Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai Comparison 2023 – Which is the Best Online Jeweler?
Last Updated on June 4, 2023 by LabGrownCarats
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If you’re looking to purchase a diamond and have decided on a lab-grown diamond, then you’ve probably come across Vrai and Brilliant Earth, two of the leading diamond retailers offering ethical and sustainable lab-grown diamonds. In this review, we’ll compare Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai and see who comes out on top.
Both Vrai and Brilliant Earth boast a large selection of high-quality lab-grown diamonds, excellent customer service, and high-quality diamonds and jewelry.
And both Brilliant Earth and Vrai stand out for their focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Vrai exclusively sells lab-grown diamonds that are created using 100% renewable energy. Brilliant Earth, on the other hand, sells both (ethical) mined and lab-grown diamonds (the only truly ethical diamond choice).
In addition, Brilliant Earth offers a subset of lab-grown that are 100% sustainable and, like Vrai, uses sustainable and eco-friendly practices throughout the process. Later in our Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth comparison, we’ll get more into that.
So what’s the difference, and is one better than the other? This guide will compare Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth to help you decide where to buy your next diamond jewelry.
- Quick comparison of Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai
- Introduction to Brilliant Earth
- Introduction to Vrai
- Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Lab-grown diamond selection
- What we like about Brilliant Earth (Pros)
- What we don't like about Brilliant Earth (Cons)
- What we like about Vrai (Pros)
- What we don't like about Vrai (Cons)
Quick comparison of Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai
Low-priced sustainable diamonds and jewelry, build your own.
Stunning and sustainable lab diamond design jewelry.
Introduction to Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth was founded in 2005 with a mission to offer more ethical and sustainable diamonds. They are one of the biggest online diamond jewelers and carry a large selection of lab-grown diamonds as well as mined diamonds.
Brilliant Earth has a large selection of gorgeous jewelry styles designed in their San Francisco studio. In addition, they offer sustainably graded lab-grown diamonds, use precious recycled metals, offset their carbon emissions, and use recycled materials and packaging.
Learn more in the detailed review of Brilliant Earth.
Introduction to Vrai
Vrai was first called Vrai and Oro and was founded to create a simpler and cheaper approach to buying and designing jewelry. They quickly gained a following by focusing on cutting costs and creating simple yet beautiful jewelry designs.
Today, Vrai is just called “Vrai” and continues to grow and has opened flagship stores on the West Coast, Spain, and China. They have been acquired by Diamond Foundry, which is famous for two things. 1) being co-owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and 2) creating 100% sustainable lab diamonds powered solely using renewable energy. Vrai exclusively uses diamonds from Diamond Foundry and thus, by extension, is also completely sustainable and carbon-neutral.
Read more about Vrai in our in-depth review of Vrai.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Lab-grown diamond selection
First, we’ll compare Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai’s diamond inventory and see which has the better diamond and jewelry selection.
Brilliant Earth diamond quality and inventory
Brilliant Earth boasts one of the largest inventories of high-quality lab-grown diamonds. In our Brilliant Review, we found that they have over 50,000 loose lab-created diamonds. When looking for our reference diamond (see below), we found more than 400 matches in their inventory, of which most were of excellent quality.
Our reference diamond is a round brilliant-cut lab-grown diamond between 0.93-1.07 carats (tip: you can often save by going just below one full carat). The reference clarity is in the range VS1 to VS2 and with a color grade of I or J. The diamond cut grade is always the best, which for most lab-grown diamonds (certified by IGI) is ideal.
Brilliant Earth also has a wide selection of jewelry designs and covers everything from classic styles to more contemporary and unique creations. In addition, Brilliant Earth lets you build your own diamond jewelry by pairing it with loose lab-grown diamonds that you pick from their extensive inventory. That generally means you get much better diamond quality than pre-set diamond jewelry, which is often paired with sub-par diamonds.
