Shopping for the Guilt-Free Diamond

In an industry fraught with human-rights abuses, one retailer is targeting socially conscious consumers with its "conflict-free" stones

Greg Orpen, a teacher in Boston, prides himself on being aware of the world's social issues. For that reason, when Orpen, 32, was shopping for a custom diamond engagement ring for his girlfriend, he wanted to avoid buying a stone from a country in Africa notorious for violence and human-rights abuses related to diamond mining. Eventually he found the Web site of Brilliant Earth, a retailer based in San Francisco that guaranteed the diamond they would use would be "conflict-free," or mined in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

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