Clean Origin vs. Brilliant Earth

A thorough comparison of Brilliant Earth vs. Clean Origin, to help you decide which is best for you

Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth are two online diamond retailers that are heavily invested in providing ethical and conflict-free diamonds

Both value ethical sourcing through the entire diamond process, not just conflict-free sourcing.

In this guide, we’ll thoroughly review everything Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth have to offer in terms of diamonds, services, and ethical policies to help you decide which is the best fit for you.

Brilliant EarthClean Origin
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Diamond Information
Number of settings382416
Number of natural diamonds75,952N/A
Number of lab-grown diamonds348,37361,265
Natural Diamond Price: Round 1 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$5,370N/A
Lab Diamond Price: Round 2 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$3,730$750
Diamond imageryHigh quality images on most diamonds and Interactive 360 videoHigh-quality images of every diamond
Diamond labs: naturalMostly GIA, some IGI/
Diamond labs: lab-grownIGIIGI, GIA, GCAL
Diamond searchVisit NowVisit Now
Company Information
Year founded20052017
Number of physical locations376
Owned byBeth Gerstein and Eric GrossbergAlexander Weindling
Service Policies (Click each to learn more)
Finance availableYesYes
ShippingFree to US, UK, Canada, and AustraliaFree shipping and returns
ResizingComplimentary within the first 60 days of purchaseOne complimentary resizing within 100 days
Returns period30-day returns100-days
WarrantyLifetime warrantyLifetime warranty
UpgradeCredit 100% of original price, if new diamond 2x priceDoesn't offer upgrades
EngravingComplimentary within the first 60 days of purchaseYes, for a fee
Customer service hours24/0724/07
Ringspo Ratings
Diamond selection
Value for money
Service policies
Overall rating
Ringspo overall opinionAn excellent choice for the conscious consumer.Lab-grown specialists, Clean Origin offer one of the largest selectons of lab grown diamonds available online
Ringspo ReviewBrilliant Earth Review#
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Clean Origin was founded in 2017 by Alexander Weindling with a mission to provide ethical and environmentally sustainable diamonds. They specialize in lab-created diamonds, which are not only ethically-sourced, but also have a reduced environmental footprint compared to mined diamonds.

Brilliant Earth, established in 2005 by Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg, has been a front-runner in the industry for over a decade. Their mission was to provide more ethical and environmentally friendly diamonds too. They’ve managed to build a vast assortment of both lab diamonds and mined diamonds, always emphasizing ethically traded and created diamonds.

Brilliant Earth is headquartered in San Francisco, California and while they primarily operate online, they now have 37 retail stores throughout the US.

Diamond Selection and Quality

Both Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth value ethically-sourced diamonds. Let’s see how they differ in terms of selection.

In this section we’ll look at:

  • Diamond choice
  • Diamond quality
  • Diamond imagery

The interest in lab-grown diamonds has exploded over the last ten years. As buyers become more interested in social impacts, ethically sourced diamonds have been a hot topic in the jewelry industry.

Clean Origin presents itself as an exclusive lab grown diamond retailer – they do not sell natural diamonds in any capacity which means that all of their center-stone diamonds and melee diamonds used in settings are lab-grown. Currently, they carry a collection of 38,223 loose lab grown diamonds of various grades and carat weights.

Brilliant Earth offers both natural and lab-grown diamonds – currently carrying 348,373 lab grown diamonds of varying grades and 75,952 natural diamonds.

The reason that the size of a retailer’s inventory is important is because the more diamonds a retailer has, the more likely they are to have a stone that precisely matches what you’re looking for – the shape, carat weight and quality.

Certifications and Ethical Sourcing

It is essential to purchase an engagement ring with a certified center diamond. Diamond certifications and grading reports provide an unbiased analysis of the 4Cs of diamond quality: cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. While these factors aren’t the only aspect to consider with diamonds, a diamond certificate can authenticate your diamond’s grades, ensuring you’re getting exactly what you are paying for.

The best certifications come from reputable grading laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), and the International Gemological Institute (IGI).

Clean Origin provides diamonds certified by GIA, IGI, and GCAL certifications. You can use their filters to purchase SCS diamonds, which are sustainably certified through the SCS, which you can find more about here. They also emphasize their contribution to the environment by providing recycled metals including platinum and gold.