Vrai diamond quality and inventory
Vrai, on the other hand, has a smaller selection of loose diamonds, and we only found 15 diamonds with our reference diamond grades. However, as we’ll note below, the loose diamonds at Vrai are meant for diamond (engagement) rings, and therefore their inventory is skewed towards larger stones.
With that in mind, Vrai still has a reasonably good selection of lab-grown diamonds. It’s just not as large as some of the leading lab-grown diamond jewelers, such as Ritani, Clean Origin, and Brilliant Earth.
You can build your own diamond ring at Vrai. However, you cannot build other pieces of jewelry by picking the diamonds from their inventory yourself. So for diamond rings, you’ll be able to find the most suitable diamond for your needs. However, with their pre-set jewelry, you’ll have to contend with what pairings Vrai has decided.
Most diamond jewelers tend to pair pre-set jewelry with lower-quality diamonds. Vrai is an exception in that they generally pair with higher-quality diamonds. But, as we’ll note later, Vrai does not use independent diamond graders, and thus you can’t necessarily trust the diamond grades (the diamond 4Cs).
Luxury and a premium brand feel is the second part of Vrai. Through collaborations with household-name designers, unique collections, celebrity endorsements, and partnerships, Vrai has created a valuable jewelry brand in the lab diamond space.
Vrai has an extensive collection of pre-set jewelry, which makes sense given the brand’s focus on designer jewelry collaborations and minimalistic design ethos. As a result, Vrai’s designs range from slightly different takes on classic jewelry pieces, such as the martini stud earrings, to bespoke and unique pieces that you will not find anywhere else.
Vrai makes up for it by offering some of the most gorgeous and stylish diamond jewelry designs. In fact, together with Vrai’s focus on sustainability (which we’ll get into later), Vrai’s unique selling point is its stunning jewelry design. So Vrai is in some ways closer to a fashion jeweler, but with high-quality and sustainable diamonds.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Price comparison
The next step in our Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai review is to compare the prices of Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth. We’ll start with Brilliant Earth.
Brilliant Earth diamond prices
Brilliant Earth offers some of the lowest and most competitive prices for loose lab-grown diamonds on the market. Compared with some of the other price-leaders, Brilliant Earth is similar to Ritani and Clean Origin, and you’ll be sure to make a great deal at Brilliant Earth.
When comparing with our reference diamond (see above), the prices at Brilliant Earth ranged from $1,100 to $1,890. This is among the lowest we’ve seen in our comparisons with other diamond jewelers and only slightly higher than Clean Origin and Ritani (the price-leaders).
Brilliant Earth’s jewelry settings are generally very reasonably priced, so whatever jewelry pieces you pair with their low-priced lab diamonds, the total price will be very low. And as we mentioned above, the quality of their lab diamonds is most often excellent. So you’ll not only get a great diamond, you’ll get it at the best price possible.
However, prices for Brilliant Earth’s pre-set diamond jewelry are a little more mixed. We’ve found that they tend to be a little higher than price-leaders Ritani and Clean Origin, while they are on par for some designs. That said, we don’t recommend that you purchase a pre-set jewelry piece at Brilliant Earth but instead make use of their fantastic build-your-own jewelry option. As a result, you’ll get a much better diamond for the same price!
Vrai diamond prices
Vrai, on the other hand, is on the pricier side. Nevertheless, their prices are comparable to the likes of Kimaï and other design-first diamond jewelers. We pointed to the same when we compared prices in our review of Vrai.
Our reference diamond costs between $1,200 and $2,000, which is higher than James Allen, Ritani, Brilliant Earth, and Clean Origin.
But, unlike our highest-rated diamond retailers, the diamonds at Vrai are graded in-house at Diamond Foundry by GIA Certified Gemologists to provide diamond certificates, not to be confused with a GIA certification.
That basically means that Diamond Foundry grades its own homework, which can be problematic. So we recommend that you either pay for an independent grading or make sure you’re able to return the jewelry if you don’t think it lives up to the diamond grades they’ve awarded themselves.
