If you are looking for the best place to buy a diamond, then you’ll absolutely LOVE this (updated) guide.
Being a jewelry lover and diamond collector (and a consumer like you), I personally tested and reviewed over 100s of businesses both online and offline.
From luxurious boutiques like Tiffany and Cartier to mass-market chain stores like Jared and Costco to your local mom-and-pop showrooms, I have first-hand experience of shopping at these places.
From a consumer’s perspective, let me tell you that the majority of jewelry stores fall short on delivering high quality diamonds at fair prices and/or provide a great overall shopping experience. Luckily for you, I’ve done the leg work and curated a list of the best places to buy a diamond,
I’ve summarized the various options below and made things even easier for you by listing what the individual jewelers are best for…
#1: James Allen – the best location to buy fancy shape diamonds.
#2: Whiteflash – for the best quality diamonds and designer rings.
#3: Brian Gavin – for the super ideal cut rounds, cushions, emerald & princess.
#4: Leibish – the best retailer to buy a natural color diamond.
#5: Brilliant Earth – for the best selection of lab-made diamonds.
#6: Blue Nile – for the best place to buy large size diamonds.
In my opinion, there isn’t a single best place to buy diamonds and the ideal vendor is dependent on what you are looking for. Feel free to click on the links above and read our summary on the corresponding company.
Well, you shouldn’t be. Here’s why…
Going online beats buying in a physical store in every aspect of the shopping process.
From having a more transparent shopping experience to gaining access to wider diamond selections, you also get to see and compare diamonds down to the smallest details and away from a pressurized selling environment.
If you ever been to a physical jewelry store and requested to examine a piece of jewelry, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only do you need to use a loupe correctly and deal with excessively bright lights, you also have someone breathing down your neck and eyeballing your every action.
Going online means there is no pressure to buy, no pushy salespeople to deal with and you get to buy a higher quality piece of jewelry at a fraction of retail prices because of lesser overheads. Get this, the larger selection of diamonds online enables you to cherry pick diamonds according to what you want without the need to compromise on your budget or specifications.
In terms of sales policies, physical stores will come nowhere near to what online retailers offer in terms of money-back guarantee and risk free purchases. At the end of the day, finding a high quality diamond is way easier online compared to banging your head against the wall at a physical retailer.
James Allen has pioneered and completely revolutionize the way consumers shop for diamonds and fine jewelry. This momentous feat was achieved through their proprietary 360° Diamond Display Technology. Combined with a fuss-free and superb user interface, they deliver an impeccable shopping experience for every customer.
– 150,000+ certified conflict-free diamonds in 360° HD videos.
– Superb user-friendly interface and intuitive browsing.
– Exclusive CanadaMark online retailer.
– Lifetime warranty of all jewelry products sold.
– Hassle free returns with 30 day money back guarantee.
– Free shipping worldwide.
– 24/7 customer service (available via live chat, phone & email)
– Lifetime upgrade (100% credit towards new purchase of 2x or higher value)
Speaking from my extensive shopping experience (both offline and online), let me tell you that James Allen is hands-down the most intuitive website to browse and one of the best places to buy loose diamonds.
Every single diamond in their inventory can be easily scrutinized via the video listings and you get to SEE exactly what you are buying. If you are interested, click here for a full blown review of JamesAllen.com.
Here’s a sample listing from JamesAllen.com to give you an idea how easy it is to scrutinize diamond details…
The ability to interact with the diamond at different magnifications enables you to make educated decisions.
Try it out for yourself and you will see why it’s so easy to fall in love with the website.
James Allen is absolutely the best vendor when it comes to buying fancy shape diamonds like ovals, pears, hearts, cushions and Asschers. This is because a fancy shape diamond’s cut quality and performance can be deciphered via videos and ASET images (James Allen provides this on request).
On top of that, James Allen has a broad inventory with good selections of fancy shapes across different sizes, specifications and caters to people with different budgets.
In sharp contrast to what you will see in physical stores or other online retailers, you get total transparency in every step of the shopping process – from loose diamond selection all the way to designing your own jewelry.
White Flash is an online jeweler founded in 2000 and they are based in Houston, Texas. Their signature “A CUT ABOVE®” super ideal round and princess diamonds are internationally recognized as some of the most well cut diamonds in the world.
Not only do they have a modern manufacturing facility and the capability to create fine jewelry with different levels of complexity, they are also an authorized retailer of some of the most well known designer brands in the industry like Tacori, Verragio, Ritani and many others.
