James Allen Wedding Ring SetAt Jewelers. NYC our mission is to put jewelry buyers and great New York City jewelers together, face to face. This is why the directory was formed and why we have about 1500 jewelers here ready and eager to talk with you. We also recognize however that there are a large number of customers who are savvy enough to research the diamond they want on their own and then purchase their diamond online from online diamond stores such as Brian Gavin, James Allen, Zoara or Blue Nile. In this article we compare the pros and cons of buying diamonds online.

Which are the Best Online Diamond Discount Stores

There are many stores that sell diamonds online, but four are the well-known, super-discount, highly regarded online stores that most people think about when buying diamonds online. These are: Blue Nile, Brian Gavin, James Allen and Zoara. Blue Nile is the most well known, but interestingly is tied for the lowest customer satisfaction rating of the four. If you’d like to know why, read our article, 2015 Online Diamond Store Reviews: James Allen vs. Blue Nile.

Pros and Cons of Buying Diamonds Online

The Most Important Pro of Buying a Diamond Online – Price

It’s All About the Price – 40% Less On Average

If you went to Brian Gavin right now, you could purchase a 1.07-carat round diamond, “Ideal Cut,” VS1 clarity, I color stone for $7734 (http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/1.071-i-vs1-round-diamond-ags-bl-104076722034/ ). This stone is certified by AGS, one of the most reputable diamond grading labs in the world (see our report on diamond grading labs here).

If you went to Kay Jewelers and found a similar diamond: 1.13 carat, VS1 clarity, I color, and “Very Good” cut the cost would be $11,199 (http://design.kay-diamonds.com/diamonds/diamond/diam1012461/). While the diamond is negligibly larger, the cut is far worse and the cost is 44% higher.


Brian Gavin

 Kay Jewelers











Very good








Cons of Buying a Diamond Online


  1. It looks different in your hand than it does online.


Virtually all diamonds look great in their online picture, partially because the four stores listed offer great diamonds and partially because when a photographer uses a macro lens, even a small diamond looks good. For this reason we recommend spending a little time researching the size, shape, color, cut, etc. that you want before you buy online. You’d never buy a new car sight unseen – you’d test-drive it first. The same is true with diamond buying, know what you want before you go online. If you do receive your diamond and are dissatisfied, the four stores listed each have a no-questions asked return policy that varies between 15 and 45 days after you receive the diamond, depending on the store.


  1. The diamond store sends you something other than what you ordered.


Pragmatically, this just doesn’t happen with the stores that we examined. All are well rated by the Better Business Bureau with James Allen and Brian Gavin leading the pack. If it does, simply send it back.


  1. Buying online takes the spontaneity out of buying a diamond with the one you love


While points one and two above can be managed, if you are looking for a spontaneous purchase, you can’t do it online, you need to walk into a jewelry store. One of the highest “impulse buy” items is jewelry. A diamond is right up there with a pack of gum or People magazine at checkout. The reason is that a diamond is often an emotional, rather than an intellectual purchase, and it doesn’t matter how much you save: you’re there, your loved one is there, the jeweler is there, and out comes the credit card. We get it. If this is you, then maybe it’s best not to fight the impulse, simply find the best jeweler from our directory and go for it (check out the “featured” jewelers in NYC’s Diamond District first).

Bottom Line

If you’re more of an intellectual rather than emotional shopper, after you know the diamond and setting that you want, then visit one of the four online diamond stores below.

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James Allen (A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau)

Brian Gavin (A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau)

Zoara (A rated by the Better Business Bureau)

Blue Nile (A rated by the Better Business Bureau)