James Allen Review – Are Their Diamond Rings Good or Bad?

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james allen diamond ring review

This beautiful diamond ring was purchased from James Allen for less than $3,000.

When it comes to buying a diamond engagement ring, James Allen is in a league of their own. Founded in 2006, they have built up a solid reputation and established themselves as a leader in diamond e-commerce.

So, what makes JamesAllen.com one of the BEST jewelry retailer in the world? Why should you choose them over big brand stores like Tiffany or Cartier? Just how good is their craftsmanship and the quality of their engagement rings?

In this comprehensive review of James Allen, you will find answers to these questions and more. You will even get to see an unboxing video and an upclose analysis of a diamond ring that was recently purchased.

Let’s get started…

Overview of JamesAllen.com – A Pioneer in Online Diamonds

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, the traditional method (which is also the dumbest way) of shopping is to head to a couple of jewelry stores, look at a limited selection of diamonds and make a purchase decision without fully understanding what you are seeing or buying.

James Allen has changed all that and revolutionized the way consumers shop for fine jewelry. With their proprietary Diamond Display Technology, it gives you the ability to SEE and scrutinize diamonds upclose with complete transparency.

james allen diamond display example 1 carat f si1 clarity

Where else can you easily get to see a diamond in such details? 

Rather than having to rely on a grading report or a salesperson’s opinion, you can examine diamonds at your own time and in full details. Click on this link to review the 360° video of the diamond above.

Compared to other jewelry retailers, James Allen also stands out by providing an unmatched shopping experience. Here’s a list of features that James Allen offers…

1. Massive Inventory of Over 200,000 Loose Diamonds

jamesallen.com inventory loose diamond selections

Intuitive search tool that helps you narrow down options quickly and easily.

Let’s start by talking about the extensive inventory of diamonds offered by James Allen. At the time of writing, they have more than 200,000 loose diamonds listed on their website. Each of these diamonds come with a grading report that is issued by GIA, IGI or AGS.

Now, I know some of you may be wondering what’s the big deal about having more selections? After all, you are just buying one engagement ring and all you need is just one diamond, right?

Well, this big selection of diamonds provides you with the opportunity to cherry pick the BEST diamond for any stipulated budget. It allows you to compare diamonds in detail to help you find your perfect stone.

Contrast this to the measly one or two options you typically get in a physical store, there’s no need for you to make compromises on diamond quality.

2. Real Life Videos of Products in High Definition

Being able to visualize and see EXACTLY what you are buying is crucial when it comes to selecting a diamond. Why? That’s because every single diamond is uniquely different even if they have the same clarity, color and cut ratings on paper.

To illustrate this point, I’ve selected two F color, SI1 clarity GIA triple excellent diamonds for a comparison. On paper, both diamonds may look similar to each other but in real life, they are completely different.

non eyeclean vs eyeclean diamond comparison

Click this link to look at full details of the 2 diamonds above…

The diamond on the left isn’t eyeclean and has a visible cloud inclusion under the table while the diamond on the right has scattered inclusions and is eyeclean. Even if you are a layperson, spotting issues like these is pretty straightforward by using the 360° videos.

In fact, the videos even reveal which diamond is better cut for light performance and optical precision! If you are a discerning shopper, you need to go beyond a grading report when buying an engagement ring.

Because you are able to visualize a diamond’s appearance, you can save money by searching for eyeclean diamonds with lower clarity grades! After all, there’s no need to pay for a feature your eyes can’t see.

3. Competitive Pricing For High Quality Jewelry

james allen prices expensive or cheap

Even with a budget of $3,000, I could get a beautiful pave diamond ring at James Allen.

Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores which incur significant overheads due to rental, inventory and staffing costs, James Allen has much leaner business operations. As a result, the savings are passed onto consumers and you get much lower diamond prices.

By heading online, you not only get better selections and quality of diamonds, you also get to enjoy massive savings of 30-40% off store prices. In fact, when I shopped at places like Tiffany and Hearts on Fire, the price differences are a whopping 100% more!

4. Wide Selection of Setting Designs And Customization Options

what are the engagement ring styles available

James Allen offers more than 600 beautiful setting designs in a range of styles. And the great thing is, you get to visualize them in 360-degree videos just like their loose diamonds.

One of the things I love about James Allen is the level of autonomy and degree of customization you get in making choices. Whether you like a solitaire or a halo design or prefer a platinum or white gold metal, you can definitely find something that suit your tastes.

For people who want to add a touch of personalization to their ring, James Allen offers free engraving as well.

And if you still can’t make up your mind, you can also browse through their Inspiration Gallery and review what others had bought before you.

Don’t let the idea of designing your own ring scare you. James Allen makes the process really straightforward and easy. If you are interested, click here to see how I created a ring in a step by step manner.

5. Exclusive Diamond Selections



James Allen has a massive inventory and at the top of it, lies their premier collection of diamonds called True Hearts. This exclusive range of diamonds are curated for the best optical performance and brilliance.

Having purchased and seen many of these True Hearts diamonds in person, I can tell you that they are the cream of the crop when it comes to sparkle and cut quality. If you are interested, you can read my indepth review of True Hearts diamonds here.

The CanadaMark Diamonds are another exclusive selection that James Allen offer. As the name suggests, these diamonds originate from Canada and are known for their ethical mining standards and strict environmental protection laws.

Produced with the utmost integrity, the source of each stone is meticulously tracked in each step of the manufacturing process; from the mine to the polished gem. So, if you are someone who values sustainable mining practices, check out the CanadaMark diamonds for yourself.

6. Always-on Customer Support – 24/7

Have you ever tried walking into a physical store and viewed diamonds while a sales staff is persistently breathing down your neck? Have you experienced annoying pressure selling tactics to make you purchase something regardless of whether it is suitable for your needs?

Well, I had and I always hated it.

Instead of taking time to properly assess a customer’s needs, the majority of sales assistants are more concerned with making a commission from a sale rather than putting your interests first. But that’s not the case with James Allen.

JamesAllen.com offers 24/7 customer support with a non-commissioned team of professionals and this ensures you get objective advice when shopping. If you run into any questions, simply hit the “Chat With Us” button to get answers quickly.

Plus, they even have a cool support feature where their staff can share their screens with you.

7. Risk Free Purchase (30 Day Money Back Guarantee) + Free Shipping

As a consumer, it would please you to know that James Allen stands behind their products and your purchase is absolutely risk-free. You get a generous 30-day return period with no questions asked and this is more than sufficient time for you to review your purchase.

That’s not all. You get free shipping worldwide and if you are based in the US, James Allen will even pay for your return shipping! That’s how confident they are of their products and if you are any bit unsatisfied, you get your money back.

If you’re on a budget, you would be pleased to know that JamesAllen.com offers some of the lowest prices in the market. Make sure you check them out if you want to get better value for your money.

8. Lifetime Warranty And Upgrade Policies

Unlike jewelers who will leave you high and dry after you swipe the card, James Allen will offer long term support for your jewelry. And if you think about it, it makes good business sense to build long lasting relationships with clients.