– Deep inventory of certified AGS/GIA ideal cut diamonds.
– Diamonds cut for superlative light performance and precision.
– Consistent winners of prestigious BBB Winner of Distinction awards.
– Only retailer jeweler awarded with ISO 9000 – Quality Management.
– Beautiful settings that are made with great craftsmanship.
– 30 day returns and 1 year buyback guarantee.
– Authorized retailer of well known designer ring brands.
– Free Fedex delivery that is fully insured.
– Lifetime 100% trade up benefit for signature diamonds.
White Flash specializes in super ideal cut diamonds that are crafted for light performance and sparkle. What makes them stand out is their deep inventory of in-house diamonds and their stringent standards of curating the best cut diamonds.
For my details, you can read my detailed review of White Flash and also view a box opening of an A Cut Above diamond I bought here.
Owning the diamonds instead of utilizing a virtual inventory (most online vendors list diamonds they don’t own) also enables them to capture analytical data on their diamonds (e.g. ASET, Idealscope, videos) and provide a higher level of service to their clients (e.g. provide comparison videos).
Sample listing of in-house loose diamond (A Cut Above)
Analytical data for light performance and cut optics are readily available for all their in-house listings.
Brian Gavin is a 5th generation diamond cutter with South African roots and well-known in the industry as a pioneer pushing the boundary of diamond cut quality. In 2009, he launched his company “Brian Gavin Diamonds” and started the production of a series of hearts and arrows ideal cut diamonds.
– Every signature diamond is owned in-house and individually curated.
– Availability of super ideal cut fancy shape diamonds like the cushion & princess.
– Fluorescent diamonds with ideal cut quality and lower prices.
– Exclusive AGS000 ideal cut emerald diamonds.
– Availability of warm-colored super ideal cut diamonds (M-Z color).
– Superb bench workmanship quality and custom designs.
– 1 year buyback policy.
– Financing options available via Affirm.
– 15 day inspection period & return.
– Free international shipping with full insurance.
– Lifetime upgrade benefit for signature diamonds.
If you are in the market for a round, princess, cushion or emerald cut diamond and you are looking for the best of the best in terms of cut quality, look no further. Brian Gavin’s diamonds are consistently top notch and have the best possible sparkle.
For an indepth review of their different signature lines of diamonds, click here to read the comprehensive analysis I performed on their diamonds.
What I love about their listing pages is that they provide various views of the diamonds under different lighting conditions. This allows you to see how the diamond actually interacts with light!
Brian Gavin is a market leader and constantly innovating to create new product lines. In late 2017, he launched a newly minted signature line of AGS000 emerald cut diamonds that exhibited superb optics and contrast patterning.
This groundbreaking launch revealed the first ever emerald cut diamonds which were consistently brighter than other emerald cut diamonds and were backed up with scientific evaluation of light performance by AGS.
Leibish & Co. is the most recognized name in the industry when it comes to natural fancy color diamonds. Since the company was founded in 1979, they have built up a fantastic reputation and specialization in color diamonds of various hues, clarities, rarity and sizes.
– World renowned fancy color diamond specialist.
– Reputable and reliable GIA certification reports for color diamonds.
– Exclusive Argyle diamonds acquired directly from tender.
– Fancy color diamonds of every color and hue imaginable.
– Beautiful settings that are made with great craftsmanship.
– 30 day money back guarantee.
– Free insured international shipping.
– 2 year jewelry and service warranty.
– Professional appraisal report for purchased jewelry.
Most notably, Leibish has access to one of the most exquisite collection of Argyle diamonds which are highly sought after by collectors and investors alike. On top of that, Leibish and Co. also takes great pride in their excellent workmanship of their settings.
Check out the following video of a fancy intense yellow diamond ring I purchased from Leibish for my wife’s wedding anniversary. It’s absolutely stunning and very well made.
Follow this link to read the entire review and view detailed photographs of my purchase…
Brilliant Earth is a leading company for ethically sourced and eco-friendly jewelry in the industry. From carefully curated suppliers to the use of recycled gold and platinum, they aim to develop a more ethical and sustainable jewelry industry through their business practices.
– Largest retailer of lab created diamonds in the world.
– Massive inventory of diamonds for selection.
– Affordable lab grown fancy color diamonds.
– Stunning wooden jewelry box made in New Zealand.
– Exquisite settings that are crafted with great craftsmanship
– Financing and layaway options available.
– Generous 30 day returns.
