Best Place to Buy Jewelry

Shopping in person for jewelry can be very intimidating, especially at famous jewelry stores. To combat this fear and make shopping easier, many companies have started selling jewelry online. From top jewelry stores to new solely online jewelry stores, there is now an option to buy your jewelry from the convenience of your own home. This allows you to take the time you need to compare and shop different items, and feel comfortable doing so. You’ll find top jewelry brands as well as online diamond stores. There are many online jewelers out there and we will dive into 5 of them, discussing some pros and cons as well as rating their overall price, selection, customer service and quality.
(out of 5 stars)JAMES ALLENALLUREZBLUE NILERITANIZOARA
Overal Rank#1#2#3#4#5
Pricing★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Selection★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Quality★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Customer Service★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Here is a little breakdown on how we are deciding our Star Ratings:

  • Price: We aren’t looking just at a price comparison for similar diamonds, but also at what kind of range they have. Do they have some budget options, do they have some middle of the road, or only higher price points?
  • Selection: How many diamonds do they have? What is their finished jewelry selection like? Some stores do design your own, some with diamonds and some with gemstones. Do they have anything other stores don’t offer?
  • Quality: As we haven’t physically seen items from all these stores, we are basing this on quality of imagery. Do they provide real images or videos? How are their on body renderings?
  • Customer Service: Here we are looking to see what their warranty covers and for how long. How do they handle repairs and shipping?

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# 1 James Allen

Pricing: ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★★

Quality: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★★

  • Large selection of settings and diamonds
  • 360 view/20x magnification on diamonds
  • Lifetime warranty which includes prong work, polishing, rhodium plating and cleaning
  • 60 days for free resizing
  • Slight lack of selection for finished jewelry
James Allen is hands down one of the best places to buy jewelry online. They carry approximately 130K diamonds, certified by GIA, AGSL, or IGI. Each diamond is accompanied with a 360 view of the actual stone. This allows you to see any and all imperfections on the exact stone you will purchase, something that not every online store offers. The 20x magnification is even sometimes higher than what you will see at a traditional brick and mortar store. Their finished jewelry also has this 360 degree view, but with limited choices for designs. They have very simple earrings, drop and bail pendants and line bracelets, with not much in depth design element to the preset items. Their gemstone jewelry seems to have a little more detail to it, with some fancier halo drop earrings and  latch back drop earrings. You can design your own rings, earrings and pendants with both diamonds and gemstones. James Allen also provides a lifetime warranty which includes free prong tightening, polishing, rhodium plating as well as cleaning. They allow 60 days for a free resize as well as a lifetime upgrade policy. This is one of the best warranties we’ve seen. There isn’t much to be said negatively about James Allen. Their accurate videos and imagery make up for a slight lack of options in terms of finished jewelry. Seeing the exact stone you are potentially purchasing accounts for a slightly higher pricing, though they are still middle of the road. With their extra care in the warranty for their items, they get a perfect score on all accounts.

 