James Allen offers not only a lifetime warranty but other services like prong tightening, cleaning, repolishing and replating for free. If you ever run into problems with your jewelry, simply get in touch with them for repair services.

One final point I want to mention is their upgrade policy. Any diamond that you buy can be traded in for full credit towards a new purchase as long as it is 2x the original value. While most people don’t trade in their engagement rings, this policy does leave you with open options should you require it.

Personal Shopping Experience at JamesAllen.com

Let’s take a closer look at a listing on JamesAllen.com and you will quickly find out why it’s so easy to buy a high quality engagement ring there. Click on the image below to view full details of the diamond that was purchased for the ring in this review…

james allen diamond purchase review half carat

The great thing about the True Hearts diamonds is that they have tangible scope data available in their listings. This enables you to easily assess the diamond’s cut precision and light performance.

hearts and arrows james allen ideal cut

Superbly crafted diamond with ideal light return and optical precision.

Personally, I love pave designs as they are a very cost efficient method for increasing the bling factor of a diamond ring. To complete the ring, the 14k white gold petite pave engagement ring below was chosen as the setting.

14k white gold petite pave engagement ring flush fit review

Once the loose diamond and engagement ring setting had been selected, the rest of the checkout process is really straightforward. Payment was made via credit card and work on the ring starts immediately.

After payment is successfully made, all you need to do is to sit back and wait for FedEx to deliver the parcel to your doorstep securely. And FYI, the package is delivered in an unassuming, discreet white box as seen in the image below.

white discreet shipping box appearance outer

James Allen has thought of everything down to minor shipping details.

This is done on purpose in order to avoid ruining surprises as well as for security reasons. Nobody except you would know that the package contains an engagement ring and it is what’s inside that really matters!

Unboxing the Engagement Ring Package From James Allen

Whenever I review a company or product, it is done from the perspective of a consumer just like you. This means that I test the service or a product personally based on first-hand experience.

So, if you are wondering what the shipping package looks like and exactly what you are getting, make sure you watch the full length unboxing video below. The raw footage is unedited except for the inclusion of a music track and accompanying captions.


What really sets James Allen apart is the 360° high resolution videos found in every diamond listing. Click here to browse through their selections of diamonds and ring designs!

Reviewing Package Contents in Full Details

jamesallen package contents overview

Overview of the package contents you can expect to receive from James Allen.

First of all, the packaging and presentation from James Allen is first class and really exquisite. In fact, it is by far the BEST I’ve seen in the industry. And mind you, I’ve purchased and reviewed a lot of jewelry from high end brands like Tiffany/Cartier to many other competing online retailers.

What’s really cool about the packaging box is that it can double up as a keepsake jewelry box for storing other things once you remove the cardboard insert. The pullout drawer is also useful for storing important documents like the appraisal or grading report.

Next, let’s take a closer look at the individual components and what you would expect to receive…

Diamond Engagement Ring in Cherry Wood Box

cherry wood engagement ring box color james allen

The red color engagement ring box containing the 0.57ct H color SI clarity diamond ring.

AGS Proprietary Light Performance Diamond Quality Report

ags platinum light performance diamond quality document truehearts

In the world of diamond grading, AGS and GIA are the only 2 trusted labs that offer consistent and reliable grading standards. This True Hearts diamond achieves the highest possible cut grade of AGS 000.

Appraisal Document Provided by James Allen

appraisal document diamond ring value ja

If you intend to buy an insurance policy for your jewelry, this appraisal document would come in handy. With any purchase above $1,500, this appraisal is provided free-of-charge as a value added service.

Warranty Cards And Rewards

warranty cards contact customer service

These cards contain information about the lifetime warranty and guidelines to caring for your jewelry. Also, a discount code is provided which gets you 10% off a wedding band purchase.

Quality Assurance Card

quality control checker sign off

During manufacturing, a team of Quality Assurance professionals would inspect each diamond and finished ring against the specifications indicated in the respective order. And prior to shipment, the last person to conduct the quality check will sign off the order.

Printed Invoice

invoice showing my order purchase at james allen

A physical copy of the invoice showing details of the purchase.

Evaluation of JamesAllen.com’s Workmanship

While the center diamond is usually the first thing the eye focuses on when viewing an engagement ring, the setting plays an equally important role in its overall appearance. In this section, we will perform a comprehensive review of James Allen’s craftsmanship…

james allen pave diamond ring review half carat

Stamped platinum cast engagement ring – New York classic solitaire design

If you had been following my blog, you will know that details matter to me when reviewing the workmanship of a ring. I scrutinize details in ring finishing, proper prong placements, overall balance, symmetry, matching melee selections and everything else under magnification.

Because of what I do and the high standards I set, I’ve had vendors and people who accused me of being unrealistic and overly anal.

But here’s the thing, if a ring is truly high quality and the bench jeweler cares about finer details, it will be able to withstand the scrutiny I place on it. A well made piece of jewelry will automatically translate into a great looking piece of jewelry.

It’s as simple as that. Remember, I’m on YOUR side. With that said, check out the following video and look at the craftsmanship details for yourself…


Review of Diamond Ring’s Head from JamesAllen.com

4 prong ring head consistency symmetry review how to know good or bad

A close up view of the ring’s head and four prongs reveal splendid finishing.

rounded prong placement 2 4 8 10 oclock white gold bead

Prongs are neatly placed and equally spaced for a pleasing face-up appearance.

side profile of ring and prongs creation

The side profile shows prongs that are uniformly made and secures the diamond snugly.

underneath of ring plating shiny finish polish

Care and effort has been taken to polish surfaces which are hidden away from view.

Examination of JamesAllen Diamond Ring Profile and Shank

Good workmanship can enhance the appearance and enjoyment of a piece of jewelry. It can also enhance the durability and lifespan of the product. Vice versa, the opposite holds true for a poorly made piece of jewelry.

With pave settings, any signs of sloppy finishing and workmanship would be easier to pick out compared to a solitaire setting. Having reviewed the engagement ring in person, I’m pleased to see that the shanks are very streamlined and well made.

reviewing shank consistency and prong head

The ring’s shanks and pave are beautifully made with great consistency.

side profile view neat pave setting streamlined smooth

The side profile reveals a smooth and rounded outline of the shanks.

french pave 14k white gold ring good workmanship

Look at the superb work done on the french pave and consistency shared prongs.

This French cut pavé diamond engagement ring is designed to allow maximum light to hit the diamonds from all directions. If your taste differs, there are plenty of other stunning designs to choose from at James Allen.

Review of Diamond’s Cut Quality Performance From JamesAllen.com

Cut is KING in the world of diamonds. If you want a lively diamond that is full of sparkle and brilliance, Cut is the #1 factor you should focus on when buying an engagement ring.

As mentioned earlier, James Allen provides an idealscope image as well as a hearts patterning image in most of their TrueHearts listings. The decision to buy the diamond was made based on an educated analysis of the data provided.

