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Jared vs Ice

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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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ICE

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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Best Jewelry Stores

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

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

Masked men armed with sledgehammers rob Jared jewelry store in Hoover

A masked man armed with a sledgehammer robbed Jared The Galleria of Jewelry in Hoover Saturday night. The holdup happened just before 7 p.m. at the store on Galleria Circle. Hoover police Lt. Keith Cz...

Published:  Sun, 17 Feb 2019 03:32:00 GMT



Kate Middleton Looked Stunning In Princess Diana's Jewelry During These Royal Engagements

Kate Middleton seems to look even more stunning than usual whenever she wears Princess Diana's jewelry. Just recently, she wore the late Princess of Wales' diamond and south sea pearl earrings to the ...

Published:  Sat, 16 Feb 2019 23:18:00 GMT



Monica Vinader Discusses Jewelry, Fundraising And The Power Of Influencers

On your background prior to launching Monica Vinader " I studied at City & Guild Art School in London before working with London jeweller Tateossian. I subsequently spent 12 years working in the sport...

Published:  Sun, 17 Feb 2019 06:00:00 GMT



Police: Jewelry store near Galleria robbed by masked suspects with sledgehammers

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Hoover police are searching for a several people who robbed Jared's near the Galleria mall. Lt. Keith Czaeskleba says police responded to the jewelry store on Galleria Circle just ...

Published:  Sun, 17 Feb 2019 12:39:00 GMT



An influx of jewelry and bedding startups are selling candles now - here's why it's actually not a surprising move

Two angles facing left, which often indicate, "return to the beginning." Two angles facing right, which often indicate, "advance to the end." The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:33:00 GMT



Japanese Jewelry Retailer Primo's PE Owner Weighs IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Longreach Group, the buyout firm founded by former UBS Group AG investment banker Mark Chiba, is considering an initial public offering of its jewelry business Primo Japan Inc ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 17:16:00 GMT



Michigan men charged with stealing $800K worth of jewelry from Jared store in Hobart

Two Detroit, Mich., men are now facing federal charges from a robbery of a Hobart jewelry store in January. Darren Bell, 19, and Altonio Benson, 27, were charged Jan. 29 in federal court with robbery ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:11:00 GMT



Comedian Russell Peters Takes Down Attempted Jewelry Thief in NYC

Comedian Russell Peters got involved in a serious situation at a jewelry shop, when he hopped to action and helped take down a wannabe thief ... and it's all on the security footage. In the vid, obtai...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:56:00 GMT



A Designer Turned Her Grandparents's World War II-Era Love Letters Into Jewelry

Instead of safekeeping her grandparents's old love letters in a ribbon-tied shoebox, Meghan Coomes turns them into heirloom accessories. The designer's jewelry line, called "Forever Yours, Agnes," fea...

Published:  Sat, 16 Feb 2019 03:30:00 GMT



International Gem and Jewelry Show returns Feb. 22 to Southfield

The International Gem and Jewelry Show is returning to the Southfield Municipal Complex Pavilion this month. The popular jewelry show is scheduled to take place Feb. 22-24. Tickets can be be purchased ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:33:00 GMT




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