Top 6 Online Diamond Stores Reviewed (2021 Review)
Looking for the best online stores to buy diamonds online?
Perfect, you're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide you'll learn:
- Is It Cheaper To Buy Diamonds Online? And Why?
- What Should You Look For When Buying Diamonds Online?
- What Are The Common Return Policies For Online Diamonds?
- How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal On Your Diamond?
- What Are Our Top 6 Picks When Buying Diamonds Online!
With more online only direct to consumer retailers popping up, prices on diamonds and other gemstones are coming way down!
These shops have much lower operating expenses and they pass on cost savings to normal folks like you and me.
That said, I have six places I like to recommend folks check out when buying diamonds and other gemstones online.
Let's get into it!
Top 6 Places to Buy Diamonds Online:
If you need the list quick, here are my top 6 picks for finding quality, reputable diamonds. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops.
Buying Diamonds At James Allen
James Allen is the best diamond retailer when it comes to buying diamonds online. They're investing millions of dollars in optimizing and fine tuning the online buying process for jewelry.
It could even be said they're on the cutting edge when it comes to the possibilities in e-commerce.
They do have a couple of physical stores in Georgia and New York, but mostly operate online. People love buying diamonds and engagement rings with James Allen because of their reputable name among online retailers in jewelry.
They offer a complete 360 degree view of the diamond, allowing you to see any diamond characteristics in that piece. The picture is extremely clear and allows you to see the slightest of inclusions without actually being physically present.
Read Also: What are the best wedding rings for men?
You can even set your loose stone in a pendant, earrings, or ring setting, allowing for a complete customization of your piece.
While many of these features can be seen at other diamond retailers, James Allen has the best benefits for your diamonds online.
They offer their customers a lifetime warranty that includes retipping of prongs, deep cleaning, polishing, and rhodium plating.
All other repair work is sent in for an estimate, and then done if you decide to go ahead with the price.
From what I can tell, they do not cover loss of any stones, so keep that in mind when considering this retailer. James Allen also gives you hassle-free returns for 30 days.
While many retailers make you pay a shipping fee for returns, James Allen does not.
They'll send you a pre-paid label and refund back to the original card of purchase.
They really are the best package when it comes to getting the most out of your purchase.
Your ring is eligible for a Lifetime Upgrade for trading up at least 2x its original value. That's basically like getting a brand new ring for half of what most people would be paying! Lastly, James Allen also offers you free resizing for a year.
- Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry
- Does not cover loss of stones in settings
Buying Diamonds At Blue Nile
Right behind James Allen, is Blue Nile in terms of online buying experience for diamonds and gemstones.
They have a similar 360 degree camera for select pieces, but most are generic 2D pictures with some shots of models wearing the jewelry.
When you buy diamonds from Blue Nile, you can be sure you are getting them from reputable diamond dealer.
Blue Nile offers the best selection of everything from loose diamonds to tungsten carbide rings for men. They also have a wide range of diamond fine jewelry, unlike some of the other competitors that focus solely on loose diamonds.
As for warranties, I have to say I'm not a huge fan of Blue Nile's. The jeweler has the typical manufacturer defect policy, but other than that, everything is out of pocket.
They recommend you get your jewelry cleaned and inspected for retipping of prongs or loose stones ever six months. They'll inspect it for free but you will have to pay if it needs any work.
In addition to the inspection, you also have to pay to ship it to be inspected. And, if you choose to have your diamonds worked on by anyone else, it voids the warranty.
Read Also: What is Blue Nile's resizing policy?
Blue Nile has it all when it comes to diamond certification. You may receive a GIA grading report from the Gemological Institute of America, Gemex Light Performance report, and a GIA Diamond Dossier for all diamonds under 1 carat weight.
When inspecting the diamond characteristics with Blue Nile, I love that they are like James Allen with the way you're able to rotate the diamond, rather than the view. I really wish they had HD viewer though, because I can't really see it as sharp as I'd like to.
- Diamonds from reputable dealer
- Loose diamond and diamond fine jewelry
- Diamond certification
- Rotating view of diamond on website
- Unimpressive warranty
- Diamond view on website is not as high definition as James Allen
Buying Diamonds At Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth is another widely known online diamond retailer. While most people shop on their website, they also have 14 showroom locations across the United States. You can book an appointment with a diamond expert either in-store or virtually.
