James Allen Diamonds Reviews

She says yes to the ring, and he's so happy he read this James Allen Diamonds Review.

James Allen Diamonds Review of Dazzling Engagement Rings:

In the first place, James Allen Diamonds is a powerhouse in the industry with a robust online presence. In fact, analysts estimate that they sell more than $200 million worth of loose diamonds and jewelry per year.

Ultimately, you're probably most interested in the quality of the engagement ring that you're buying. However, the sheer volume of this company is impressive. After all, two million dollars in annual revenue puts them in the position to buy a lot of diamonds. It also means that a lot of women are sporting James Allen engagement rings on their hands.

Classic Split Shank Solitaire SKU 18010W14

Classic Split Shank Setting.

Obviously, they are a popular jewelry retailer with millennials who shopping for engagement rings. Although this may be true, deciding to buy your diamond from them is only the first step.

After all, you're also going to need to know what factors into light performance and sparkle factor. With that in mind, I'll also explain what to look for in a diamond in this James Allen review.

Because you need to look beyond the basics of AGS Ideal or GIA Excellent on the lab report. At least if you want the kind of "Kick Ass ring" shown in this photo on Instagram by Sonny Cola.

How To Know What Ring Style:

Why This James Allen Diamonds Review is Different:

As a matter of fact, most James Allen reviews are written by first-time diamond buyers or paid affiliates. In fact, for the sake of full disclosure, you should know that I am one of their affiliates. Although that may be true, I also have 30+ years experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant.

Sleek Diamond Engagement Ring, SKU 17110Y14

Sleek Diamond Engagement Ring.

In the first place, I was the senior diamond buyer for a high-volume brokerage. As a result, I've personally evaluated tens of thousands of diamonds during the course of my career.

In addition, I'm one of the minds behind the original Nice Ice diamonds brand and website. Consequently, we blazed the trail for all other internet diamond dealers to follow in 1996.

Whereas James Allen Schultz and his wife Michelle launched their first diamond website two years later in 1998. In that case, my relationship with them goes back almost to the beginning of time.

That's approximately twenty years if we're talking about the use of the internet for e-commerce:

  • eBay, Yahoo, circa 1995.
  • Nice Ice, circa 1996.
  • Google, James Allen, PayPal, circa 1998.

Those were the Wild West Days of the Internet! Practically everybody was scrambling to stake their claim in the emerging market of cyberspace. At the same time, there was tremendous synergy in the open exchange of ideas by diamond dealers on diamond forums.

The Growing Success of James Allen Diamonds:

Trio Micro Pavé Setting 2 Carat Diamond Ring

The Micro Pavé Setting.

As you might imagine, the close nature of our competitive relationship provides unique perspective into the inner workings of this company. With that in mind, this review of James Allen Diamonds reflects the insight and perspective of a professional diamond buyer.

We'll leave the "They're So Great" and "My Ring Is So Pretty!" type commentary to first-time diamond buyers and consumers who consider themselves prosumers.

This review will teach you How To Buy A Stunning Diamond from a technical perspective. That means the type of ideal and super ideal cut diamonds that Nice Ice was built upon. In other words, I'm going to teach you how to buy diamonds for light performance. But you should download the Nice Ice® Diamond Buying Blueprint™ for reference purposes. 

Speaking of Nice Ice:

Isn't the cushion diamond halo setting by James Allen (below) stunning? I love how crisp and white it looks against the bright snow background. If you're looking for a cushion cut, then be sure to read our tutorial on cushion cut diamonds.

Cushion Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Cushion Outline Halo Setting.

From the position of an industry insider, I have to say that I am both dumbfounded and impressed by JA’s substantial growth.

I’m also a little humbled by the fact that they have far surpassed what I ever dreamed was possible to achieve in this business. What began as a small time mom and pop online jewelry store has grown exponentially into one of the most successful online ventures in our industry.

The rapid growth and seemingly overnight success of this outlet might seem difficult to comprehend at first glance. However, a peek behind the corporate curtain will reveal the secret to the success of this industry giant.

The Inside Scoop on James Allen Diamonds:

As a matter of fact, James Allen boasts an inventory of 150,000+ diamonds. Of course, the vast majority of those diamonds are virtual inventory and not physically in-house.