– Free insured international shipping both ways.
– Lifetime manufacturing warranty.
Just to be clear, Brilliant Earth offers both natural diamonds and lab created diamonds for sale on their website. I have personally bought and reviewed both types of diamond jewelry in person. You can follow these links (Brilliant Earth engagement ring review / lab grown diamond review) – to read our indepth reviews on both types of products.
The competitive edge Brilliant Earth has over other vendors is their huge inventory of graded lab diamonds (both white and fancy colored options). At the time of writing, BrilliantEarth.com lists more than 6,000 loose lab created diamonds in their inventory and I can tell you that no other vendor in the world comes close to the depth of selection they offer.
Example of a loose diamond listing on BrilliantEarth.com…
Did you know that an equivalent natural fancy vivid pink diamond like this would cost at least 30-40 times more?
The point I want to make here is; a broader inventory provides you with more options and enables you to cherry pick the best diamond possible for any given budget/specifications.
Founded in 1995, Blue Nile is a one-stop solution for high quality diamond jewelry and is headquartered in Seattle. Over the years, they have grown from a small scale operation into the biggest online retailer of diamonds.
Mind you, this is no mean feat and the relationships they have established with some of the biggest manufacturers in the world has enabled them to offer a depth of inventory no one else can match.
– Great selections of large size diamonds that are certified by GIA.
– Full lifetime warranty (complimentary repair, cleaning, and resizing).
– Offers the most competitive prices to get the best value for money.
– Free overnight shipping service and returns.
– Superb setting craftsmanship from at affordable prices.
– 100% trade in policy for all GIA/AGS certified diamonds.
– Financing options available via Blue Nile credit card.
– 24/7 expert service (available via live chat, phone & email)
– 30-day returns for risk-free shopping and 100% satisfaction.
Example listings of large size diamond with superb light return at Blue Nile.
Quality control is something that Blue Nile take seriously and they stand behind every item they create. From initial design to the final workmanship, there are multiple quality checks at each stage of the manufacturing to ensure you get a ring that exceeds your expectations.
Having a lean business setup, they are able to drive down overheads and this results in cost savings that are passed onto customers. Their relationship with gem polishers also enables them to attain a good inventory of large size diamonds with high standards of cut quality.
So there you have it, these are the best places to buy diamonds and I personally vouch for them based on my own shopping experience with them. Not only do they offer customer orientated policies, the entire shopping process is hassle-free and fully transparent.
At the end of the day, the best place to buy your diamond is dependent on what you are looking for and the purpose behind your purchase. While the retailers here may have overlapping services with each other, they each have their own area of specialties which is among the best in the entire jewelry industry.
Now, I’d like to hear what you have to say.
What constitutes the ideal place for you to buy a diamond? What kind of diamond are you looking for? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Thank you for creating this wonderful website and for generously sharing your knowledge. I’m actually looking for a pair of studs. In your article, you didn’t list the best place to buy diamond earrings. I want to get a set of diamond stud earrings for my wife’s birthday and am looking to spend around $4,000. What kind of sizes could I get for a budget like this?
Thank you for leaving a comment. I didn’t list the best place to buy diamond stud earrings because this article was centered on buying a loose stone. But come to think of it, I really should and will be making an update the article when I get to it. In general, you should still follow the guidelines I mentioned here. I’m going to assume you are buying a pair of round diamonds and the ideal vendors specializing in them are White Flash and Brian Gavin.
I have a question on where to buy diamonds for investments? My local jeweler is trying to sell me a 2 ct D internally flawless diamond and told me that prices are going up soon. I’m thinking of buying it for wearing now and selling it in future after it appreciates in value.
Your jeweler is bullshitting you and does not have your interest at heart. What they are more concerned with is making money off you. Think about it, if it were such a good investment, why are they even selling the gem to you in the first place?
Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/investing-in-diamonds/
And finally, to answer your question on where to buy diamonds for investments, the only places that DO sell diamonds for such purposes are the big auction houses like Sotheby’s where record sizes and fancy color stones are sold at record prices.
Thank you for the article. I’m very impressed by your knowledge and your passion in helping out normal dudes like us. Are you currently working in the jewelry business or selling diamonds?
Just like you, I’m a consumer and had purchased a number of engagement rings across the different vendors. I don’t own a jewelry business and I don’t sell diamonds. Anyway, these websites I listed above are the cream of the crop and the best place to buy diamonds online. The fact is, I have only listed a small subset of businesses that actually delivered the best products and quality.