The big thing that sets BE apart from other diamond retailers is their socially ethical platform. Instead of just following the Kimberley Process like every other natural diamond seller, they source their diamonds from certain areas and even offer deep tracking on many of their natural diamonds called blockchain diamonds.
Brilliant Earth partnered up with a blockchain technology company that sends the buyer a special code through email. The code allows you into the blockchain system and you can see where the diamond has been in all 7 phases of its production. Blockchain technology in general is highly secure and legitimate.
The process is very secure and hard to hack. Each phase has to be signed off on. It fills in all the information about where your diamond has been between the origin where it's mined to your ring finger. Conflict-free diamonds only tell you that it has been mined from an approved place. Even so, only GIA Origin Reports can confirm the area in which it was mined.
Aside from blockchain diamonds, they have lab grown diamonds, natural diamonds with GIA Origin Reports, and recycled diamonds. Recycled diamonds have been previously owned and recut, which is much better for the environment than natural OR lab diamonds. They also use recycled metals for most of the gold jewelry in their inventory as well as environmentally conscious packing materials and wooden jewelry boxes.
The main complaints about Brilliant Earth boil down to about two things: prices and reputation. Many people like Brilliant Earth, but often find comparable diamonds at cheaper online retailers. But if ethics is important to you, they are really such a good option.
You'll find all over the internet about an article that investigated Brilliant Earth's diamond origins and it really messed up their reputation on the web like rumors do, whether true or not. I address it in our full Brilliant Earth review, but it's worth mentioning because it's like the elephant in the room about them all over the web.
Lastly, they offer a warranty that covers the routine maintenance, but you pay for it the way depending on the price of your item. Their Extended Service Plan is similar to Jared and Zales, but Brilliant Earth's ESP lasts three years and gives an option of renewal.
- Traceable natural diamonds and recycled diamonds
- GIA Origin reports
- Ethically conscious
- Renewable warranty
- Higher prices
- Divided customer audiences
Aside from James Allen, Blue Nile, and Whiteflash, Clean Origin is another popular online jewelry store with some major differences.
Like our other diamond retailers, you can customize your 4Cs preferences by selecting different carat weights, color and clarity grades, as well as different diamond shapes and cuts.
Clean Origin is an online retailer that offers stunning loose lab created diamonds. Lab diamonds, aka synthetic diamonds, are real diamonds. They've just been put in a chamber that simulates how it works underground with mined diamonds.
You'll notice the staggering price cut with lab diamonds as opposed to other retailers on this list. Lab diamonds have no resale value, so if you're hoping to trade up for a new ring, I'd stick with the mined diamonds.
But if not, you can save up to and over 40% by purchasing lab diamonds with Clean Origin as opposed to mined diamonds with another retailer.
They've got an unprecedented 100 day return policy which gives prospective customers peace of mind when considering to buy from them. Clean Origin stands behind the quality of their product so much, they'll give you 100 days to make sure you love it. And if you don't, simply return for a refund.
They don't have a lifetime warranty that covers the routine maintenance you'll need over the years, which is kind of a bummer. They do have the lifetime manufacturer's warranty that covers design flaws or major issues within the merchandise.
- Lab diamonds are cheaper
- 100 day return policy
- Financing through Affirm
- 30 day returns
- Exclusively sells lab grown diamonds
- No resale value
- Doesn't cover routine maintenance
Buying Diamonds At White Flash
White Flash is an online diamond jewelry retailer that also has a brick and mortar store in Houston, Texas.
When it comes to buying diamonds at this store, they make it pretty easy on their website although they have some big differences when compared to James Allen or Blue Nile.
I looked at their loose diamond collection and I do like the way they have their filters set up.
I really like that when I search for a certain loose diamond, I can scroll over each result quickly and narrow it down to ones I'm interested without ever having to open a tab. Very convenient.
While White Flash has plenty of diamond ring and jewelry options, they are definitely lax when it comes to gemstone jewelry. In fact, they don't have any on their site, but you can inquire within and they can arrange an order for you.
White Flash prides themselves on their own American Gem Society (AGS) certified diamonds. They are also laser-inscribed with a unique number so you will always be able to identify or report it if stolen.
Not only do you get the 4Cs of your diamond certified, but each diamond in their Premium and Expert selections also comes with a full light performance analysis for brilliance, fire, and dispersion.
This jeweler also offers 100% trade up for life, 30 day return policy, and a buyback program after one year.
Some of the staff are also GIA certified through the Gemological Institute of America, the most prestigious university in Gemology. You can be assured you are getting correct information from White Flash.