After receiving the ring, I captured the following images using my own tools for 2 reasons. One, to show you that they tally and secondly, to show you how good the diamond’s cut quality is.

photograph of idealscope image engagement ring bought

aset photograph of Truehearts engagement ring i bought

This diamond is as good as cut quality can get in a round brilliant diamond. The contrast patterning and light return are simply top-notch.

Video of Diamond Ring’s Appearance in Real Life

The Idealscope and ASET images above are perfect examples to show you what a truly well cut diamond looks like. But how does that translate to real life appearances?

Well, I have answers for you. Watch the video below to see how the James Allen diamond ring looks like in different types of everyday environments.


The True Hearts diamonds are curated by James Allen for light performance and sparkle. If you are looking for a beautiful diamond ring that’s full of life, click here to start browsing now.

Conclusion: Wrapping Up Our JamesAllen Review

pave diamond ring with true hearts center stone half carat

The stunning 0.57ct H SI1 diamond ring from JamesAllen.com (on a size 4 finger).

James Allen has grown tremendously ever since they were launched more than 10 years ago. With their relentless innovation and a remarkable focus on customer service, they have built up a strong following of raving customers.

Unlike traditional jewelry businesses which typically offer preset diamond rings and jewelry, James Allen gives you the ability to tailor the jewelry piece based on your needs and on your terms.

On top of that, another advantage is being able to make selections rationally instead of making impulsive decisions under pressure-selling or exaggerated lighting conditions in retail stores.

Think about it. Would you rather be hassled in a store or shop online at your own pace and make the correct decisions based on facts?

pressure selling tactics in jewelry stores

Pressure selling by sales people?

viewing at your own leisure

Videos & tools to help you with your purchase?

When it comes to a huge purchase, I would choose the latter.

At the end of the day, James Allen’s business model is made for the long haul and revolves around helping customers make the best purchase possible. Everyone wins in this scenario. Furthermore, there’s absolutely zero risk because of their generous 30-days FULL money back guarantee.

With that, I hope this review has provided useful insights on their business and the quality of products. Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me if you have any questions.

James Allen offers fantastic quality and value for money when it comes to buying an engagement ring. They are one of my highest recommended vendor but don’t just take my word for it. Check them out for yourself!

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  1. Adam-
    May 4, 2015 at 11:42 am

    There’s no doubt that their website is great and that they are easy to deal with in when purchasing. I did have some issues during the delivery process which was quickly sorted out. Overall, I still had a positive experience with them.

  2. Nika Alterman-
    June 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I was recently engaged. James Allen.com was the internet store where my engagement ring was ordered from. I recommended everyone who is looking for engagement ring or for wedding rings to check this site first…

    I absolutely love it…

    When I went to apprised the ring professionally, for my insurance company, I was confirmed that price we actually paid, was below wholesaler price for a great quality stone that my ring has.

    Appraiser also stated that majority of people who are buying expensive jewelry in the stores have a fear of internet transactions. But that fear comes with greater price. That price includes overhead: that owners of the store have to pay rent, salary, commissions insurances, depend of the buying ability of the individual stores e.t.c

    That it is all effecting and included in the final price of every each item. At the same time, you are deprived of the comfort of your own home, time, technology and varieties to learn all specifics of your investment before making your final decision.

    He complimented us with sadness in his voice that he does do that as often as possible. He would really advise everyone to do their homework first, before spend a big chunk of money in the stores.

    Salesperson trained to help you based on your budget, but budget can be tricky. The same budget, the same 4C’s can offer you different quality of the stones, because those C’s stands for “the range” of some specifics… diamond made by nature and cut by men.

    Do your homework, educate yourself and check out the James Allen site. I love this store we are going to order our wedding sets and gifts for our parents from them; it is great site knowledgeable and helpful stuff, punctual and reliable. If I can, I’ll give James Allen 11 stars from 10.

  3. Cedrick P. Holbrook-
    July 15, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I came across the James Allen online jewelry store while I was researching Blue Nile. You seem knowledgeable and had tested James Allen’s customer service.

    In your experience, have you ever come across any bad reviews or feedback from others? I’m considering to buy a James Allen ring but I’m pretty apprehensive as the ring costs $6,000+.

    Comparing James Allen vs Blue Nile, should I stick with the more established brand? Any advice would be greatly welcomed.

  4. Paul Gian-
    July 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I think there’s really no comparison between Blue Nile vs James Allen. While it is true that BlueNile.com has been around longer, the business model in which they adopt is obsolete. BlueNile.com expects you to buy blind which is a huge gamble and risky process.

    You can read about them here:

    So far, the feedback that I had received from readers who bought their diamond rings at James Allen has been nothing but praise. I have heard of a few cases where there are clients who asked for refunds for their items because it wasn’t what they expect. Well, the issue here is that when these shoppers bought their jewelry, they didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t follow the step by step instructions here:


    Anyway, James Allen did honor their money back policy and they will return every single cent of your purchase in the event you are unsatisfied. The reason why JamesAllen.com stands out is that they offer HD videos of every diamond they sell. This allows you to examine details that far surpasses what you can get anywhere else.

  5. Sullivan-
    August 15, 2015 at 1:12 am

    JamesAllen.com is the BEST! I needed an engagement ring urgently and requested that they send the finished product ahead of schedule. And they delivered! 2 thumbs up!

  6. Nate-
    November 20, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Just curious. How do you get the information regarding ASET images? Just select a few possible diamonds and then call or email them with the request?
    Love the site and all the great info

  7. Paul Gian-
    November 20, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Yep. Use your best judgment to select 3 diamonds. Approach me for help if you are unsure how to. Thereafter, get in touch with support and put in your request. It’s pretty straightforward.

    https://beyond4cs.com/grading/aset-reference-charts/ is a great chart for reference.

  8. Mike Finerghty-
    March 16, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    If I buy online from James Allen, what do you recommend for cleaning and maintenance? What are the normal costs of doing so at a local jeweler for whom I did not purchase the ring from?

  9. Paul Gian-
    March 23, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I recommend cleaning your rings yourself. It’s much more convenient and time saving.


  10. Katherine-
    March 24, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I absolutely disagree with this conclusion. The stone fell out of my engagement ring after 4 months of wear (and suffering no trauma). I took it to a local jeweler to get it re-set and they told us that the ring cut and setting were completely incompatible and that this would be a recurring issue.

    Why would James Allen recommend, set, and ship the ring without even bringing this problem to our attention?

    We contacted James Allen and they recommended sending the ring back to them so that they could assess the issue. Gladly. Well, after two weeks, my ring is back in my possession, it’s exactly the same, and I have yet to hear anything from James Allen customer service regarding the problem or the solution.

    To anyone looking for a ring, look elsewhere. James Allen is clearly only looking to make a buck without even considering the sentimental (and monetary) value of their product.

