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Jared vs Diamonds International

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JARED

"Did he go to Jared?" That's what the commercials ask. Maybe the better question is, should you? If you like shopping online at a jewelry store that is backed by numerous retail locations, has a parent company (Signet Jewelers Limited) with an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau, and you want one of the widest selections of jewelry on the market, the answer is probably "yes, you should!"

Jared - "The Galleria of Jewelry" - has one of the widest range of jewelry items available online, from popular brands like Pandora and Vera Wang, to exclusive "only at Jared" items you won't see at other stores.

If you're shopping for a ring to pop the big question, we definitely suggest that you take a look at Jared's engagement guide. One particularly helpful section reminds you that knowing your intended's style is the key element to choosing the perfect ring - and they've got a guide to help you do just that. Jared has nearly 1,000 engagement rings to choose from, ranging in price from $479.99 to $20,000, and you can easily sort through your options according to your budget range, ring style, stone shape, metal type, and more - just click on the appropriate checkboxes on the left side of the page.

And, as we shopped for an engagement ring, we got a pop-up offering a 15% discount on our purchase if we entered our email address. On one of those higher-end designs, that could be a significant savings!

Alternately, you have three options for creating a one-of-a-kind engagement ring: Build Your Own, Design-a-Ring, and Custom Design. While they may sound the same, Jared uses each one slightly differently to help you come up with the perfect ring for the perfect proposal. The Design-a-Ring tool even lets you try your creation virtually using a mobile device and your hand!

Other categories were equally broad. Watches? Nearly 80. Earrings? Over 1,900 pairs. Bracelets? Just under 1,500. You'd have a hard time finding something on another site that Jared doesn't carry as well.

And, for shoppers on a budget, Jared has a hand "Sale" tab at the top of the page, including a few options for previously-owned, high-end watches and other jewelry pieces.

We were surprised that Jared didn't offer free shipping on all orders, like many higher-ranked jewelry stores tend to. You can get free shipping via 2nd Business Day Air if you would like to pick up your purchase at a Jared store, or if you spend at least $50. Otherwise, expect to spend at least $9.95 for shipping via UPS Ground.

Jared's return policy is also industry-standard: 30 days after purchase. But, Jared doesn't seem to require that you get a Return Merchandise Authorization first, so just follow the instructions on your packing slip if you should need to send your jewelry back.

Only one area surfaced where Jared was behind the competition: quality and pricing of diamonds. We found a number of diamond experts who compared what Jared offers (both in-store and online) with other retailers, including several in our review. Unfortunately, across the board, the stones sold by Jared tended to be of lower quality but at higher prices. This seemed to be the case for many online jewelry stores who also have the high overhead of brick-and-mortar locations and was not unique to Jared alone. If you do choose Jared for your diamond purchase, we suggest that you also have the stone appraised by the jeweler of your choice, just to make sure that you've gotten the value you've paid for.

But, on the whole, the Jared shopping experience is solid: their broad selection gives every customer many choices, no matter what type of jewelry they're seeking, and a strong brand reputation with numerous local stores makes it easy to make returns, ask questions, or get customized guidance during the buying process. Jared is a good option among jewelry stores online.

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DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL

Diamonds International carries watches, bracelets, diamond rings, necklaces, and much more. For more than 20 years, this New York company has been prominently featured by cruise ships, offering travelers a unique selection of jewelry at "affordable prices". Most of the items found at Diamonds International's 125 retail locations can be purchased through their website as well.

The Diamonds International site is easy to use, with the traditional search features and drop-down boxes at the top of the screen, with available filters on the side of the page to help you narrow down the results by price, item style, or gemstone.

As we shopped the Diamonds International site, we were surprised that their selection wasn't as broad as many other jewelry stores'. For example, there were no simple diamond stud earrings, and the wedding selection - engagement rings, bridal sets, engagement ring settings, wedding bands - had less than 160 total options. We also found that Diamonds International's prices were less than competitive with other retailers for diamonds of the same cut, size, and clarity.

Diamonds International does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but some customers report having difficulties getting the retailer to honor it. Unfortunately, as we dug deeper into customers' experiences with Diamonds International, we discovered that their rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review was an unsatisfactory "D+".

The reason for that rating? According to the BBB, there is a pattern of complaints from customers - specifically those who purchased while on vacation - indicating that they were sold jewelry that appraised at much lower values with an independent jeweler, that diamonds fell out after a few wears, and that they couldn't reach a Diamonds International representative to make a claim on that 30-day guarantee. It's difficult to say if online shoppers would have that same experience, but the pattern shown with retail locations made it worth mentioning.

We appreciate that the BBB indicates that Diamonds International is taking steps to work on these issues - and that's the main reason we didn't give this retailer a lower rating. We hope to see Diamonds International make significant improvements that are reflected in customer reviews in the future.

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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 Jared and Diamonds International.

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.

 



Jewelry In The News

Target, Walmart, and toy importer sued for toxic levels of lead in kids' jewelry kits

The New York attorney general is suing Target, Walmart and a toy importer for allegedly distributing children's jewelry-making kits that contain dangerous levels of lead. Attorney General Barbara D. U...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:55:00 GMT



Hoorsenbuhs, a luxury jewelry label, sets sail with style collaborations and a Santa Monica store

Brand director Kether Parker, left, and founder-designer Robert Keith inside the new Hoorsenbuhs store on Main Street in Santa Monica. Hoorsenbuhs is an upscale unisex jewelry brand specializing in ri...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:15:00 GMT



Jewelry store's fake discount leads to credit card scammer's arrest

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Police arrested a man accused of racking up thousands of dollars worth of purchases using fake credit cards in Fort Myers. Terris Devon Washington, 27, recently used a fake credit c...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:29:00 GMT



Meghan Markle's Jewelry for British Fashion Awards Was a Nod to Father-in-Law Prince Charles

Monday night at the British Fashion Awards, Meghan Markle STUNNED in a black one-shoulder maternity gown, accessorizing with a sleek bun and an attention-stirring manicure. Once you've taken the appro...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:31:00 GMT



Ex-N.J. man ran $900K Ponzi scheme to pay for luxury cars, jewelry, golf, feds say

A former New Jersey man stole $900,000 from 20 investors by running a Ponzi scheme and used the money to make payments on a luxury, car, jewelry and to play golf, federal authorities said. Thomas Lanz...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 05:46:00 GMT



Burglar steals over $11,000 worth of jewelry in Queens break-ins: police

MIDDLE VILLAGE, Queens - Authorities are looking for the man who allegedly broke into Queens homes and took over $11,000 worth of jewelry. Two incidents were reported to police on Sept.

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 07:08:00 GMT



NY sues 3 companies over lead levels in kids' jewelry kits

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state is suing two of the nation's largest retailers and a third company for importing and selling children's toys with lead levels up to 10 times higher than federal ...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:24:00 GMT



"I hope you burn in hell,' Ashland jewelry store owner says to burglar

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A man decided to make his own way into an Ashland jewelry store, and the whole thing was captured on surveillance video. The burglar first broke into the back door of a hair salon ...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:11:00 GMT



Maertens Fine Jewelry and Gifts debuts new design

"People just love mermaids," said Heather Maertens, jewelry designer and owner of Maertens Fine Jewelry and Gifts, about her first mermaid design that just became the newest addition to the store's Pe...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:51:00 GMT




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