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Wednesday, June 7th
Kay Jewelers is one of two diamond stores in our review owned by Signet Jewelers. When compared with sister retailer Jared, Kay is usually seen as the lower end of the two. The online diamond shopping experience gives the same impression, with far fewer stones available and a "not secure" URL for the loose diamond search page.
However, many customers prefer to buy a big-ticket item from a well-known brand, and who doesn't know that "every kiss begins with K(ay)"? Is it worth it to shop for diamonds at this retailer? Let's take a look.
When using the online diamond search tool, you'll have an experience almost identical to Jared's. You can use all of the customary filters to sort the options by cut, color, clarity, and so on, and all stones can be viewed with the 360° drag tool. Two big differences we noticed: Kay Jewelers doesn't have any lab-created stones in their inventory, but on a positive note they have many diamonds that are certified by AGS and GIA (which are considered to be more objective and reliable than IGI, the primary certifier of Jared diamonds).
Choosing a stone that interests you will lead you to all of the relevant details: description, specification, certification, and so forth. From there, you can either buy the diamond by itself or "select and continue" to choose a setting. For the pear-shaped stone we selected, there were only 20 matching settings, almost all of which were white gold and only one or two more unique designs.
Buying your diamond from Kay gives you a few benefits you won't get with most online-only stores. While free shipping is fairly common no matter where you shop, Kay lets you opt to have your diamond delivered to one of their retail locations - a fantastic choice if you're worried about your expensive jewelry being stolen from your porch or mailbox. You can also get your ring resized for free (once), and returns and exchanges can be done in-store as well.
But, there are some concerns with Kay Jewelers that are significant. Although parent company Signet Jewelers has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, that reputation doesn't necessarily apply to each brand in their holdings. Not too long ago, there were several expose pieces in the media accusing Kay of swapping out diamonds in their jewelry, especially rings and other items brought in for repair and returned with lower-value stones. Such accusations were denied, but they still leave a bad taste in our mouth when thinking about such a big-ticket purchase as a diamond.
Customer feedback about Kay isn't overly positive either. Prices tend to be higher than their online rivals, and completed rings and ring sets wind up not having the quality the shoppers expected.
If you want a mall-quality ring at a shopping center price, Kay Jeweler fits the description. The only reason to consider buying your diamond here is if you have a brick-and-mortar location near you and want the reassurance of having an in-person representative if a problem arises. Otherwise, you'll find a better selection of diamonds at more competitive prices with the online diamond stores we evaluated.
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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