A Full Review of James Allen
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Not the best known name in the world, JamesAllen.com is actually one of the premiere diamond and diamond jewelry retailers in the world. And we chose them as our top pick as the best place to buy diamonds and jewelry online.
But why? What makes James Allen so special? Find out more in our thorough James Allen Review below.
- 3D, 360-degree pictures of actual diamond you’re about to buy
- Get your ring sized perfectly in their virtual sizer
- Lifetime warranty on all products
- Stone + Settings completely customizable
- FREE Shipping to all locations!
- Shipping can take longer than expected depending on location
- Some items can become unavailable quickly so need to act fast
- Sometimes additional verification required to avoid fraud
Buy From James Allen If…
- You want to see the actual diamond you’re about to buy, not a generic stock photo
- You need a completely customizable setting + stone, or want to purchase them separately
- You’re looking for a great price and quality stone
- You don’t mind spending some time searching the huge site
Browse JamesAllen.com & Find The Perfect Diamond
My Personal James Allen Review
I had heard of companies like Blue Nile (and of course the big ones like Zales and other brick and mortars) but never James Allen.
As I started to research them more and more I realized they had something no other company I’d come across had – actual pictures of the very diamonds they were selling, not stock photography or generic pics.
What’s more is they offered 360-degree 3-dimensional views directly on their website. Needless to say this was very, very intriguing. This said to me that the company was so confident in the products they sold, they were ok with you scrutinizing them for hours behind your laptop screen.
I know we’ve all been to jewelry stores where the sales person makes you feel uncomfortable for examining what you intend to buy closely. It’s as if you’re wasting their time. (And.. let’s be honest… no annoying sales people pushing things down your throat is one of the best things about buying online.)
First Impresssions – the website
Like I said, my initial reaction to hearing about what James Allen did was great. But my first impression upon reaching their website wasn’t.
The website is nice, but lacks something. It looks a bit dated and you wouldn’t expect to find world-class diamonds and jewelry deep inside the inner pages. What’s nice, however, is that their main areas (engagement rings, 360-degree pics, etc) are all laid out on the homepage.
From there it’s fairly easy to find what you’re looking for with dedicated links to whatever you need. They’ve also got an “education” area where you can learn how to correctly buy a diamond and more.
The James Allen Shopping Experience Reviewed
To be honest I think the shopping experience is really nice at James Allen, despite my initial reactions to the website. The way things are laid out and the control you have over what you want is second-to-none.
You start by choosing either the stone (James Allen also sells other gemstones), cut or setting you want. If you want to browse loose diamonds, you can. Or you can choose a setting for a ring, necklace or earrings and move onto the diamond/stone later.
You have a lot of control and a lot of choice.
The picture on the left is what you’ll see once you’ve made your initial choices (click to view full size).
It’s pretty easy to navigate around, choose various options and examine your diamonds, gems and jewelry close-up.
You can go broad – like any type of princess cut diamond. Or you can narrow your search by shape, color, cut, clarity, price, carat and even more.
And with each choice, you’re shown how many diamonds match your criteria and a 3D image of the actual product.
Viewing The Diamonds & Jewelry at JamesAllen.com
When you see a diamond you like and click-through to see it you’re greeted with a giant 3D, 360 image of the stone.
Give it a couple of seconds to load and you can rotate it horizontally.
I would’ve liked to see the ability to vertically rotate the diamond as well, but hey this is already so much better than all other diamond and jewelry retailers out there.
Another nice feature is the “super-zoom” which gives you the same interactive image, just zoomed in a lot so you can inspect every angle up-close and personal. You do have to create an account or be signed in to JamesAllen.com to access this.
The Purchase, Checkout and Support
Buying a diamond at James Allen is pretty easy and straight-forward. The checkout process isn’t convoluted but, like any online checkout, there are probably a few too many clicks you have to make to get to the end.
You do need to create an account to checkout and complete your purchase but they offer a lot of payment options which was great. You can buy with:
- Credit Card
- Wire Transfer (with 1.5% off your purchase)
- James Allen Financing
When I had specific questions about something it was nice to be able to live-chat with someone even though it was midnight where I was – the site has 24/7 chat support.
What’s even more is they employ GIA graduates as gemologists you can actually talk to before buying. Of course, they’re not there 24/7 like the other support team, but I don’t think anyone expects that.
I give JamesAllen.com 4/5
Yes, I think you should purchase from James Allen over other options out there. Overall I think James Allen is a great company to purchase diamonds and jewelry from. They really seem to be confident in the products they sell and they want you to feel that.
Why else have gemologists on staff willing to talk to customers? Why else show people 3D pictures of the actual diamonds they’re about to buy?
The only real reason I’m giving them a 4/5 and not a 5/5 is because they’re not perfect. Wasn’t impressed with the site design and would’ve loved vertical movement in the 3D pictures, but beyond that I don’t really have anything negative to say about them.
When I need to purchase a diamond or engagement ring, I’ll definitely be browsing JamesAllen.com.
Featured Guide Click Here to Read our Head-to-Head Diamond Store Shootout