Are Jared Engagement Rings and Leo Diamonds Good Quality?

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October 30

People wonder whether Jared Engagement Rings are good quality and whether Leo Diamonds are more brilliant. You've probably heard the commercials that suggest they are, but do they live up to the hype?

Would you be happy if he went to Jared's the Galleria of Fine Jewelry? The answer depends on expectations and individual experiences, such as expectation and perception.

This review aims to help you decide whether Jared's engagement rings are a suitable choice. We'll also focus on diamond cut quality because that determines your diamonds' sparkle factor.

James Allen vs. Jared the Galleria Engagement Rings.

Pick Your Favorite Style from James Allen.

Jared Engagement Rings Infamous Jingle:

No doubt, you've heard Jared the Galleria of Fine Jewelry's jingles. They all contain the tagline "He went to Jared" and repeat so often that sucker is bound to get stuck in your head.

Especially since it seems to be on the radio every time I'm in the car. The latest one features the GPS providing advice on buying an engagement ring from Jared.

Every time I hear that jingle play, I feel like crashing my car into a pole. Perhaps it's because I buy diamonds for a living, but I find the nature of their advertising mind-numbingly stupid.

As that may be, Jared and James Allen share the same parent company as revealed in our James Allen Review. In that case, both companies target the Millennial market.

Consequently, Millennials are likely to ask Google or Siri for advice and search by voice. In contrast, I'm more apt to look for an in-depth diamond buying tutorial online.

The day the GPS provides me with advice on diamond buying is when I rip it out of the dash and toss it out the window. In that case, I'll gladly pay the fine for littering and the cost of a more intelligent navigation system.

"He Went to Jared" the Urban Myth:

He Went to Jared Galleria

Apparently, I'm not alone in my opinion of the "He went to Jared" advertising campaign. Because when I searched the term on Google, one of the first things that popped up was that meme from Urban Dictionary.

In the first place, they suggest that (he) "went to Jared" because (he) "is cheap and/or has a poor or unsophisticated taste in jewelry." Then they proceed to mock the entire "he went to Jared" advertising campaign.

As a matter of fact, they suggest that all women are going to have the same engagement ring. Obviously, this is because he went to Jared. However, that's probably only because he has a Jared credit card.

Why I Went to Jared Engagement Rings:

18k Rose Gold Halo Oval Diamond Engagement Ring James Allen.

18k Rose Gold Halo by James Allen.

I have to admit that I find the Urban Dictionary meme somewhat amusing. In that case, you know what I have to do next, right? Hope in the car, and review Jared, the Galleria of Fine Jewelry.

Needless to say, I went to the store under the guise of buying an engagement ring. In that case, I knew that I would be subjecting myself to (maul) mall store-style sales pressure.

Consequently, I didn't need to use the online store locator (or my GPS) because my local Jared store is right next to Safeway.

Under those circumstances, it stands to reason that I could pick-up groceries and check my order status at the same time.

As luck would have it, this particular Jared's Galleria of Fine Jewelry was under construction. Given that it's not going to be open for a while, I went grocery shopping.

That's right, I forgot all about the wedding bands and bought ice cream.When I returned home, I proceeded to shop for diamonds the old-fashioned way.

In other words, I searched for diamonds using my preferred selection criteria on Jared's website. In retrospect, that was more enjoyable than subjecting myself to the usual sales banter.

Jared's Galleria of Fine Jewelry Website Review:

The Jared Galleria of Fine Jewelry site has three diamond brands that interest me. It stands to reason that they should have the degree of precision that I recommend given their association with James Allen.

The specific diamond brands we'll be looking at today are the following:

First, we'll search for Leo Diamonds in the range of suitable quality for Jared engagement rings. In that case, we'll set the search parameters as follows:

Consequently, this range of parameters gives me four Leo Diamonds from Jared to consider. Needless to say, I'm feeling unimpressed with the myriad of possibilities.

Jared's Leo Diamonds Review of the 4 Options:

James Allen Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring.

Split Shank Solitaire by James Allen.

The list of Leo Diamonds available from Jared on this particular day includes the following options:

In the first place, there is a 0.97 carat, I-color, SI-1 clarity, Leo Diamond "certified" by the IGI Laboratory. This diamond has an overall cut grade of good.