Over the years, I had made countless of purchases at different locations to test out a jeweler’s service and product quality. The amount of businesses that fail to live up to expectations are way more than you can imagine and there’s no point writing about them.
Now, because of my passion of diamonds and jewelry, I probably have a lot more shopping experience and knowledge than the average consumer. I visited big brands like Tiffany, Cartier and ForeverMark and even the smaller mom & pop stores regularly to check out diamonds whenever I get the chance to do so.
I call it a hobby; my wife calls in an obsession and the truth is; I’m not biased against them if they are able to keep up with times. Sadly for jewelers who still do business as if it were the 1990s and unwilling to embrace changes, the kind of quality and knowledge they have is lagging far behind what the better e-tailers provide.
What’s the cheapest way to buy a diamond in the UK? I’ve looked at the stores you listed here and agree that they are some of the best places for consumer to shop.
However, being based in the United Kingdom means that a VAT (value added tax) is applied on the prices and this amount adds up to a substantial cost. It seems like I may get a better deal for a GIA certified diamond in a local store instead after factoring tax costs.
Well, you are completely wrong about the taxes. Being a UK citizen, you will pay a VAT on the goods or services purchased regardless of where you shop or buy from. In your local jewelry stores, all the jewelry pieces are subjected to VAT as well and they typically bundle into the final price that you pay.
I’ve written a comprehensive article here: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/diamond-engagement-rings-uk/
When you shop online, the costs get broken down into their respective parts and this is more transparent. Now, you should be comparing apples to apples as different factors will affect the value of a diamond.
UK based consumers I had helped had unanimously get BETTER VALUE and pay lower prices when they shop online. When you actually go review hard tangible facts and data, you will come to the same conclusion that this is the cheapest way to buy a diamond (and getting the best quality) as well. If you are still stuck with a mindset that you must deal with a UK based vendor, you may want to consider BlueNile; https://beyond4cs.com/go/bluenile/
They have operations in the UK and a good selection of diamonds and will handle/include all the taxes in their checkout. You can find great diamonds there provided you are willing to put in the extra effort to do your research and careful cherry picking.
I travel frequently around the world for my work as a technical salesperson for a software company. I am about to propose to my girlfriend who has been super supportive of my career and I want to give here the ultimate surprise. I’m wondering if diamonds are cheaper in certain countries or cities around the world?
I frequently go on business trips to New York and Dubai and I read that some of these places hold diamond exchanges and districts. I can make a detour to Antwerp as well if diamonds are less expensive in that country or if it is possible to get a wholesale deal.
The diamond districts in these countries are shark tanks where everyday consumers get ripped off because of their naivety and lack of education.
Read these 2 links:
As I mentioned in my write up and I will reiterate again, the cheapest and most efficient way to buy diamonds and NOT get ripped off is to shop at reliable online diamond retailers. The emphasis is on the keyword “reliable”. When you go online you get all the benefits of transparency, selection and better sales policies that physical stores cannot compete with. The cheaper prices are just a by-product of going online due to the nature of business overheads.
Wholesale deals never exist. It is a marketing scam run by unethical companies who attempt to sell diamonds on the promise of “lowest” prices but in reality, they aren’t. And if a company sells direct to you as a consumer, it violates the definition of wholesale completely and should be classified as a retailer.
Being in the EU, there is a hefty tax on goods we purchase. This makes diamonds in other countries much cheaper compared to buying them locally. I read that Hong Kong is a country where luxury goods have no taxes applied on them and happen to be traveling there to meet my friends next month.
Would buying online in a Hongkong store be cheaper or buying in a jewelry store be less expensive? I could bring the diamond ring back to my country and this would enable me to save a big amount in taxes.
First of all, I’m not a tax consultant nor am I qualified to give you any advice on tax matters in your country. What I do know for a fact is that residents of EU are required to declare goods that are purchased overseas and pay the VAT on them at customs when you return from a trip. There’s a comprehensive article I’ve written for buying a diamond engagement in EU you should check out as well.
From a legal standpoint, it doesn’t solve your issue of paying VAT. If you knowingly not declare a diamond ring you purchased overseas when going through customs, you are committing an illegal act. Of course, you may want to take the risk and commit the tax evasion crime but know that you are responsible for your own actions.
