James Allen Review: Everything you Need to Know

by | Apr 20, 2023

James Allen.com is not only one of the most globally recognized brands in the world, but it also stands as a top-tier retailer of diamonds and diamond jewelry.

With its expansive collection and high-quality products, it’s not surprising that we have chosen it as our number one pick for the best online platform to buy diamonds and diamond jewelry.

Why does James Allen hold such a prestigious place in the market?

What makes James Allen a particularly special choice for diamond enthusiasts and jewelry lovers?

Where does it shine, and where could it use a touch of improvement?

We’ll address all these queries and more in our comprehensive, in-depth review of James Allen, as we take you through a journey of sparkle and brilliance that this reputed brand promises to deliver.

Breaking Down James Allen.com: Pros and Cons

The Upsides

  • James Allen’s website promises an outstanding, perhaps even unrivaled, user experience, with an intuitive interface and accessible tools.
  • The brand takes transparency to a new level with its 360-degree images of the actual diamond you’re about to buy, a feature that breaks away from the industry’s reliance on generic stock images.
  • All diamonds are offered with 40x magnification, allowing you to examine your chosen diamond in even greater detail than with a traditional jeweler’s loupe.
  • James Allen’s customer support team stands ready to assist you with any queries or concerns, ensuring a smooth shopping experience.
  • Use their virtual ring sizer to ensure a perfect fit before you make your purchase, eliminating the guesswork.
  • The brand extends a lifetime warranty on all products, a testament to its confidence in the quality and durability of its products.
  • James Allen prides itself on its fully customizable stone and setting options, giving you the freedom to design your unique piece of jewelry.
  • Regardless of your location, shipping is free!

The Downfalls

  • Depending on your location, shipping can take longer than expected, so plan your purchases accordingly, especially if buying for a special occasion.
  • Some items can sell out quickly due to high demand, so it’s crucial to act fast. However, they can hold your diamond if you’re serious about your purchase.
  • To avoid fraud, the company may require additional verification which can sometimes add to the transaction time.
  • Initially, you needed to engage in a chat to see the diamond’s certificate. However, they’ve streamlined this process and now allow one-click access to certificates.
  • If you’re searching for a small diamond (less than 0.7 carat), your options might be somewhat limited, particularly if you’re looking for a very specific design or characteristic.

James Allen is Ideal For You If…

  • You value seeing the actual diamond you’re about to purchase rather than a generic stock photo. James Allen’s imaging technology sets it apart in the market.
  • You’re interested in a fully customizable setting and stone or want to purchase them separately to create a truly unique piece.
  • You’re seeking a high-quality stone at a competitive price point. James Allen offers an extensive range of price options to fit various budgets.
  • You’re patient and meticulous and don’t mind spending some time navigating the site to find the perfect piece among the vast array of choices available.

James Allen & Revolutionizing Diamonds Imaging

Back when we started this blog in 2014, James Allen was not as renowned as it is today. We initially stumbled upon them out of curiosity (I personally mistook it for the British philosophical writer when I first heard the name). However, once we visited their website, we found something truly groundbreaking.

James Allen was one of the pioneers in providing actual images of the diamonds they were selling, moving away from the prevalent practice of using stock photography or generic images. To take things a notch higher, they introduced 360-degree 3-dimensional views of their diamonds directly on their website, which was truly intriguing.

This bold move of displaying their diamonds in such a transparent way not only set James Allen apart but also instilled a sense of confidence in their customers. Unlike the uncomfortable experience of being scrutinized by a salesperson in a physical jewelry store, the online experience lets you freely and closely examine your intended purchase without pressure.

James Allen Collection & Inventory

For a long time, Blue Nile held the title for the “largest diamond store,” both online and offline. However, James Allen rose to the challenge around 2018 and 2019, expanding their inventory rapidly without compromising their imaging standards. By that time, Blue Nile was still mostly using stock images for their diamonds, while James Allen was showcasing every single diamond in 360-degrees with 20x magnification.

The competition between James Allen and Blue Nile shifted to who could showcase half a million diamonds ready for immediate purchase on their website. The scale of this number is truly mind-boggling.