For the record, I usually consider nothing less than Excellent or Ideal. This is "diam239863" in Jared's inventory system.

Second, there is a 1.03 carat, H-color, VVS-2 clarity, Leo Diamond. It is graded by some laboratory I've never heard of before. The overall cut grade is very good. Refer to Jared diamond inventory number: diam172029.

Third, there is a 1.97 carat, I-color, SI-1 clarity, Leo Diamond graded by the IGI with a polish and symmetry rating of good. For some reason, Jared the Galleria of Fine Jewelry has this diamond listed as a very good cut round diamond. This is "diam99129" in their inventory list.

Finally, there is a 3.96 carat, I-color, SI-1 clarity, Leo Diamond. The IGI grades this Leo diamond with an overall cut grade of good. The reference number for this diamond is "diam206515".

Leo Diamond Review ~ 1.97 carat from Jared the Galleria:

Leo Diamond

Since the weight of the 1.97 carat makes it unique, I think it warrants a closer look. After all, it should have an attractive price since it falls just short of the 2-carat mark.

On that note, you should be aware that a substantial price increase occurs between the 1.99 - 2.00 carat mark. At the same time, I'm kind of curious about why Jared would advertise this diamond as very good cut.

Seeing that the lab report on the left indicates that the polish and symmetry rating is only good. Perhaps it's a typographical error, but standard gemological practice dictates that the overall cut grade defaults to the lowest denominator.

In that case, the highest rating this diamond can receive is only good. As that may be, I can't imagine anybody considering this diamond, given the proportions. The 64.1% total depth is outrageous by my standards.

Consequently, I recommend a range of 59 - 61.8% for that measurement. This diamond also has a very thick, faceted girdle edge. That factor alone would result in an overall cut grade of AGS-5 Fair on the American Gem Society Laboratory's grading standards.

Missing Crown and Pavilion Angle Measurements:

Jared Leo Diamond

Jared Leo Diamond Review

Another key point of concern is that the diamond grading report from the IGI does not provide the crown or pavilion angle measurements. In that case, we can't determine which sections of the diamond are too deep.

The crown, pavilion, girdle edge, or a combination could be hiding the extra carat weight. It's essential to know the crown and pavilion angle offset to estimate light performance.

Generally speaking, a pavilion angle between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees will produce a high volume of light return. As that may be, it's not likely that this diamond will perform well given the apparent lack of symmetry.

The Essential Crown/Pavilion Angle Measurements:
Pick your favorite James Allen vs. Jared Engagement Ring Styles.

James Allen Has All Your Favorite Styles

A crown angle between 34.3 - 35 degrees will produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion in the first place. Secondly, any variation from that range of proportions will impact the volume of light return.

As a matter of fact, it is also likely to skew the balance of brilliance and dispersion. In this particular instance, it's apparent that the table facet region of the diamond is dull and dark.

Therefore, I think it's fair to assume that the pavilion angle is steeper than 40.9 degrees. It's also quite likely that the crown angle is steeper than 35 degrees.

The lack of optical precision is clearly evident in the clarity photograph above. Notice the lack of symmetry in the arrows pattern and the degree of contrast brilliance.

From my perspective, the only thing Jared might consider this diamond to be "very good" is the possibility of selling it. Of course, the downside of that scenario is that you might end up wearing it if he went to Jared (without knowing what to look for).

Jared Galleria Leo Diamond Prices:

Leo Diamond Prices

I'm used to higher prices for super ideal cuts because diamond cut quality can affect diamond prices by up to sixty percent.

But, I was floored by the $26K Leo Diamond price for the 1.97 carat above, given the degree of optical precision. 

Here is a screenshot of the list price from Jared the Galleria of Fine Jewelry. Right along with their statement that the diamond has very good proportions. I suppose that everybody is entitled to their opinion.

Of course, it's not really possible to argue since Jared does not provide the crown or pavilion angle measurements. Be that as it may, the very thick girdle edge results in an overall cut grade of AGS-5 Fair.

Brian Gavin Signature vs. Leo Diamond Prices:

Brian Gavin Signature

Under those circumstances, I decided to shop around and see what I can buy online in this price range. It didn't take very long to find this 2.201 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond.

