An impression of the James Allen buying experience

James Allen is one of the largest diamond vendors and it was therefore not surprising to find myself considering to buy a diamond engagement ring with James Allen.

I did a lot of research before and actually also considered to buy a diamond ring at Blue Nile.

What I appreciated about James Allen

The difference between James Allen and Blue Nile is mainly the fact that James Allen has a lot more functionality. Unlike Blue Nile James Allen actually enables you to view all the diamonds from all sides and all angles!

thorough inspection of diamonds through James Allen's video technology

Unfortunately Blue Nile is lacking such a function so that do not know precisely what kind of diamond you are getting. Some people say that Blue Nile is cheaper than James Allen and this was also the reason why I considered Blue Nile for such a long time.

I am not quite sure whether Blue Nile is really cheaper than James Allen. It is very hard to tell.

You can read many ratings of on the internet. Most of them will tell you that James Allen’s 360 degree video technology is kind of revolutionary. They might have been the first with that kind of technology. But nowadays there are also other vendors that have this type of functionality built in!

I still liked to browse through hundreds of diamonds and I am also quite sure that it helped me a lot in making the right choice!

I ended up making the purchase at James Allen because I wanted to buy a cheaper diamond. Really cheap diamonds can only be found among the SI1 and SI2 clarity grades.

As you can view all the diamonds from all sides you can sometimes really pick the SI1 and Si2 diamonds that are eye clean. This was the biggest advantage that I could find at James Allen.

So what does the engagement ring actually look like?

This is what the engagement ring of my fiancé looks like:

Round cut diamond engagement ring from James Allen

As you can see I chose a white gold ring setting that is very thin!

This has the advantage that the diamond appears larger than it actually is!

A disadvantage of a white gold ring setting compared to a yellow gold ring setting however is that you need to go higher in diamond color.

And obviously, the diamond color and the clarity were the two things that I wanted to save on.

When reading through this guide on diamond color I came to the conclusion that the I color grade would be the best for my preferences.

Needless to say the diamond ring looks gorgeous and my girlfriend just loves it!

I would recommend the I color grade for round diamonds to everyone. When you are browsing for information online there are many places that make it seem as though you would have to buy a colorless diamond or someting!

This however would be quite a poor choice! Just have a look at the diamonds in the following video:

There is also an I colored diamond among all the presented diamonds. It looks really good and there is no issue whatsoever with it!

James Allen’s wide variety of ring settings

One thing that I thought was really nice about James Allen was the fact that I could choose a ring engraving for free! Of course, I picked a very romantic phrase that nearly made my sweetie cry and has a lot of personal meaning to her!

I had a difficult time when I was faced with all the choices that I had for the ring setting.

I had read beforehand that a very thin ring setting has the advantage of making the diamond appear larger. Still, I thought that a ring setting that is too thin might be a potential durability risk.

I asked this question to the customer service and they told me that thin diamond ring settings have a higher risk of being damaged but that these cases are nonetheless very rare.

This honest answer convinced me and I also thought that my girlfriend would like it!

And I was right! The particular ring setting I chose stresses the center diamond in a very extreme way. It is nearly as though the entire ring consisted of only the diamond!

If your engagement ring looks like that you can be sure to have chosen the right ring.

All in all, I was very delighted that the deliver only took around 8 days after I made the order! That was really quick considering the fact that the diamond had to be set into the ring setting!

James Allen is definitely worth a try. As it offers a generous 30-day return policy you can’t go wrong with this one!

If you want to have knowledge check out these diamond news on Facebook. They helped me a little bit to save money on my engagement ring purchase.

Diamond Clarity – A Sign Of Quality

Carat, color, cut and clarity are the four Cs of diamond grading. These parameters influence directly the quality of a stone, thus being the main elements that determine its price. The clarity refers to the number and size of the inclusions or structural imperfections.

These inclusions and imperfections may give the diamond a whitish or cloudy appearance, not so good in terms of quality. Clarity grades are assigned by a specialist, through the examination under ten times magnification. This is why, in case of high quality diamonds, such imperfections aren’t visible to the naked eye. While inclusions and imperfections are internal characteristics, there are also external characteristics, called blemishes, which influence the clarity grade of a diamond.

The different clarity grades

There are 11 clarity grades, as defined on the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale. This is the tool experts use when they assess such stones. However, it is very hard for an outsider to assess a diamond, as many blemishes and inclusions are very difficult to see, even under magnification.