Rose Gold Halo Setting Oval Diamond

Rose Gold Halo Setting.

However, you’re about to discover why that might not necessarily matter depending on your perspective. That's because their partnership with R2NET and their suppliers enables them to provide high-resolution 3D video of diamonds.

In that case, you might say that R2NET is the brain trust that drives JA's success. After all, R2NET was formed in 2006 by Oded Edelman, James Schultz, Michele Sigler, and Dean Lederman. The company is located in New York City with technology centers strategically located in the major diamond producing hubs.

Under those circumstances, they are able to provide incredible detail about virtual diamonds. After all, the Segoma imaging system enables them to produce high resolution video. In that case, you're able to see the inclusions in greater detail.

R2NET is the Brain Behind the Brands:

  • James Allen.
  • Segoma Imaging Technologies.
  • Brio Animation Studio.
Pear shape diamond ring, SKU 17306W14

Pear Shape Diamond Halo Setting.

As a matter of fact, the Edelman family is a former supplier of ours with roots that run deep into the diamond community.

In the first place, R2NET provides the framework for distributing diamonds via James Allen and other websites. Secondly, their corporate alliance is one of the reasons for their incredible growth and success.

P.S. Be sure to read our tutorial on pear-shape diamonds. In case you're wondering, the center stone on the left weighs about 1-carats. One of the benefits of halo settings like this, is that they make the center stone look larger. Under those circumstances, it creates more sparkle without your having to spring for a larger diamond.

3D High Definition Videos for James Allen Diamonds:

Segoma machines capture images of a diamond from every possible angle. Then it creates a three-dimensional model that enables you to see the characteristics of the diamond.

James Allen Diamonds Segoma Video

Search True Hearts Diamonds.

Dealers throughout the world use Segoma Imaging Technology and upload their diamonds into a worldwide trading network. Segoma Imaging Technologies has become the industry standard for producing high-quality diamond images.

The high-resolution 3D video files on the site enable you to buy a diamond with confidence. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to look at the diamonds and pick the best ones!

You just need to look for the diamonds that exhibit the best contrast brilliance and the least obstruction. In my experience, you’ll find the best options by limiting your search to the James Allen True Hearts collection.

As a matter of fact, Segoma has an imaging laboratory in practically every major diamond hub. in that case, they can provide images for diamonds from every major diamond producer. Consequently, the advancements that Oded Edelman is using to create a fantastic diamond buying experience is available for every dealer in their network.

Brio Animation Studio:

You might be wondering what a huge diamond conglomerate like R2NET is doing with an animation studio in its portfolio. Perhaps you’ve seen the video of James Allen engagement rings performing a ballet which is a creation of Brio Animation Studios. It is a stunning and visually engaging advertisement that expresses the innovative nature that drives their success.

At the same time, I’m rather enjoying the more entertaining approach that they've been using lately. Their recent advertising efforts have the ever-growing millennial market flocking to them. For example, this video demonstrates why you might want to involve your fiancé in the engagement ring selection process.

Should You Propose Without a Ring?

Obviously, it makes sense to know what type of ring setting your girlfriend prefrs. Of course, you might want to take a more traditional approach and maintain the element of surprise.

Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring.

The Presentation Solitaire.

If you want to keep the proposal a surprise, then this presentation solitaire is the perfect solution. In the first place, the presentation solitaire is inexpensive because it is lightweight. After all, it is only intended for presentation purposes. That means that you'll need to upgrade the setting because it is not built to last a lifetime.

Although that may be true, this puppy rings in at just a little more than a hundred dollars. In that case, this ring says “Marry Me” and sets the stage for her to pick the setting.

This setting is secure enough that your fiancé can enjoy wearing her ring while shopping for a permanent setting. However, it's pretty lightweight and not something that I would trust the center diamond to for a lifetime. In other words, you should plan on replacing this setting quickly. After all, it's only intended to be used for presentation purposes.

After You Pop the Question:

Your bride and her future wedding party will love the opportunity to shop for engagement rings. There are more than five hundred and sixty styles of engagement rings to choose from!

Halo Diamond Engagement Rings.

Halo Diamond Engagement Rings.

If you're like most guys (including myself) the thought of trying to pick just the right engagement ring is a daunting task. How are you supposed to know that she is dreaming about this Falling Edge pavé ring setting?

