A summary of my online experiences with buying diamonds via the Internet.
James Allen – When I came across their website, James Allen really stood out from the rest of the online vendors. They are the only retailer that provides high definition videos of each diamond in their inventory.
In a world where most online retailers do not even provide a basic photograph of diamonds in their listings, James Allen is revolutionary. They had raised the bar so high that other retailers look pale in comparison.
With their video technology, you get to SEE the diamond in a magnified 360 degrees view. Inspecting diamonds at this level of scrutiny will reveal all the minor details you would never get to see in a physical store.
From my personal point of view, this is the biggest plus point and I always recommend that you make them your first stop when browsing for diamonds. Their True Hearts range of diamonds is worth checking out for their superior brilliance and sparkle.
Whiteflash – For people looking for high quality ring settings and super ideal cut diamonds, WhiteFlash’s A Cut Above is the best that the industry can offer. In terms of precision cutting standards, their signature diamonds go through a series of stringent selection criteria.
White Flash is also one of my favorite vendors because of their transparent business practices. In each of their signature diamond listings, they provide tangible data such as ASET, Idealscope and hearts and arrows images to help you perform easy analysis.
B2CJewels – If you have any special requests or require additional information for a particular diamond, contact their support for help. The difference between them and major retailers such as BlueNile is that they are willing to go the extra mile to win your business.
B2CJewels offers very competitive rates in the industry but it comes with a caveat. You need to know exactly what you are doing and make your decisions based on tangible data.
While I’ve bought my first ever diamond ring from B2CJewels and it worked out OK for me, I’ve had many readers who had negative shopping experiences with them. There are so many complaints to the extent that I can no longer recommend them in good faith.
Brian Gavin Diamonds – Great place to check out if you are shopping for round or cushion shaped hearts & arrows diamonds. For their signature diamonds, Idealscope and ASET images are provided to help you analyze optical performance.
In particular, I love their Blue signature series which showcases ideal cut diamonds with blue fluorescence. While their prices are a tad more expensive compared to other online diamond stores, Brian Gavin’s settings are also some of the best in the industry. In my opinion, it’s worth paying up for better quality.
With that, I hope you found my personal shopping experience for a proposal ring back in 2011 helpful and interesting. If you need help or advice with buying a diamond ring, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch via email.
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Thank you Paul! When my boyfriend asked me what I might like in a ring, I had no idea…so it turned into us going & looking together. I’m kind of happy that he has included me, because I have so much more appreciation for the diamonds we are looking at now. I realize how unique they all are.
We’ve been doing our research on your site and others, so THANK YOU! Since he is spending a good amount of money on this ring, we really wanted to make sure that it was a good choice on the stone.
One more question… This one is on hold for us as well…
I know that Brian Gavin diamonds are considered the best cut diamonds, but this would be going down in color & size compared to the other cushion cut from blue nile:
I’m referring to the face up size, not the carat size. Because the Brian Gavin diamond is a square & the first measurement they give is the longest distance diagonally across the diamond, the second measurement is the sides. So the Brian Gavin diamond is basically 7.51 x 7.51mm in face up size as compared to the Blue Nile one which is 8.34 x 7.45mm. It seems like the Blue Nile one will look much larger because of this.
Am I over analyzing this too much? My boyfriend is laughing at me.
Basically, my question is…will I really notice that big of a difference between the Brian Gavin cut diamond & the Blue Nile diamond if I saw them in person?
What do you think is the best diamond to purchase?
Thank you so much!
It’s normal and I think you actually have a good grasp of understanding diamonds. You aren’t over analysing. I can tell you this because I have a lot of experience with other readers who actually go way beyond what you do, end up over stressing and still make bad selections.
I reviewed the diamonds.
Performance wise,this diamond will have an edge over the BlueNile diamond. They have slightly different appeal and appearances (i.e. shape and scintillation).
Now, I’ve seen quite a number of Brian Gavin’s cushion cut in person and I can tell you they are really sparkly.
The Blue Nile stone is a top notch diamond as well. I rarely see cushions cut to this level of performance and they are extremely rare on sites like Blue Nile. Side by side, I would say that both will look different but all top notch for diamonds of their shapes (squarish vs rectangularsh). This diamond will have better finger coverage. If size matters more, this would be the stone to go with.
Lastly, I would also recommend that you let the choice of setting decide on whom to work with. In this regard, I really can’t help you out here as this final decision is one based solely on personal preference. Both diamonds are winners in their own rights and you did well to pick them out!
I hope you are well.
I bought a ring from Brian Gavin Diamonds and received the ring. It’s very nice.
I’m a little disappointed because I have been unable to see the arrows in the diamond.
Any recommendations to help me see the arrows?
Attached is a glamour shot that Gavin sent to me of my ring.
You actually do see them but in typical conditions, it is “white” and reflecting light.
To see them in “black” you will need to use diffused lighting (office lighting) so that the diamond doesn’t sparkle and is suppressed.
Then use a camera or a black object (your own head) and place it 90 degrees perpendicular for the arrows to pick up the contrast. You should be able to see them with some practice in this manner.
It’s a first world problem you are having with well cut diamonds. If you don’t use controlled lighting to suppress the diamond’s performance, the diamond will just return strong light/fire.