In my eyes, there are only TWO places to buy loose certified diamonds online:
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:
- Return Policy
- Trade-In Policy
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
In most instances, Blue Nile is a tad bit cheaper than James Allen (only by a couple hundred). But you can really debate this, because the diamond market changes daily, and it all depends on the actual diamonds in stock at any given time.
One day James Allen could be cheaper, the next Blue Nile. They’re pretty close and the prices are still WAY cheaper than any jewelry store you could visit (by a long shot).
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!!!
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.
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…
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.
You will never look at diamonds the same way again!
Warranties and Policies:
Both companies carry some of the BEST warranties in the biz.
- 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)
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!)
As always, I advise paying in cash (bank wire) and saving money if you can.
Now let’s compare diamonds:
This is what I found:
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.
YOU CAN’T SEE THE DIAMOND AT BLUE NILE!
Generic stock photos really are a…
Compare the two diamond plots below:
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…
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:
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 ???)
About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.
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