Are James Allen Engagement Rings Good, Better, The Best?

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May 30

The popularity of James Allen engagement rings continues to rise. There are photographs of beautiful marriage proposals like this one all over social media.

The surge of storybook proposals appearing on social media is high. You can follow hashtags like #isaidyes and #shesaidyes for inspiration and social proof.

Consequently, the pressure upon us guys to create the perfect moment is becoming mind-bending. It seems like it's no longer good enough to buy the perfect engagement ring.

We have to create the scene for a picture-perfect moment on top of that. Take this series of beach proposal photographs from Tyler and Colbey's scrapbook.

On the other hand, these storybook engagement portfolios provide us with an endless source of proposal ideas. Never before has such an excellent resource been available for the love-struck fool.

Before the invention of social media, our fathers probably looked to Hollywood for romantic inspiration. Whereas today, one glance at our Instagram account can provide us with inspiration.

Tyler and Colbey's James Allen Engagement Rings Proposal.

James Allen Engagement Rings.

Are James Allen Engagement Rings Good?

James Allen Engagement Rings Centerstage at Beachside Proposal.

James Allen Diamond Engagement Rings.

Just as we can discover how to create the perfect proposal moment online, we can also learn about diamonds. No doubt, that is why you're reading this tutorial on James Allen engagement rings.

Like most guys, you probably want to know whether their diamonds and engagement rings are good quality. Specifically, whether the sparkle factor is going to take her breath away.

The short answer is that James Allen engagement rings are of good quality. However, the adage you get what you pay for applies because they offer different tiers of quality.

Lighter, less expensive settings cost less because they are of lower quality. Specifically, there might be fewer grams of gold or platinum, less carat weight, or lower quality accent diamonds.

In contrast, more expensive engagement rings might weigh more or contain higher quality diamonds or more carat weight. Design costs factor similarly into the equation, so designer settings are more expensive.

Are James Allen Engagement Rings Custom?

James Allen offers an extensive catalog of popular engagement ring styles. It's also possible to design your own ring or choose from the following designers:

Should You Spend More on the Diamond or Ring?

It's incredible how many people focus on the ring characteristics more than the center stone. Especially since the primary diamond sparkles center stage and is what everybody's looking at.

In that case, it is counterintuitive to pay more for the setting than the diamond. And yet, I've seen many couples max out their budget on the ring and then try to skimp on the center stone.

I've been a diamond buyer for 35+ years, so I'm divested in that portion of the project. But unless you're buying a lab-grown diamond, I don't think spending more on the setting than the diamond makes sense.

James Allen french pave setting, 1.23 carat round on size 6 finger

James Allen French Pavé Setting.

For example, what's the first thing you see when you look at this picture?
Is your focus drawn to the diamond? Are you able to see the details of the ring clearly?

I know this is James Allen's French pavé setting because the Pinterest description says so. Otherwise, the ring's characteristics are unclear, and our focus is drawn to the center.

Thankfully the proud owner of this ring took the time to provide details. For example, we know this is a 1.23 carat round brilliant cut diamond. We also have a visual reference because she states her ring size is six.

How to Build James Allen Engagement Rings:

First, focus on finding the most incredible-looking diamond possible for your budget. This doesn't mean it has to be the highest clarity or color grade. Those things have very little to do with the sparkle factor.

You want to focus on diamond cut quality and the degree of optical precision. But as you'll find out shortly, you have to look beyond the basics of cut grade or brand.

I'll tell you straight up that some of the diamonds you'll find on James Allen will look spectacular. However, there are also quite a few diamonds that don't meet our selection criteria.

Consequently, that is more a reflection of my precise nature as a diamond buyer than it has to do with James Allen. We're looking for the best-of-the-best to ensure your satisfaction while buying a diamond online.

We won't be fooled by slick advertising, glossy photographs, or unfounded quality statements from that perspective. In that case, we'll use ASET or Ideal Scope images to accurately assess light performance.

Under those circumstances, I won't insult your intelligence by saying stuff like James Allen engagement rings is the best. Because the fact of the matter is that those types of blanket statements are bullshit.

Instead of falling for marketing hyperbole, we'll select the best diamond based on measurable sparkle factors and light performance. That ensures she'll say yes to the James Allen engagement ring you choose.

Are James Allen Diamonds Good?

Hardly a day goes by without somebody asking me about the quality of James Allen diamonds. Interestingly, most of them aren't asking about a specific diamond.

Under those circumstances, I can only assume they are under the impression that all James Allen diamonds are the same. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that James Allen offers a wide range of diamonds. As with most companies today, they are doing their best to appeal to the largest market possible.

Therefore you'll find a broad spectrum of diamond quality and engagement rings at James Allen. The trick is knowing what type of diamond buyer you are.

If you're like me, then your focus is on light performance. You're looking for a diamond that exhibits the highest volume of light return. You want the diamond to display a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

In other words, you want your diamond to exhibit maximum light return with lots of white sparkle and fire! But I'm guessing you want the biggest bang for your buck!

And at the same time, you want the diamond to appear eye clean and not look yellow in the face-up position. The question is how to accomplish those things without breaking the bank.

James Allen GIA Excellent Cut Diamonds:

It's essential to remember that AGS Ideal & GIA Excellent cut does not guarantee the best light performance. That is because every grade represents a broad range or spectrum of quality.

In that case, the parameters of the AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent overall cut grades include:

  • The High End.
  • A Mid-range.
  • The Low End.

Unfortunately, most ideal cut diamonds are cut like $hit.

The use of the dollar sign above has meaning, but it might not be obvious. The inside joke is that it costs more to produce ideal cut diamonds that perform well.

