When I’m replying to emails from our readers, I frequently come across recurring questions about JamesAllen.com. I thought it would a great idea to write a post so that people can get an immediate answer here.
Question: I followed your advice about buying diamonds and requested the James Allen gemologist to review several SI2 diamonds. Here’s my concern. Would they say that the stone is OK or eye clean even though it might not be just to push for a sale?
Answer: If the diamond had been reviewed and you received a short report stating it is eyeclean, then there is no need to worry. JA does things with integrity and the reasoning is simple. If they make a false claim saying that an ugly stone is beautiful just to get a sale, you will be sending the diamond back when you receive it.
When this happens, they incur re-stocking fees (as well as shipping fees if you are in the US). Besides the monetary losses, James Allen will also lose your business and their credibility. The bottom-line is, when they say a diamond is OK, it really is OK.
Question: I see that your website is very biased towards JamesAllen.com. Is there any reason why you keep recommending them instead of other vendors?
Answer: The answer is pretty straightforward here. James Allen is the only online website that provides you with photographs and videos of their entire inventory. Do you see that being done anywhere else online?
Besides helping the customer see their diamond before purchase, they also provide additional services (for e.g. ASET, Idealscope, gemological reviews etc…) at no additional charges or deposit. No other online vendor or physical vendor will do this.
The reason why I consistently recommend them is because I know they offer one of the best value in terms of prices and services to our readers. Anyways, if you are looking for round diamonds, WhiteFlash and Brian Gavin are both good alternatives too.
Question: How good are the True Hearts diamonds from the Ideal cut diamonds?
Answer: True Hearts is a term used by JamesAllen.com to classify selected round diamonds that exhibit Hearts And Arrows patterning. Whenever a jeweler tells you that a diamond has H&A, take things with a pinch of salt until they had provided real evidence to back up that claim.
In the case of the TrueHearts diamonds, JamesAllen provides an Idealscope image for you where you can check the precision of the arrows patterning. There is also an image of diamond’s pavilion view where you can check the quality of the hearts patterning.
Question: How does James Allen classify the cut grades of fancy shapes?
Answer: James Allen uses a set of proportions/parameters to segregate the cut grade of fancy shapes. Unlike the round diamonds, these rules do not apply to fancy cuts. When you are shopping for a fancy shaped diamond, you can ignore the ‘cut grade’ classification of ‘Ideal’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Very Good’.
The point I want to raise here is that a ‘Very Good’ cut diamond may not necessarily be less brilliant or beautiful compared to an ‘Ideal’ cut diamond. What is more important is that you make your selections based on the magnified photographs/videos and ASET images (requested from JA support). This is the ONLY way for you to determine a fancy shaped diamond’s optics online. Remember, NEVER buy a fancy cut diamond blind.
Question: What is the magnification that is seen through the virtual loupe?
Answer: About 20-30 times. It depends on the resolution of the magnified photograph. Typically, the base image is taken at a 10 times magnification.
Question: James Allen Vs Blue Nile? Which is better?
Answer: James Allen wins hands down. There is really no comparison here. James Allen offers better return policies (they’ll even pay for return shipping in USA if you decide to return a diamond). More importantly, Bluenile does not offer a similar level of details and information nor free gemological inspections for their diamonds. On top of that, the prices at James Allen are usually much lower than Blue Nile when comparing diamonds with similar specifications.
Question: Why do you recommend buying fancy shapes from James Allen?
Answer: As I mentioned above, buying fancy shaped diamonds is a totally different thing all together compared to buying round diamonds. Numbers on certification alone tells you NOTHING about the diamond.
To be a smart buyer, you need to inspect the diamond’s outline and make use of ASET images to help you determine the diamond’s brilliance and optical performance. No other online stores or physical vendors come close to what James Allen can offer in terms diamond selections and service standards.