Secondly, not all jewelry and diamond retailers are made equal. As I mentioned in the above comment, I have a lot of shopping experience with both large chain stores, small mom and pop stores, big brand names and even many other online stores. There are a lot of places for you to get a loose diamond from but only a handful of these retailers offer exemplary services and products and stand out from the rest. There is no jeweler from Hong Kong I can recommend in good faith based on my travels there.
What about BlueNile? I think they are the best online jewelry store for diamonds given the lowest prices they have and that they have offices globally. I’m actually very surprised that they are listed as the best place to buy loose diamonds here.
Blue Nile is one of the reputable online diamond retailers that we recommend on a constant basis as well. I bought a floating diamond engagement ring from them in 2016 and was blown away by the speed they work at and the quality of the ring I received.
On the whole, BlueNile is one of the best place buy diamonds online but when we look at specific niches or categories of goods in comparison to the vendors I listed above, I would say that the vendors excel better in certain areas over Blue Nile.
I feel that the best way to buy diamonds is to look at them in person as I’m more comfortable that way. I live in Manhatten and am close to the diamond district. I may be heading down on the weekends with my friend to check out prices and to have a look around.
Do you have any recommendations on the best place to buy diamonds in nyc? Really appreciate your help here!
As I mentioned in a comment above, the New York diamond district is full of scams and unethical businesses trying to take advantage of unsuspecting people. If you need to head to a physical store in New York, the best place to buy a diamond ring would be James Allen. They have a showroom where you can view the stones in person in a stress free environment. Visits are strictly by appointment only and you may want to get in touch with their support to schedule a visit.
You recommended Brilliant Earth as the best place to buy man made diamonds. Do you have experience with Miadonna or Diamond Nexus?
The best place to buy man made diamonds is Brilliant Earth. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, the synthetic diamonds have IGI documentation/ Secondly, BrilliantEarth.com has a big inventory of options available and are in a better position to provide additional data on the stones like images and videos.
Where is the best place to buy a diamond ring that features a floral design with many side stones that surround the center stone? My fiancée has pointed out a design she saw at De Beers but the price of the engagement ring is way out of my budget.
Ring settings based on flower designs can be found at Brilliant Earth and James Allen. Based on what I had seen in the market, BrilliantEarth.com has the better looking designs and a better range of selections. This link should interest you: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/floral-setting-designs/
I had been shopping for a while now and have difficulties finding graded diamonds that are smaller in size. Any ideas where to buy good diamonds below 0.3 carat sizes?
If you are wondering where to buy good diamonds in the 0.2 – 0.3 carat ranges, Brian Gavin will be worth checking out. You see, the problem with smaller sized diamonds is that the cost of sending them to a grading lab outweighs the economic benefit of selling them ungraded. This leads to avenues of abuse when unethical jewelers misrepresent diamond quality.
Brian Gavin saw an untapped niche area here and the rest is history. As far as I know, he is the only vendor in the world who offers super ideal cut diamonds with proper AGS certification in the smaller diamond ranges.
I want to buy diamond hoop earrings for my 10th wedding anniversary. My husband has enthusiastically said yes, but I don’t know where to start to look for the best bang for the buck. All the articles I found online seem to be for studs or loose stones or engagement rings. Our budget tops out at about $5-6k. Any suggestions? What do you think about Costco diamonds?
For hoop earrings, Blue Nile would be the best place to start browsing due to their range of designs.
I am looking to purchase a gift for my wife for our 10 year anniversary. I am looking for something unique yet classy and evergreen and at the same time trying to get good value for my money. And who doesn’t like good service? It’d also be helpful if the place has a good/lenient return policy in case my wife doesn’t like it. And I guess I am a little traditional in the sense that I like to research online but then also physically see the item before purchasing it. Any advice on where I should start?
I am also fairly ignorant in judging the quality so any tips or tricks in that matter would be appreciated. Hope I didn’t exceed my quota of questions. Thanks for your help!
The vendors here all have a money back guarantee and it makes shopping completely risk-free. What kind of jewelry/gift are you looking for? Earrings? Rings? Necklace?
Different vendors have a different selection depending on what you are looking for. To learn more about buying diamond jewelry, make sure you read the different sections of Beyond4Cs about choosing a diamond and the step by step guide. These can be accessed from the dropdown menu at the navigation panel.
Hi Paul, first of all thanks much for the detailed review above. While I’m quite new/ naive while it comes to diamond, the question i have is why are diamonds with same specification like carat, cut, colour and clarity priced differently. There are listed on the same website but are priced significantly different. Are there any other factors which determine the price?
I have explained the reason behind diamond pricing in great detail here.