The Jewelry District, Episode 66: Guest Beth Gerstein


In This Episode
You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk with Beth Gerstein, cofounder and CEO of Brilliant Earth.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria and Rob introduce their guest Beth Gerstein, cofounder and CEO of Brilliant Earth
08:30 Beth explains the importance of sustainability to the consumer
14:11 Brilliant Earth offers both lab-grown and natural diamonds—Beth explains the difference
19:10 Beth talks about Brilliant Earth’s Fairmined collection
23:16 Rob and Victoria wrap up the podcast with discussion of international plans, marketing to Gen Z versus millennials, Russian diamonds, and brick-and-mortar stores and online sales

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: brilliantearth.comjckonline.com, @jckmagazine

Show Recap

Introducing Beth Gerstein
Victoria and Rob introduce their guest Beth Gerstein, cofounder and CEO of Brilliant Earth in San Francisco. Victoria mentions that Brilliant Earth is really leading the charge on sustainability and ethical sourcing. As always, the JCK editors dive into Beth’s background and how she got into the jewelry industry. Beth grew up in Maryland, and both of her parents worked in government. She studied biomedical engineering and did work launching satellites, but Beth eventually realized her heart was in business and switched industries entirely.

The Importance of Sustainability
Beth explains how she developed Brilliant Earth on a set of values revolving around sustainability and ethical sourcing. With diamonds being such an emotional purchase, she believed people would want to know about the sourcing of their stones. She says Brilliant Earth’s customers don’t want to compromise on quality, design, or experience—but transparency is extremely important. The company recently released its sustainability report, and she wants the industry to continue to do this difficult work. Beth also confirms that it’s been six months since Brilliant Earth went public. She says it helps them to set clear objectives and have financial discipline.

Lab-Grown Diamonds
Victoria and Rob have questions for Beth about lab-grown versus mined diamonds, and Beth says that there’s space for both—it opens the market more. Brilliant Earth started offering lab-grown 10 years ago and sees continued success with their sale. As a retailer, she says it’s Brilliant Earth’s responsibility to be open about its sources for both conflict-free and lab-grown diamonds. Beth says typically the younger shopper tends to gravitate more toward lab-grown diamonds. Victoria asks about a lack of transparency when it comes to lab-grown diamond sourcing.

Brilliant Earth’s Fairmined Collection
Victoria asks Beth about Brilliant Earth’s new Fairmined gold collection, and Beth says she developed the collection with its customers in mind. She’s happy to be able to support artisanal and small-scale miners who are getting a fair price for their gold. She believes Fairmined gold will only grow in popularity. Victoria also asks if Beth goes to shows like JCK—and Beth has met many great suppliers since the first show. Rob asks what the most important thing about building a brand is, and Beth says it’s building a connection to the customers.

International Plans, Gen Z Versus Millennials, and Russian Diamonds
Rob asks Beth if Brilliant Earth plans to make a push internationally at some point, and she says yes. It’s already shipping to more than 50 countries. Victoria asks about Gen Z and how they differ from millennials. Gen Z is social first, and Beth says it’s important to talk to customers where they are. She also says she values authenticity, inclusivity, and expects sustainability. Brilliant Earth has also recently removed Russian diamonds from their site.

(Photo courtesy of Beth Gerstein)

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