That's because it can take up to four times longer to produce higher levels of optical precision. It also requires more expensive equipment that needs to be replaced frequently.

In contrast, it's pretty easy to nail the proportions, polish, and symmetry required for the AGS Ideal or GIA Excellent grades. That's why hearts and arrows diamonds cost more than standard ideal cuts.

Consequently, the overall cut quality affects up to sixty percent of diamond prices. However, the carat weight also factors into the price, and most people are satisfied with seeing excellent or ideal on the lab report.

In that case, it's more profitable to cut diamonds to the outer edges of the AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent cut grades. Sadly, most diamond cutters seem content doing the least amount of work necessary to make the cut (pun intended).

Be Smarter Than The Average Joe:

Most people shopping for engagement rings don't know much about diamonds. They think limiting their search to Excellent / Ideal means that the diamond will look incredible.

In contrast, the diamond cutters know their business. They also know that people wrongly assume that AGS Ideal or GIA Excellent means the best.

Under those circumstances, they usually aim for the minimum highest standard and let the paper speak for itself. We offer the following explanation and images to prove why diamond cut quality is vital.

Why GIA Excellent Is Not Good Enough:

The following images are of a 1.01 carat, G-color, Internally Flawless, GIA Excellent cut round diamond. It has a total depth of 62.5% with a 55% table diameter.

Under normal circumstances, the 40.8-degree pavilion angle would produce a high volume of light return. However, the 36-degree crown angle is too steep (16.5% deep), and the diamond lacks optical precision.

This is evident because of the high volume of light leakage visible under the table facet in the ASET image. That is the multi-color image that appears in the upper right corner below.

Is Excellent Good Enough? GIA 1259235415 via Nice Ice

Examples of Light Leakage in James Allen GIA Excellent Cut Diamond.

The green arrows above indicate light leakage, which is highest in the translucent sections. The red ideal scope image on the bottom right also shows a high volume of light leakage.

The inconsistency of the hearts' pattern in the lower right reveals a lack of optical precision. That is the consistency of facet shape, size, and alignment from the perspective of 360-degrees.

Tighter proportions and more precise facet alignment could improve the performance. However, the cutter of this particular diamond chose to cut corners rather than aim high.

In that case, the consumer suffers doubly by paying a high price for a lower level ideal cut diamond. Consequently, this is why we restrict our search to James Allen True Hearts diamonds.

Three dimensional, geometric diamond models:

It seems rather evident that diamond proportions affect light performance. The example above proves that the crown angle is too steep to produce excellent light performance.

It's also evident from the hearts' image that the diamond lacks optical precision. Specifically, two heart shapes are incomplete because the light is not reflecting evenly off the pavilion facets.

In addition, the hearts are misshapen and lack symmetry in size and shape. Simultaneously, the spacing around the hearts varies dramatically, and the heart tips are twisted.

Consequently, twisting indicates differences in the facets' size, shape, and indexing. Read our hearts and arrows diamonds tutorial to understand the reasons why.

This GIA Excellent cut diamond is on the fringe of ideal by our standards. Thankfully, better options are available, and knowing how to set the advanced filters makes them easier to find.

This particular diamond was submitted for consideration via our free Diamond Concierge Service. Needless to say, we shot it down, and now we'll search James Allen for better options.

The Best Diamonds for James Allen Engagement Rings:

First, understand that the sparkle factor is the result of diamond cut quality:

The pavilion angle on the lower half of the diamond dictates the volume of light return. Simultaneously, the crown angle on the upper half determines the balance of brilliance and dispersion.

The degree of optical precision dictates the number of virtual facets within the diamond. Those are the kaleidoscope-like reflections created by light reflecting through the overlapping facet pattern.

It's worth mentioning that the symmetry grade on the lab report is not an indication of optical precision. The labs grade meet-point-symmetry and do not account for the fine points of facet structure.

We intently focus on this factor of diamond cut quality because it makes or breaks the performance. Assuming you want the best-looking diamond possible, we recommend adhering to the highest standards.

James Allen True Hearts Diamonds:
James Allen Engagement Rings True Hearts Diamonds

James Allen True Hearts Diamonds.

If you have your sights set on James Allen engagement rings, buying the best-looking diamond possible makes sense. Therefore, limit your search to James Allen True Hearts diamonds.

It stands to reason those are the most precise diamonds James Allen offers because they don't provide hearts or Ideal Scope images for anything else.

It takes less than a second to see that this GIA Excellent cut diamond is cut better than the one above. The proof is in the consistency of the hearts' pattern and Ideal Scope image.

This diamond has a 40.8-degree pavilion angle offset by a 34.5-degree crown angle. In that case, the stage is set for a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

Simultaneously, the higher degree of optical precision creates more virtual facets. In that case, the sparkle factor will be outstanding, and this is a superior choice.

Wrapping Up James Allen Engagement Rings:

James Allen offers an extensive selection of diamonds and engagement rings of various qualities. The secret is knowing your preferences and finding the balance between price and quality.

We recommend focusing on cut quality since that dictates sparkle factor and light performance. Those factors are evident from across the room, whereas other characteristics of the 4Cs are less apparent.

In other words, carat weight, color, and clarity are less obvious than the sparkle factor from across the dinner table. Consequently, we're happy to help you determine the best balance for your price range.

Our free diamond concierge service can help you find the best diamond available. Drop us a note and let us know what you have in mind, and we'll fine-tune things from there.

About the Author

Todd Gray is the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC., DBA Nice Ice Diamonds. He is also a trade consultant and diamond buyer with 35+ years of experience specializing in light performance. Todd also ghostwrites educational content for online ventures and is an avid Freediver.