When I was on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring, I had a hard time sorting through all of the options online. I knew that I didn’t want to work with a traditional brick-and-mortar jeweler, but I didn’t know anything about picking out the right online jewelry retailer.
That’s when I came across James Allen. This online jeweler has one of the best reputations on the market, and it offers high-quality rings, studs, necklaces, and loose diamonds for competitively low prices.
I’ve never been happier with a jewelry purchase whether online or in-store than the one I made at JamesAllen.com, and I want to share my experience with James Allen and why I think it’s such a great online jewelry company. Are you struggling to find the right ring for your loved one? Read on to learn why shopping with James Allen might be the perfect option for you.
James Allen Overview
Going into the ring buying process, I knew that one of the main benefits of buying jewelry online is improved selection. At a traditional jewelry shop, you only have a few dozen ring options to choose from at most; unless you find something that you love at the first shop you visit, you’ll have to keep going from shop to shop until you find a match.
When you shop for James Allen diamonds, however, you have your pick between thousands of combinations of diamonds, settings, and ring materials. Instead of having to stick with the configuration that’s provided by a jeweler, online jewelry platforms like James Allen give the ability to put together your own unique ring based on whichever specifications you choose.
One way that James Allen engagement rings stand out from those offered by other online jewelry retailers is in the proprietary Diamond Display Technology that’s offered at JamesAllen.com. This technology uses high-definition, up-close images and videos to give you a full idea of what a diamond looks like without having to look at it in person.
No matter how comfortable you are in sales situations, there’s always a degree of pressure when you’re in a jeweler’s store looking at rings. This pressure might make it hard for you to fully examine a stone or a setting before buying it, but James Allen’s Diamond Display Technology gives you the power to take a look at every single aspect of a diamond from the comfort of your own home. This technology is even compatible with mobile browsers, which means that you can take a look at a diamond you’re considering throughout the day at work or while you’re running errands.
The online shopping features that James Allen offers truly set this company apart from the competition. It’s no wonder that James Allen diamonds have received such rave reviews from customers all over the country.
In 1998, James Allen Schultz and his wife Michelle founded JamesAllen.com. At the time, James Allen was one of the only jewelry companies on the internet, and back in 1998, it was much harder to start and sustain an online business.
James Allen Schultz originally came up with the idea to start his website due to the difficulties he experienced while on the hunt for his own engagement ring. By starting the best jewelry website on the planet, he believed that he could help other couples in need find engagement rings, wedding rings, and other types of jewelry that they would truly love. At the time, however, James and Michelle had no idea how popular their website would become.
Over time, James Allen started offering better and better types of jewelry. While this company stuck mainly to low-cost diamonds in the beginning, these days, every diamond sold at JamesAllen.com is GIA, IGI, or AGS certified. In addition, this site offers some of the best ring settings in the world including crossover pave settings and designer settings from jewelry greats like Verragio.
James Allen’s Inventory
While the inventory at JamesAllen.com fluctuates from day to day, this company usually has around 200,000 loose diamonds on hand that can be sold on their own or made into rings. When you consider the usual inventory of a physical jewelry shop, this inventory capacity is staggering; with that many diamonds to choose from, there’s no way that you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for.
Having this much selection for something as seemingly simple as an engagement ring might seem like overkill, but there’s a reason why the James Allen business model has proven to be so successful. With over tens of thousands of loose diamonds on hand at any given time, you can always pick the perfect diamond for your budget. With a traditional jeweler, you have to pay more to get the gem that you want or stick with something cheap that doesn’t suit your tastes. When you purchase an uncut diamond or ring from James Allen, however, you can pick the exact type of cut and quality you want in a diamond without having to up the ante or reduce your standards.
One of James Allen’s most notable claims to fame is its access to certain types of exclusive colored diamonds. For instance, it’s possible to find dozens of different types of pink, yellow, blue, green, and brown diamonds on this premier jewelry website, and James Allen also offers exclusive True Hearts and Arrows diamonds.
These types of diamonds are James Allen’s signature lines, and they consist of the best-of-the-best of this company’s diamonds. When paired with this company’s designer settings, it’s possible to create rings that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
James Allen has partnered with jewelry designers like Royal Halo and Mille Coeurs to produce various exclusive ring lines. Mille Coeurs specializes in settings that pair perfectly with colored gemstones, and Royal Halo focuses on rings that dazzle the eyes with their brilliance. The rings made by these two designers are among the only options offered by James Allen that can’t be customized.
