faq for jamesallen customers

Common questions readers have about James Allen.

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.

two thousand dollars diamond ring on hand how it looks like

I recently purchased this princess cut diamond ring for $2000.

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 that I know they offer one of the best value in terms of prices and services to our readers. James Allen’s return policy is also one of the best in the industry and this gives you complete peace of mind when shopping there.

Anyway, 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?



A video I made with different True Hearts diamond engagement rings.

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.

If you are interested in more details, read this comprehensive review I wrote about TrueHearts.

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?

true hearts ideal cut

Their signature line of ideal cut diamonds – True Hearts

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 and the video allows you to scrutinize the smallest details.

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. Click here to read a comprehensive comparison of James Allen vs Blue Nile.

different types of jewelry for various needs

A wide range of beautiful ring designs to choose from…

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 of diamond selections and service standards.

If you still can’t find answers to your questions here, chances are they had already been answered here: https://www.jamesallen.com/faq/. If you require any further assistance, drop me an email and I will personally reply to your message as soon as possible.

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  1. Ryan-
    February 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Hey Paul, I want to start out by saying how amazing it is that you help others find the perfect ring, and that you do it out of the goodness of your heart. It is so rare these days to find someone who devotes much of their time helping others, while not looking to profit. So a big thank you for all that you do!

    With that said, I am hoping you can help me out. I’m looking to buy a dainty diamond ring, round cut with a budget of roughly 6-7k. 1-2k on the setting, and 4-5k on the diamond. Was hoping for .75 carats or bigger, nothing worse than G color, and nothing lower than a VS2. I’ve seen quite a few VS2’s that have obvious inclusions when zoomed, but I don’t know if they’re eye clean or not, which is where an expert like you comes in to play! Cut is the most important thing to me, so I want a super ideal cut above all. I’ve been looking at whiteflash, a cut above diamonds, as well as James Allen.

    I found this one on James Allen https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.80-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6208487

    It looks pretty good to me, but I am nowhere near an expert. I have learned a lot from your site though, including the ideal proportions which I think this one has. What do you think? Quality stone, or keep looking? If you could suggest some other, better stones based on my needs that might be better, i’d be super appreciative.

    One more thing. If I wanted to buy a setting and diamond from different places, what would be the best way to have it mounted? Could I work with the place I buy the diamond to have the setting sent to them? Or maybe have them order it? Use a local store to have it mounted if that’s an option? What do you think?

    Again, I truly appreciate your time and help, and I look forward to hearing back from you!


  2. Paul Gian-
    February 20, 2019 at 2:04 am

    I would advise getting the diamond and setting from the same place as this places one jeweler entirely responsible for the whole ring. Also, it saves you hassle and stress. Who are you going to trust with the diamond in hand?

    Go here if you need ideas or further tips on picking out a dainty engagement ring as I’ve made a pretty comprehensive write up there.

    The diamond you picked is eyeclean but not as well cut as I would like it to be. Ditch it. I did a search for you and would recommend these 2 instead:


    Both are superb in light performance (can see this in the ASET in grading report) and are eyeclean. I would personally prefer the first G VS2 diamond because it offers great value for money.

  3. Ryan-
    February 20, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the quick reply Paul! Those diamonds look great, but in looking at the second diamond you sent, I noticed the crown angle was 35.90. Is that an ok angle, or should it fall between 34 and 35? I have been exclusively looking for only ones that fall between those two..

    Thanks again!

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