- Laser inscribed
- Money back guarantee
- Name brand selections
- 30 day returns
- Bad diamond lighting for viewing characteristics
- No gemstone jewelry (or loose stones)
Ritani might be a recognizable name, but they're actually fairly new to the world of loose diamonds online. Originally, they were a ring designer, not a carrier of loose diamonds. Today, they are both.
Ritani is an online diamond retailer that values transparency in their brand. You get a market analysis with each diamond that breaks down its cost. Ritani shows you what they paid for it, the markup cost, and what you pay so there is complete understanding on why you're paying what you're paying.
Ritani's selection isn't as large as Blue Nile's or James Allen's, but it's pretty decent sized. Diamonds may come with 360 video, HD images, or both. Some don't have anything, but HD photos can be provided upon request within 2 business days.
They've got some beautiful ring settings, many of which are their own patented designs. Keep in mind that it makes the price go up, as these are exclusive designs to Ritani.
One of the biggest selling points for Ritani is their view in-store policy. They've partnered with many physical diamond retailers around the US to allow you to create a ring online and see at a partner store without buying it. If you don't like it, simply send it back. However, due to COVID 19, Ritani has put this service on hold.
My other favorite thing about Ritani is their lifetime warranty. It's so hard to find a good diamond retailer with a lifetime warranty that covers maintenance as well. Ritani is one of them. You have to do a quick registration online but then you warranty is activated.
- Transparent market analysis
- Exclusive ring settings
- Free lifetime warranty covers normal wear
- No obligation to buy feature
- Expensive ring settings
- Smaller selection
- 360 video on some diamonds
Online Diamonds FAQ: What To Know?
Is It Cheaper To Buy Diamonds Online?
It's a hard question, it really is.
There are so many different diamond retailers both online and at physical stores. Some places are going to sell diamonds at a higher cost if they are brand name, have special cutting techniques, or even name brands like Verragio or Ritani.
There are a lot of factors that will make diamonds cheaper or more expensive.
The main factor in pricing a diamond is their grades within the 4Cs: carat, cut, clarity, and color. Some diamond shapes are more expensive as well.
The round brilliant diamond is actually the most expensive of all the cuts. But the Asscher cut diamond is going to cost less.
So is it cheaper to buy online? My answer is not necessarily, but I can guarantee you can find a cheaper and better quality diamond than you'll find in a diamond retail store.
Corporate jewelers get away with charging you more for a lower grade diamond than an online retailer might.
This is because these jewelers are banking on the thought that you would rather purchase something you can see rather than something you'd order online.
Red Flags When Buying Diamonds Online?
While none of these online diamond vendors on this list are red flag worthy, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying diamonds on the net.
Blood diamonds are taken extremely seriously by diamond retailers. All of the retailers on this list are conflict-free diamonds, meaning that people are not being hurt as a result of the production of the diamonds.
They are sourced ethically. Always look for sites that mention if they are conflict-free diamonds.
Read Also: How to buy diamonds ethically?
Secondly, if you're thinking about buying diamonds from a place, make sure they are using proper terminology when referring to the quality. For instance, make sure they are being graded by the GIA 4Cs, and not their own system. Some places will also claim to be certified, but are only certified through their store.
Tip: Certifications by GIA, IGI, IGS, and GemEx are all legitimate certification authorities. Some stores may also do their own certifications in addition to one or more of those mentioned.
Lastly, make sure that your purchase comes with a solid return policy, just in case your diamond doesn't look like what you buy online. You may have to pay a shipping fee, but most reputable diamond stores will pay for it.
How To Get The Best Deal When Buying Diamonds Online?
Generally the best deals (10-25% off) come during the popular holidays like Valentines Day, Christmas, Black Friday, etc.
That said, I would advise you wait to buy anything until sales come online around these holidays. Lab created diamonds also offer a way of getting a bigger diamond with a better cut at a lower price that is essentially identical to the natural counterpart.
Aside from just waiting for sales or buying a lab diamond, it pays to brush up on your knowledge of carat, cut, color, and clarity so you know what details to look for vs ignore.
Thankfully, you can learn everything there is to know about diamonds through our buying guides and informational articles. If you are new to the diamond game and are considering purchasing, definitely brush up on your knowledge of the 4Cs.
You'll learn that you don't necessarily need the top grades or biggest carat weights to get the best deal.
And of course, after you've learned the tricks of the trade, you can now utilize any deals the site you're buying off of may be offering. Double the discounts!