Lots of Customization Options
Most customers looking for James Allen engagement rings elect to make unique rings with this platform’s incredible customization tool. With a few clicks, it’s possible to make a ring that no one has ever seen before, and you can swap out gems and settings at will until you come upon the perfect look.
To get started with the customization process, you can pick either a stone of your choice or one of James Allen’s more than 600 setting options. From there, a simple customization wizard will guide you through the process of putting together your ideal ring. From solitaire to halo and from platinum to white gold, there are tons of different options at your fingertips, and James Allen allows you to customize practically every aspect of your jewelry.
Once you’re done putting together the ring of your dreams, you’ll also be provided with the option to add a free custom engraving to the finished piece. If you simply can’t decide which type of ring you want, James Allen offers an Inspiration Gallery filled with rings that previous customers have made that can help you get an idea of the settings and stones that are right for you.
Amazing Product Videos
I knew from the beginning that there was no way I was buying a diamond online unless I knew exactly what it looked like from the very start. That’s why I’m convinced that James Allen is such a great platform for buying diamond rings online; it’s incredibly easy to get an up-close look at every diamond you’re considering buying with this company’s 360-degree product videos.
Each diamond that James Allen sells has been thoroughly documented with a high-definition video that displays all of the stone’s pros and cons. For instance, if a diamond has visible cloud inclusion, you’ll be able to tell with only a moment of inspection, and since bright lights are used to make these product videos, you’ll even be able to see how a diamond looks in natural lighting.
It’s even easy to compare different diamonds. As you select from among the tens of thousands of stones that James Allen offers, you can click a button labeled “Comparison” to see two stones side by side. During my selection process, I found this tool to be incredibly useful. It wasn’t until I saw two similar-looking diamonds next to each other that I was able to understand why the higher-priced option was actually superior.
In some ways, the product videos that James Allen offers are better than the real thing. While you’ll need a magnifying glass to see all of the details of a diamond that’s physically in front of you, when you shop for diamonds at JamesAllen.com, you can compare a whole page of stones from dozens of angles simply by mousing over each product picture. Best of all, you can take your time as you browse without any pressure to make a purchase.
While shopping for diamonds online is certainly convenient, there’s one reason to shop at JamesAllen.com that’s more motivating than all the rest: pricing. Nowhere else on the internet can you find so many different stones that are all priced considerably lower than market value. By dealing in bulk, James Allen can cut prices for consumers, which makes shopping for diamonds online the simplest and most cost-effective approach to getting an engagement ring or wedding ring that you’ll love for the rest of your life.
James Allen is also able to save you a buck due to decreased overhead costs. With all of these factors at play, it’s often possible to find diamonds that are offered for 30-40 percent less than you’ll pay at a typical jewelry store. When it comes to high-end rings, however, your savings skyrocket; it’s sometimes possible to find luxury rings at JamesAllen.com that cost 50 percent less than the prices charged by ritzy retailers like Tiffany.
Dedicated Customer Support
Courteous customer service is great. Getting the help you need when you need it makes any purchasing decision easier, but in the jewelry industry, customer service hardly ever goes the way you want it to. From relentless, transparent sales tactics to profoundly unhelpful suggestions, everything about the customer service experience at most major jewelry retailers had always rubbed me the wrong way.
When you work with James Allen, there are people there to help you when you need it, but there’s no one breathing down your neck and trying to tell you why a certain ring is perfect for your situation while knowing nothing about you. The customer service professionals at James Allen don’t earn commissions, and they are always on-hand 24 hours a day to help you with anything you might need.
On every page at JamesAllen.com, there’s a little button labeled “Chat With Us” that you can hit whenever you’re in need of advice. In addition to offering text and audio-based customer service, James Allen customer service professionals can even share their screens with you to help you navigate particularly complicated digital maneuvers. I chatted with a customer service agent a few times during the selection process, and every time, someone responded to my request within a minute or less.
30-Day Return Policy
Every purchase from James Allen is 100 percent risk-free. You see that phrase thrown around a lot, but James Allen actually means it. If at any point during a 30-day window after your date of purchase you decide you don’t want your ring, you can send it back for a full refund. James Allen will even pay for return shipping if you live in the United States.
A company’s return policy tells you everything you need to know about its confidence in its products. James Allen is so sure that its rings will dazzle you that it has no problem going out on a limb to take your purchase back if you aren’t completely satisfied for any reason.