Just do yourself a favor and set a reasonable budget for the engagement ring in advance. In fact, you should probably low-ball the budget a little bit so that she has room to push the envelope!

As you might imagine, this will be good practice for all that wedding planning! Of course, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Because I was in the midst of explaining the relationship between JA and R2NET.

In the first place, James Allen is a subsidiary of R2NET. Secondly, R2NET is the brainchild of the well-known diamantaire, Oded Edelman. In that case, the success of this company is typical of their extensive empire.

In fact, the Edelman family is a major player in the diamond industry and one of our former suppliers. That is why I was pretty excited when the Signet corporation purchased R2NET for $328 million.

Signet Buys R2NET for $328 Million:

In August of 2017, Signet Corporation acquired R2NET for a mere $328 million in cash.

You might not be familiar with Signet Jewelers as a parent company, but the odds are that you’ll recognize their stores:

Emerald Cut Diamond Split Shank Halo Setting.

Split Shank Halo Setting.

As a matter of fact, R2NET has been providing Jared’s with online sales support for years. The company and it’s products seem to be an integral part of Signet's plans to grow their market share in the future.

According to the press releases, the current management team of R2NET will continue to manage the day-to-day operations. While R2NET operates as a separate division within Signet.

In that case, it seems like the titles on the phone directory at R2NET will change. However, the song remains the same and James Allen is likely to stand the test of time. Speaking of which, this split shank halo setting is a timeless classic. Be sure to read our tutorial on emerald cut diamonds if you like this shape.

"Is James Allen a Good Place to Buy a Diamond?"

People often ask me whether James Allen is a reputable company. Whether James Allen is a good place to buy a diamond is another popular inquiry. As a matter of fact, the reason why I wrote this in-depth "James Allen Review" is to answer those questions.

James Allen Reviews iVouch, Google, BizRate.

iVouch Reviews 5 Stars.

It might seem counter-intuitive to discuss whether they are reputable at this point. After all, they are built upon the backbone of industry legends like R2NET and Signet. However, the financial strength of a company does not necessarily mean excellent customer service or satisfaction.

Although that may be true, they scores high marks and five stars on independent services like iVouch.

According to Signet CEO Virginia Drosos, James Allen has increased their sales 2.5 times in the past two years. Drosos told analysts that their sales for the 2018 fiscal year were expected to top $200 million.

Consequently, the brand was the top performing component of the Signet corporation in 2020. As a matter of fact, the online giant reported sales exceeding $64 million in the 3rd quarter. The kind of popularity that they enjoy is clearly driven by the experience of their customers. After all, five star reviews don't write themselves. In fact, most people only rate companies that high if they are completely satisfied.

Happiness = Reality/Expectations:

Rose Gold Pave Crossover Setting.

Rose Gold Crossover Setting.

You're probably familiar with the formula that happiness equals reality less your expectations. Based on the introduction of this theory, you might assume that I'm suggesting that you lower your expectations. However, nothing could be farther from the truth.

As a matter of fact, I suggest setting reasonable expectations based on your budget and desires. At the same time, the best way to ensure your satisfaction is to have a clear understanding of what you're buying.

With that in mind, you shouldn't expect anything less than VS-2 in clarity to face-up eye clean. In addition, you shouldn't expect a standard ideal cut diamond to perform like a super ideal hearts and arrows cut diamond.

Obviously, the reason I'm making these statements so bluntly is because these are common misconceptions. With that in mind, it's time to set reasonable expectations.

Realistic Expectations = Happiness.

In the first place, it can take up to 4X longer to polish a diamond to exhibit a higher degree of optical precision. That is the consistency of facet shape, size, and alignment that produces the hearts and arrows pattern. Consequently, that will increase the light performance and produce sparkle that is more vivid and intense.

J-color diamond side profile.

Side profile of J-color True Hearts diamond.

Under those circumstances, it's not reasonable to expect a standard ideal to perform like a super ideal cut diamond. After all, it's like expecting a standard Porsche 911 non-turbo to outperform a GT3 RS. Likewise, it's not reasonable to expect a J-color diamond to face-up bright white in a platinum setting. Obviously, I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

In that case, look at this 1.25 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond from a side-profile. Obviously, it looks a little warmer in terms of the degree of hue and saturation.

