No matter where you are in the world, we will find a way to get your ring to you when you need it.
How it All Began
Our Idea of the Perfect Ring Experience
Since our start in 2015, we’ve stood behind three key values: compassion, quality, and transparency. We are on a mission to expose the truth about the diamond industry, and change the world in doing so. We work every day to provide exceptional jewelry that our customers can feel good about wearing. It is with our customers’ help that we are creating a more humane industry, one beautiful piece of jewelry at a time.
Why We Care
Human beings have suffered too often for what is meant to be a symbol of love and a bright future. Consider the following 5 reasons to understand why we care, and why things must change.
Irresponsible mining leaves damaging, most of the time irreversible, effects on the earth. 20 tons of mined toxic waste is produced to make one gold ring. Most people usually look at diamonds, not really interested in knowing how the diamonds are actually mined, what the diamond mines look like, etc. The 4 most commonly used types of diamond mining are: open-pit mining, hard-rock mining, alluvial mining, and marine diamond mining. These all leave damaging effects on the earth, sometimes irreversible. Each year, over 150 million carats of diamonds are extracted from the Earth through mining. To do so, enormous amounts of soil needs to be removed and processed.
Quick Facts: -1750 tons of earth have to be extracted to find a 1.0 ct rough diamond. -So called “conflict-free” Canada diamond mines are often built in environmentally fragile ecosystems, have significant ecological footprints, and will significantly impact the wildlife. -20 tons of mined toxic waste is produced to make one gold ring to hold that diamond. The earth mined ore is mixed with Cyanide, a known toxic poison, to separate the gold or silver from the ore, making the land and waterways around the mining area poisoned.
There are over one million diamond diggers earning less than one dollar a day. Most miners live in extreme poverty. Diamond miners who work in small-scale mining (panning or digging for diamonds) produce around 15% of the world’s diamonds. Their wages, however, are not reflective of the value of their work. An estimated one million diamond diggers earn less than one dollar a day. ONE DOLLAR A DAY!! This unreasonable wage is below the extreme poverty line. As a result, hundreds of thousands of miners lack basic survival necessities such as sanitation and running water. Hunger, illiteracy, and infant mortality are common.
How is it that diamond miners can be some of the poorest people on the planet? Small-scale diamond mining is usually an unregulated activity. Labor standards and minimum wage laws are rarely enforced (if they even exist), and the employers are often exploitative and cruel. Many diamond miners work independently, but these miners lack access to global markets, which limits their bargaining power. In most cases, these diamond miners have no choice but to sell their diamonds to middle-men at below market prices.
In the past two decades alone, seven African countries have endured brutal civil conflicts fueled by diamonds. 3.7 million people total have lost their lives due to conflict diamonds. In the past two decades alone, seven African countries have endured brutal civil conflicts fueled by diamonds: Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. Diamonds fuel civil wars by financing militaries and rebel militias. Rival groups also fight with each other to control diamond-rich territory. The horrifying result is bloodshed, death, and shocking human rights abuses- including rape and the use of child soldiers. Diamonds that fuel civil wars are often called “blood” or “conflict” diamonds.
Although many diamond-fueled wars have now ended, “conflict” or “blood” diamonds remain a serious problem. In 2013, a civil war erupted in the Central African Republic, with both sides fighting over the country’s diamond resources. Thousands of people have died and more than a million have been forced to leave their homes. Additionally, past wars fueled by diamonds have taken around 3.7 million lives total. Millions of people are still dealing with the consequences of these diamond wars: friends and family members lost and lives shattered. These are scars that will last for generations to come.
Children as young as five years old are forced into dangerous jobs within the gold and diamond mining industry. An estimated one million children work as miners for little to no pay. Because children are considered an easy target for cheap labor, they are regularly employed in the diamond mining industry. In some parts of Africa, children make up much more than just a small part of the workforce. One survey of diamond miners in a small province of Angola found that 46% of miners were between the ages of 5 and 16 years old. For children trapped in the diamond mines, life is plagued with difficulty. Children work long days, often seven days a week.
Compared to adults, they are even more vulnerable to injuries or accidents. Physically demanding tasks such as digging with heavy shovels or carrying bags of gravel can leave them injured or in pain. Because of their small size, children also may be asked to perform the most dangerous tasks such as entering narrow mine shafts or descending into pits where landslides may claim their lives.
Dangerous Working Conditions
Tunnel collapses, landslides, underground fires, and mercury poisoning make mining for precious metals or gems a highly dangerous occupation. Hundreds of miners have died in South African gold mines alone. Hundreds of thousands of miners worldwide are slowly poisoning themselves. Mercury is the gold extraction agent most often used by artisanal gold miners. Mercury, however, is a toxic substance. Miners are regularly exposed to mercury and may suffer health problems (kidney disease, respiratory problems, and neurological damage) because of it.
Additionally, because small-scale mining is poorly regulated and many miners lack safety and equipment expertise, accidents and injuries occur frequently. Tunnel collapses or landslides can injure miners or bury them alive in a single moment. In 2015, nine workers at a South African mine died when a rock fall triggered a fire. Thousands of former miners in South Africa also now suffer from silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling dust that leads to tuberculosis.
Hi! I’m Rachel. A little bit about myself… I attended UCLA from 2010-2014 (go bruins!), my mother and I started this brand in 2015, and I got married to the love of my life in 2017. I guess this whole process started when I was about to get engaged. After watching the movie Blood Diamond, my (then) boyfriend and I definitely wanted to make sure my diamond was conflict-free. After months of digging into everything, I finally figured it out… there is no way to make sure your mined diamond is 100% conflict-free. My heart sank. I knew I definitely wanted a diamond for my engagement ring, but how could I move forward with this knowing that so many people have potentially lost their lives over my diamond? I presented this issue to my mother, and she informed me that after making tons of calls to colleagues, she had an interesting solution for me. She said that things are starting to change in the diamond industry, and that there is a new choice in diamonds… diamonds that are grown above the earth. We visited many different growers, inspected the product, and even compared next to a mined diamond. We were blown away. From that moment forward we knew we had to start this journey. If the world only knew what we knew, from the horrors behind the mined diamond industry, to the brilliance and quality of grown diamonds, that there is no way people would still choose a mined diamond. We believe that people are intelligent, compassionate beings and that if we work together, we can change the industry…one diamond at a time.
Hello there. I’m Victoria. I have been a designer of fine jewelry for the last 30 years, so I definitely consider myself a veteran! It’s been many years since I got engaged (I got married in 1987), and a lot has changed since then. My husband proposed to be with a beautiful pear shaped earth-mined diamond and I was thrilled. Obviously, back in those days, no one had ever heard the words “conflict-free diamonds”. Like I said, a lot has changed since then. The secret is out. We now know that millions of people have lost their lives because of conflict-diamonds, and that we have an alternative that delivers the same product without causing harm to anyone. I have designed using every precious and semi-precious gemstone you could possibly think of, but have stayed away from diamonds ever since I heard about the dark side of the diamond industry… I could not be a part of it. When Rachel came to me at the time she was thinking of getting engaged, she was distraught. She just could not move forward with an earth-mined diamond having done all of her research. We started this project to educate, provide alternatives, and help save this world we live in. I share my 30 years of design experience to this project, so you can rest assured that not only will your purchase be ethically and socially conscious, but each piece of jewelry you buy from Rachel & Victoria will also be the most beautiful piece of jewelry you have ever put on.
What You Can Expect on Every Single Purchase.
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