The Diamond Clarity Grade Scale

You may believe two stones look exactly the same, while, in reality, they could belong to two totally different classes of clarity. This is why you always need to seek for expert and accurate assessment of your jewels and gems, whether you want to sell them or you intend to invest your money into some.

Even if you want to buy your girlfriend a diamond ring, you should have it properly evaluated, as you risk to pay a very high price for a stone which isn’t of very high quality. Your girlfriend wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, but this is less important when it comes about such expensive purchases.

Flawless Diamonds

A Flawless diamondDiamonds that fall into the Flawless or Internally Flawless categories of clarity are the most expensive. They don’t have any inclusions visible under ten times magnification.

Flawless diamonds don’t have any visible blemishes either. Internally flawless ones may show some tiny blemishes, but they aren’t visible to the unaided eye, so they also look perfect. They make a very good investment. They are also extremely rare, thus commanding very high prices.

Scarcity is always a factor that influences the price of a product. In addition, these stones are truly beautiful, their brilliance being nothing short of amazing.

VVS diamonds

The Very, Very Slightly Included ones may appear perfect to the untrained eye and even to beginner graders. However, an experienced expert would be able to spot their imperfections.

This is why it’s so important that you have your stones assessed by a skilled grader rather than a novice.

VS and SI diamonds

The next category is the Very Slightly Included, which comprises two classes, VS1 and VS2. Inclusions can be observed under ten times magnification, but they can be considered minor. Diamonds in the Slightly Included category have imperfections that are easily noticeable under 10x magnification. Even so, they don’t affect the transparency of the stone.

VS2 diamond with a small inclusionDiamonds in one of the Included classes, I1, I2 and I3, have obvious inclusions that may affect their brilliance and transparency. Nonetheless, they may still be difficult to observe by anyone other than a skilled diamond grader.

You can easily believe a VS1 and a SI1 are exactly the same, when, in fact, they are extremely different in terms of quality. It comes without saying that the price of these diamonds is also going to be different.

Considering your budget

When you buy a diamond, you should always consider your budget and the clarity grade you wish, and then determine the carat weight you can afford to buy, given the amount of money you are willing to invest. Always seek for expert advice before making your purchase. It’s easy to buy a worthless stone for a crazy price, so be careful and don’t trust anyone who’s not a trained grader.

Are round diamonds the most brilliant diamonds?

A lot of consumers are under the impression that round cut diamonds and especially ideal cut round diamonds have more brilliance.

A Brilliant cut diamond

This impression might even become stonger when people actually compare an ideal cut round diamond with another fancy shaped diamond.

Many people actually go into jewelry stores to look for fancy shaped diamonds like Asscher and Cushion shapes. And they really like these shapes. But in many cases they revert back to looking at round cut diamonds. The reason is the fact that round cut diamonds are often more brilliant than fancy shaped diamonds.

If you want to have a slightly more exotic diamond shape buy you do not want to make too much of a compromise go for a princess cut diamond.

Princess cut diamonds have often been found to be nearly as strong in light performance as round cut diamonds.

And princess cut diamonds are the cheapest per carat weight. This is yet another reason to go for a princess cut diamond.

In the following video you can find more on this issue:

Many people are still making quite a lot of mistakes when it comes to buying diamonds.

We will have a closer look at them now!

Are diamonds with the same cut grade really the same?

This is yet another mistake that we very often see people make!

Many customers actually believe that two diamonds that have the same cut grade will have the same light performance.

This might be the case sometimes but in many cases it simply is not!

People sometimes forget that a specific cut grade can allow for a lot of variance! This is particularly the case with GIA graded diamonds!

This is why a look at the exact proportions and angles helps. But more than that a direct eye to eye comparison will be your best friend!

If you remember that every diamond grade only represents a certain range that the diamond falls into you will be good. You will have to see for yourself whether a particular diamond falls into the lower or the higher range of a specific grade.

Are all diamonds well cut?

We would be living in a perfect world if all diamonds were in fact well cut. Unfortunately this is not the case though.

Many diamond cutters for instance do not have the skill to cut a diamond to perfect proportions! It requires a lot of practice and training to do that!

And even if a diamond cutter has sufficient skills the diamond is often cut in such a manner that it retains as much weight as possible!

This maximizes the profit for the cutter but it also minimizes the brilliance of a diamond! This is something that you want to avoid!

Is everything you need to know on the grading certificate?

Many customers believe that you will find everything that you need to know on the grading certificate of a diamond.

A diamond however has many intangibles that cannot simply be put on a grading report!

For instance the transparency of a diamond can vary according to the stone!

Some diamonds have a more hazy appearance than other diamonds have!