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There are a bunch of online jewelry distributors that all essentially provide the same services: a broad range of products, tools for browsing, custom designing your product, financing campaigns and lower prices compared to offline stores.
However, there is one particular company called The Diamonds Factory which seems to be in line with the rest and is relatively well-known in the United Kingdom. In this review, we take a look at how this vendor is different and check out some of their product offerings in greater details.
Diamonds Factory claims that they have the best diamond prices on the planet, by providing “factory prices”. And the surprising thing is, they actually seem to provide prices that are reasonably lower than that of their competitors.
However, knowing the power of diamond cartels like De Beers, it is very unlikely that any company providing industry-standard quality could survive with prices that are way below the industry standards.
Once you pay a little attention to the product designer application, you will unravel the reasons behind the apparently lower prices. Let’s take a look at two random examples of ring listings found on The Diamonds Factory here and here.
When the pages first load up, I’m sure most people will be shocked to see incredible prices being offered on the listing pages. What appears to be a large, flawless diamond mounted in a setting is seen to the left of the page.
However, once you take a closer look at the variables on the right, you will see that the default pricing shown is actually for the price of a diamond with a color grade of H-I, a clarity grade of I1 and a certificate issued by Diamonds Factory ( how clever! ). Caveat emptor.
There’s a reason why these rings are unbelievably cheap. The truth is that you are not going to get the stated quality because the diamond isn’t accurately graded to GIA’s standards. Read my article on the differences between diamond grading labs to find out more…
This isn’t all. Here’s a search I did within their inventory and I want to highlight some crucial details that unsuspecting consumers may not know about. Look at the “Lab” column and see how many percent of their stones were actually graded by reliable labs like GIA and AGS.
I did a count and the numbers were surprisingly LOW. Out of 20 diamonds, only 2 were graded by GIA. That’s a measly 10%. The rest of the 90% are diamonds graded by labs which would make me run as soon as I see them.
Here’s the inventory listing of a search for G – SI1 – 1 carat rounds…
Now, do you see why they could offer “factory” prices for their diamonds? The bulk of the inventory is made up of diamonds with reports from unreliable sources. THIS is the reason why they are priced at cheaper prices. The truth of the matter is that you will be overpaying in value if you were to purchase any of these seemingly “cheap” stones.
Aside from that, we had also put the main diamond search function to test and selectively looked for “Ideal” cut round brilliant diamonds. What I found was that their filtering system and criteria for categorizing diamonds as “ideal” didn’t turn out to be as ideal as I thought (pun intended).
Don’t believe me? Simply slide the bars to limit your search to “1.00 – 3.00 carat ranges”, “round diamonds”, choose “GIA & AGS” in the advanced settings and “Ideal” for cut ranges. Telltale signs pointing to diamonds that are not cut properly include physical dimensions that fall short of ideal cut ranges and poor faceting proportions.
In short, the default filtering parameters aren’t useful and you will need to tinker with it heavily in order to get better results.
You can try plugging the details from the diamond reports into the HCA software to see what it predicts. This is a quick and dirty method to instantly weed out diamonds with bad proportions.
Of course, my point here is NOT every diamond listed is a dud but rather, you need to do a lot of work to find a diamond that “performs” well. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of having such a search filter in place if you have to go through so much hassle to make a proper selection?
Shopping online should be a convenient process and not a hassle.
There are some standard “financial” features that almost every other competitor in the market also provides. Price match guarantee (that is entirely their interest, after all) is common, and so is the 30-day money back guarantee which TheDiamondsFactory provides.
When it comes to online jewelry retailers, live customer support is a pretty standard business practice. However, after waiting more than two hours with a “Live Chat” window open, there was still no response. For online shoppers who are looking for immediate answers to their questions, this is a real bummer.
On the other hand, The Diamonds Factory does provide viewing services at their office and this is a feature that pleasantly surprises me. If you want to view diamonds in person, you simply need to schedule yourself for a consultation with them.
