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      September 15, 2019

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Blue Nile vs Kay

Best Jewelry Stores

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

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.

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Best Reviews

2019

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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3.5 stars
Kay Jewelers

KAY JEWELERS Visit Site

"Every kiss begins with K(ay)". We've all heard the famous tagline, especially around any holiday that typically includes romantic gifts. Kay Jewelers is part of the Signet brand family, which also includes Jared, Zales, and several other well-known jewelry store brands. While Kay is probably best recognized for its retail locations in malls throughout the U.S., they offer their ample selection online for easy, no-lines shopping.

In the past, Kay's online selection was somewhat limited. But, they've done an excellent job of expanding their inventory, making an impressive array of products available to jewelry shoppers:

  • Engagement/Wedding Rings
  • Rings
  • Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Charms
  • Watches
  • Gifts
  • Personalized
  • Collections
  • Clearance

As you browse each of those categories, you'll find the dropdown options to help you narrow down your search. Kay's selection is massive; just in the Earrings category alone, they had almost 2,000 options to choose from. Fortunately, the site is easy to navigate and even easier to sort through all those options; we were able to quickly filter our results by price, customer reviews, or even by designer or collection to see just those pieces of jewelry that met our criteria.

We love Kay's Lifetime Diamond & Color Gemstone guarantee: as long as you have your piece inspected by an authorized Kay representative every 6 months, they'll replace any diamond, emerald, ruby or sapphire that is chipped, broken, or lost during normal wear. And, you can get a free professional cleaning and inspection at a local Kay store as many times as you wish.

Kay Jewelers' return policy is industry-standard: 30 days. Their shipping prices are slightly less competitive with the highest-ranked jewelry stores we reviewed: you'll only get it for free if you spend more than $50, but most purchases from Kay are likely to be at least that amount.

The only jewelry category where Kay Jewelers might not measure up to expectations is when it comes to diamonds. Many diamond experts assert that the stones sold by Kay's tend to be overpriced when compared with competitor stones of the same quality. Also, there were concerns a few years ago as some customers alleged that when they brought their diamonds in for a cleaning or appraisal, they were replaced with lower-value stones.

But, we found no indication with the Better Business Bureau that the issue still needed to be resolved, and Kay's parent company Signet enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB.

Kay Jewelers will probably impress you with their extensive inventory across many different types of jewelry, and having the ability to get free cleanings and inspections at local stores might be a perk you could enjoy for years to come. Our only recommendation is that if you choose Kay for a purchase involving diamonds, especially high-end stones, you get an independent appraisal within the 30-day return period - just to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.

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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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