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Blue Nile vs James Allen?


I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction regarding an engagement ring. I have (finally) decided to tie the knot to my beautiful girlfriend of 5 years. After browsing several jewelry stores together, she knows the type of ring she wants. Basically, she wants a pave setting with a round diamond, pretty typical.

Anyway, a friend of hers suggested we expand our search online, so we started looking at various sites. After a lot of research, we found the right ring on two sites for pretty much the same price: James Allen and Blue Nile.

Does anyone have any experience with either site? If so, can you please help me decide which site I should buy from. Any advice would be appreciated.


10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree that sometimes, you can spare the viewing of a VVS1 or a VVS2 perfect Round shaped diamonds (although why would I not want to see what I am getting?)

    I would like to know upfront whether the "J" color on the GIA certificate is a Yellow J or maybe it is a Brown J?

    All other diamond shapes MUST be viewed no matter what clarity they are! You want to know whether the pear shape you are about to buy is pointed or rounded, you want to know if the emerald is long or short etc.

    Although Blue Nile is a great company, no brainer here for me, only James Allen with their one-of-a-king diamond display technology can give me the peace of mind I am looking for and that is - I want to SEE what I am about to buy!

    In addition, James Allen's reviews, ring choice, 360 diamond display, customer service and 60 days to return period, defiantly puts in a league of its own.

    Source(s): Diamond fan researched - researched -
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  • trask
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    James Allen Vs Blue Nile

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  • 7 years ago

    Hi Andrei,

    Congrats on your impending wedding! I'm sure you're already learning but it's a fabulous time in your life! Enjoy the memories!

    To answer your question, it really depends on what you are looking for. Both Blue Nile and James Allen are very reputable online vendors. There are others, but Blue Nile and James Allen are the big two. The big difference that would make you lean towards one or the other, is that only James Allen has real images of the diamond. Now, this may or may not have significance to you... it really depends on what type of diamond you are looking for (keep reading...).

    If you are looking for something with a high clarity (i.e. VVS1, VVS2, VS1), then it's not really necessary to view a photo of the diamond as those clarity grades will ensure that the diamond will be "eye clean". Hence you could go with Blue Nile and benefit from a slightly lower price. The downside of that is that you could be using your money more wisely and getting something of a lower clarity grade and either saving money, or getting something bigger/better for the same budget.

    If you are looking to get the best diamond for your money, I would recommend you select an SI1 diamond as that is where you get the most bang for your buck. That being said, you MUST look at the diamond images to select a diamond that is eye clean. This means going with James Allen.

    Hopefully the above is clear. I've included a link to a pretty detailed "Blue Nile vs. James Allen" article.

    If you're short on time (or need help selecting), there are services that offer to provide you recommendations based on what you are looking for.

    A smart tip: don't be afraid to spend a little less than you want. You can always propose with a nice budget ring and then upgrade to something bigger in future. Many retailers offer this service with no loss in value of your original ring. It's like proposing twice ;) Your GF will be very lucky!

    All the best!

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  • 7 years ago

    They're both good. James Allen is a little more expensive, but offers several advantages. You get an up-close view of the diamond before buying. For clarity grades S1 and below this is important. About 25% of S2 diamonds are eye clean, for S1 it's about 75%. In either case, you would want to see what the diamond looks like.

    Also James Allen has about 7000 diamonds in inventory, while Blue Nile has 0 - their diamond finder just shows what their wholesalers have. If you order a diamond from Blue Nile it gets drop shipped, meaning it goes straight from the wholesaler to the customer.

    And finally, if you have any questions or complaints, James Allen is there to help.

    Blue Nile is very popular with diamond enthusiasts who already own lots of diamonds and really know what they're doing. Sometimes they'll have Blue Nile send the stone out for a Sarin Analysis or Helium Report before making a final decision.

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  • 3 years ago

    James Allen Review

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    I think Blue Nile has better deals and promotions. If you can find a promo code or coupon to use at checkout then you should be able to take $100 off of the price. I have not heard of similar offers from James Allen. This is discussed in more detail in this yahoo answers Q&A -

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  • 7 years ago


    I am so happy you asked where to buy a ring. We researched three place Blue Nile, James Allan and

    We read reviews on Ivouch and resellerratings and found out people were not happy with Blue Nile. Resellerratings gives them a 5.8 out of 10 really bad.

    I researched the other two and found both had amazing customer reviews, Straight AAAAA and both had free shipping and a more generous return policy.

    I spoke to both customer service and found Diamondwave responded really quick and din't rush me at all. Their prices were slightly lower and I have been back to buy earrings. Totally love them.

    I added the links to to items I purchased from them.


    Source(s): Diamondwave Web site to buy Engagement Rings The Solitaire Ring I Got The Stunning Diamond Martini Earrings I bought
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  • 7 years ago

    I feel the same way as Jason. Both are great options for engagement rings - great quality, service and cheaper than jewelry stores. If you have no budget restrictions, you can get a great ring at either one.

    I personally debated between the two of them and ended up going with James Allen for two reasons:

    1) We budgeted up to $3,000 for a diamond. Since our budget wasn't unlimited, we knew we would have to do a bit of searching to get the most bank for our buck. In the end, we got a beautiful .80 carat I-SI1 ideal-cut round diamond for just under budget. After looking through a lot of diamond images at James Allen, it became clear to me that there was no way I could get the most bang for my buck without seeing each diamond itself. SI1s and S12s need to be seen, as do the lower colors (in my opinion, anything H - K).

    2) They offer 60-day returns, as opposed to 30-day returns. Not a deal-breaker for me personally, but it was nice to have the extra 30 days for peace of mind.

    Hope this helps and congrats!

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Both sites are big names in the online diamond industry. I seem to prefer James Allen more for the amount of data they provide and more importantly, the videography on their site.

    These 2 reviews should help:



    There are probably more resources and testimonials out there.

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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): List of Online Suppliers
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