Under those circumstances, you might think that this diamond will not face-up white in a platinum setting. However, the color of the white metal is likely to improve your perception of diamond color and make it seem whiter.

That is because the color of the white metal touching the edge of the diamond will reflect through it. Under those circumstances, it's likely that this diamond will face-up closer to I-color. In that case, this diamond is going to appear near-colorless with a hint of warmth.

Diamond Brilliance vs Brightness:

People frequently confuse the brilliance of a diamond with the brightness. This might explain why people assume that higher color diamonds looks better. After all, whiter is supposed to be brighter, right? Isn't that what all of those Tide and Clorox commercials taught us to believe?

Are SI-1 clarity James Allen Diamonds eye clean?

J-color True Hearts diamond face-up position.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret that might save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. People tend to put far too much importance on diamond color grades. As a matter of fact, most people can't tell the difference between color grades beyond a few inches.

However, you'll be able to see the difference in light performance and sparkle factor from across the room. That is why this 1.25 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts might be a good option.

In the first place, the 40.8 degree pavilion angle should produce a high volume of light return. While the 34.5 degree crown angle produces a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. The 75% lower girdle facet length should produce sparkle that is larger in size and bolder in appearance.

However, you'll still have to decide which diamond clarity grade is right for you. As a matter of fact, the majority of SI-1 clarity diamonds are not eye-clean. In other words, you might be able to barely see the inclusions without magnification. Under those circumstances, I recommend a minimum clarity of VS-2 if you want your diamond to face-up eye-clean.

James Allen True Hearts Diamonds Sparkle More!

As a matter of fact, James Allen True Hearts diamonds sparkle more than standard ideal cut diamonds. In the first place, that's because they are cut to exhibit a higher degree of optical precision. That means there is more consistency in the shape, size, and alignment of the facets.

Ideal Scope Image for True Hearts Diamond.

Ideal Scope for True Hearts diamond.

Take a good look at the Ideal Scope image for this True Hearts diamond. To begin with, the arrows pattern is producing good contrast brilliance. That will create depth of field and really make the diamond pop.

As a matter of fact, this is one of the things that distinguishes True Hearts from standard ideal cut diamonds. In this case, the higher degree of optical precision produces better light performance.

However, it takes about 4X longer to polish a diamond to exhibit a crisp and complete hearts and arrows pattern. That is why true hearts and arrows diamonds cost more than their standard ideal counterparts.

At the same time, the higher degree of optical precision creates more virtual facets. As a result, the diamond will be brighter and the sparkle will be more vivid and intense. Of course, I'm comparing it to the sparkle factor of a standard ideal cut diamond with the same proportions.

Not All Hearts & Arrows Diamonds Are Created Equal:

Remember that every classification of diamond cut grade represents a range or spectrum of possibility. With that in mind, you will begin to notice varying degrees of precision within thearts and arrows patterns.

To that end, remember that these diamonds are turned on the polishing wheel by hand. Thus, I've never seen a perfect pattern of hearts and arrows. In fact, there will always be slight differences, but some will be more uniform than others.

James Allen Diamonds True Hearts reviews, SKU 4285317

Moderately good optical precision.

James Allen True Hearts diamond reviews, SKU 2485816

Very good optical precision.

With that in mind, take a closer look at the hearts patterns exhibited by these True Hearts diamonds. In this case, the diamond on the left is 1.20 carats, J-color, VS-2 clarity. While the diamond on the right is a 1.22 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond.

Evaluating H&A Patterns:

In the first place, the hearts pattern on the left looks brighter and whiter. As a matter of fact, this has nothing to do with the diamonds. So, don't spend more than a second or two thinking about it. After all, the camera settings and room temperature can affect the degree of hue and saturation.

Although this may be true, the hearts pattern looks more consistent on the diamond on the left. Specifically, the shape of the hearts looks more uniform than the diamond on the right. To begin with, the spacing around the hearts seems to be more even. Secondly, the tips of the hearts do not appear to be bending to the left or the right. Whereas the tips of the hearts appear to be bending slightly on the diamond on the right.

In addition, there don't appear to be any splits in the clefts of the hearts. Under those circumstances, this a good example of a decent hearts and arrows pattern. Although this may be true, a higher degree of optical precision will produce even better light performance.