Adding the value of a grading certificate ($2-400) makes the prices for loose diamonds at Vrai less competitive.
However, if the jewelry design is more important to you and you’re willing to shell out extra for their unique and stunning jewelry (and brand name), then Vrai is an excellent option. In our view, Vrai offers the most beautiful and exquisite jewelry designs, and that alone may make the premium price worth it. So if you are ok with not receiving an independently graded (but usually high-quality) diamond and love their designs, then Vrai’s prices are justified and reasonable.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Shopping experience
The shopping experience, including the ability to carry out an inspection of prospective diamonds, is perhaps the most important part of a diamond purchase. In the following, we’ll compare the buying experience at Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth.
The brilliant Earth shopping experience
The shopping experience at Brilliant Earth is excellent. The experience is straightforward and effortless. Their site is easy to navigate. All information you need to assess diamond quality is readily available, except for the diamond certificates popping up in low (but legible) quality.
Brilliant Earth offers superior diamond inspection abilities and expert support through trained gemologists who you can email or chat with – or set up a virtual meeting where they’ll walk you through the process.
Where Brilliant Earth stands out is its build-your-own diamond jewelry. While other jewelers also offer this service, you can build almost all types of diamond jewelry yourself at Brilliant Earth.
Many other places only allow you to pick your own diamonds for (engagement) rings or very standard jewelry pieces (e.g., diamond stud earrings). This is really great as we always strongly advocate that you pick your own diamond pairing since you’ll get a much better diamond (and avoid the sub-par pre-set pairings).
Building your own diamond jewelry at Brilliant Earth is very easy, but should you need help, you can always reach out to their highly qualified support. In addition to online service and support, Brilliant Earth has 19 locations across America.
The Vrai shopping experience
The shopping experience at Vrai is also great and almost as good as at Brilliant Earth. The website is easy to use, and finding the right jewelry or diamonds is effortless. The site looks great, is very clean and modern, and you’re not overwhelmed by clutter and banners.
The diamond assessment and inspection at Vrai are not as good as some of the leading diamond jewelers, namely James Allen, as well as Ritani, Brilliant Earth, and Clean Origin. The biggest issue is their lack of independent diamond grading. However, we would also like to have seen better access to HD images.
Their support is excellent, and you’ll be guided along the way. However, while courteous and extremely helpful, and friendly, they were not as knowledgeable as the trained gemologists that you may experience at James Allen, Ritani, Clean Origin, or Brilliant Earth.
At Vrai, you can customize and pick your own diamond only when you shop for a diamond (engagement) ring. The process is very easy and comparable to other leading jewelers. First, choose the ring design and the diamond grades you prefer and start inspecting.
The overall experience of shopping at Vrai is very smooth and easy. Navigation is simple, and the structure makes sense. You are guided through the buying process, and the whole experience is relatively effortless. This is particularly the case when you’re buying pre-set jewelry, while it’s a little more cumbersome when you’re building your own engagement ring.
Part of the hassle is dealing with the missing filters, but it’s not too bad. The biggest challenge is the diamond inspection part of the buying process, critical for any diamond jewelry purchase.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Sustainability
Both Vrai and Brilliant Earth are leaders in sustainability and ethical diamond retail. In the following, we’ll compare Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth to see who offers the more sustainable diamond options.
Brilliant Earth sustainability
Both Brilliant Earth and Vrai are fully committed to being eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethical in the diamond trade and production.
Brilliant Earth was started to improve sustainability and give conscious buyers a better ethical diamond choice. From the onset, they focused on challenging the diamond industry to increase its positive impact on society.
Brilliant Earth sells both mined and lab-created diamonds, and while we focus on their lab-grown diamonds, they also have a vast selection of ethically mined diamonds. While we don’t believe mined diamonds can be guaranteed to be ethical (as opposed to the always ethical choice of lab-grown diamonds), it’s an improvement.