# 2 Allurez

Pricing: ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★★

Quality: ★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

    • Multiple diamond certificates offered, which helps with their wide price points
    • Large finished jewelry with unique categories such as men’s wear and jewelry storage
    • 30 day return policy
    • Free shipping
    • Buy back program with consideration of diamonds purchased elsewhere
  • Stock images for diamonds
  • Moderate selection of diamonds
  • Do not match diamonds for you for matched pair earrings
Allurez has a moderate diamond collection (approximately 95K), but boasts a larger selection of finished jewelry. Their diamonds are certified by GIA, AGL (American Gemological Laboratories), EGL (European Gemological Laboratories), HRD Antwerp and IGI (International Gemological Institute), and their jewelry is made in the USA. Unfortunately, their diamonds do not come with images or videos, but instead are supplied with stock photos of generic diamonds.
Their finished jewelry has more options than some of the other sites, with brooches, cufflinks, money clips, tie bars and watches. They even sell jewelry storage such as boxes, safes, armoires, and travel kits. You rarely see this in some of the best jewelry stores, let alone best online jewelry stores. They also do design your own jewelry, even design your own monogram. Though, one downside to their finished jewelry is they do not match pairs of diamonds for you, when you are designing your own earrings. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you have 30 days to return the item. Customers will pay shipping both ways, but original purchases are free shipping. Allurez has a 1 year warranty which covers manufacturing issues, ring sizing, rhodium plating and cleaning. Many online jewelers provide some sort of buy back program, but with a stipulation that the diamond must have been purchased from their site. Allurez, on the other hand, will consider buying back diamonds that you’ve purchased elsewhere Allurez may not have the highest diamond selection, compared to some of the best online stores, but the fact that they carry many different certifications allows their pricing to be pretty wide. This lets you to pick a stone that fits any budget, which is why we give them a 5 star rating for price. Their selection of finished jewelry and jewelry products makes up for their lower number of diamonds, also granting them a 5 star for selection. Their customer service seems to be on par with other online stores, but their one year warranty cuts them a star. Though they do not have any diamond images, their USA manufacturing (which many of the best jewelry brands haven’t even migrated towards) helps their quality of jewelry rating.  

 

# 3 Blue Nile

Pricing: ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★★

Quality: ★★★

Customer Service: ★★★

  • Huge selection of diamonds
  • Competitive pricing
  • Price match guarantee
  • Matched pairs of diamond for design your own earrings
  • Variety of finished jewelry selection
  • Body renderings for finished jewelry
  • 30 day return policy
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Mostly uses sample images for diamonds
  • Warranty does not cover rhodium plating nor prong work
  • Slightly higher pricing due to higher cut grades
  • Setting imagery isn’t real

Blue Nile is probably the most known online jewelry website. They have one of the most vast collections of diamonds out there (around 190K), as well as a good selection of online jewelry. Their diamonds are certified GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGSL (American Gemological Society Laboratory). The major downside to this huge collection of diamonds is their lack of  imagery. Blue Nile mostly has sample images for their diamonds, with only a few random diamonds having a 360 video view. This can propose a challenge for people buying online, people who want to see an actual diamond before spending their money. Where Blue Nile makes up for this, is with their cost. They have some of the most competitive diamond prices of any online jewelry store out there, as well as a Price Match Guarantee.   Not only do they sell diamonds and engagement rings, but also other finished jewelry products. They have a good selection of pre matched diamonds in order to design your own earrings, as well as other build your own diamond pendants and bands. For these design your own items, as well as other preset finished jewelry items, they often have on body renderings which helps to discern how an item might look in person.  Their lack of gemstone design your own items may be limiting for some customers, as you can find more of that on other jewelry online stores. They do offer a nice variety, though: lever back drop earrings, hoop earings, halo earrings, a variety of bracelets and necklaces. Their selection is quite extensive, with more than just simple tennis bracelets and diamonds by the yard style necklaces. If you receive an item that doesn’t match your expectations, Blue Nile has a 30 day return policy as well as free shipping on all orders. They have a lifetime manufacturer warranty that includes free ring cleaning and inspections (though you pay for the shipping there). They do not cover re-rhodium plating nor rebuilding of prongs, which other jewelry stores online do cover.  Overall, Blue Nile is a great place to start, especially if you have a budget. Their selection is large for all price points, especially in the diamond category. Their finished jewelry also has a wide variety, granting them 5 stars in selection. Customer service seems to be decent, but when you compare the additional features covered by other sites, (rhodium plating and prong work) it decreases Blue Nile by 2 stars. Their biggest downfall is the lack of real imagery. Buying a diamond online can be extremely daunting for people, especially when you only get a sample of a diamond (one that looks almost too perfect).

