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      October 19, 2018

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Blue Nile vs Ice

Best Jewelry Stores

To help you find the Best Jewelry Stores, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Blue Nile and Ice.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Jewelry Stores, please Click Here

What's the best Jewelry Store? Every year, almost 40 million people shop online for jewelry - and with good reason! Why stand in line for over an hour during a peak season like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, hoping that there might be something she'd like, when you can shop any time of day (or night) and get the world's best selection while sitting in your living room?

Today's best online jewelry stores make it almost unthinkable to shop at a local store. The lack of overhead with online jewelry means that they can bring you prices as much as 50% lower than what you'd find elsewhere. When you add in free shipping, extended return periods, and the same certifications and guarantees you get from a local jeweler, and it's easy to see why it makes sense to buy jewelry from an online store.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2018

Jewelry Store Reviews

5 stars
Blue Nile

BLUE NILE Visit Site

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award As Forbes magazine's "Favorite Online Jeweler", it should come as no surprise that Blue Nile also continues to come in first place as the best jewelry store on the internet - particularly for shoppers looking for engagement rings, diamonds in general, and fine jewelry overall. Blue Nile has an unmatched reputation for quality, attention to detail, best-in-industry pricing, and an exceptional level of customer service to nearly two million customers since its start in 1999.

Compared with other jewelry stores - both online jewelry stores and traditional brick-and-mortar jewelers - Blue Nile's selection is mind-blowing. In their one Seattle-area warehouse, they carry as much inventory as you'd find in almost 200 individual stores combined. And, within that same location, world-class jewelers and gemologists also craft customer-designed pieces; you can even see some of the most recently-created jewelry featured on Blue Nile's main page.

Shopping Blue Nile's website couldn't be any easier. You can click directly to the pages that feature Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings and related gifts, Jewelry, or Gifts through the links at the top of the page. Within each of those categories, you'll also find dropdowns that include diamond shapes, types of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, and so forth), and more specific examples of what Blue Nile has to offer. You can also have some fun with the Build Your Own Ring feature, where you have the option to start with a diamond or with a setting.

Across more than a dozen jewelry stores we surveyed, Blue Nile consistently had the lowest prices while still maintaining very high standards of quality:

  • Diamonds: every loose diamond comes with a grading report from the GIA, an independent diamond grading lab that is well-known for consistency and strict grading standards.
  • Diamond Jewelry: all diamonds set in Blue Nile pieces must be colorless to near colorless (D-I color grade) and have exceptional clarity (FL-I1 grade).
  • Pearl Jewelry: although there are no industry-standard grading scales for pearls, Blue Nile makes sure that each one is of excellent quality.
  • Platinum Jewelry: all platinum used by Blue Nile is 95% pure.

Blue Nile offers free shipping, free returns within 30 days of purchase, and a guarantee that they'll match the price of any comparable diamond you may find at another store.

Blue Nile also excels with respect to customer education about jewelry. You can easily learn about the 4 Cs of diamonds, how to choose a diamond, even how the stone's shape affects its price. You'll find those articles both in the dropdown boxes at the top of the page as well as on the site's homepage. Or, just click on the handy Education tab towards the upper right corner.

Not sure if your order went through? Have a middle-of-the-night question about what type of diamond would be best for your bride-to-be? Blue Nile may be the only jewelry store of this caliber to offer 24/7/365 live customer service. You can access live chat or their toll-free number at the top left corner of the site.

Blue Nile sets the bar very high, not just as the largest seller of engagement rings in America but across all types of fine jewelry. Along with their world-class selection of diamonds, and pricing that invariably beats the competition, Blue Nile continues to earn our highest rating as the best jewelry store.

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3 stars
Ice

ICE Visit Site

Ice was founded in 1999 as the "online destination for premium fashion jewelry". After an extensive rebranding at the end of 2017, the Ice website is streamlined, attractive, and intriguing to shop.

Pay attention to Ice's description: as a retailer of costume jewelry, they don't tend to carry higher-end items. For example, even their highest-priced engagement sets are "diamond and moissanite" - that last one is a synthetic stone with similar color, clarity, and hardness to diamonds but that appraises for much less. But, Ice is very upfront with what their jewelry is made of; there's no trickery involved. You get what's advertised.

If you're looking to save a little cash and you don't mind giving out your email address, you can sign up for Ice's VIP newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase. Just look for a pop-up, or go to the bottom of the site where it says "Connect". We also spotted a discount code at the top of the engagement rings page on the day that we shopped at Ice; we could save 12% and get free shipping on orders over $150 with the provided coupon code. (Note: although it wasn't advertised, there was free shipping on every order regardless of price at the time of our review.)

Within certain categories, Ice has an excellent selection. In bracelets alone, they carry nearly 3,000 unique products. Earrings, necklaces, and rings have a similar range to choose from. However, you won't find watches, precious stones like genuine rubies (although they do have lab-created ones), and several other categories you might find at a traditional jewelry store.

Our search experience was a little strange. When we searched for rubies, the initial results were on point - although, again, the rubies were all synthetic. As we got deeper into the product list, however, we got a number of items that had nothing to do with rubies at all: solitaires, engagement rings, and so on, with not a speck of red stone in sight.

Ice's return policy was lackluster compared with many other jewelry stores': you can only get a full refund on unworn merchandise returned within 10 business days (approximately 2 weeks) from when the item was delivered. Ice will accept returns for exchange or store credit for up to 30 days after delivery, but not for a refund. Your return must include any gift boxes that were used in packaging. You'll be responsible for any shipping costs if your return is for any reason other than a defective product.

Ice's reviews are also mixed. An "A+" grade with the BBB as an accredited retailer is a definite plus, and some customers rave about the high-quality, affordable jewelry from this store. On the other hand, we also found complaints about less-than-responsive customer service representatives, stones falling out of ring settings, and incorrect sizing.

Our overall impression is that Ice is actively trying to create a new name for itself and win customers within the jewelry marketplace - but this store still has a few improvements it can make to be more competitive with other retailers.

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Continued from above

Of course, not every jewelry store is the same. Some specialize in "fashion" or "costume" jewelry; if you're looking for an inexpensive piece just to add some sparkle to a fun evening, or maybe an imitation item that won't break your heart if it gets lost, this type of jewelry might be perfect. Those stores are less likely to sell luxury, high-priced jewelry with precious metals and gemstones, however - so you may need to select a store that specializes in heirloom-quality craftsmanship and materials.

As you begin your search for the ideal online jewelry store, what should you keep in mind? Here are several criteria that can help you make your decision:

  • Selection. What does the store carry? Is it a limited range of rings, necklaces and earrings, or do they have options for men and children too?
  • Prices. How does the jewelry store measure up to the competition? Do they offer free shipping, pop-up discount offers, or any other promotions?
  • Quality. What do customers say about the jewelry they've purchased? Does it last, or have stones fallen out after a few wears? Are items marked as "diamond" authentic, or are they synthetic stones?
  • Return Policy. If you don't like the necklace, ring, or watch after you've received it, can it be returned? Will you have to pay a restocking fee?
  • Reputation. Are customers generally happy with their experience, both with the jewelry they received and with the customer service department if help was needed? Is the company easy to reach if there's a problem? Does the store have a rating with the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best jewelry stores available today. Whether you're shopping for an engagement ring, a necklace for your significant other, or just a new bit of sparkle to add to your collection, we hope these reviews will help you find the right piece of jewelry at the right price!

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