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Sunday, October 1st
Since its start in 1999, Blue Nile has served over two million customers with nearly five million unique pieces of jewelry. Originally an online-only jewelry store, Blue Nile has grown to include retail locations in 17 states.
Get a discount if you subscribe to messages
Like many online jewelry stores, Blue Nile offers a pop-up discount if you register your email address. It's a little less generous than their rivals, though: just $50 off a purchase of $1,000 or more.
Very limited designs for ready-made jewelry
That discount isn't the only thing that's limited at Blue Nile. This jeweler's selection of ready-to-ship lab-grown diamond jewelry caught us off guard with how few choices there were. When you click on Eternity Rings, Pendants, Stud Earrings, Anniversary Rings, or Tennis Bracelets, you'll be taken to exactly ONE design of each. Yes, you can tweak things by specifying the total carat weight, but that's it. If you want any other style, or you prefer rose gold to white gold, sorry - Blue Nile just isn't going to offer that.
Great for lab-grown diamond engagement rings
But, if you're shopping for a loose man-made diamond to make into an engagement ring, Blue Nile's got you covered with over 22,000 stones to choose from. They range in price from just under $900 to $33,000+. You can purchase the stone alone or have it in a setting: when you select the diamond you want, you can either add it to your basket or save it for a ring, and then you'll be shown all of the settings that are a suitable match. You can move the image around to see a 360 degree view of the stone at any angle, or set up a virtual appointment to get a one-on-one consultation with a Blue Nile diamond expert to ask questions and get guidance in selecting the perfect piece.
Generous customer benefits
Blue Nile has quite a few free perks to offer customers. Those include free secure shipping on all orders, free returns within 30 days (they pay the shipping on what you send back), free lifetime warranty (manufacturing defects only), and free upgraded packaging (like presentation boxes for engagement rings and cloth pouches for smaller jewelry pieces). You can also take advantage of Blue Nile's price matching and diamond upgrade program.
Consistently ranks high with shoppers
What do customers say about the Blue Nile experience? The Better Business Bureau reports good things, giving the jeweler an "A+" rating and accreditation with only 18 complaints filed there over the last 12 months. Both on the BBB site and in other places you might look, expect Blue Nile to average at least 4 out of 5 stars in shopper ratings. Most people praise the quality of the jewelry, saying it lives up perfectly to expectations, and that customer service is typically on point.
Larger selection would be nice
So why doesn't Blue Nile land higher in our rankings? It mostly comes down to selection. If you're buying a lab-grown diamond specifically for an engagement ring, you're going to love what this jewelry store offers. On the other hand, if you were hoping to have several designs of earrings to choose from - not just studs but hoops and dangles, for example - or a broad array of bracelet styles besides tennis, Blue Nile's lab-grown diamond jewelry inventory will leave you disappointed. For that, you'll need to shop elsewhere, and that keeps Blue Nile from a top rating - at least within the category of lab-created diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are man-made gemstones that are created in a laboratory environment using advanced technological processes that mimic the natural conditions under which diamonds form in the earth's mantle.
Sounds pretty technical, but the amazing thing is that these diamonds are essentially identical in chemical, physical, and optical properties to natural diamonds mined from the earth. They are also graded on the same 4Cs scale used for natural diamonds, which stands for cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. All of the same sparkle factor? Yes, please!
Better yet, lab-grown diamonds are generally less expensive than natural stones of the same size and quality. And, if you've ever been concerned by the idea of "blood diamonds" , lab-grown stones are perfect for you: they don't involve the environmentally damaging (and often unethical) practices associated with natural diamond mining.
However, lab-grown diamonds have a few small drawbacks. One major concern is that they may not hold their value over time as well as natural diamonds, since they aren't as rare or unique. Additionally, some people may prefer the idea of owning a natural diamond as a symbol of their love or commitment - even if lab-created stones are undetectable as such to the average person's eye.
When you realize that some jewelers offering lab-grown diamonds have an inventory of over 100,000 stones to choose from, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, try to enjoy the process a little, and use these ideas to make your shopping easier:
Shopping for jewelry made with lab-grown diamonds can be an exhilarating experience, and Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked today's most popular retailers to give you an advantage as you browse. We hope this information helps take the edge off any nervousness you might be feeling, so that you can find - or create - the perfect piece of jewelry for that proposal, anniversary, or "just because" moment.
Select any 2 Lab Grown Diamond Stores to compare them head to head
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