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Saturday, June 19th
Jared is one of two diamond stores in our review that are part of the Signet Jewelers brand family. You probably recognize them from their advertising campaign with women excitedly exclaiming, "He went to Jared!" Compared with their sister brand, Kay Jewelers, Jared is usually considered to be the more upscale of the two.
When it comes to loose diamonds, Jared has a good selection of just under 40,000 stones. Unlike many retailers we evaluated, Jared gives you lab-created diamonds in addition to natural gemstones, which could get you an extremely attractive stone at a fraction of the price. You can shop specifically for either type of stone, or apply filters by shape, price, carat weight, color, clarity, and so on.
Almost every single diamond Jared offers has been certified by IGI. That institute isn't seen as having the same objectivity and reputation as several other rating systems, something to keep in mind if you're looking for a truly exceptional diamond. (Another interesting point: Jared has numerous brick-and-mortar locations, and in those stores it's easy to find a wide selection of GIA certified diamonds. We're not sure why none were offered through Jared's online store.)
Once you've found a diamond you like, you can see an actual view: just click to rotate to see the stone from multiple angles. The basic details can be found under the Description dropdown, and the more nitty-gritty specifics are listed separately under Diamond Specifications. You can also view and/or download the IGI certification for the stone.
You can either add the diamond to your shopping bag as a standalone time, or you can "select this diamond and continue" to choose a setting. We weren't overly blown away by the options at Jared: for the square emerald diamond we chose, there were only 34 settings that matched. Almost all of them were white gold solitaire designs, with very few that were uniquely styled or in yellow gold. Even if you choose a one-of-a-kind stone, the setting for your ring might have people saying, "Oh, evidently he went to Jared too...just like everyone else."
Many experts say that you'll pay more for your diamond when buying from a store that also has a significant brick-and-mortar presence, and that seems to be true for Jared. One evaluation showed that Jared's prices were consistently higher by around 20%, compared with online-only retailers.
On the other hand, one advantage of buying a diamond from Jared is the ability to have it shipped to a store. Yes, you'll get free 2nd day shipping via UPS, but if porch pirates are a concern in your neighborhood and you have a Jared retail location nearby, you've got a safer option for picking up your stone.
If you decide to return your diamond, you'll have 30 days to do so in-person or via mail. On the other hand, if you want to exchange it, that can only be done in-store.
What about reputation? Quite frankly, Jared's is slightly lukewarm. The BBB gives parent company Signet Jewelers an "A+", but there were nearly 300 complaints registered against them across their family of brands. Most of the reviews left specifically for Jared relate to their various retail locations, making it hard to get a feel for how the company performs overall - but the general picture painted isn't as enthusiastic as we'd like to see, especially on such a significant purchase as a diamond.
For all of these reasons, Jared lands in the middle of the pack among diamond stores. While shopping at this store gives you a few in-person perks you won't get from an online-only retailer, those advantages don't make up for the larger inventory and lower prices you'll find when you compare apples-to-apples (or carats-to-carats?). Jared isn't a bad place to buy diamonds, per se, but better options are out there.
If you've ever gone to your local jeweler in search of one of these precious gemstones but left disappointed, you're not alone! Most brick-and-mortar jewelry stores can't afford to keep thousands of diamonds in inventory - both financially and logistically, it's just too risky.
With that in mind, it's easy to understand why so many shoppers are turning to online diamond stores. Why limit the possibilities to just a handful of stones in limited sizes and cuts when you can browse literally hundreds of thousands of diamonds across the spectrum of carat size, shape, clarity, and, of course, cost? The best online retailers make it easy to see a 360° view of each stone, plus any available certifications and ratings from industry-recognized appraisers.
Buying loose diamonds is a wonderful way to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry: once you've chosen the stone, the sky's the limit with what you create next. The online diamond store you select will probably have an impressive array of settings: for engagement rings alone, the possibilities are nearly endless and range from traditional solitaires to the optical illusion of a tension set.
However, as you'd imagine, it's important to choose your retailer carefully. Your diamond purchase could represent an heirloom to cherish and pass down through the years, and you want to ensure that you get exactly what you pay for. We recommend keeping these criteria in mind, to help you choose the best diamond retailer:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of diamonds today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect stone for your engagement ring, heirloom-quality pendant, or even for a timeless investment!
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