  11. Warren-
    May 24, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Hi Paul,

    Can I ask for your help/input – me and the gf are looking at engagement rings and I need to make a decision in the next few days on a marquise cut… probably somewhere between 0.84-0.96ct. The gf has slender fingers so we’ve worked out we’re most likely happy with something on a 2:0 L/W ratio give or take around that range, so it’s not too skinny or too fat, but more towards the skinny side. Otherwise D-F colour and VS2-SI2 fits us.

    Now James Allen has a 0.96 ct for $6,000 aud…


    I’ve looked up their GIA certificate # and the inclusions seem less than a competing diamond I sourced through a popular family run business here locally.

    The local store insisted out of the various 1ct + diamonds that he liked this 0.96 ct diamond the most:


    The GIA report # is 2151424308 when searching on gia.edu.

    Can I have your opinion, when looking at the GIA certificate on this how it compares to James Allen?

    All up I estimate the setting would be circa $2,500, so i’d estimate the diamond is between $7000,7-500 we’re being charged (total package $995) – this compares to the $6000 AUD on james allen (+$600 or so for local Australian GST taxes and the like).

    We’ve physically seen the latter diamond and the gf likes it. It has faint fluorescence and D colour and looks beautiful. Under the eagle eye we pick up all the clouds per the GIA report, but notice nothing in the naked eye. He insists as they’re all white clouds its still a great diamond and his favourite. But my worry is the GIA report clearly shows a myriad of cloud sand other inclusions, it’s very very busy on the diamond layout.

    The James Allen shows up as less inclusions on the diamond. However, he seemed like a great guy and authentic in trying to offer a good service/price (family business) so I am not sure if he is just trying to pass off a dud as great, or if genuinely the white clouds etc of the SI2 diamond are of no concern, and therefore act as a price reduction?

    Still, I can’t get over the price of the diamond from James Allen linked above. Only difference is it is E colour not D.

    Can you please offer your expert advice based off your interpretation off these GIA certificates and in-line with the prices being offered? I might try and negotiate the whole diamond and setting down to $9,500 locally, but I guess local run shops will always be more expensive than the likes of James Allen?

  12. Paul Gian-
    May 24, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Without looking at specific data (magnified images, videos, ASET etc…) of the stone that the local vendor has sourced, there’s nothing constructive I can say about it. Your observation that brick and mortar stores tend to have higher prices is true. On top of that, they have very very limited selections.

    What I would say about the James Allen diamond: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.96-carat-e-color-si1-clarity-sku-904627 is that it is a very well cut diamond for light performance. I say this based on extensive experience with marquises. The majority of marquises are duds and badly cut for optics. This James Allen stone is one of the rarer marquises that are cut for performance and is a great choice; one that i would personally buy if I were in the market for one.

  13. Christopher M Miller-
    December 1, 2016 at 2:11 am

    I would love your assessment of this diamond I am considering. I am thinking it is a fairly good value, however the crown angle may be of some concern.



  14. Paul Gian-
    December 1, 2016 at 2:41 am

    The crown angle is a concern but the IGI report is a bigger red flag. I did a search for you and would recommend this diamond instead: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.50-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2123632

  15. John San Gabriel-
    December 17, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  16. Paul Gian-
    December 18, 2016 at 3:22 am

    John, the first stone is the better option.

  17. December 23, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I am looking at a diamond and would love to hear your thoughts on this diamond?


    The angle and the IGI report are foreign to me. I wanted to put it in a halo setting.

  18. Paul Gian-
    December 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    This is not a well cut diamond I would recommend.

  19. Roberto Hsmada-
    January 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm
  20. Paul Gian-
    January 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

    All 3 are terrible choices. You need to place your emphasis on cut quality if you want to get the maximum sparkle and beauty out of a purchase.

  21. Andreas-
    February 12, 2017 at 6:38 am


    I bought a diamond and setting from James Allen, based on your review. But by now, I am very frustrated. Just a few days after having the ring resized by James Allen, one of the side stones fell out and was lost. We sent it back to get it repaired… another few weeks later we received the ring back. And guess what – 3 days on the finger and another sidestone fell out – really?? What kind of quality check and craftsmanship is that? I mean, wouldn’t you assume that they actually check the ring even more carefully before sending it out?

  22. Paul Gian-
    February 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for your feedback. Let me know what follow up actions they had taken to resolve this issue. If it isn’t resolved, drop me an email and I will make sure this gets the proper attention.

  23. Matt-
    March 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Not even really sure where to start. Yes the prices are very appealing but customer service and actual product are terrible. I was told a shipping date and even confirmed the shipping date on the same day. My order did not go out on that day. After confirming that my item would ship out they sent me an email a few hours later delaying the process. I spent weeks planning my proposal including flying her family down for the occasion. James Allen didn’t care and didn’t even attempt to rectify the situation. When I finally got my ring the email the setting looks poorly made not even sure it will hold the diamond I purchased for it. The whole process of dealing with James Allen was god awful. Don’t be fooled because of the cheap prices, you are buying a cheap product. Do yourself a favor and shop elsewhere.

  24. Paul Gian-
    March 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Sorry to hear about your experience. Would you like to share more details like what you bought and the dates that your ring was purchased? Also, have you gotten in touch with James Allen and has someone reached out to help you?

  25. Helen-
    April 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve heard great reviews by James Allen but again there’s a lot of bad reviews stating that their smaller diamonds fall off from the settings they offer which makes me question their craftsmenship. Do you recommend getting the setting somewhere else or thru them? Which online store would u prefer, blue nile or james allen? I also wanted to know what’s the idea time frame to get your diamond checked or is that even necessary? What’s the cost for the maintenance?

  26. Paul Gian-
    April 6, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Both Blue Nile and James Allen are reliable vendors. If you need a peace of mind, you can always get the purchase checked during the return window of 30 days. For any reason, you don’t like the ring/diamond, you can return it risk free. Now, the smaller diamonds (melees) don’t fall off a setting for no reason. 99.99% of the times that they do, it is because reasonable care wasn’t taken and the piece was subjected to knocks or abuse. In the event that you need maintenance for the ring, check with the vendors what it would cost. Typically, it’s going to be free and all you need to do is to cover shipping.

  27. Alan L.-
    April 27, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I spent hours combing through their massive inventory to narrow down the diamonds I would asked for Ideal-Scope images for. I ended up with 5 diamonds and was notified by James Allen that two of the diamonds were not available to have images taken. The James Allen customer service rep told me that the images of the remaining three diamonds would take 5 business days.

    After waiting the 5 business days, I received an email letting me know that they could not get images of the diamond. The customer service rep told me that I could purchase the diamond first and then receive images after I made the purchase. Basically asking me to buy blind. What is the difference between that and Blue Nile?

    This has been a complete waste of time and one of the worst shopping experiences ever for a large purchase. You would figure that is a customer is willing to spend $20K at your store, you would treat them a bit better.

  28. Paul Gian-
    April 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Hey Alan, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Get in touch with me via email and I will help you out personally.