In the first place, notice the difference in the degree of contrast brilliance evident in the arrows pattern. The Brian Gavin Signature diamond clearly has better optical precision.

It also has an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on the AGS Light Performance grading platform. In that case, we have all the measurements necessary to estimate the light return.

However, it's not entirely necessary because the Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) verifies the light performance. Although that may be true, it's nice to know that the proportions are within the range I recommend.

The 40.9 degree pavilion angle will produce a high volume of light return. Simultaneously, the 34.6 degree crown angle will produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. Consequently, this diamond does cost more than the Leo, but it also offers better light performance.

The Superior Sparkle Factor of Hearts & Arrows Diamonds:

H&A Diamond

Another key point is that this Brian Gavin Signature diamond exhibits a crisp and complete heart and arrows pattern. The higher degree of optical precision necessary to create this pattern will also produce more virtual facets.

In the first place, it is important to understand that virtual facets are internal reflections of light. These are not additional facets on the surface of the diamond. This is a good thing because increasing the number of facets on a diamond does not make it perform better.

As a matter of fact, increasing the number of facets tends to reduce the sparkle's size. This means that modified round brilliant cut diamonds are not likely to perform well.

ASET Scope Images and Price Considerations:
How to Use ASET to Judge Black by Brian Gavin Diamond Cut Quality and Performance.

Black by Brian Gavin Diamond Cut Quality.

It's easy to see that Brian Gavin Signature diamonds perform better because of the lab report's ASET map. Consequently, the color red is an indication of brightness. The ASET also shows that light is reflecting evenly throughout the diamond.

It is more expensive than the Leo Diamond at first glance. However, it also weighs more than 2-carats, and diamond prices increase between 1.99 - 2.00 carat marks.

It's fair to assume that the diamond would cost less if it were less than two carats. Under those circumstances, Brian Gavin Signature diamonds offer better value and light performance.

The Problem with Modified Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds:

BGD Signature Diamond

There are distinct differences between the Leo and Brian Gavin Diamonds we're evaluating. The Brian Gavin Signature diamond is a modern round brilliant cut.

In that case, there are 57 facets and the culet, which is the bottom point. The facets' size is larger than the Leo Diamond, producing a broad-spectrum sparkle that is brighter and more vivid.

The Leo Diamond has sixteen main pavilion facets instead of the traditional eight. Look closely at the facet structure of the two diamonds, and you'll see the difference.

The advertising literature for the Leo Diamond indicates that a higher number of facets makes it more brilliant. Granted, that might seem like a good thing until you know why they can make that claim.

Splitting the facets into smaller sections creates smaller sparkle. Our eyes have difficulty dispersing smaller flashes of light into colored sparkle. In that case, the Leo Diamond appears more brilliant (white sparkle), but it's at the expense of dispersion (colored sparkle/fire).

More Facets Means Smaller Sparkle & Less Fire:

Splitting the facets on the Leo Diamond into smaller pieces creates smaller sparkle that appears more brilliant (white sparkle). But, that's only because the human eye can't disperse smaller flashes of light into colored sparkle (fire).

In other words, the Leo seems more brilliant, but only because our eyes can't disperse the light into colors. Therefore, you should buy a Leo Diamond if you prefer pin-fire type sparkle that is more brilliant. However, you might be disappointed if you also like to see a lot of fire.

Buy a super ideal hearts and arrows diamond if you prefer broad-spectrum sparkle. The diamond will exhibit a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion if cut to our standards.

Understand that we're not suggesting that one option is better than the other, but rather wanting to be certain that you are aware of the differences.

Live Review of Brian Gavin Signature diamond:

Brian Gavin Hearts and Arrows

Brian Gavin Diamond Under Fluorescent Lights

By the way, I got a chance to see the 2.201 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond in-person today. This diamond is drop-dead gorgeous and exhibits the broad-spectrum sparkle I prefer.

For one thing, look at how it looks just sitting there in the parcel paper. Seeing that I took this photograph with my camera phone, it's not the best quality.

