Disclosure: Please note we may generate revenue through the links/ads on this page and throughout this site. That said, we do NOT accept paid reviews and take great pride in providing honest opinions and objective information on products/services. Put simply, if a product isn’t good enough for us to personally buy, we won’t recommend it.
*Update: Due to poor business practices and management, the company has shut down operations.
When you meet the love of your life, you want to propose with the best ring your money can buy. And to get more mileage out of your money, online shopping allows you to get better deals.
This brings us to the next question…
Given the number of online stores found on the Internet, how do you find a reliable vendor to make your purchase?
Speaking from experience, I know that it can be a challenging task to identify a store that can meet your needs and be trustworthy to do business with. This process often requires several hours of research which entails reading independent reviews and getting personal opinions of past customers of a particular site.
This is why I wanted to write a comprehensive review of Abazias, one of the better known online jewelry stores and show you some insights about the company.
Abazias is a Gainesville based jewelry retailer. As a publicly traded company, they follow strict transparency laws as required by the respective regulatory bodies, and to be accountable to its investors.
Here’s a little history about them…
Abazias’s core retail business revolved around selling diamond engagement rings. With the success they had, they later introduced a range of non-engagement related jewelry to meet the growing consumer demand of diamonds as a fashion accessory.
Abazias boasts of over 80,000 pieces of diamond jewelry which makes them one of the largest collections for an online store. This massive range of jewelry includes designs in rings, earrings, and bracelets.
On top of that, Abazias assert that they don’t deal with treated diamonds. Going by the diamond certifications from AGS, GIA, or EGL, the company seems to be standing firm on that claim. Many individual reviews from past customers also allude to the company’s authenticity.
Whenever I review jewelry companies, I always look out for any unique selling propositions which give the company an advantage over their competitors. To be honest, I didn’t have to look too hard as I found the answers on their homepage…
Abazias claim that they offer wholesale jewelry which allows you to enjoy better prices. And as the company mentions on their home page, their prices are often 25 percent less than other online stores and 50 percent less than what most brick-and-motor stores can offer you.
A screenshot of the bold claim made on their homepage…
But is it really true? I beg to differ when I compared the pricing of the SAME EXACT diamonds across different sites.
With a mighty bold claim that their prices are 25% cheaper than most online stores, we decide to put their statement to the test and dig deeper.
( 0.82 Carat IF D Colour Heart Shaped Diamond )
( 1.00 Carat D – VVS1 Excellent Cut Round Diamond )
( 1.02 Carat D – IF Excellent Cut Round Diamond )
You can probably do the math and see the price differences across 3 other vendors yourself.
In all 3 cases, diamonds priced by Abazias were not 25% lower.
Mind you, these are comparisons of the same exact diamonds with the same exact grading certificates (and I’m NOT simply comparing stones with similar specifications). And here’s the thing, prices at Abazias are higher compared to other retailers like James Allen and Whiteflash.
The nail that sealed the coffin on Abazias.com was the poor customer and user experience.
One of the fundamental aspects of any decent online diamond business is to provide customers with great user experience on their website. This is where Abazias does not shine.
While the website is fairly easy to navigate, it is very outdated in design. I feel that the overall layout of the site is in need of a professional design and makeover. One annoying thing I kept noticing was that the text and framed boxes were constantly misaligned on my browser.
To be fair, Abazias does go to lengths to try and provide its customers with a pleasurable experience. To assist consumers with their shopping, they have a live chat system in place.
Now, here’s my main complaint. Even though the Build Your Ring tool may seem like an elaborate and interactive tool, it fails to deliver. The basic process of building your own ring goes like this. First, you need to select a diamond of choice, then select a setting, and finally, view and approve the finished ring design.
Graphic filters are used to help you refine your selection. Basically, there are five features that you can filter to narrow your search. This includes price, size, color, cut, and clarity. For more advanced users, you can further filter your specifications with inputs for table, depth, polish, certification, fluorescence, or symmetry of a diamond.
Wow, everything sounds good and the Build Your Ring feature does look like a promising tool for consumers to use. However, my experience with it is nothing short of irritation and frustration. More often than not, the feature does not load up and a “loading” icon seems to take forever to process.
At the point of writing, I could sometimes get the feature to work by refreshing my browser but most of the time, it doesn’t work at all. My guess is that the issue lies in the scripting/programming of the feature. In contrast, I do not experience any such problems on other sites like Brian Gavin, WhiteFlash and JamesAllen.
All the negative points aside, what I liked about Abazias is their educational articles which they post on their site. You can find this section under the category of “Diamond Information”. Also, there’s a link to the blog where informative content ranging from the latest news to how-to guides are posted. While I hate to admit this, I do find it a pretty refreshing read for most parts.
With that said, there still is no saving grace for our experience with them. At the end of the day, all we care about is shopping for a diamond that offers the best value in terms of cut quality and pricing. Like Bluenile, Abazias.com does not offer sufficient data for consumers to make an educated selection.
You are basically buying “blind” and that’s a really bad idea when it comes to diamond shopping.
Abazias offers all major payment options, from the major credit cards to bank wire transfers. There’s a 2.3 percent discount on cash payments and your purchase is shipped within 24 hours of receipt of payment. Check payments are acceptable but take longer to clear and therefore affect the timing for your package to arrive.
In terms of support, there’s a phone helpline and email support available. However, Abazias does not provide support for live chat after office hours. Another drawback is that they only offer a 10-day money back guarantee, which is quite minimal compared to usual 30 and 60 days for other stores.
More importantly, the age-old problem of buying blind is still a phenomenon that exists in Abazias. What this means is that it puts additional risks on you, the consumer.
We believe you should get a diamond purchase right the first time…
Overall, it is still a decent online website for buying jewelry. Our findings on Abazias.com is definitely not the worst compared to what I had seen with online dealers. However, I personally see no reason to shop at Abazias when other websites like James Allen & Brian Gavin can offer you a better shopping experience, better terms (return policies) and lower pricing.
See exactly what you are buying when shopping at JamesAllen.com.