A reader looked at this beautiful Neil Lane diamond engagement ring at Jared for $21,999.99. Worth it? I think not. It had some red flags: the Clarity and Color grades were too low for this price point. And it had no certification lab that I could find. I showed him how to find a GIA-certified, better diamond ring at James Allen. It even had a larger center stone, for $14,400. What would you do with the extra $7,000 saved? (Or if you go with the certified, better $9K ring I show you below, the extra $12,000 that you save?)
The Jared offer: $21,999.99.
Item number at Jared: 992803217
See it live at Jared (unless it’s been discontinued / gone out of stock).
The James Allen MUCH better prices on a GIA- or IGI-certified, bigger, better diamond rings:
Earth-created diamond ring offer at James Allen: $14,470
Lab-created diamond ring offer at James Allen: $8,900
Specs compared directly
The Jared diamond is 2.0 carats.
The earth created diamond at James Allen is 2.5 carats. And the lab-created diamond at James Allen is 2.11 carats.
Jared diamond in this ring is SI2-Clarity:
That’s not great clarity, especially at this extremely high price point, in my opinion, and as you can see from the chart:
James Allen earth-created diamond example is SI1-Clarity:
That’s better clarity. And especially it’s a better price. (You’re not paying through the nose for the privilege of saying you went to Jared.) Keep in mind the James Allen earth-created diamond in this example is much bigger as well.
James Allen lab-created diamond example is VS1 Clarity:
Color (Note that the perfectly colorless grade is “D”. There are no such grades as A, B, or C.)
Jared diamond color in this ring. The center stone is said to have color “I”:
(But we don’t know who graded it as such. Was it the GIA? Very likely not, since that is such a valuable certification that jewelers virtually shout it. It would be very prominently mentioned on the page. The IGI? Same. AGS?
In fact, we just don’t know who graded it. It could have been someone on the Jared staff.
The James Allen earth-created diamond in this example has a GIA-certified Color I.
That’s “the same,” perhaps. But it’s GIA-certified, unlike the Jared diamond. So, it’s a much more trustworthy grade. It’s in the near colorless region, so it should be fine, especially with a relatively brilliant cut such as Radiant (or Cushion). More brilliance in a diamond makes the color less visible. But the color “I” is almost invisible anyway.
The James Allen lab-created diamond in this example has the color G:
That’s two entire grades better than the Jared diamond! That’s a significant jump, especially when going straight up to the edge, as in this case, of near colorless, bordering on colorless.
Cut quality is graded only for Round Brilliant cuts, in general, by most diamond labs. Although James Allen calls the earth-created diamond an “Ideal” cut, that designation is not from any diamond grading lab. And Jared doesn’t even tell us anything about any supposed cut quality of the diamonds it attaches to its rings in this order.
So, the advantage goes to James Allen yet again.
To restate a point of immense importance: I find zero mention anywhere at Jared of any certification for the diamonds they’ll attach to these rings. There’s a tiny chance I could have missed something. But honestly, my opinion is: I’m pretty sure I didn’t. You just don’t find an overwhelming number of certification lab mentions at Jared.
Why is this a deal breaker? Because we just can’t know for sure anything about the diamond. We just have to trust Jared not to grade their diamonds generously. And we also have to trust that whoever actually graded the diamond (I mean whichever human individual) was competent.
On the other hand, the two diamonds at James Allen are certified by the GIA in one case, and by the IGI in the other.
So you can trust the color and clarity scores there.
How to get the James Allen deals
At James Allen, you don’t just add a ring to cart. It’s slightly more interesting (and gives you more control and choice). Instead, you do this:
- You choose a setting (the metal ring, which in some cases comes with accent diamonds).
- Then you choose a loose diamond to add to it.
But it’s not as hard as it may seem. In fact it’s easy.
At least, it’s easy if you have someone walking you through it for the first time.
Here’s exactly how to get these deals (or very similar deals) at James Allen:
1. Select this 14K white gold setting. (It’s available on the same page in 14K, 18K as well, also in yellow gold and rose gold, or even in Platinum. Just choose them from the drop down on the setting product page.)
2. For the diamond, go to these pre-set James Allen diamond search results and select a diamond from the first 2 or 3 diamonds in the list.
(James Allen diamonds are unique, so I can’t send you straight to a specific diamond. It would sell out quickly. But there are many many others in the inventory. The price will be close to what you see here.
Also, of course the inventory is always changing, so you may see slightly different prices when you search.)
3. For even greater savings, click the “Lab-Created Diamonds” filter. (Use my pre-set James Allen Lab-Created Diamonds search results.)
Don’t buy that Neil Lane diamond engagement ring at Jared for $22,000. Get a GIA-certified, better one at James Allen for about $14,400. Or even less, if you opt for a lab-created diamond: around $8,900.
As always at James Allen, your results will vary slightly from what I show here. But your results at James Allen will always be much better, and much lower costs, than if you bought from Jared. At least that has been my experience over many many dozens of price comparisons.
I wouldn’t advice anyone to get that beautiful ring at Jared. I’d advise getting a certified, much better ring, for much less money, using the search techniques (and the very links) that I show above.
It’s easy to get great deals on better diamond jewelry — for less money! Here’s how:
- Scroll up to the section on “How to Get the James Allen Deals.”
- Follow the easy directions there.
- Feel 100% confident that you bought the best diamond for the money
How to search this site to save up to tens of thousands of dollars at trusted diamond retailers, vs most any Costco, Kay, Jared, or Zales ring you’re considering
Search and save. You could save enough for a new compact car. Or a honeymoon. Or several expensive dinner dates. Or that guitar you’ve been wanting.
Read this very short note on how easy it is.