At the same time, I think it shows how much brighter this diamond looks than the Leo, especially because I was sitting under fluorescent lighting when I took this picture! Diamonds tend to look horrible under fluorescent lighting because it lacks the UV light necessary for them to sparkle.

Lighting is Everything:

Most diamonds don't perform well under fluorescent lighting because it lacks ultra-violet. In that case, the super ideal cut diamonds have an advantage because the higher degree of contrast brilliance creates the illusion that they are sparkling.

The combination of proportions and optical precision produce the contrast brilliance necessary to create that effect. Consequently, the AGS Laboratory and the GIA do not take optical precision into account as part of the grading process.

As that may be, it's clearly evident that this diamond is cut to the highest standard. The reflector scope images that Brian Gavin provides serve to verify that fact beyond a shadow of a doubt.

It's also easy to verify that the proportions are right in the middle of the sweet spot. In that case, this diamond will exhibit a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

Obviously, I'm not a fan of the Leo Diamond. In that case, I'm not likely to encourage my clients to go to Jared. Be that as it may, it's also evident that Jared has their place in the market with people who don't know Jack about diamonds. There's a joke in that last statement; just give it a minute to sink in.

He Went To Jared Lyrics (HARDY, Hixtape)

I still got a shoebox full of money
Sittin' at the top of my closet
From workin' like a dog
Got a chicken-scratch note pad
Of what I woulda said once I bought it
'Til she called it off
Now she's pickin' out menus and venues and DJs
And his cake and her cake, where the honeymoon gon' be
With a new 'do, with boo-coos of old cash
I swear that's the furthest damn thing from me

He went to Ole Miss, I went to work
(that guy) He pushes paper, I push the dirt
He's got that clean cut, drivin' him a clean truck
I'm just sittin' here with a beer and my jeans tucked
He's tyin' cans on the bumper of a car
I'm tyin' one on, takin' it hard
Thinkin' 'bout him there with a white horse and carriage
Nearly three karats, he went to Jared
I went to the bar
Yeah, I went to the bar
What's your story, Wallen?

It's Endless and Just Keeps Going:

Haha, well
I got my own ceremony goin' on right here in the neon
With my best man Jack
It'll be a meter-on-a-dash smellin'-bad yellow cab takin' me home
He'll be in a Cadillac
On his ride to the airline
Saint Lucia next to the girl I should still be with

But he went to Ole Miss, I went to work
He pushes paper, I push the dirt
He's got that clean cut, drivin' him a clean truck
I'm just sittin' here with a beer and my jeans tucked
He's tyin' cans on the bumper of a car
I'm tyin' one on, takin' it hard
Thinkin' 'bout him there with a white horse and carriage
Nearly three karats, he went to Jared
I went to the bar
Yeah, I went to the bar
Yeah, I went to the bar

And Going...

Yeah, well maybe I'm drunk and it ain't that bad
'Cause I ain't into girls, into guys like that
Hell naw

'Cause he went to Ole Miss, I went to work
He pushes paper, I push the dirt
He's got that clean cut, drivin' him a clean truck
I'm just sittin' here with a beer and my jeans tucked
He's tyin' cans on the bumper of a car (bumper of a car)
I'm tyin' one on, takin' it hard
Thinkin' 'bout him there with a white horse and carriage
Nearly three karats, he went to Jared
I went to the bar
Yeah, I went to the bar
Yeah, I went to the bar
(oh) Yeah, yeah, I went to the bar

There you have it; Jack went to Jared.

Although this may be true, I still can't wrap my mind around those commercials or that song. In that case, I can't imagine that I'll ever walk into another Jared Galleria of Fine Jewelry.

After all, they don't seem like a good fit for my expectations or client base. Just the same, I'm happy to look over the details for any diamonds that you might be considering. Regardless of whether they are from Jared or one of my preferred online vendors:

Just submit an inquiry via our free Diamond Concierge Service. You can also send me a link to the diamond details page or the lab report number. I'll look over the details and help you evaluate the diamond for performance.

About the Author

Dive deep into the glittering world of diamonds with Todd Gray, the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC. Todd has 35+ years of experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant. He ghostwrites content for several online vendors and is an avid Freediver, currently exploring the Cenotes of Yucatan, Mexico. Dive into brilliance with Todd Gray!