Which James Allen True Hearts diamond should you buy?

Obviously, the JA True Hearts diamond above on the right shows more variation in the hearts pattern. In fact, there is a little more variation in the size and shape of the hearts. At the same time, the spacing around the hearts appears to be more uneven. And the tips of the hearts appear to be bending slightly.

As a matter of fact, that might indicate a difference in the length of the lower girdle facets. Or it could mean that the diamond is slightly off kilter on the platform. In other words, the camera lens might not be aligned with the surface of the diamond.

With that in mind, did you notice the black edge around the diamond on the right? Clearly, it is sitting slightly off kilter in the platform that holds the diamond in place. At the same time, the inclusions are affecting our perception of the pattern by interrupting it.

If you take a closer look, then you'll see what I mean and why that needs to be taken into account. Of course, this is one of those things that you have to be aware of in order to see it. And that is what this tutorial about James Allen Diamonds is all about. Because I want to help you see the differences, so that you can make the best choice.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond:

As you can see, there are several things you'll want to keep in mind when comparing hearts and arrows diamonds. From my perspective, the goal is to select the diamond that exhibits the highest degree of optical precision.

Choose to Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Choose to Shine with True Hearts.

I tend not to waste time trying to figure out what the pattern would look like if the diamond had been properly positioned on the platform. I'm more likely to just pick the better of the two options. In this case, I would just buy the 1.20 carat, J-color, VS-2 clarity, True Hearts diamond on the left.

To begin with, the diamond appears to offer a higher degree of optical precision. In addition, I have the peace of mind of knowing that it's going to face-up eye clean. After all, it is VS-2 in clarity and those always look eye-clean to me.

With that in mind, it's always about evaluating the characteristics and weighing the options. In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect diamond. However, some are going to be cut better than others. And the selection process revolves around deciding what characteristics are preferable to you.

The Mythical "Eye Clean" SI-1 clarity diamond:

I know that you've heard people talk about SI-2 and SI-1 clarity diamonds that are eye clean. However, I've never run across one in 30+ years of diamond grading. In fact, I've always been able to locate the inclusions within SI-1 clarity diamonds with just my eyes. Especially when I know where and what to look for. That is why I put eye clean semi-included diamonds in the same class as mythical unicorns.

(I'm not saying that they don't exist, but I've never seen one). Although this is not surprising. Because the method for determining whether a diamond is "eye clean" is to simply glance at it from 9-12 inches.

Falling Edge Halo Setting James Allen Diamonds 17085W14

Falling Edge Halo Setting.

Under those circumstances, it's deemed "eye clean" if the inclusions are not "readily and immediately visible" to a trained grader.

Now tell me something and be perfectly honest. Is it likely that you and your fiancé are merely going to glance at your diamond from 9-12 inches? Or are you more likely to scrutinize the hell out of it?

That's right, you're going to scrutinize the diamond while studying it from every angle possible. In that case, the falling edge halo setting is an appropriate choice. After all, the diamonds are visible from every angle.

Most People Expect Diamonds to be Crystal Clear:

That is why I recommend buying a diamond with a minimum clarity of VS-2. At least, that's what you should do if you want it to face-up eye clean. However, there is nothing wrong with being able to see diamond inclusions with just your eyes. In fact, I chose a 2.25 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond for my own wedding ring.

Perfect Focus Eye Sight Chart

Focus on Perfection.

In that case, I could find the primary inclusion readily and immediately without magnification. Therefore, the diamond was not eye clean even though other people could not see the inclusion.

At the same time, I was perfectly fine with the SI-2 clarity grade because it enabled me to buy a larger diamond. Which brings us back to the original point about having reasonable expectations.

Remember Happiness = Reality / Expectations.

Obviously, I only had so much money to spend on the diamond for my wedding ring. In addition, I didn't want to sacrifice on diamond cut quality. After all, that dictates the volume of light return and the sparkle factor.

Under those circumstances, I purchased an SI-2 clarity diamond for my ring. However, I also had no illusions about it being eye clean. At the same time, I didn't expect an I-color diamond to face-up like a G-color diamond.

As a result, I was incredibly happy with my 2.25 carat diamond and the incredible sparkle was the only thing that anybody else ever seemed to notice.

