Jan 20, 2023 - Food and Drink

Trendy jewelry brand Brilliant Earth opening first North Carolina location in Charlotte

Photo: Mckenzie Rankin/Axios Charlotte

Brilliant Earth is a jewelry brand that sells ethically sourced and lab-grown diamonds.

It first rose in popularity as an online retailer but now has nearly 30 brick-and-mortar across the country. Charlotte’s South End location is its newest, and first to open in North Carolina.

Why it matters: In recent years, budget and socially-conscious couples have been looking at sustainable alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring, like lab-grown diamonds or moissanite. 

The big picture: During the pandemic, diamond prices rose because demand went up, as Axios’ Hope King pointed out. 

  • Yes, but: Lab-grown diamonds made up about 10% of diamond engagement ring sales in 2022, according to industry analyst Edahn Golan at Facets 2022, a conference held by Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

Context:Lab-grown diamonds are chemically identical to their natural alternatives,” according to Brilliant Earth. Meaning, if you placed a mined diamond and a lab-grown diamond side-by-side, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. 

What to expect: Brilliant Earth’s showroom will sell customizable rings, earrings, tennis bracelets and necklaces. 

  • Nearly 100% of the metals used to make their jewelry are recycled “to help minimize the footprint and diminish the impact of metal mining,” Kathryn Money, SVP of Merchandising & Retail Expansion, tells Axios. 

Details: The store will open on Feb, 3, at 100 W Worthington Ave.

  • It’ll be open Friday-Tuesday from 10am-7pm, Closed Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Appointments are encouraged for customers who want consultations but are not required to view items inside.

What’s next: The company plans to expand to more locations across the south this year, with Tampa, Florida being their next destination. 

Charlotte showroom of Brilliant Earth. Photo: Mckenzie Rankin/Axios Charlotte

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