those is out of balance, it’s hard to know if the color of the diamond is similar to how it looks in real life.
Here are two ways you can handle this problem:
- Look for diamonds with videos that seem like they were taken under the same conditions: The background color should look identical, with a similar amount of lighting. This way, it would be easier to compare the diamonds.
- If possible, visit Brilliant Earth’s showroom near you to see the diamond in person.
- If you want to play on the safe side, just contact me here, and let’s find this diamond together.
Shipping and return policies
If you are from the US, Canada, UK or Australia, I’m happy to tell you that you are in good hands. With some help from FedEx, Brilliant Earth can ship your order right to your doorstep, offering free shipping and hustle-free returns.
Suppose, for some reason, you are unhappy with the product. In that case, you are covered with a complimentary 30-day return or replacement policy.
Need to resize the ring? You have 60 days with free shipping both ways.
Brilliant Earth showrooms near you
If you want to see the diamond in person before you pull the trigger, or if you need someone to give you 1-to-1 attention, you should check if Brilliant Earth has a showroom near you. With over 20 showrooms across the country (and growing), there is a good chance you can schedule an appointment and make that happen.
Showroom list (Click to see more info):
- Newbury Street, Boston
- Flatiron, New York
- Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
- Georgetown, Washington DC
- Bethesda Row, Bethesda
- Pinecrest, Cleveland
- Easton Town Center, Columbus
- West Midtown, Atlanta
- Gold Coast, Chicago
- 50th & France, Minneapolis
- Montrose Collective, Houston
- West Village, Dallas
- Domain Northside, Austin
- Cherry Creek, Denver
- Scottsdale Quarter, Scottsdale
- La Jolla, San Diego
- West Hollywood, Los Angeles
- Union Square, San Francisco
- University Village, Seattle
- 23rd Avenue, Portland
How to schedule an appointment
Booking an appointment is very straightforward. Enter here and find a showroom near you. Click on “Book Appointment” and select the service you are interested in. Select the date and time, and you are good to go!
If you can’t make it, you can always switch to a virtual appointment.
If you prefer to have me on your side, click here and let’s find your diamond.
Brilliant Earth Reviews
Searching for reviews before paying someone thousands of dollars is something I strongly recommend. Overall, it seems like the majority loved their experience with Brilliant Earth. Yes, you can find some 3.3 ratings of people who had mixed feelings, but most are happy. With over 4,000 reviews on Google, WeddingWire, The Knot, and Yelp combined, a rating ranging between 4.5-4.8, it seems like Brilliant Earth is a trustworthy company.
If you want some inspiration, look at what other customers bought by visiting their customer reviews here.
Brilliant Earth coupons, discounts and sales
Same as most sellers in the diamond industry, Brilliant Earth doesn’t offer diamonds and engagement rings at a discounted price. However, sometimes they offer some extra bonuses, so keep your eyes open. For example, you can expect to see them offering a diamond necklace or diamond studs when purchasing above a specific price (at no extra cost of course)
Get an additional 1.5% off:
If you have the option, I recommend paying with a wire transfer. You’ll receive a 1.5% discount on your item’s listed price. You’ll get the instructions right after completing checkout, and your items can be shipped once your transfer confirmation is completed.