  29. Bonnie-
    May 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I have a aset image that I don’t know how to read, can I send it to you for opinion? It’s for a right hand ring and not a wedding ring but flash is still important. Thanks

  30. Justin-
    November 29, 2017 at 8:08 pm
  31. Paul Gian-
    November 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

    It’s a decently well cut emerald shape diamond. The IF may be a little overkill for most people unless you like the internally flawless attribute for symbolic reasons.

  32. MJ-
    February 16, 2018 at 2:29 am

    Hi there, having gone through a similar process recently, thought I’d pop in and drop a comment on James Allen.

    After spending ages selecting a few options for the engagement diamond, I was told time-and-time again that they would not provide any extra imagery other than the ones available on their website. No amount of (polite) negotiation I did changed this fact.

    Moreover, more often that not the diamonds I had selected were from their virtual stock and not their in-house inventory. And I was advised to use an obscure filter on their website (ships as loose diamond by ) to find in-house stones, which was wrong 80% of the time. Their customer service has certainly gone downhill.

    I was very disappointed after being highly recommended here but I visited Whiteflash instead and couldn’t be happier! Thanks Paul for sharing your knowledge and keep up the good work!!!

  33. Gabriel-
    October 28, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Another drawback you forgot to tell, is that they do not show idealscope and ASET pictures anymore. They used to do that in the past. On the other hand, the images of the diamonds are great and their settings are much more reasonably priced when compared with Brian Gavin and Whiteflash.

  34. Paul Gian-
    October 28, 2018 at 2:37 am

    They still provide them for diamonds that are sourced in New York near their office. Because they have grown so big in operations, they also source diamonds from overseas suppliers and this makes it logistically hard to provide idealscope/ASET images for all their listings.

    Anyway, if you stick with the TrueHearts range, you still get assess to the performance data.

  35. David Lawrence-
    January 16, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Paul – very nice web site. I am looking at a heart shaped diamond (5584004) on James Allen. I need an S1, and this one is an SI1. In the magnified image, there is a large black crystal on the table, which looks very bad. But, I am being told by customer service that it won’t be visible to the naked eye. I zoomed all the way out, and I then didn’t see the black crystal, but when zoomed all the way out, it’s really hard to notice anything. Curious to know what you think. Thanks.

  36. Paul Gian-
    January 16, 2019 at 4:08 am

    The inclusions you see in the video listings are very magnified and they look worse than they are in reality. Now, I reviewed the diamond here: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/heart-shaped/1.50-carat-d-color-si1-clarity-sku-5584004 and the diamond is borderline eyeclean and it depends on your acuity. If you can’t see the inclusions after zooming out, it is eyeclean for you and that is what matters most.

    Cutwise, this heart shape diamond has a great outline and very strong light return. It is a diamond that passes my own standards to be purchase worthy with its cut standards.

  37. Kay-
    May 4, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Hi Paul,

    I have enjoyed your informative site and videos on YouTube. Thank you for all the excellent information.

    I recently purchased an engagement ring from James Allen. All in all, it is of very good quality.

    My question is, how does James Allen select their True Hearts diamonds? Or more so, what does a diamond need to have in order to qualify as a True Hearts?

    Before purchase, I was comparing 2 diamonds, the first one being a True Hearts, the second one had an Excellent cut grade, both GIA.

    I planned on purchasing the True Hearts but unfortunately, I waited too long and it was sold. So I settled on the non True Hearts.

    Anyway, I feel that the diamond I bought fit within the Ideal percentages for round diamonds. My diamond is fiery and lively. But why did it not qualify as a True Hearts? What does James Allen use to determine True Hearts?

    My diamond:
    0.81 carats, VS1, F color
    Table: 56%
    Star: 50%
    Girdle: 75%
    Crown Height: 15.5%
    Crown Angle: 34.5
    Pavillion Angle: 40.8
    Pavillion Depth: 43%
    Total Depth: 61.6%
    Girdle: Medium 3.5%

    Thanks in advance for any input you can provide.

  38. Kay-
    May 4, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Hi Paul,

    I forgot to add that I looked at the diamond using an Idealscope and the image looked almost identical, if not even a little more saturated than the picture you show above, of the diamond you purchased.


  39. Paul Gian-
    May 4, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    James Allen curates their True Heart diamonds for light return and optical precision (H&A). Proportions are just the start of the story when it comes to analyzing cut quality. Once you get tangible data for your dimaond like scope images, I can tell you more about them. In general, I would say that the better diamonds would have been classified as a True Hearts diamonds although there are a small percentage of truly well cut diamonds that are outside the TH category.

  40. Paul Gian-
    May 4, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    You may want to send the Idealscope image to my email and I can take a look at it for you.

  41. Elias Ace-
    June 29, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Do you work for james allen? or do they pay you in any way for promoting their website? Along with the other companies you promote on here?

  42. Paul Gian-
    July 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I don’t work for James Allen nor do I work for any other jewelry company. Beyond4cs.com is independent in this aspect. If you are asking whether the articles are PAID for by any jewelry companies, they aren’t. None of the articles here are paid for by any jewelry company. For more details, go to: https://beyond4cs.com/about/ftc-disclosure/

  43. Brad J.-
    August 8, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Hello Paul, really enjoyed reading the review. I am looking for a natural diamond, and cant seem to find one, however, after looking on James Allen I see they have Earth-Created Diamonds, are these natural diamonds or is that a play on words to make me think it is. Do you have recommendations for where to get natural stones?


  44. Paul Gian-
    August 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I only realized recently that James Allen had “renamed” their natural diamond selections as “Earth-created Diamonds”. It’s probably for a marketing strategy they are using to communicate the distinctions between lab made and natural diamonds.

    What diamond shape are you looking for? JA is great for fancy cuts because of their videos.

  45. Gene-
    January 2, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Hi Paul,

    I have been doing some online research into lab-grown diamonds specifically. I have brought up to my girlfriend the difference between Mined/Earth-Created Diamonds vs Lab-Grown diamonds and she seems to be fine with the idea with lab diamonds. That aside, I have been looking at various website learning about both the different specifications/qualities of a diamond and various certifications of diamonds. I have narrowed down two online jewelry retailers that have caught my interest in regards to lab-grown diamonds: JamesAllen and BrilliantEarth. The current specifications of lab diamonds that I have been using are: 1.5-2Carat, at least VS2 or better, F-D color, and Brilliant Round Cut, Advanced filters of Excellent Symmetry and Polish, No Florescence, and specific table and depth ranges taken by your suggestions mentioned in one of your posts.

    Based on my above diamond specs and filters, there are only a handful of lab-grown diamonds to choose from on JamesAllen.com, but when you use the same specs and filters on BrilliantEarth.com, you get about double or triple the amount of choices to choose from. It seems like BrilliantEarth has a larger selection of large carat sized lab-grown diamonds. Unfortunately for BrilliantEarth, only some of their diamonds have the 360 degree viewing option, while JamesAllen has that viewing option for all of their diamonds.

