Technology has helped cut costs and improve service offerings for countless industries, from transportation to investing. So why not jewelry too?
Online jewelry retailers are making it easier for us to afford quality diamond rings. If you’re budget-conscious, but still want a quality ring, you may want to consider buying online. We assure you, it’s not as scary as you think.
If you’re a little nervous about purchasing your diamond online, a great option for you may be James Allen. James Allen makes a concerted effort to create a fantastic customer service experience and allay some of those fears about purchasing such a significant item online.
What is James Allen?
James Allen is one of the big online jewelry retailers. What I like most about James Allen is that they manage to give you the best of both physical and online retailers. You get the benefit of better prices and a wider selection, but with an exceptional shopping experience.
Their claim to fame is in their innovative imaging technology that allows you to scrutinize your diamond with great detail.
James Allen features
Online shopping experience
Special James Allen Promotion: 25% Off Sale* (Exclusions apply).
The online shopping experience is where James Allen shines. They make an effort to simulate the experience of shopping for a ring in person. Unlike many other retailers, they offer great quality HD images of every single diamond.
They also offer fantastic customer service, including 24-hour support. They have a real-time interactive diamond inspection service where a diamond expert walks you through a 360-degree video of your potential diamond and answers all your questions.
James Allen lets you easily customize your own ring. Choose from thousands of diamond options and filter out the ones that don’t meet your specific qualifications. You can be as picky as you want, from clarity to symmetry.
James Allen offers over 200,000 loose diamonds and 500 types of settings. They also offer 2,000 diamonds in alternative colors, plus a good variety of other stones including sapphires, emeralds and rubies.
If you want a great diamond without putting the work into it, choose from their True Hearts line of specially selected diamonds that boast a superior cut and brilliance.
James Allen emphasizes quality first. In fact, they uniquely inspect every diamond featured on their site to ensure it’s up to their standard. Every single diamond listed is also certified by Gemological Institute of America, American Gem Society or the International Gemological Institute.
Because they don’t actually purchase the products they sell and avoid the steep overhead of running a physical store, they’re able to charge a much lower price than physical retailers. They also have a huge selection of stones, offering a range of price points, from high–end to budget-friendly.
James Allen offers two great financing options:
- Six-month interest free plan: Pay within six months and you won’t pay interest. Although if you haven’t paid it off after six months, you’ll be charged a pretty hefty 28.99 percent interest.
- two-year 9.9 percent interest plan: James Allen will give you a full 24 months to pay off your balance, with a 9.9 percent interest rate. A great option if you don’t think you can pay off the balance within six months.
James Allen has binding contracts with all their suppliers guaranteeing that the diamonds they sell are certified conflict-free. Not only do their diamonds comply with the Kimberley Process, but also the Patriot Act and the United Nations resolutions.
What are the perks of shopping at James Allen?
James Allen offers some sweet options to alleviate the stress of buying online:
- Free 60-day resizing: All engagement rings and wedding bands can be resized for free within 60 days of your purchase.
- Lifetime upgrade: James Allen will exchange any loose diamond purchased on their site at 100 percent credit for any replacement diamond of at least 2X or greater value.
- Lifetime Warranty: If your ring breaks or you find any defects, you can return it at any time for maintenance or repair. James Allen offers free prong tightening, re-polishing, rhodium plating and cleaning.
- Free international shipping: Anyone in the world can perfect a beautiful James Allen ring without pay the hefty international shipping costs. The only thing they don’t cover is duties, VAT, taxes or surcharges levied by their country.
- Free engravings: At checkout, you’ll have the option of engraving your band for free with any alpha-numeric combination up to 20 characters in length.
Who should buy from James Allen?
- People who want to pay less for a quality diamond
- Those who want a great customer experience
- Anyone wants to be able to inspect their ring with close-up HD imaging
- Those with some diamond knowledge
Who shouldn’t buy from James Allen?
- People who need that in-person experience
- People who are nervous about online shopping
Why is it cheaper to buy diamonds online?
Online stores have much less overhead. They have fewer staff to train and hire and no rental or security costs. But more importantly, most online retailers don’t have to spend their own money on the inventory beforehand. They sell directly through wholesalers or diamond manufacturers, which means they don’t have to mark up their inventory as much.
Should I buy a diamond online?
Physical shops will never be able to offer nearly as large a selection as online retailers. Because they don’t actually buy the merchandise they include on their site, online retailers can list a much larger inventory than a physical shop. Online retailers aren’t limited to the inventory they currently have in stock.
