So you’re looking to buy the perfect diamond engagement ring for your significant other and you came across Whiteflash. You’ve probably checked out other online diamond stores (e.g. Blue Nile, James Allen) but probably don’t have enough time to weigh all your options. Luckily, I do, and after pouring countless hours comparing all the online diamond stores, it’s my opinion that you want to buy your engagement ring from Whiteflash if you’re looking for a diamond that is the best of the best in terms of quality. By best of the best, I mean a diamond with the highest graded cut by GIA or AGS that also has the greatest amount of sparkle. Because when people look at rings, the sparkle is what they notice first (this is known as the diamond’s brilliance btw).
Whiteflash is known for their great selection of ideal and super ideal A Cut Above diamonds, which are diamonds of the highest quality standards from a cut (internal link to Cut) and light performance perspective (better light performance = more sparkle). If you don’t care too much about this, then you’re better off shopping at Blue Nile or James Allen since they have a larger selection and at reasonable prices. So if you’re looking for a best in class diamond you’ve found the right place with Whiteflash. But the question is are Whiteflash’s A Cut Above diamonds all they’re cracked up to be? We’ll go into this and other details about the store in our Whiteflash Review below.
Table of Contents
- Is Whiteflash a Trustworthy Place to Shop From?
- What do I need to know about Whiteflash Diamonds?
- Selection & Prices
- A Cut Above Diamonds – Are they what they’re cracked up to be?
- What about Whiteflash’s Engagement Rings and Other Jewelry?
- What Makes Whiteflash Different?
- Eye Clean Designation on in-house diamonds
- Knowledgeable Customer Service
- Diamond Imaging & Reporting
- Additional Whiteflash Info You Want to Know
- PhD Conclusion
> Whiteflash’s A CUT ABOVE super ideal diamonds are some of the best quality diamonds on the market.
> They have an in-house inventory of diamonds. These will be cheaper than comparable diamonds on Blue Nile or James Allen, who are essentially just middlemen between you and the wholesaler. No middleman means no extra person to take another cut, so lower prices.
> All in-house diamonds come with laboratory reports and light performance imaging. It’s hard to tell if the diamond has the right amount of sparkle without viewing in person. The light performance images are the best substitute for that.
> Eye clean designation on all in-house diamonds. You want your diamond to be eye clean, which means there are no inclusions visible by the naked eye.
> Known for some of the finest designer engagement rings available, including brands such as Tacori, Verragio, Ritani, Vatche, Simon G and Benchmark.
> 1 year service plan on all jewelry and 1year buyback
> Limited selection compared to Blue Nile or James Allen
> In-house inventory consists only of princess cut and round diamonds
> 30-day return policy only for their in-house diamonds. The virtual inventory only has a 10-day return policy
Is Whiteflash a Trustworthy Place to Shop From?
The short answer is YES! Founded in 2000, Whiteflash has become one of the leading online retailers of ideal and super ideal cut diamonds, and are known particularly for their A CUT ABOVE diamond brand – which many experts consider to be among the finest diamonds in the world. Whiteflash is also a member of the American Gem Society, the country’s preeminent jewelry trade organization dedicated to consumer protection – a status neither Blue Nile or James Allen can claim (FACT: only 5% of jewelry retailers who meet AGS standards receive membership). They are also the only retail jeweler certified for ISO 9000 Total Quality Management and has received high honors from the Better Business Bureau every year since 2004, maintaining an A+ rating. Choosing who to trust when buying your diamond engagement ring from is hard, but its safe to say, that Whiteflash is a trust-worthy online jeweler.
What do I need to know about Whiteflash Diamonds?
Since the diamond makes up for majority of your engagement ring purchase, I am focusing most of my review on that.
Selection & Prices
Whiteflash has one of the largest collections of ideal and super ideal diamonds in the world, and these diamonds are a part of their IN-HOUSE INVENTORY. Why should you care about this? Having an in-house inventory means the seller actually owns the diamonds (as opposed to acting like a middle man or broker – this is what Blue Nile and James Allen), which usually equates to lower prices since there are fewer parties taking a cut of the sale. So Whiteflash is able to offer these diamonds cheaper then comparable diamonds on Blue Nile or James Allen. The only limitation with Whiteflash’s in-house inventory is that they’re limited to round and princess cut diamonds. If you’re looking for diamonds in other shapes (Cushion Cut, Emerald, Oval, Radiant, Assher, Marquise, Heart, or Pear shaped diamonds), they won’t be a part of their in-house inventory, but part of their “virtual selection”. Whiteflash’s virtual selection are diamonds they list from their wholesale network, with prices of those relatively on par with comparable diamonds on Blue Nile or James Allen. Bottom line, shop at Whiteflash if you’re looking for superior quality round or princess cut diamonds, for diamonds of other shapes or if quality isn’t the biggest concern – you’re going to find a better selection at either Blue Nile or James Allen.