 

# 4 Ritani

Pricing: ★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★

Quality: ★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★★

  • Real diamond imagery
  • Similar Diamond Section
  • Designer partners
  • Retailer brick aynd mortar partners
  • 30 day return policy
  • Poor quality images
  • No warranty on designer partners they carry
  • Slightly less budget friendly option
Ritani showcases approximately 62K diamonds on their site, most of which seem to have real imagery. Unfortunately, they are not all top quality images. Some of the zoom features are blurry or pixilated, but at least they are not stock images. Ritani uses AGS and GIA certificates for all their diamonds. But one of their best features is their Similar Diamond selections. While many sites have this, Ritani breaks it down into more categories and in simpler layman terms such as, More Sparkle and Fewer Flaws. This is a great way to choose between and compare similar diamonds.
Their finished jewelry collection is pretty comprehensive, with earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets, as well as design your own features. Their earrings showcase a wide selection of studs, as well as hoops and drops. The bracelet selection is also extensive, with traditional tennis bracelets but also some unique leather, links and chain options. They even have some options for men. But, what sets them apart in the finished jewelry category are their designer partners. Here you will find some items by Roberto Coin, EF Collection and Mimi So. These designers help to create a wide selection of varied designs, allowing them to showcase some of the best jewelry available, not just their own designs.   Similarly to other sites, they have a 30 day return policy, but they also schedule a free FedEx pick up, which is a bonus touch. Their lifetime manufacturer’s warranty does not include any outside designers, which is something to be cautious about when purchasing. They also don’t mention anything about free prong work and rhodium work, but they do offer free cleaning for a lifetime. Ritani is also unique in that they have retail partners around the country. These partners can clean and repair items for you, as well as allows you to preview a custom ring close by to your home. If you don’t like the custom ring, there is a simple, free walk away policy.   Ritani’s lower selection of diamonds and settings leads them to having less budget options compared to some of the larger online jewelry stores. Their diamond pricing isn’t necessarily higher, but their lack of options allows for customers to find cheaper items on other sites. The designer option for finished jewelers helps their selection. While their imagery isn’t the best out there, at least they have real images for everything which allows them 4 stars in quality. Their partnerships with both retailers and designers is an interesting aspect that likely helps customers feel more at ease purchasing online. It’s kind of an in between experience that can be comforting for first time online shoppers.  

 

# 5 Zoara

Pricing: ★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★★

Quality: ★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★★

  • Large diamond selection
  • Only GIA certified diamonds
  • Great lifetime warranty
  • Not all real images/poor quality images
  • Can find cheaper jewelry stores
Zoara boasts the largest collection of diamonds out of those we are reviewing, with approximately 245K listed. Not all of these have images or videos, and the ones that do are not always of high quality. Their diamonds are all GIA certified. It is nice to have just one laboratory offered, as it makes it easier to compare the diamonds they have listed to each other. They offer rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets, but only rings and earrings have the design your own option. Their selection of finis`hed jewelry is moderate, but they don’t have any imagery of these items on a person for scale. They have a nice selection of pearl jewelry, with a little more design to it than say a traditional strand of pearls. Their lifetime warranty is one of the best, as it includes rhodium recoating, prong tightening, polishing, cleaning and manufacturing defect repairs. They allow one free resizing within 60 days, covering shipping both ways. Probably the best feature of their website is their Learning Center. Here you will find vast knowledge on diamonds, pearls, gemstones, metals and all finished jewelry categories. Other sites do have these education posts, but none we have seen are as comprehensive as Zoara.  
  Due to their large selection of diamonds and decent options for finished jewelry, we give them 4 stars for pricing. Though they have many options, not all are cheaper when compared to similar stones on other sites. Their robust lifetime warranty as well as their education center easily grant them 5 stars for customer service. We wish they had more and better imagery of both their diamonds and finished jewelry, knocking them down to a 3 star.  

PHD Conclusion

As you may have noticed, a lot of sites have similarities. This could propose a challenge, but the best practice for deciding which site to purchase from, is to figure out what is most important to you. Is it the pricing, customer service or quality of the jewelry? Each site has strengths in specific categories, hopefully making it easier to decide where to purchase from.