When you shop online, you don’t have to contend with potentially distrustful salesperson that may just be trying to get rid of lower quality merchandise. Many jewelers are perfectly trustworthy and just want their customers to make the right decisions, but many are not.
When you’re browsing online, you can evaluate each diamond purely by different number values (which we’ll get to later) rather than trust that the salesperson is giving you reliable information.
Go ahead and be as methodical as you want. You have access to thousands of varieties of diamonds and the ability to filter them according to your specifications. Adjust different variables until you get the price you want and the quality you want.
The business model of online stores simply makes it easier to sell the same diamond for less. Plus, a larger inventory makes it easier to be methodical in searching for a good value ring. There are little tricks you can use to bring down the price significantly, while keeping quality high.
Many online jewelers offer a wealth of educational resources to help you make an informed purchase. It’s in their best interest to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase and don’t want to return it.
Requires some prior knowledge
If you don’t know your clarity from your carat, it can be a little daunting. However, most stores offer a ton of educational resources to help keep you informed.
Can be time consuming
If you just want a quick and easy diamond purchasing experience, this may not be for you. Because you’re in control, you have to do the leg work of comparing each diamond and choosing the right one.
You can’t simply get a diamond expert to do the leg work for you. However, most online retailers list some of their recommended stone options so that you don’t have to sift through their massive inventory.
You don’t have the comfort of an expert to hold your hand as you take the plunge. And with a much larger inventory to sift through, the burden to select the right stone lies solely on you.
However, many online retailers do offer knowledgeable customer service agents that can help lead you in the right direction.
Can’t see the ring in person
While many online retailers have high quality images and even 360 degree videos, they definitely don’t compare to seeing it live. If you’re nervous about taking that risk, buying online may not be for you.
How do I get a high quality diamond at a lower price?
The best weapon for getting high quality at a lower price is knowledge. There are various factors that impact a diamond’s cost. If you know what they are and have general idea of what you want before you buy, you can reduce costs dramatically without reducing the quality.
Adjusting the 4 C’s
The four main factors that impact a diamond’s quality and price are its cut, color, clarity, and carat. You can adjust these four variables to lower and raise your stone’s price and quality. Decide which area is worth compromising and which area is more important. You may care a lot about brilliance and care less about size. Just make sure you understand how these adjustments will affect the overall look.
- Cut: The cut is widely considered the most important factor. A well cut stone will have better durability and will sparkle much more brilliantly than a poorly cut one. And it’s that brilliant sparkle that everyone is looking for.
- Color: As you would expect, the clearer the stone, the higher the cost. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to avoid all color. Selecting a diamond with a slightly colored tint can mean a huge price cut. And if you’re strategic about how you set your stone, like setting it in yellow gold, you may not even notice the difference.
- Clarity: Every diamond contains microscopic imperfections. The range in clarity affects how visible these imperfections are. If you’re comfortable getting a stone with a little lower clarity, you can save yourself some serious cash. In many cases, the imperfections aren’t even visible to the human eye, so lowering the clarity slightly, won’t actually affect the way it looks to us. In fact, anything with a SI2 grade or higher will likely not have any visible imperfections.
- Carat: This affects the stone’s shape and weight. The carat value gives you some wiggle room in lowering the price. The price jumps dramatically with each carat that you add, but if you opt for 1.94 carats instead of exactly two, the price won’t jump as nearly as much. Once you reach that exact carat value, you incur a much larger price hike. The difference is barely noticeable, but avoiding the exact carat mark can save you a lot.
The standard round shape is the most expensive option because of the high demand and its more brilliant shine. But if you opt for an alternative shape, you can save yourself quite a lot.
By choosing a rounded shape like an oval, marquise or pear, you’ll lower the base price substantially. Stray a little farther from that rounded shape and choose a princess, emerald, heart or radiant shape and the price will drop even more.
Synthetic diamonds go for around 15-20 percent less than diamonds that are mined. Their look, durability, and quality are just as good as mined diamonds, but some people might not like the idea that their diamonds came from a laboratory instead of the Earth. Nevertheless, it’s a great budget-friendly option.
Online stores like James Allen are making it easier for us to get that perfect diamond without wiping out our entire savings. You may have used to the idea of buying a diamond ring online, but we assure you, anyone who takes the plunge will be rewarded.
Special James Allen Promotion: 25% Off Sale* (Exclusions apply).