By November 2022, James Allen boasts an inventory of 575,000 loose diamonds of all shapes, while Blue Nile leads with 625,000! That’s a whopping 1.2 million diamonds between just two online stores!

Apart from offering standard cut grades (good, very good, and ideal), James Allen also presents a premium line of ideal cut diamonds – their True Hearts™ line. These diamonds promise unmatched sparkle and brilliance, achieved through perfect internal symmetry and proportions, and earning the highest gem grading for cut and polish. The True Hearts™ collection is available in round, princess, and cushion shapes.

James Allen Website Shopping Experience

The website’s user interface is a testament to meticulous design and attention to detail. You can sense the countless hours spent perfecting the customer journey, from listing and filtering to customization and comparison, all the way up to checkout. The website makes you feel empowered and in control from the moment you land on it.

You have the option to start by choosing either the stone (which extends beyond diamonds to other gemstones) or the setting you prefer. If you’re interested in browsing loose diamonds or exploring rings only, both options are readily available.

The website is user-friendly, offering a multitude of filter and ordering options on the diamond page. This is a must when you’re selecting from a vast inventory of 350,000 diamonds. You can search broadly or narrow down your search by shape, color, cut, clarity, price, carat, and even more under advanced options.

Each selection shows you the number of diamonds that match your criteria and a 3D image of the actual product.

James Allen Lab-Created Diamonds

At some point around late 2019 or early 2020, James Allen decided to enter the lab-grown diamonds industry.

If you’ve already read our review for lab-created diamonds, you will relate how hard it might be for a big name like James Allen to get into this industry or keep doing what they’ve been doing for +15 years.

This move, although met with some initial skepticism due to the industry’s relative novelty, has proven successful.

As of 2023, James Allen offers more than 55,000 lab-created diamonds, mostly graded by IGI, but they recently started offering GIA grading as well.

James Allen presents the same level of detailed information and HD 360-degree imaging with 40x magnification for every lab-created diamond as for their natural counterparts.

The Purchase, Checkout and Support

Buying a diamond at James Allen is quite straightforward. The checkout process is user-friendly and they offer a range of payment options.

You can buy with a Credit Card, Wire Transfer (which gives you a 1.5% discount off your purchase), PayPal, SplitIt, and even In-House Financing.

What’s even more is they employ GIA graduates as gemologists you can actually talk to before buying, so if you’re in doubt about a specific diamond and you want a GIA-level expertise, you can ask for that over chat.

Overall Recommendation

In the world of online diamond shopping, James Allen’s commitment to quality, transparency, customer service, and choice makes it a stand-out option. Whether you’re an experienced diamond buyer or someone buying their first piece of diamond jewelry, you’re likely to find the website’s comprehensive resources, detailed imaging, and a broad range of inventory both reassuring and convenient.

From their revolutionary imaging technology to an expansive inventory, easy navigation, and excellent customer service, James Allen truly delivers on its promise to make diamond and jewelry shopping an exceptional experience.

This being said, the brand is not perfect, but it’s clear they are constantly working to improve, refine, and excel. The feedback from countless satisfied customers across the globe speaks volumes about James Allen’s reputation and reliability.

We hope this comprehensive review provides a good understanding of why we selected James Allen as our top pick for buying diamonds online. No matter what your jewelry desires, they are undoubtedly a fantastic place to shop and create your dream piece.


  • Olivia Bennett - Diamonds Expert

    Olivia Bennett is a dynamic and accomplished expert in the diamond industry. With over a decade of experience, she has established herself as a go-to authority for all things diamonds. Olivia's love affair with these exquisite gemstones began in her childhood and has only grown stronger over the years. Having worked closely with diamond miners, manufacturers, and retailers, Olivia possesses a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of the industry. From diamond grading to sourcing and the latest design trends, her expertise is unparalleled. Clients value her impeccable taste, attention to detail, and personalized approach. Driven by a passion for education and empowerment, Olivia launched her own website dedicated to diamonds. Through engaging and informative content, she guides individuals through the intricacies of diamond buying, helping them make confident and informed decisions. Olivia's mission is to ensure that everyone finds their perfect diamond, one that truly reflects their unique desires. With her extensive knowledge and unwavering dedication, Olivia is a trusted guide in the dazzling world of diamonds.

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