    When I was viewing diamonds on BrilliantEarth.com, I was able to view the electronic copy of the GCAL certification of certain diamonds. Within the GCAL certification, they seem to include a lot of useful information, more so than GIA, and IGI. There is a section called “Light Performance Profile” that tells you about the diamonds Optical Brilliance Analysis, and Optical Symmetry Analysis, as well as whether the diamond has Hearts and Arrows. For example: Here is the diamond that I’m currently referring to on BrilliantEarth.com: Stock Number: 3590587Y.

    Link: https://www.brilliantearth.com/lab-diamonds-search/view_detail/8770662/

    I have learned a little bit about the Idealscope and ASET scope, but the GCAL certification doesn’t really use those terms. Are you familiar with the GCAL grading method as it pertains to the Light Performance profiles? If so, could you explain to me what they mean and whether or not they are reliable information that indicates whether or not the diamond has good light reflection and fire, brilliance, and scintillation?

    It is a nice feature to have the Idealscope images for the True Heart Diamonds on JamesAllen, but unfortunately they do not offer that viewing image for all of their diamonds, specifically the lab-grown diamonds.

    If you can provide me any information on the matter that would be greatly appreciated! I am trying to make the best judgement purchase of a lab-grown diamond with the available information provided by the online retailer. If you have time, I would also appreciate it if you gave me your personal recommendation on a lab-grown diamond using my specifications and filters. If you can also explain to me why you ended up choosing it compared to others, and also why that specific online retailer as opposed to the other.


  46. Paul Gian-
    January 3, 2020 at 9:44 am

    The choice of vendor is entirely up to personal preferences. Both Brilliant Earth and James Allen and highly reliable. I would let the choice of setting decide on whom to work with and you should browse both sites to see if there’s a ring design you like. Price wise, Brilliant Earth is about 10-15% more expensive in general because of their markup and branding.

    Now, you are right with your observations about the lab created diamonds and how they are sold on JA and BE. The GCAL certificate consists of a light performance map which is very similar to the ASET and you can use that as an analysis of the diamond’s light return properties. I’ve reviewed the diamond listing here: 1.75 Carat Round Lab Created Diamond Super Ideal Cut • F Color • SI1 Clarity

    gcal diamond listing review of light performance mapping

    I actually think you did extremely well to pick out this diamond. It’s eyeclean and has very strong light performance. I did a search at both JA and BE and couldn’t find anything better. So, good job in doing your research and selection.

    This is a lab diamond I would personally buy if I was in the market for a ring and that should speak volumes.

    February 6, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    AVOID JAMES ALLEN! Pave diamonds fell out of engagement ring we spent almost $3k on. They made us pay to ship it back and fix it. After the fourth time I just wanted a refund as the craftsmanship was not what was promised and it was super annoying having to send it back all the time. She actually stopped wearing it most the time because she was afraid the diamonds would fall out. They would not give us a refund so we are stuck with a crappy ring and will probably have to buy a new one that is actually wearable without breaking.

  48. Paul Gian-
    February 7, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Sorry to hear about your experience. Can you share more details about the repairs? What did they say the reason was for the diamonds to fall out?

  49. Sue-
    April 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Paul….My fiancé purchased this ring for me GIA #2205267112. I have done tons of research online and since the cut was excellent thought it was a good choice. However, the crown is pretty flat and when reading your “specs” I see why. The ring is set in a platinum trellis setting and cost $5900. What do you think.

  50. Paul Gian-
    April 30, 2020 at 9:31 am

    I only have the GIA report to work with and the proportions are indeed less than ideal. They will result in less light return because of light physics. Do you have a direct url link to the stone or if it is within the return period, you may want to exchange the diamond for a better performing one.

  51. Sue-
    April 30, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you for your response. I did not get the ring online. I do believe I can return it still. Could you suggest any diamonds? I prefer at least VS2 I scrutinize the diamond and if I can see the inclusion it bothers me. Thanks for any help

  52. Paul Gian-
    April 30, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    A VS2 will generally be eyeclean. If the cut quality bothers you, then you should return the ring and start fresh. Read the information here. I can help you make suggestions but would require more information like your budget and realistic specifications you want. Also, you may want to contact me directly via email.


  53. Stephanie Pepen-
    July 20, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    PLEASE STAY AWAY! My fiancé purchased me a ring that was nearly $10,000. The prong holding the center diamond broke off in less than 9 months. We’re lucky to have found the center diamond in our kitchen. It took months of being on the waitlist to get approved to send the ring back to be inspected. The company rep said they suggest that people have their prongs tightened two times a year. How is that even feasible, given their waitlist time and that they’re remote? That would mean I would have access to my ring about 6 months out of the year?!

    After months of waiting, we were told that it was our fault that the ring was faulty, and we were responsible for all the reparation cost. Thank goodness we have insurance, but can you imagine the insurance nightmare if we hadn’t found the center diamond?! Also, I work in policy and I’m mostly quarantining, besides typing, I’m not really doing any hard labor that would cause that type of structural damage. Maybe that type of structural damage would be reasonable if I had the ring for years—but it’s only been 9 months! Sad to say, these rings are cheaply made, and I’m disappointed my fiancé bought me a ring from this company. Not the fairytale ring I had imagined.

  54. Paul Gian-
    July 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

    What happened in the end? Did you manage to settle things with James Allen?

    Just to add, when an assessment of the ring is made, they do this to determine damage to the prong head and this is how they determine if the fault was on their production or the wearer’s. Diamonds don’t drop out of settings for no reasons and I can tell you from experience that 99.99% of these cases are due to the wearer being careless or unknowingly damaging the ring when it is worn. If it was a production issue, the diamond would likely have dropped out way before a 9 month period.

    Anyway, I understand your frustration but do note that this happens with big brands like Tiffany or Cartier as well. If this issue hasn’t been resolved yet, I can direct you to the appropriate department and person to get this fixed.

  55. Lisa Jane-
    September 6, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Hi Paul!

    I am wanting your input on this Dimond through James Allen for an engagement ring. I don’t like any colour in diamonds so I feel the D colour is best suited for me. I do want it to be sparkly.


  56. Paul Gian-
    September 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    The light performance of the diamond is terrible. Ditch it. It is too mushy and has poor brilliance.

    I did a comprehensive search for you and would recommend this diamond instead:


    This is an extremely well cut diamond for light performance and is eyeclean. It’s a much much much much much much better but than the mediocre stone you shortlisted.
    Go for this instead.

  57. christian caserta-
    October 18, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I’m very confused as to where I’m even supposed to start in the process of buying a ring. None of the cuts, colors, and qualities of the diamonds do I quite understand, unless on a basic level. The link attached is just what I’ve made from fiddling about and having a basic grasp of the description’s when it comes to the grading. My price range is up to 3500, with a Carat of around .7, and a round cut. If it wouldn’t inconvenience you could you please assist me in hopes to find my soon to be fiancés engagement ring.

  58. Paul Gian-
    October 20, 2020 at 3:31 am

    You’ve already got a good start by finding out what your recipient wants. Deciphering between the nuances of cut quality and clarity/color is something that most consumers have questions with. Personally, I take on a more practical approach to buying diamonds. I did a search for you and would recommend these diamonds:


    These are eyeclean and well cut diamonds that will face up white. Hope this helps!