Clean Origin claims to provide ethically sourced diamonds, but it’s a little unclear to what extent beyond providing lab grown diamond – they don’t seem to offer further explanations or additional details beyond recycled metals and SCS diamonds unfortuantely.

Brilliant Earth’s Beyond Conflict-Free campaign aims to provide customers with ethical natural diamond options beyond the industry standard of the Kimberley Process. While the Kimberley Process ensures that diamonds do not come from certain countries where blood diamonds are from, Brilliant Earth’s blockchain and recycled diamonds ensure that your diamond is clean throughout the entire diamond manufacturing process.

Blockchain diamonds are unique to Brilliant Earth. The blockchain technology combined with diamonds ensures a digital record of the diamond’s journey from source to inventory. Recycled diamonds are diamonds that have been re-cut and re-purposed from previously owned jewelry.

While these are extensive options beyond simply providing lab grown diamonds, the majority of natural diamonds in Brilliant Earth’s do not fall under blockchain or recycled diamonds. Only about 1900 of their 75,000 natural diamonds are blockchain enabled. They only have 175 recycled diamonds. The number becomes significantly less as you narrow down your grade preferences.

Despite this, it may bring some comfort to know that other diamonds in Brilliant Earth’s natural diamond catalog reveal their sourcing from Botswana or Canada. Many retailers don’t reveal the direct source of their natural diamonds.

Brilliant Earth offers diamonds certified by GIA, IGI, HRD and GCAL.  Like Clean Origin, Brilliant Earth also uses recycled metals to minimize the environmental footprint.

Pricing and Value

Both Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth offer a range of diamonds, and their pricing reflects the quality, certification, and sourcing of these gems. Because Clean Origin doesn’t provide natural diamonds, we’ll be comparing similarly graded lab grown diamonds from both retailers.

Clean Origin’s inventory doesn’t allow for lower carat weights within our grade ranges, which isn’t uncommon for lab grown diamond retailers. Lab diamonds allow you to get more bang for your buck, which results in customers choosing higher carat weights at a much lower cost than with mined diamonds.

I’ve chosen a 3.09 carat ideal cut GIA certified lab-grown diamond with F color grades, and VS1 clarity from Clean Origin. This diamond costs $4,671. 

Below, we have an ideal cut diamond of the same carat weight and grades from Brilliant Earth. This diamond costs $10,490, which is obviously significantly more than the Clean Origin diamond.

The two diamonds have the same grades, and have minor details that differentiate them. However, there’s no adequate reasoning on why Brilliant Earth’s diamond is so much more expensive. Clean Origin seems to have the best prices when it comes to lab grown diamonds

Website and User Experience

As an online diamond retailer, it’s important that a website is designed for all types of users with different technological backgrounds. Someone well acquainted with online diamond shopping and someone who isn’t should share a smooth experience from designing their ring to checkout.

Clean Origin’s website is very straightforward. They don’t have many options, so when you click to create a ring, you’re brought directly to their lab grown diamond inventory. All of the filter options are on the same page, with no additional or advanced filters needed.

If you’re seeking a fancy lab grown diamond as your center stone, Clean Origin also offers those, but they don’t put it under the same section as their design options. If you didn’t know they had them, you might never see the opportunity to own a fancy color diamond for much cheaper than a rare natural fancy color diamond.

Finding information can also be difficult on Clean Origin’s site. For example, when trying to see what their policies are, they have them scattered in different areas. I had to explore various pages to find the answers to questions not on the FAQ, such as their engraving policy. They only mention it at the bottom of one of their product pages that they do not offer engraving services, not in the FAQ or during the customization process.

Brilliant Earth’s provides a lot more insight to their diamond selection than Clean Origin’s. They give thorough explanations on their collections and how they contribute to diamond ethics.

However, the user experience could be more difficult for those unfamiliar with online diamond shopping. There are many options in the Brilliant Earth filters and they’re on different pages. You have to click through different columns in order to narrow the grades down.

The amount of options could be overwhelming for a lot of people. Fortunately, the footer options explain a lot of their offerings. But if you’re not keen on researching, you might prefer Clean Origin’s straightforward interface.

Customization and Design Options

Both Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth offer a huge number of ways you can customize your ring, to tailor it to the exact specifications you are looking for.

Clean Origin’s entire library of loose diamonds, ring settings, and diamond jewelry is completely crafted in lab grown diamonds. While Brilliant Earth offers lab diamonds for your engagement ring center stone, the accent diamonds in their ring settings are created with natural diamonds. For someone only wanting lab grown diamonds, they may gravitate toward Clean Origin’s design process.

