VRAI Review: The Best Climate-Friendly Jeweler for Lab Grown Diamonds
4 Minute Read
Lab grown diamonds are fundamentally changing the diamond industry. Consumers have discovered they can get a larger, nicer diamond that is conflict-free much cheaper than a mined diamond. So how do you choose where to buy a lab grown diamond? It seems that every online jeweler offers them now. Enter VRAI, whose commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and innovation sets it apart from lab grown diamond retailers.
History of VRAI
VRAI was founded in Los Angeles in 2014 and is the retail arm of the Diamond Foundry, which produces lab grown diamonds for industrial applications as well as luxury jewelry. What makes VRAI so special? Through the Diamond Foundry, it can control its supply chain. That means it knows exactly where its diamonds come from and how they are made.
VRAI emphasizes transparency throughout their supply chain. They provide detailed information about the origin and creation process of each diamond, empowering consumers to make informed and ethical choices. This level of transparency is a refreshing aspect of the company's approach, fostering trust and confidence in their products. In fact, the company boasts more than 1 billion data points about each created diamond from the 243 work steps - some that take an entire month - to make that diamond.
Emissions Free Diamonds
VRAI diamonds are formed in proprietary plasma reactors powered by renewable energy. The diamonds form from greenhouse gases that are crystallized in the reactor. Once crystallized, the greenhouse gases are permanently sequestered in the stone and can't be released into the atmosphere. That means each diamond helps mitigate climate change.
This is a cause we can get behind. You know who else likes it? Leonardo DiCaprio! He invested in Diamond Foundry because he believes in their mission to create conflict-free, emissions-free diamonds.
VRAI's Commitment to Sustainability
But VRAI doesn't only look to save the environment in its own supply chain. VRAI again takes it a step further. They also contribute to environmental justice organizations around the globe. These charities include, but are not limited to, Malaika (clean drinking water), Big Green (food justice), and No Kid Hungry. At the time of writing, it looks like VRAI supports 24 different charities from around the world.
What They Sell - And What They Don't
VRAI sells lab grown diamond jewelry. This includes loose stones, engagement ring settings, and fine jewelry like rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. They do not sell mined diamonds. Every diamond you see on their website was grown in a plasma reactor by Diamond Foundry.
VRAI: Fashion or Fine Jewelry?
We love VRAI's approach to lab grown diamonds and their commitment to sustainability. But what about their jewelry? An initial look at their website reveals that this isn't your typical lab grown diamond jewelry website. Many lab grown diamond jewelers offer very basic designs like solitaire pendants or halo earrings. Not VRAI. They offer unique fine jewelry designs that range from fashion to fine jewelry, like these:
And these are some of the most unique engagement ring settings we've ever seen:
The VRAI Buying Experience
Is VRAI too good to be true? We decided to test their buying experience. We ordered a 1 carat solitaire hidden halo engagement ring. Here's the exact ring:
The buying experience was very simple. Unlike some other lab grown diamond retailers, the website is very easy to navigate. I could quickly find any product I was looking for, like a tennis necklace. You can point, click, and input your credit card information for seamless purchasing.
VRAI also offers some financing options, including Klarna and Shop Pay. Unfortunately, those options are only available for US residents right now.
Another important distinction for VRAI is that they have some in-person locations, like in Boston. Stay tuned - we'll update this post after we have a chance to visit VRAI in person!
If you're signed up for Shop Pay, you can get your purchase in 2 days for $10. They also don't try to upsell you with accessories at checkout, which can be tempting to add to your cart.
Here's what happened next:
If you can't watch the video, here's a gallery of key moments:
We love the ring! The attention to detail and quality craftsmanship are clear.
The Return Policy
But what happens if you aren't happy with your purchase? Make sure you read the return policy very carefully - it's long and, at first glance, a little complicated. Loose diamond purchases can be returned within 14 days of delivery, while fine jewelry is either 21 days or 30 days (we couldn't tell). If you have a custom purchase, we recommend contacting them directly to make sure you understand your options. There is also a return and recycling fee, which is also a little complicated, so make sure you read it carefully!
VRAI is an excellent choice for the consumer who wants a unique lab grown diamond engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry that is conflict-free and climate-friendly. Just make sure you read the return policy before you purchase.
In 2012, Donald Clark retired and passed along stewardship of the IGS to the Rosen family, who were longtime members of IGS. Lisa Rosen runs the day-to-day operation of IGS and The Ganoksin Project, a technical resource website for bench jewelers and jewelry manufacturers. Lisa strongly believes that IGS must remain a cost-effective, accurate, and comprehensive resource for all those interested in gemology. IGS is our passion, and it is a family business.
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