Quality above quantity – I believe that for just about everything in life, not just diamonds! We’ve established that you should come to Whiteflash only if you’re looking for superior quality round or princess cut diamonds, so lets talk a bit more about them. Whiteflash distinguishes their in-house diamonds into tiers, even though they’re all of impeccable quality (I like to think that all of these in-house diamonds are like Michelin rated restaurants – you’ll get this later unless you’re not familiar with the Michelin rating system). This is important because each tier will be at a difference price point. Here is a quick summary of each tier:
- A Cut Above – These are Whiteflash’s highest grade diamonds and what they’re best known for. These diamonds are graded triple Ideal by AGS in terms of polish, symmetry, and cut, and have maximum light performance in a wide array of lighting situations for maximum sparkle or brilliance. These will be at the highest price point within Whiteflash’s in-house inventory. These are like a three star Michelin restaurant.
- Expert Selection – Diamonds in this category still must have the highest grades by AGS or GIA (triple ideal or triple excellent) and must also outstanding light performance (brilliance/sparkle), but they just miss the A CUT ABOVE designation. These are like a two star Michelin restaurant.
- Premium Select – These diamonds have also been given the top grade for cut quality awarded by GIA – Triple Excellent, in terms of polish, symmetry, and cut. But they’re light performance is not as superior at the expert selection diamonds. This is a one star Michelin restaurant.
A Cut Above Diamonds – Are they what they’re cracked up to be?
Whiteflash is best known for their A Cut Above diamonds, the best of the best (I even just described them to be analogous to a 3-star Michelin restaurant). But are they what their cracked up to be? For starters, they’re quality is not as unique as Whiteflash would like you to think they are. Blue Nile has its Astor Brand, which in my opinion rivals Whiteflash’s A Cut Above Diamonds. James Allen also has their True Hearts collection, but they don’t delve into light performance that much which makes me question if James Allen’s holds their superior collection to a light performance standard. Let’s put the A Cut Above diamond and Astor side by side so you can see how similar they are in terms of quality.
|Elite Brand||Super Ideal Cut||Astor|
|Diamond Shapes||Round, Princess||Round, Princess|
|Overall Diamond Grade||Triple Ideal||Triple Excellent|
|# of diamonds||500+||650+|
|Light Performance Metrics||Uses ASET imaging||Gemex Grading|
|Light Performance Imaging Provided||ASET/Ideal Scope||Gemex – Very High|
As you can see, the two diamonds are fairly comparable in terms of quality, so why do people talk more about Whiteflash’s A Cut Above diamonds more than Astor? Probably just marketing. Everyone needs a differentiator to attract customers, the A Cut Above diamonds are Whiteflash’s differentiator (Blue Nile doesn’t really need a differentiator, because they’re like the Amazon of online diamond and engagement ring stores – everyone goes to them).
One last test – let’s do a price comparison. I found very comparable stones on Whiteflash and on Blue Nile. Both are round shape diamond diamonds – VS2 clarity, F color, and ~1 ct. The Whiteflash stone (the top image) is one of its A Cut Above series and the Blue Nile stone (the bottom image) is one of its Astor series.
$1,300 less for Whiteflash’s diamond even though it is slightly larger than the Blue Nile’s. Why is that? The only thing we could point to is that Whiteflash’s diamond is part of their in-house inventory so they are able to provide it cheaper because of the whole middleman/broker thing describd above.
Given our analysis of the A Cut Above series compared to diamonds of similar quality, its our opinion that Whiteflash’s A Cut Above diamonds are worth it! So if you’re in the market for best in quality diamonds, Whiteflash is the place to shop.
What about Whiteflash’s Engagement Rings and Other Jewelry?
You need to mount that sweet diamond you just bought right? Remember, all of these site price diamonds and the mountings (also known as setting). Here are your options and what I think of them, because you know you care about what I have to say:
Whiteflash Engagement Rings
Even though Whiteflash offers a number of different settings for your engagement ring, like solitaire, pave, channel set, side-stone, three-stone, tension, & halo, their search function doesn’t allow you to filter for all of them. You can only filter by solitaire, three stone, pave & side stones, and halo. That is pretty annoying. The only other thing is that a majority of their rings seem to be designer brand, which makes them more expensive. If I’m comparing the selection, price, and ease of use to Blue Nile or James Allen (which I am), James Allen wins on all fronts.
You do know that a wedding band is different from an engagement ring. (I know, I know and you have to pay for that thing called a wedding too). Same conclusion as the engagement rings! They have a selection in all different metals (e.g. platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold) but majority of these are designer brand too! Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Earrings, Pendants, and Bracelets
Yes, you can find these on Whiteflash too. They’re split 50/50 between designer brand names and not. The selection is not as large as the selection on Blue Nile. Honestly, if you’re looking for non-engagement ring jewelry, you should shop at Blue Nile.