Their engagement ring settings are sorted into collections such as “Art Deco Engagement Rings,” “Non-Binary Engagement Rings,” “Sapphire Engagement Rings,” and “Unique Rings.” This type of categorization can make it easy for you to narrow down your choices and find a design that aligns with your vision.

For those in a rush, Clean Origin offers preset engagement rings that can ship within 24 hours, offering convenience for anyone who needs it. 

Clean Origin offers around 440 ring settings to choose from. Their selection consists of many straight-band ring settings and modern offerings with accent diamonds.

Brilliant Earth offers many choices to create your diamond engagement ring. Shoppers have the option to choose from natural diamonds, fancy colored natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds, and fancy lab ground diamonds. Within the natural diamonds, you can choose blockchain diamonds, recycled diamonds, or natural diamonds under the Kimberley Process. You also have the option to choose diamond alternatives, such as moissanite or other colored gemstones.

Brilliant Earth has over 400 ring settings for you to choose from. Their offerings consist of both trendy engagement ring settings and classic options. For example, many engagement ring seekers are looking for garden-inspired engagement ring settings with wavy bands and ornate flower designs. Brilliant Earth has many options in this category, while Clean Origin’s settings are more modern.

In the end, the best retailer for you depends on your specific preferences and priorities. Both companies offer high-quality products and customization options, so you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Service: Both Before & After Purchase

Buying an engagement ring is a special purchase.

You want to have confidence that the retailer will not only treat you well while buying your ring, but also that they will stand behind their product after the purchase too.

This attitude can be boiled down to one term: customer experience – essentially how hard a business is trying to make sure that your interactions with them are smooth, friction-free and, ideally, delightful.

Clean Origin, although a relatively newer player in the market, has quickly established a reputation for its customer-centric approach. Their website is user-friendly, offering 360-degree high-definition videos and images of all diamonds. This transparency allows you to assess the quality of diamonds with ease. Every diamond comes with certificates from independent grading institutes, ensuring you’re getting what you pay for.

One of the standout features of Clean Origin is their customer service. Every team member boasts at least five years of experience in the diamond industry. Whether you reach out via email, phone, or live chat, you’re in good hands. They even offer in-store visits in Dallas or video consultations for those who prefer a more personal touch.

Brilliant Earth, being in the industry since 2005, brings a wealth of experience to the table. Their website is equally user-friendly, providing all the necessary information to make an informed decision. While their diamond certifications could be of better visual quality, the depth of information is commendable.

Brilliant Earth shines when it comes to customer support. Their trained gemologists are just a call or chat away, ready to guide you through the diamond buying process. The option to create your own diamond jewelry is a testament to their commitment to customer satisfaction. This feature ensures you get the best diamond for your budget. With 19 stores across the United States, in-person consultations are a breeze.

24/7 availability is becoming the norm in the industry, and both Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth don’t disappoint. Whether you have a query in the middle of the night or need assistance on a weekend, their teams are ready to assist.

Additional Services

Beyond pricing, selection, and customer support, you should also consider additional services that may benefit you during the engagement ring buying process. Let’s compare some popular services to what Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth offer.

Clean Origin:

  • Engraving: Clean Origin does not offer engraving services, which may be disappointing for those who want to add a personal touch to their Clean Origin engagement ring or wedding band.
  • Financing: Clean Origin doesn’t have their own credit card, but offers financing through Affirm.
  • Shipping: Clean Origin ships free both ways, but only ships to the US and Canada.
  • Resizing: Clean Origin offers one free resizing within the first 100 days.
  • Returns: Clean Origin is one of the only retailers that offer 100 day returns.
  • Warranty: Clean Origin covers manufacturer defects, but offers a repair plan for a cost dependent upon the item purchased.
  • Upgrade: Clean Origin doesn’t offer diamond upgrades, which isn’t uncommon for lab diamonds because of their fluctuating prices.
  • Physical Stores: Clean Origin operates 6 store locations in addition to their online presence, with half of them being in Texas.