Excellent Warranties and Available Upgrades
James Allen offers an honest-to-goodness lifetime warranty on all of its products. That’s right; if anything bad happens to your ring at any point during your life, you can send it back and get it fixed. This company doesn’t just cover workmanship defects; even issues caused by normal wear and tear like loose prongs and plating wear are covered by this warranty.
You can even send your ring back to James Allen for cleaning and polishing for free. While most companies leave you high and dry as soon as they have your money, James Allen appears committed to making sure that you love your ring for the rest of your life. While that might seem like overkill, I’m certainly not complaining.
James Allen also offers a great upgrade policy. Many people choose to get married before they reach the peaks of their professional lives, and it’s natural to spend less on an engagement ring than you’d like to. If you decide at any point that you’d like to revisit your decision and put a better stone in your engagement ring, you can send it back to James Allen for full credit as long as the new stone you pick is at least twice the value as the original. James Allen doesn’t charge for this lifetime service.
My Shopping Experience with James Allen
While everyone’s James Allen experience will be different, I’ll share the experience that gave me such a favorable impression of this online diamond retailer in detail from start to finish.
Selecting My Options
To make sure that I got the best possible quality, I decided to go with a True Hearts stone. Not only are True Hearts diamonds certified by leading diamond certification organizations, but they also come with tangible scope data that can help you understand even more about the stone you’re buying than product pictures and videos can provide.
Since I wanted my engagement ring to be shiny and grab attention, I chose a pave band in 14-karat rose gold. All in all, my selection process took less than an hour, and as soon as I paid online with PayPal, I was provided with a notification that work had begun on my ring.
Shipping and Unboxing
Since my order total was more than $500, my ring qualified for free FedEx Two Day Saver shipping, which means that I didn’t have to wait long for my package to arrive. As soon as my box arrived at my doorstep, I rushed to open it.
I did, however, take a moment to admire the unassuming, discreet box that James Allen had used to ship my ring. Even though the package was insured, I was concerned about a recent spate of package theft in my neighborhood, so I was pleased that there was nothing about my package that screamed, “There’s a ring inside!” This factor is also convenient if you want to keep your ring a secret from your significant other.
There was nothing unassuming about the contents of my package, however. As soon as I removed the outer box, I was greeted with a sleek, gray inner box with a top that slid off seamlessly. In the center of a squishy, high-quality foam setting was my little crimson ring box. For a moment, however, I didn’t want to disturb the amazing scene that met my eyes.
The packaging provided by James Allen was nothing short of exquisite. While even shipping boxes from high-end brands like Cartier and Tiffany are simply meant to be thrown away after their contents are removed, the box I received from James Allen could easily double as a high-end keepsake box. In fact, I’ve kept the box in case I ever want to retire my ring and keep it somewhere safe.
At first, I was confused by the fact that there was no documentation on the top of my box. After a moment’s inspection, however, I was delighted to find a sturdy cardboard drawer at the bottom of the box. As soon as I pulled it out, a whole host of envelopes appeared, and among them was my laminated AGS quality report, which was fully certified and very informative.
The drawer also contained an appraisal document that was signed by James Allen’s quality assurance team lead. All purchases of more than $1,500 come with this free report, and it certifies the value of your central stone and any diamonds in the setting.
In addition to a quality assurance card signed by a quality check officer, I also received a lifetime warranty card, an invitation to join James Allen’s Sparkling Rewards, and a coupon for 10 percent off any pair of wedding bands. Just to make things official, I received a printed invoice.
Finally, I felt ready to take my ring box out of its protective sheath and open it. Seeing my ring online was one thing, but the moment that I saw it in real life, it took my breath away. I immediately felt that my decision to work with James Allen was fully justified.
Shopping with James Allen: The Bottom Line
Never one to be swayed by first impressions, however, I made sure to fully inspect my ring for any workmanship defects. There were none. It sparkled, it shone, and the central stone looked exactly as it had online.
With my purchase complete, it was clear why James Allen has experienced such monumental growth over the last 10 years or so. This company pours attention to detail into everything it does. From the selection process to the packaging to the workmanship, every aspect of the James Allen experience blends the best aspects of pragmatism and luxury into one unparalleled consumer experience.
Are you sick of going out of your way to visit jewelry stores only to be disappointed? Give James Allen a try. You’ll never buy a ring in-store again.