Although this may be true, it is also important to realize that everybody sees things differently. As a skilled diamond grader, it's likely that I'm going to see the inclusions within a diamond easier than you will. In addition, we all have different degrees of vision.

Thus, one person might deem an SI-1 or SI-2 clarity diamond to be eye clean. While another person might be able to see the inclusions more easily without magnification.

What Does This Have to Do With James Allen Diamonds?

3-sided pave basket setting, sku 17728R14

3-Sided Pavé Basket Setting.

You might be wondering what all of this has to do with James Allen Diamonds. After all, you came here to learn more about them and I've gone off on some rant about happiness, reality, and expectations. In addition, I threw in an unexpected tutorial on diamond cut quality, hearts and arrows, diamond color, clarity, and a bunch more.

That's right. Because over the years I've discovered that providing my clients with in-depth diamond grading tutorials increases their level of satisfaction dramatically. Being aware of the pros and cons of the diamond you buy from them, ensures your complete satisfaction.

Speaking of which, this three sided pavé setting looks absolutely delicious! Of course, it would be even more so if that were a real piece of chocolate!

To Thine Own Self Be True:

Look. I don't always buy the very best, highest quality, most expensive option when I set out to buy something. However, I do want to know the differences between the options, so that I can make an informed decision. That is one of the reasons why James Allen is a good fit for me and my clients.

Style 17642W14 Vintage Inspired Floral Bouquet Ring

Vintage Floral Bouquet Setting.

In the first place, they offer an extensive inventory of diamonds in a broad range of qualities. Obviously, the majority of those diamonds are not going to meet my selection criteria. But that's not important because a small percentage of diamonds will meet my selection criteria. In that case, those few diamonds are the ones that we'll focus on.

What is more important than the percentage of diamonds that meet my selection criteria is the wealth of information that they provide on their diamond details pages. Speaking of details, how do you take your morning coffee?

Would you like a little ice with that? In that case, you might like to add this vintage style floral bouquet setting. It's very popular with the millennials who like this vendor. Oh, wait, that was actually the next point.

Why JA is Popular with Millennials:

The innovative technological approach that the company takes towards marketing diamonds makes them a popular choice for millennials. James Allen offers:

  • 360 HD videos.
  • Ideal Scope image for True Hearts diamonds.
  • Hearts Scope image for True Hearts diamonds.
  • Real-time diamond consultations over chat/phone.
  • Design your own custom engagement ring.
  • Hassle free 30 day return policy.
  • Free shipping worldwide.
  • 60-day free ring sizing and more!
  • Pay by credit card, cash/wire transfer, or financing OAC.

With that in mind, you can buy your diamond engagement ring from James Allen with confidence. Of course, it goes without saying that they offer a broad selection of diamonds in different qualities. Thus, you'll want to know how to set the search criteria to find the best diamond.

How to Search James Allen Diamonds:

If you're anything like most people buying an engagement ring, you want to buy the best diamond available for your money. The challenge of course is that the superlative "best diamond" as used in this example is undefined. In other words, the best diamond (why) according to whom, as compared to what?

Under those circumstances, my goal is to provide you with the best diamond buying advice possible. With that in mind, we should focus on diamonds that offer the best light performance. In the first place, that means diamonds that offer the highest volume of light return. Secondly, they should exhibit a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

That means that there should be an even distribution of white and colored sparkle. In addition, you want to see broad-spectrum sparkle becuase it's more intense than pin-fire. With that in mind, you're going to want to set the Advanced Options like this:

Advanced Settings for Diamond Search.

Advanced Options Settings to Search for True Hearts Diamonds.

How to Set the Advanced Options:

To begin with, you'll want to set the basic search criteria to whatever range you prefer. Then, you'll set the Advanced Options to maximize performance using the recommendations below.

After all, the GIA Excellent and AGS Ideal-0 ratings represent a broad range of possibilities. As a matter of fact, some ideal cut diamonds perform like a 40-watt bulb. In other words, they suck and you want to avoid them at all costs. 

Consequently, diamonds with proportions in the middle of the spectrum tend to deliver the best light return. In that case, you should avoid diamonds with proportions on the outer edge of the scale.

With that in mind, click on "Advanced Options" to set the following criteria for round diamonds:

  • Polish and Symmetry = Excellent.
  • Lab = GIA and AGS.
  • Total Depth between 59 - 61.8%.
  • Table Diameter between 53 - 58%.