  59. Steve Jewell-
    November 2, 2020 at 1:45 am

    I would not recommend this company at all. I ordered my wedding set The end of July, received it the 3rd week of August. Proposed Sept 1st. When we got back, noticed the head was not aligned correctly, The wedding band diamonds didn’t match up. Advertised 16 diamonds but only had 14. Immediately sent the ring back and asked for it to be recast to be a perfect match. Received the rings 1 month later. Engagement ring was totally different. Channel set princess diamonds were much smaller (almost non existent) Asked for a full refund and was told cannot as it wasn’t in 30 day period (she wore it 2 days and they had it the rest) They are now in the process for remaking it again. This process has been a total pain!! (15k ring set)

  60. Paul Gian-
    November 5, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for leaving a feedback and I appreciate all comments whether they are positive or negative. Let me know how things go and whether your ring has been fixed in a satisfactory manner. Otherwise, let me know again if you run into problems and I will personally get someone from James Allen to help you out on this.

  61. Bala-
    November 11, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Hey Paul,

    Have been looking for an engagement ring for my fiance and your website has been an amazing trove of info.

    For ex: Got to know through your website that its ok to go for a I,J or even K color diamond since I am looking to set the diamond in yellow gold ring

    I am looking for a 1.35 – 1.55 carat sized diamond with minimal inclusions (was specifically told no black pin-points, possibly due to superstition) :). Found a stone on James allen (link below) which is around my budget and only has a feather, the table is within the range you recommended (56.7%) but the depth is below your recommendation (60.8%). Wanted to get your thoughts on whether it will impact sparkle.


    This one (link below) unfortunately has pinpoints but meets the spec you outlined, 61% depth which is in the lower end of your recommendation and 57% table which is in the higher end of your recommendation – assuming that will impact the light performance?


    Also, if you think that the lack of depth is going to impact sparkle, would greatly appreciate it, if you could recommend stones in the same pricing range (either on james allen, white flash or brian gavin).

    Thanks much!!


  62. Paul Gian-
    November 11, 2020 at 7:52 am

    You are right that it is perfectly OK to go down in color grades when buying a yellow gold ring. As for the 2 diamonds that you shortlisted, I would say that both are extremely well cut for light return and are eyeclean. Your choices tell me that you know what you are doing. Good job in selecting these stones.

    The slightly lower depth percentages don’t matter in this case because the tangible data like the ideal scope and H&A images all point to it having solid light return. Between the 2, I do like the 1.5ct diamond a little more because it hits the psychological carat mark and the VS1 clarity combination gets you better value for money.


    This is the diamond that I would personally buy and that is the one I recommend you get as well. Either way, both are superb options.

  63. P Derp-
    January 6, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I am not happy with my purchase at James Allen. This may be a great company if you order the proper size ring the first time around. However, if you order the wrong size ring you are essentially unable to return the product. Your return window is 30 days, and absolutely NOT EXTENDED when you need a resize, which can take weeks.

    We, quite literally, only had our ring a few days before sending it back in for resize. The 30 day clock is ticking, while the ring is in custody of James Allen or FedEx for resize. You do not get your return window extended AT ALL, contrary to other vendors on the internet like Amazon. This is not the norm, James Allen.

    This “catch 22″/”gotcha” in their policy renders any resize as an acceptance that you are buying this specific ring. You have no time to ensure your fiancée will like the ring if you order wrong. You do not have any time to quality check the resize work they did when they ship it back.

    The resend policy is, sketchy at best, due to the wording/policy of how the boxes must be packed. It is worded that they will deny your insurance if the item is not properly packed in FedEx boxes. I am an Amazon veteran and return items all the time. This had me shaking in my boots while returning, despite taking much time to package the item.

    This review I am sure will not be posted to their site. James Allen is a big business, and is too good at vetting out bad reviews. They have paid google to rid the internet of these types of things, and bad reviews simply go away.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope we change these poor policies.

  64. Paul Gian-
    January 6, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for your feedback. The returning process can be scary for first timers and it isn’t isolated to James Allen. The insurance companies do require them to follow some procedures in order for coverage to be enforced. Admitedly, when I first returned a ring after a mystery shopping review to another vendor, there were specific instructions I had to follow too. In my case, I would need to “double box” the ring and the courier who came to pick up the ring didn’t have the correct sized box with him. So, I had to do some last minute packing and stuffing to fill up first box while the FedEx courier waited patiently for half an hour for me to complete what I needed to do.

    On your point about the return period, I get your perspective and think that there is room for improvements as well. If a ring had to be resized (which isn’t really JA’s fault in the first place unless they produced the wrong ring size on delivery), then it should be made clear to the customer that this period of time would be calculated INSIDE the 30 day period. Or they can just extend the return period out of goodwill. That said, I do know there are operational difficulties in doing this because their suppliers do not extend the same kind of return period to James Allen. Of course, a better solution should be able to be reached on their back end communications with their suppliers.

  65. Terry Henderson-
    January 11, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    I received an expensive diamond for Christmas and it was purchased from James Allen. It’s beautiful in the box (2.2 carets)
    We sent it back to JA for mounting in a tension setting in platinum (about $6000 just for the setting). After seeing these reviews I’m now terrified we made a big mistake. Are tension settings safe?

  66. Paul Gian-
    January 11, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Tension settings are safe when they are well made and proper common sense is applied when during wear. James Allen’s craftsmanship for tension settings are pretty good and diamonds don’t drop out of their settings for no reason. When they do, that’s usually due to an issue with the wearer. Enjoy the ring and just remove it when you are using your hands for rough work and you should be fine.

  67. Candy-
    May 18, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Paul! I love your website and your no-nonsense, practical approach. I recently began shopping for diamonds and have fallen obsessed with learning and finding the hidden treasures among the piles of bad diamonds being offered.

    My question is regarding a 3+ carat, round brilliant True Hearts on James Allen vs an Ideal Cut with the same 4Cs. The Ideal Cut has these specs:
    Table: 57%
    Depth: 61.5%
    Crown Angle: 34.5
    Pavilion Angle: 40.8
    Polish/Symmetry: Excellent

    The True Hearts has these specs:
    Table: 59%
    Depth: 59.7%
    Crown Angle: 34.3
    Pavilion Angle: 40.7
    Polish/Symmetry: Excellent

    From my research on your website, I understand that the Ideal Cut round has better cut proportions than the True Hearts round. Based on my eyes, the arrows on the Ideal Cut is also more defined than the TH. However, James Allen did not label the Ideal as a TH. Do you think I might be amiss in something? Is there an assumption that TH will always be the pick of the litter despite the numbers?

    And lastly – could you recommend me a good loupe and idealscope for checking out diamonds? James Allen is currently not providing idealscopes for any diamonds in their NYC office because of the pandemic.