In addition, Brilliant Earth has started offering sustainably graded lab-grown diamonds produced using sustainable energy sources and following specific guidelines. While the selection is still somewhat limited, it makes them comparable to Vrai, as we’ll get back to later.
Brilliant Earth doesn’t just stop at sustainable diamonds but also goes out of its way to limit its environmental impact. For example, their packaging is sustainable and carbon-neutral, while they use recycled metals in their jewelry production.
Read more about Brilliant Earth’s commitment to sustainability in our review.
Vrai was similarly founded with a vision to improve the impact of the diamond trade and its sustainability. To start, Vrai sold mined diamonds but later moved to sell only the conscious diamond choice: lab-grown diamonds.
Since being acquired by Diamond Foundry, a leading lab diamond producer committed to sustainability and only using renewable energy, Vrai is now a leading sustainable diamond jeweler. They only use diamonds from Diamond Foundry.
As the case is with Brilliant Earth, Vrai has invested in going even further and reducing any negative environmental impact. Vrai also uses recycled and compostable packing materials as well as recycled jewelry metals.
Learn more about Vrai’s commitment to sustainability in our Vrai review.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Shipping and Returns
Brilliant Earth offers free FedEx shipping on every US, Canadian, UK, and Australian order, while Vrai offers complimentary US standard delivery (5-7 business days) for all orders.
Both Vrai and Brilliant Earth offer 30 days of free return.
Unlike Brilliant Earth (and most other retailers), Vrai allows engraved items to be refunded (minus the engraving fee). That is particularly important if you buy an engagement ring or wedding band, which you will often want to have engraved.
Do note that Vrai deducts a $200 recycling fee from each engagement ring refund unless you accept to have your refund applied to a non-refundable VRAI digital gift card.
Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai: Pros and Cons
Below we have listed the pros and cons of Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth for you to better decide between the two.
What we like about Brilliant Earth (Pros)
What we don’t like about Brilliant Earth (Cons)
What we like about Vrai (Pros)
What we don’t like about Vrai (Cons)
Summary Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai Comparison
Who came out best in our Vrai vs. Brilliant Earth review? It really depends on what you’re shopping for as well as your personal preferences. Both Vrai and Brilliant Earth are fantastic choices if you’re shopping for sustainable and lab-grown diamonds.
If you’re looking to customize a pair of lab-grown diamond earrings, for instance, then Brilliant Earth is the way to go. They offer the opportunity to select your own lab-grown diamond and setting. We always recommend that you do this because you’ll end up with the best possible stone within your budget instead of a subpar diamond that pre-set jewelry usually comes with.
In addition, Brilliant Earth offers lower prices on loose diamonds, and they are all independently graded. So if you are shopping for more standard jewelry, including most engagement rings, and the diamond is more important than a unique design, the Brilliant Earth is the obvious choice.
However, if you’re shopping for ready-to-ship jewelry and designs are more important than the diamond itself, then Vrai is the best choice. Vrai has an extensive and unique selection of earrings, bracelets, rings, and unique pieces that you will not find anywhere else. In addition, Vrai has a more modern and edgy selection of lab-grown diamond jewelry compared to other diamond retailers.
Brilliant Earth and Vrai are both leaders in sustainability and the ethical diamond trade. While Vrai has a slight edge over Brilliant Earth because all their diamonds are 100% zero-emission lab diamonds, Brilliant Earth has an extensive selection of similarly “sustainable graded diamonds.”
More diamond seller comparisons and reviews
At LabGrownCarats.com we review all the best (and not-so-great) lab-grown diamond sellers to help you find the best places to purchase diamond jewelry. We compare diamond sellers in our vs. reviews to help you decide between specific jewelers – should you be split.
Read our review of Clean Origin vs. Vrai to see if Vrai is better than Clean Origin.
And see our Clean Origin vs. Brilliant Earth comparison to learn how Brilliant Earth stacks up to Clean Origin.