The Best Chain To Buy



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Blue Nile Versus James Allen

In my eyes, there are only TWO places to buy loose certified diamonds online:

Blue Nile and James Allen

Both companies were founded in the late 1990’s (98 & 99), and both offer comparable services, quality and diamond selection.

So how do you compare them?

You look at everything:

  • Price
  • Selection
  • Details
  • Warranties
  • Return Policy
  • Trade-In Policy
  • Service
  • Financing

So let’s dive in and compare these two massive diamond dealers, and then we’ll compare my favorite diamond quality as well.

It’s Blue Nile VS James Allen

Blue Nile Com

James Allen Com

Diamond prices:

In most instances, both Blue Nile and James Allen are very competitive in price (about 25-40% cheaper than local jewelry stores). Depending on the actual diamond quality you desire, and what’s in stock at any given time, one day James Allen could be cheaper, the next day Blue Nile. They’re really closely matched, but the deals are tremendous (by a long shot).

Diamond selection:

James Allen carries over 200k loose certified stones, including Fancy colored diamonds. Blue Nile carries 163,000 loose stones and 4,661 Fancies. So they really are pretty similar as far as inventory. They’ll both have the diamond you want (plus thousands more!)

So finding ONE diamond in a certain color or clarity is not an issue. Especially when you consider that a normal jewelry store will generally only carry about 50 certified diamonds (or less) in stock.

So there is no comparison to what they carry versus your local jeweler. Online will blow them away!!!

Diamond details:

Both companies allow you to search and filter loose stones down to the smallest detail.

They even allow you to view the actual diamond report (a.k.a. certificate) online to see every spec of that stone.


Sample Photos?

Blue Nile shows stock photos for most of their diamonds instead of the real thing (Just recently they started putting up real images of some of their stock).

Sample photos that in no way represent the actual diamond or the quality you’re buying…

Blue Nile Shows Sample Stock Diamond Photos

Buying a diamond sight-unseen is iffy (If it wasn’t GIA certified, I’d say NO WAY!) I like to see the diamond up-close and personal.

Wouldn’t YOU want to see it first?

I like to view the diamond under 10x magnification BEFORE buying it. That way I can see what the stone visually looks like, and see all the flaws inside (But then again, both companies do offer a return policy…)

You’ll do a 360!

This is where James Allen excells…

James Allen have what they call “360° diamond display technology“, which shows you the REAL diamond you’re buying, magnified 10x, and it’s interactive. It allows you to not only see the actual stone, but to spin it around so you can see it from all angles.

It’s amazing!

James Allen 360 Diamond Display Technology

You will never look at diamonds the same way again!

Warranties and Policies:

Both companies carry some of the BEST warranties in the biz.

They offer:

  • Free Shipping
  • Lifetime Warranty against Manufacturer’s Defects
  • 100% Returns for 30 Days
  • Free Upgrades (For 2x Times the Purchase)

James Allen also gives you:

  • A Wire Discount of 1.5%
  • 60 Day Free Ring Sizings
  • Free Returns
  • Free Cleanings and Inspections
  • 70% Buy Backs up to 2 Years (Unheard of in this Industry)

Diamond financing:

Both companies offer different payment options, like credit card, check, money orders, money wires, and both offer flexible financing plans, and even interest free options…

Just be careful, if you are LATE with one payment, or don’t pay it in full, then high interest rates may apply (From the very first day of purchase!)

Blue Nile Interest Free Financing

As always, I advise paying in cash (bank wire) and saving money if you can.

Now let’s compare diamonds:

I searched both Blue Nile and James Allen for the EXACT same diamond (my favorite quality), VS1, E, Excellent cut, polish & symmetry, 1 carat, GIA certified, with zero fluorescence.

This is what I found:

Blue Nile 101 Round Diamond VS1 E

James Allen 102 Round Diamond VS1 E

As you can see, both stones are about as identical as you can get. Blue Nile’s stone is $8,620.

James Allen’s stone was $9,000! (at the time of this post)

There’s a difference of $380, which is no big deal.

Adding on a 14K white gold tiffany style mounting costs $200 at Blue Nile and $240 at James Allen.



Generic stock photos really are a…


Compare the two diamond plots below:

Blue Nile 101 Round Diamond Plot

James Allen 102 Round Diamond Plot

The bottom line:

Either company will sell you diamonds at deep discounts because they have little overhead. Both are almost identical in selecting a diamond, policies and prices. Blue Nile is a little bit cheaper… But James Allen shows you the actual stone (which is priceless). It all depends what your priorities are…

For me:

I like to see the real stone!

And you should too!

When you view the actual diamond at James Allen, magnified, from all angles, you’ll fall in love.

That technology sells me! :)

A couple hundred dollars doesn’t make or break the bank… But policies, service, and the ability to see the real diamond does.

As a further comparison…

I searched for a similar diamond at Kay jewelers (the largest jeweler in the country)…

This low quality stone is the CLOSEST PRICED DIAMOND I could find:

Kay Jewelers 1 Carat Round Diamond

That’s POOR! Their diamond is an SI2 clarity with I color for the same price…

And, it’s NOT even certified! They don’t list the actual cut grade, don’t list polish or symmetry, and don’t even mention fluorescence!!!

(And people still buy from them ???)

No Thanks, I’ll stick with Blue Nile or James Allen

Shop with James Allen and see my favorite diamond quality HERE!

Or buy your diamonds from Blue Nile HERE!

Cheers! :)

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter 10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner
Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit
Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter
10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Diamond Vendors:

James Allen

James Allen

James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.

James Allen

Blue Nile

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.

Blue Nile


  1. I couldn’t agree more about what you’re saying about the diamond images. Those are a big selling point for me and just add to the confidence I have when buying.

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