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Helzberg Diamonds vs Kay

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HELZBERG DIAMONDS

100+ years. That's how long Helzberg Diamonds has been in the jewelry business, with the reputation to match as an accredited, A+ merchant with the Better Business Bureau. As you're probably aware, Helzberg has numerous retail locations throughout the United States - but for the widest selection, you'll want to visit their online storefront rather than heading to the mall.

That selection is very broad, ranging from traditional engagement and wedding options to earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, and much more. Helzberg also carries one of the widest inventories of today's most desired brands, such as watches by Movado and Tissot, EFFY diamonds, and even Disney Fine Jewelry. And, if you're looking for a deal, be sure to check out the Clearance tab at the top of the page.

Once you narrow down what type of jewelry you want, you'll be able to quickly narrow down the options according to price, metal, stone shape or type, or any other applicable criteria on the left side of the results. But, if you're the kind of shopper who just wants to get something tried, true, and trending, most categories have a "Top 25" section so that you can see what many other shoppers have liked. Or, look at the average customer rating on the items that catch your eye; because Helzberg is one of the larger jewelry stores in the nation, you'll likely find many more reviews on individual pieces than you might see in a more boutique-level business.

As the name suggests, Helzberg does specialize in diamonds. Choosing an engagement ring can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, from shopping the Top 25 to designing your own one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality piece. Helzberg has over 600 engagement rings to browse, ranging in price from $500 to $20,000, or click on the Create Your Own link to start by choosing the ideal diamond, gemstone, or setting. Be patient: Helzberg has over 30,000 certified diamonds, thousands of settings, 30 different colored gemstones that can be combined for your one perfect ring.

When you sign up for the Helzberg email list, you'll get a coupon code for a savings of $25 off your first purchase of $99.99 or more. For additional savings, keep your eyes open as you browse the site; on the day we shopped, there was a promotional code at the top of the page for a savings of $100 off $399.99; that code alternated with a "buy one, get one free" promotion as well. (This last one applied to 'select styles only" no two-for-one engagement rings here!)

Additional discounts are available to anyone who is active duty or retired military, or a registered dependent of an active/retired member of the military. Be sure to call the toll-free number before you make your purchase, and you'll get a code for a 10% discount (but it can't be combined with any other promotion; it's also not valid on loose diamonds or custom gemstone jewelry).

Helzberg is one of only a few higher-end jewelry stores that doesn't offer free shipping on every order: you'll have to spend at least $149.99 for that perk. Otherwise, expect to spend $9.95 for a delivery from 5-7 business days from the time your order ships. Or, if you happen to have a brick-and-mortar location close enough to drive, you may be able to select the free "Pick Up In-Store" option on some items.

On the other hand, Helzberg's return policy is more generous than many of their competitors': you have 60 days to return and/or exchange your purchase, rather than the standard 30 offered by most stores. This policy is shortened to 30 days for watches, which must be unworn and in like-new condition.

Helzberg Diamonds takes the stress out of shopping for jewelry by giving customers the best possible selection at just the click of a mouse - with hundreds of retail locations for easy returns or questions if you should need it. Their selection, reputation, and pricing make them a top-rated jewelry store. Helzberg earns one of our highest rankings.

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KAY JEWELERS

"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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Best Jewelry Stores

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

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.

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!



What You Should Look For When Buying a Diamond

A lot of people have this question. Buying a diamond is a commitment, so it's understandable that you'd want to educate yourself thoroughly before taking the plunge. Even so, this goes beyond picking the right jewelry store or knowing what kind of setting you'd like. What you should look for when buying a diamond directly relates to the four C's.

What Are the Four C's?

The four C's stands for carat, color, clarity, and cut. These are the main principles on which you should base your diamond purchasing decision. These attributes and their grading scales were developed by the Gemological Institute of America.

  • Carat
    The carat of a diamond is another term for weight. As an example, a 1-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams. The weight of diamond you select depends on your budget and your preferences. A single large stone will cost more than several small ones. Still, the small ones could be of excellent quality.
  • Color
    The color of a diamond rates its color from white to yellow or brown. The whiter the diamond, the more valuable and the more beautiful. The grading system ranges from D (for white--very rare) to Z (brown). The closer to the letter "D" the color is graded, the more valuable the diamond will be.
  • Clarity
    The clarity of a diamond refers to how flawless it is. Flaws include pits, dips, cracks, scratches, and air bubbles. The grading system here ranges from F to I3. F stands for flawless, the rarest of diamonds. VVS stands for very, very slightly included. VS stands for very slightly included. S stands for slightly included. And finally, I stands for included. A diamond in the VVS-S range will be very attractive to the naked eye.
  • Cut
    The cut of a diamond refers to how it was cut by a jeweler. This is related to its shape, but does not refer directly to it. How a diamond is cut will effect how much light it reflects. The more precisely and symmetrically a diamond is cut, the more light it will reflect and the more shine and sparkle it will have. The highest cut grade is "Ideal".

Other Factors
When determining what you should look for when buying a diamond, of course you need to pay attention to the four C's. Still, you also need to think about the shape of diamond you would want. They come in several styles with Round Brilliant being the most common. Other shapes include Princess, Emerald, and Oval.

Also consider where you're buying the diamond from. Not just any jewelry store will do. They are all unique and it's very easy to get ripped off if you don't know what you're looking for. A jewelry store should be GIA certified and it should have a good reputation with the BBB. Remember to look into these things because diamonds are expensive. Do your due diligence, just as you would with any other major purchase.

 



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