Truth be told, this is an uncommon practice for online stores and might reveal more details about the product you are about to buy.
If you decide to schedule a viewing appointment, my advice is to go with a mindset of gathering information. I don’t recommend making any purchase on the spot and stay firm if you are pressurized into a sale.
This is in lieu of the type of certificates typically used for their diamond jewelry. If need be, you might want to ask an independent specialist/appraiser to accompany you on your visit.
You will most probably not end up with a potato in a box if you decide to buy something from them. Overall, The Diamonds Factory still looks like a decent place (there are many other sites that fare worse in our reviews…) to do casual shopping.
This is contingent on the knowledge that you know exactly what you are doing and that you only consider buying GIA/AGS graded diamonds. On the bright side, they do have some sleek looking designs in their wedding ring designs.
Personally, we can’t recommend a service that we feel isn’t up to our highest standards. The Diamonds Factory is one that we think you should give a miss given that there are better alternatives in the market.
Regardless of where you decide to shop, it is important to fully understand what you are buying and make sure that you only buy GIA/AGS certified diamonds. This will ensure you get exactly what is stated on the grading report.
In order to buy the best diamond for your budget, you need to make your decisions based on tangible data like videos, scope images and cut precision data.
If the vendor doesn’t provide them readily, don’t be shy to ask for them. If they refuse or can’t provide the information, ask yourself why you want to work with the vendor in the first place.
A listing that offers full transparency and tangible data to help you make better decisions.
This review is a mixture of a good and a distressing experience. Personally, I have not had an experience like this before, with anywhere that I’ve shopped. The whole journey certainly was a very odd and scarring experience.
I’ll be as reasonable as possible and give credit where due but also criticise where appropriate.
We purchased a ring from Diamonds Factory on the 2nd of September 2017. Initially, Diamonds Factory really impressed my wife and I. We had gotten a very competitive rate for our ring via their price match, which was provided by Amanda- who was really nice. On receipt of the affordable quote, we went ahead with the order. This is the first bit of credit I’ll give them, amongst the criticism. Everything seemed to go really well until we received the ring.
The first issue is that the sales assistant who dealt with our order (Marianne) didn’t know what she was doing and offered to set our diamond (oval shaped) on a setting which is usually suitable for a marquise/pear diamond. We had no idea until we saw the ring, as the diamond was set in a peculiar fashion. It was an oval diamond but because of the odd way it was set, it looked like a marquise cut. When we called Diamonds Factory back to discuss the issue, we discovered that Marianne was not working there anymore and that, evidently, she had no idea what she was doing. In her place, we dealt with a different assistant called May, who was really pleasant.
The second credit to Diamonds Factory is for May. She extended our warranty to deal with the issue that Marianne had created. We went on holiday straight after our engagement and by the time we returned we were out of our 30-day warranty period, which May then extended to deal with our complaint, is a credit to them. She mentioned that the ring should not have been sold like that and it looked very odd. She said she’s never seen anything like it and was confused as to how the ring was sold like that in the first place.
We were told we’d have to send the ring back and wait another 2 weeks for adjustments. This was the start of our nightmare. The initial distress being the fact that my wife had to wait another 2 weeks for her ring, which as any bride can understand, you don’t want to be separated from your ring straight after your engagement. We returned the ring and chose a different setting, suitable for an oval diamond.
The nightmare starts. Our order was then handed over to another assistant called ********* and the Workshop team. None of which will receive any credit from me. I believe ********* works with the workshop team for repairs and adjustments. As the order had become bespoke (I highly recommend against doing anything bespoke with Diamonds Factory), we were sent CAD images, which are simulations of what the bespoke ring would look like. We approved the images and proceeded with the order.