  68. Paul Gian-
    May 24, 2021 at 6:29 am

    Just because a diamond has ideal proportions doesn’t mean it is well cut. The tangible data matters. In the case of James Allen’s Truehearts range, they are less strict and allow a range of diamond proportions for their signature diamonds. Some of James Allen’s True Hearts diamonds don’t meet my criteria while some do. You just have to be selective and make use of the scope data they provide to make an objective assessment of the diamonds. Offhand, I would say that there will be better cut True Hearts diamonds and there’s no need to settle for one without the best proportions. Do you have the direct url links to the diamonds you shortlisted? I can help you do an analysis and review them.

  69. Uju-
    October 4, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Hello Paul,

    I have this diamond on hold and would like your expert opinion on it. I don’t mind the color. I asked for aset, they don’t have any. The large table and low crown concerns me. Do you think this stone will perform well. I found the same stone at Adiamor, just wanted to include that link so you can look at the two videos. Ultimately will purchase from James Allen. Thanks Paul


  70. Paul Gian-
    October 12, 2021 at 9:22 am

    I can confirm that the diamond is extremely well cut for light performance and is eyeclean. Good job in picking this out. Go for it.

  71. Ron Marsico-
    November 27, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Paul, Very thorough and informative. My wife lost the diamond on her engagement ring of 40 years. I was looking to replace it with an anniversary ring. The pricing at James Allen is so much lower than the brick and mortar retailers however I was hesitant to purchase online. I was interested in the 7 stone shared prong contour diamond ring on the JA website (sku 16003) white gold. Can you tell me if this is a good quality ring and if it is worth it to purchase the best quality? About 700 dollar difference for 1.5ctw.

  72. Paul Gian-
    December 2, 2021 at 9:34 am

    James Allen does sell good quality rings and I’ve seen their craftsmanship. They offer good value for the prices their jewelry cost. For larger sized rings, I would recommend the higher quality stones to ensure that the diamonds are eyeclean. Go with the VS1/VS2 option.


  73. John Rucker-
    January 29, 2022 at 12:28 am

    Hi Paul, thank you for the in-depth review on James Allen. I’ve been shopping for a tennis bracelet for my wife and am pretty sure I have settled on James Allen for it, given this review.

    I know you focus on diamond rings in this review but do you happen to have any thoughts/opinions on James Allen’s non-ring jewelry? This is the bracelet of theirs I’m considering: https://www.jamesallen.com/bracelets/tennis-bracelets/14k-white-gold-four-prong-diamond-tennis-bracelet-5-ctw-f-g-vs1-vs2-item-66019

    I would be getting the 5 carat, earth-created F-G color VS1-VS2 clarity bracelet. I know one of the big pros with James Allen on engagement rings, as you stated, is that you can examine the video of the diamond. Obviously you cannot do this up close with their tennis bracelet, which is why I thought I’d ask you your thoughts before taking the plunge.

  74. Paul Gian-
    February 10, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    I would say that the tennis bracelet offers good value for money. In general, I can tell you that James Allen’s craftsmanship is very good and getting the VS1-VS2 range diamonds will ensure eyecleanliness. So, it’s a good choice to go with the F-G color, VS1-VS2 clarity option.

  75. Christine-
    June 21, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    I purchased a 1.32 ct that was set in 4 prongs and the prongs came loose within a couple weeks. I was disappointed that they don’t automatically set larger stones in 6 prongs and I was fortunate that the diamond didn’t fall out. James Allen did re-set it in a 6-prong for no charge. I feel it’s safe to wear now.

  76. Paul Gian-
    June 23, 2022 at 3:55 am

    The choice to set the diamond with 4 or 6 prongs lies with the consumer. For large stones, 4 prongs are perfectly fine if they are made well and worn properly, I’m glad that things turned out well for you despite the mishap and JA did the right thing by fixing the setting at no charge.

  77. Alan-
    June 27, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for your excellent articles — I’ve learned a lot from browsing your various content and am really happy to see that you’re still helping the local community.

    Would really appreciate your advice on these diamonds should you have time:



    I’m not sure how to interpret how the color versus clarity tradeoff might play into the overall look of the diamond considering both are given the “True Hearts” cut marketing (and I realize that cut is king).

    On the other hand do you have any insight as to why Blue Nile generally seems to be more expensive than James Allen given similar stats of the diamonds? Is the Astor Ideal any different than True Hearts?

    I was looking at the following diamond which looks excellent though has a high fluorescence which I’m not sure if I should be concerned about.


    Thank you very much for your help once again.

  78. Paul Gian-
    June 29, 2022 at 7:40 am

    The Astor diamond collection is Blue Nile’s version of their highest tier diamonds with good cut quality. But the standards and consistency are lacking compared to James Allen’s. That said, it is possible to find well cut diamonds in the Astor range but you just need to have some experience in looking at the videos to sieve out the better cut stones.

    For your shortlisted James Allen diamonds, they are pretty trash and are at the bottom of the barrel in their True Hearts collection. Dump both of these diamonds. I don’t say this often but on the contrary, this Blue Nile diamond here is actually well cut compared to the JA ones.


  79. Jesse Ernest DeFeyter II-
    September 2, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I have been looking for an engagement ring for a while now – your website is fantastic. Would you suggest a 4 or 6 prong ring? I had been leaning towards a6 prong for security but I think the 4 prong just looks cleaner. I would ask the lady, but I want it to be a surprise.

    For a diamond, I am close to choosing a grown. Would you give your opinion on these? I realize the sizes go across a wide range (but the .86 diamond seems to have the best hearts and arrows if I understand them properly).





    Thanks for your time!

  80. Paul Gian-
    September 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Hi Jesse,

    For diamonds smaller than 1.5 carats in size, I generally recommend 4 prongs so that you show off more of the diamond instead of the metal setting. At the end of the day, both 4 prongs and 6 prongs are perfectly fine and it really depends on personal preferences.

    I reviewed the 4 diamonds and I can tell you that all 4 are well cut for light performance and these 2 would be my top picks:


    Both stones are on par in cut quality and cut precision. THe 1.11ct diamond is slightly tilted during photography of the idealscope imaging. Otherwise, it will look as prescint as the first stone above.

    I would go with the one that falls within your budget and both make will make a great looking ring.


    p.s. There’s nothing wrong with your comment. It just got held for moderation due to the amount of spam links that we receive on a daily basis.

  81. Cathleen Edgar-
    October 26, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    I would love your advice. I purchased a ring with a fallen halo sapphire setting from JA in January 2022. In June a sapphire fell out. I sent it back and they promptly replaced the stone which was wonderful. But 4 months later another sapphire just fell out. The ring doesn’t go through any extraordinary wear and tear. I am praying they fix it again, but after that should I be concerned about the rest of the stones? Any advice would be welcome. Here is a link to the setting.
    Thank you!

  82. Paul Gian-
    November 9, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Without seeing the ring, I can’t offer constructive advice but if the sidestones keep falling out without any sign of visual damage, James Allen will fix the ring at no cost under their warranty. I do understand that it can be stressful to lose a stone and also to send the ring in for repair. You will need to check in with them to find out the reason why.

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