James Allen, Blue Nile, Zales, Amazon, Robbins Brothers, DeBebians……. When you look for jewelry online you want to know that you are looking at the best site and selection that you can right?
You want to know who the top online jewelers are and with good reason.
Buying an engagement ring takes a substantial financial and emotional investment; it is something that you only get to do once, so you need to have it right.
We get that.
That’s why I’ve made a list of all the things that we learned when we were looking for our ring (s) and I’ll also go that one step further and tell you who lived up to our expectations so that you don’t have to go through much of the same BS as we did.
The Search for the Top Online Jewelers
Now before we looked at any site seriously, we needed to set some criteria, so to be even included in the starting line-up for the top online jewelers a site needed to;
Have been retailing online for more than 10 years
Only supply GIA, AGS, EGL or IGI certified diamonds – as the certification is the only true protection that you have, this is one of the most important features of any jewelry store that you look at.
Have conflict free diamonds.
Put the price of the ring, setting or diamond on their site – anyone that had ‘contact us for pricing’ was automatically discounted.
Be a member of some official and publicly recognized organization (like BBB or Jewelers Board of Trade)
Have a 100% money back guarantee
Ship internationally using a reputable company and insure the shipping.
Have lots of information about them, their diamonds, their designers and their jewelry on their site. We wanted to know that there were real people behind the images.
Have realistic prices.
Any site that did not meet any of these conditions was automatically dropped.
The next set of criteria was formed based on our experience while searching for our engagement ring. Our top online jewelers had to have;
A user friendly site – it is hard enough trying to find a ring, without having to navigate your way through a complicated site!
High definition 3-D pictures of our setting and diamond,
A large selection of precious metals, settings and diamonds for us to look at,
The ability to design our own ring,
The ability to ‘see’ our chosen diamond through a Loupe,
Easily accessible and friendly customer service,
Good recommendations from independent sources like iVouch, Shopzilla and BizRate.
But we had to be.
You see, we didn’t just want to buy our ring from a lifeless concept drawing. We wanted to know for sure that the ring we were seeing was the ring that we would be getting.
We didn’t want to have to use that 100% money back guarantee just because we didn’t like the way that it looked in real life. That would have been a waste of time for everyone involved.
And the winner is……
We found 5 sites that met the first lot of criteria and only one that met all the criteria above.
That site was James Allen and what’s more they blitzed the competition from every angle;
A super simple site to use, no mucking around – unless you want too!
Easily the biggest selection of settings and diamonds that we had seen online and offline.
The only online jewelry store to have high definition movies and 3-D images of our ring.
They even featured the actual diamond that we were looking at and we were able to see our ring on a very realistic hand from all angles.
On that note, James Allen was the only site where we could see our diamond in 3-D and through a loupe. In some cases we could view the lab certificate online, in other cases it would be emailed to us.
As far as recommendations go – they had the highest number than anyone else by far on iVouch and an average rating of 5 stars – no mean feat!
I can’t speak for anyone else, but the customer service that we received was outstanding, far more than we expected and far more than we have ever received at an offline jewelers!
And that’s without mentioning the extra bonuses, upgrades, discounts and resizing policies that none of the other stores had advertised at the time of writing.