After 2 weeks, we received the ring. We opened the box and again, there was another issue. It looked completely different from the CAD image. We were infuriated. Why bother with simulating a CAD image and ask us for approval, when you’re not going to follow that image? To add more frustration, we knew we’d have to wait another 2-3 weeks to get this fixed. The issue with the ring was that, there was an added collet on the ring. The collet was prominent and made the ring look completely different. It made our oval diamond look round and took away from the delicacy of the ring completely. We called ********* back and asked why these were added without our knowledge, as these weren’t shown in the CAD images. This is where the lies began.
Instead of admitting that they had made a mistake and apologise to us, they felt the need to lie to us to cover up their incompetence. When I called ********* and asked her about the Collet, she hadn’t seen the ring by that point yet, she only went by my verbal description. I didn’t know that the extra bits of metal were called a Collet, so I just described the look of the Collet to ********* saying something along the lines of ‘There’s big pieces of metal casing on either side of the diamond that weren’t visible in the CAD images’. She then confidently replied saying (paraphrasing) ‘The description you’ve given is a Gallery on your ring. We have started added Galleries on some of our settings for added stability and this setting is one of them. That’s why the Gallery was added to your ring’. At that point, we didn’t know that the Collet, was called a Collet, so we took ********* word for it and thought it was indeed a Gallery and that they are placing these as a standard on their rings. Anyway, this was merely added without our consultation/ knowledge and for some reason that I still to this day don’t know why. I was absolutely livid but returned the ring. ********* contacted us a week later. This is where we learnt that the whole Gallery thing was a lie, as she said that she’s seen the ring and the bit they added was not a Gallery but it was a Collet. The fact that it wasn’t a Gallery means that she was lying about them adding Galleries as standard on those types of settings. If they were truly adding Galleries as standard, then what we would’ve received would’ve been a Gallery and not a Collet on our ring. Appalling behavior. Unprofessional, dishonest and deceiving. You trust these people with thousands of pounds and to make your engagement special, instead, they lie and ruin your engagement experience. My wife and I were beyond furious by this point. They then told us it would take two more weeks. Which, included with the week it took ********* to see the ring, made this wait 3 weeks in total.
I can accept mistakes, but lies, I cannot. She just said whatever she felt would be a good excuse for their mistake and make the collet seem legitimate. Regardless, we didn’t approve a collet so even if it is standard procedure to add a collet, never in any context would it have been justified, as we weren’t aware of it.
********* was extremely unprofessional and spoke to my wife in a rude manner. Constantly insinuating that they are doing us a favour, when in fact, they are rectifying their own mistakes. That was unprofessional and very annoying, and we reminded ********* that we are here because of their mistakes, not ours. That this wasn’t a favor, but what they are obliged to do. This was by far the worst part of our experience with Diamonds Factory.
When we confronted ********* about why we weren’t consulted about the collet, she was dismissive and swerved the topic. They were merely trying to avoid owning up to their incompetence. It was horrendous customer service. By this point, everything felt like a nightmare, my wife and I were extremely distraught.
We received the ring finally, fit to description and fit to our initial order on the 9th of December. We ordered the ring on the 2nd of September. That’s 2 months and 5 days for us to get our ring which was only meant to take 3 weeks. We had to wait an additional 2 weeks, plus 3 weeks, for THEIR mistakes and lies.
To summarise, our experience was probably down to two reasons; we had the misfortune of having incompetents/liars deal with our order, which caused all of our problems. The first being Marianne not having a clue, ********* being a rude liar, and the workshop people being incapable of following CAD images. Perhaps if we got a different set of employees, things would have been different. But again, saying that, it’s highly unlikely to think that we just happened to get all the incompetent employees across three different teams. It’s unlikely that all those employees are incompetent and the rest of Diamonds Factory employees who didn’t deal with our order are indeed, competent. I reckon it’s a representation of the company, generally speaking. Statistics suggest that anyway.
The second reason being, that we went for a bespoke order. Maybe Diamonds Factory are out of their depth. All I’m saying is do not go bespoke with these guys, if you go with them at all.