Brilliant Earth:

  • Engraving: Brilliant Earth offers engraving services for wedding rings on their site for an extra $40, but engagement rings have to be inquired upon.
  • Financing: Brilliant Earth doesn’t have their own credit card, but offers financing through Affirm and Wells Fargo.
  • Shipping: Brilliant Earth ships free both ways to the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
  • Resizing: Brilliant Earth offers free resizing within the first 60 days.
  • Returns: Brilliant Earth offers 30 day returns/exchange.
  • Warranty: Brilliant Earth offers a free manufacturer’s warranty and a customizable paid repair plan through Extend.
  • Upgrade: Brilliant Earth offers diamond upgrading services for both natural and lab grown loose diamonds. Natural diamonds can be upgraded for 1.5x their original value and 2x for lab grown diamonds.
  • Physical Stores: Brilliant Earth has a strong physical market, with over 30 locations within the US-most of them being in California.

Overall, it seems that Brilliant Earth has the most offerings that align with what many engagement ring buyers are looking for. They offer engraving services and diamond upgrades, both of which Clean Origin is lacking.

Let’s explore some of these additional services in detail to get a better grasp on Clean Origin’s and Brilliant Earth’s service policies.

Payment and Financing Options

Having flexible payment and financing options can make the process of buying a diamond smoother and more manageable.

Both Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth understand this and offer a range of payment methods and financing plans to cater to diverse needs.

Clean Origin provides multiple payment methods to ensure a hassle-free checkout process. They accept all major credit cards, bank wire transfers, and even offer a 1.5% discount for wire transfer payments.

Financing is also available at Clean Origin through Affirm. Affirm offers easy monthly payments, allowing you to split your purchase into manageable installments. The application process is straightforward, with instant approval decisions in most cases.

Brilliant Earth offers a similar range of payment options. They accept all major credit cards, bank wire transfers, ApplePay and Paypal. You also have the option to put items on layaway, allowing you to make payments on an item before purchasing it altogether. You’ll have to contact their customer service to enact the layaway process.

 Brilliant Earth’s financing plans are done through Wells Fargo and Affirm, which is open to US customers except Iowa and West Virginia.

When it comes to financing, Brilliant Earth has got you covered. They offer two primary financing options:

  • No Interest if Paid in Full within 12 Months
  • Up to 36 Months with rates as low as 0% APR

These financing options are only available to US customers only. The application process is simple, with most decisions made instantly.

Shipping and Returns

Clean Origin has free shipping both ways to the US and Canada. They don’t offer international shipping, which can be limiting for shoppers outside the US.

They have an unprecedented return policy of up to 100 days. This is unique to Clean Origin, as the standard offering is usually 30 days. The extended return period allows for any issues to pop up, and ensure that you love the engagement ring you’ve selected.

Brilliant Earth offers free shipping both ways to the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. They allow for a bigger reach of their product selection to people residing outside of the US, making them an excellent choice for international buyers.

Brilliant Earth’s return policy is within 30 days, like most engagement ring retailers. However, there are many exceptions to the policy such as resized rings, special orders, custom orders, and orders that have been modified-such as choosing to switch out the stones in a setting.

Engraved rings can be returned at a $40 cost to remove the engraving. For a more detailed list, check out their return policy here. All returns have to be initiated by phone, but items under $1000 can be returned online for those in the US.


Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth are excellent options to purchase engagement rings from. Clean Origin focuses exclusively on lab-grown diamonds, while Brilliant Earth offers a diverse range of traceable natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds.

Clean Origin has competitive prices compared to the more expensive lab grown diamonds at Brilliant Earth. But Brilliant Earth makes up for what they lack by offering extensive services like engraving and diamond upgrades-something that Brilliant Earth does not.

The choice between the two boils down to individual preferences. If you prioritize lab-grown diamonds and a longer return policy, Clean Origin might be the better fit for you. However, if natural diamonds with ethical sourcing and international shipping are a priority, you might find yourself leaning toward Brilliant Earth.

Whichever retailer you choose, you can guarantee yourself a high quality purchase and pleasant shopping experience as you create your dream engagement ring.


What is the primary difference between Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth?

While both retailers offer ethically sourced diamonds, Clean Origin specializes in lab-grown diamonds, whereas Brilliant Earth provides a broader range of both natural and lab-grown diamonds.

Which retailer offers a longer return policy?

Clean Origin offers a 100-day return policy, while Brilliant Earth provides a 30-day return window.

Which retailer is recommended by Ringspo?

Both retailers come recommended by Ringspo for different reasons. Clean Origin is praised for its selection of lab-grown diamonds, while Brilliant Earth is highlighted for its ethical sourcing.