As mentioned above, Whiteflash does offer engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry by some big named deigners – Simon G, Danhov, Ritani, Verragio, Tacori, Vatache, and Benchmark.
What Makes Whiteflash Different?
Besides Whiteflash’s (and PhD confirmed) best in quality diamonds, I found a few other features about this company that made them different than its competitors.
Eye Clean Designation on in-house diamonds
This is your diamond litmus test – you want to make sure any diamond you buy is eye clean and this is something you can only determine by physically looking at the diamond. “Eye-clean” means that no inclusions are visible by naked eye to a person with 20/20 vision while viewing the diamond 10 inches away under normal lighting. Typically, diamonds graded by AGS and GIA with clarities of VS or above are completely “eye-clean’. Whiteflash tells you if their in-house diamond is eye clean or not. Blue Nile and James Allen do not do this!
Knowledgeable Customer Service
All members of Whiteflash’s staff are GIA Acredited Jewelry Professionals and they also have two GIA Graduate Gemologists available to speak to upon request. This means they know there stuff! Unlike other online stores who put their staff through a training program, Whiteflash’s people went to college for diamonds.
Diamond Imaging & Reporting
WARNING: this is prob too much information for the average diamond buyer. Unless you really care to nerd out on diamond imaging technology, you can probably skip this section.
Most other sites offer only stock images of their diamonds along with the diamond specifications and possibly detailed 360 videos to inspect the diamond virtually. Whiteflash takes it a step further, each in-house diamond comes with it an ASET image and an Idealscope image to show light performance.
Created by the American Gem Society (AGS), provides information about how a diamond is handling light. Since diamond beauty stems from its brilliance and fire, you should understand how to gauge cut quality and light performance when you’re not able to physically inspect the diamond.
ASET imaging involves sophisticated ray tracing of an accurate 3D model of the diamond, measuring the contribution of every facet of the diamond and evaluating brightness, fire, contrast and leakage. Well cut round brilliant diamonds will show a lot of red, a small amount of green, a symmetrical pattern of blue with very little leakage. The image to the LEFT shows the ASET image of a super ideal diamond. The image to the RIGHT shows a diamond with light performance issues.
IdealScope imaging will returning all light to the eye and will appear in red on imaging, and obscuration in black and light leakage in white. IdealScope provides an indication of how light returns and some symmetry aspects, but not quite as much insight compared to ASET. Take a look at the IdealScope image for A Cut Above diamond to the RIGHT, not much light leakage! This means more brilliance & fire (sparkle!!!)
Additional Whiteflash Info You Want to Know
Whiteflash offers a “no questions asked” 30 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee on all in-house Whiteflash certified diamonds, settings where the diamonds are mounted, and all catalogue jewelry items.
Certified Diamonds from Whiteflash’ Virtual Selection category and other diamonds sourced by Whiteflash have only a 10 Day Money Back Guarantee. Settings for these diamonds can also be returned within 10 days for a full refund.
One Year Buyback
If you decide to return your diamond after your 30 day return period, Whiteflash will buyback a qualified diamond (Any Whiteflash in-house certified diamond). You will receive 70% of the diamond’s price after the 30 day return period has ended. Blue Nile or James Allen does not offer a program like this.
Lifetime Trade-Up Guarantee
You can trade up any Whiteflash in-house diamond any other single in-house diamond of equal or greater value. Most other online retailers require you to purchase a diamond 1.5x to 2x the original price of the diamond you are trading in.
One Year Service Guarantee
Covers refinishing and repairs to the metals and accent diamonds in the jewelry that are the result of either normal wear or manufacturing defects, for a period of one year from ship date.
Jewelers Reserve program (from Citi Bank) – six months financing with no interest. Interest will be charged if the purchase balance is not paid in full within the 6 month of payment date.
Free Insured Shipping Worldwide
Free insured FedEx shipping within the United States and to over 70 international destinations.
Whiteflash uses Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group to protect their purchases. Click here for a quote.
Complimentary Ring Sizing
Whiteflash offers complimentary sizing within a period of one year from the date of purchase on most rings. But no re-sizing policy.
ISO 9000 Certified
ISO 9000 standards represent the best practices for resolving quality issues internally and for continually reducing the chance that a product or system non-conformity will reach the customer. As a customer of an ISO 9000 certified company you can therefore have the highest level of confidence in the quality, consistency and accuracy of the products and service you will receive. Whiteflash is one of the very few retail jewelers in the world that has achieved ISO 9000 certification.
Conflict Free Diamonds
All diamonds sold by Whiteflash are secured through legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and are guaranteed to be conflict free.
While Whiteflash does not have the largest selection of diamonds, they do make up for it with their premium quality diamonds stocked in-house. So for the best of the best in terms of diamond quality, Whiteflash is definitely the place to come to.