Since I'm a huge fan of blue fluorescent diamonds, I'm going to leave that range wide open. After all, I consider medium to strong blue fluorescence in diamonds to be a positive trait. That's because the presence of blue fluorescence is likely to improve your perception of diamond color.

The Optimum Crown/Pavilion Angle Offset:

As a matter of fact, the range of proportions for the AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent cut grades are extremely broad. Obviously, it's probably an attempt by the labs to appeal to the masses. In other words, they're trying to appease the diamond cutters who might otherwise send their (sloppy production) to a more lenient laboratory.

With that in mind, you must decide what level of light performance you want from your ideal cut diamond. If you want a diamond that is going to perform like a Porsche 911 Turbo, then I suggest the following:

  • Crown angle between 34.3 - 35.0 degrees.
  • Pavilion angle between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees.

If you are looking for the best performance, then I strongly suggest that you do not deviate from this range. As a matter of fact, this range of crown angle will produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. While a pavilion angle in that range will produce the highest volume of light return. Any deviation from this range of proportions will decrease performance and affect the sparkle factor.

Effect of Crown Angle on Sparkle Factor:

The crown angle primarily dictates the balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion (colored sparkle/fire). A crown angle between 34.3 - 35.0 degrees tends to produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

On the one hand, a crown angle shallower than 34.2 degrees is likely to create a higher amount of brilliance. However, it may be at the expense of dispersion that is colored sparkle or fire. On the other hand, a crown angle steeper than 35.5 degrees is likely to produce more dispersion.

Five Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

5 Stone Engagement Ring.

However, it may be at the expense of brilliance or white sparkle. Especially if the crown height is 16% or steeper because the extra depth heightens the degree of light leakage.

Consequently, it seems like most round diamonds with a crown angle of 36 degrees look amazing when under jewelry store lighting. As a matter of fact, that type of halogen lighting is a pinfire light source designed to mimic firelight.

Unfortunately the steeper crown height tends to make the diamonds look dead and dark in the middle. At least under the diffused lighting conditions that most of us live and work under in this modern age.

Effect of Pavilion Angle on Light Return:

A pavilion angle between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees creates the highest volume of light return in a round brilliant cut diamond. Any deviation from a pavilion angle between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees will reduce the volume of light return.

Round Cushion Outline Halo Setting.

Cushion Shape Halo for Round.

People frequently ask me whether a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees is close enough. In that case, we're only talking about the difference of one tenth of a degree.

After all, how much of a difference can one tenth of a degree possibly make? Suffice to say, it's enough of a difference that I drew the line at 40.9 degrees.

Make sure that the pavilion depth measurement is between 42.5 - 43.3 percent. I find that light begins not to strike fully off the pavilion facets when the depth is 43.5% and deeper. From my perspective, a pavilion depth of 43.5% is the kiss of death as it applies to light return. As a matter of fact, it is the critical tipping point where light begins not to strike fully off the pavilion facets.

Get to Know Your Diamond from 360-degrees:

Segoma Diamond Imaging System

High Resolution Video for True Hearts Diamonds.

As a pioneer of the online diamond industry, there is immense satisfaction in seeing how much things have advanced. "Back in the day" (less than twenty years ago!) we thought we were "all that and a bag of chips!" Because we figured out how to provide our clients with a few photographs.

Fast forward twenty years and you're able to evaluate diamonds on James Allen from every angle in high definition video. State-of-the-art 3D imaging technology enables you to see James Allen True Hearts diamonds from every vantage point.

Left click your mouse over the video and hold it down to drag the diamond left or right. Not only can you see the inclusions, but you can see how how well the diamond reflects light. How cool is that?

Benefits of Segoma 3D Imaging:

Using 3D images to judge light return and sparkle factor takes practice. Howevrer, you'll get the hang of it quickly. Then, you can use the hearts image to judge the degree of optical precision. Just look for a hearts pattern that is consistent in size and shape like the one above. Of course, minor variances are acceptable because these diamonds are turned on the wheel by hand.

Blossoming Vine Engagement Ring, SKU 17548W18

Blossoming Vine Engagement Ring.

Although that may be true, you want to avoid diamonds with hearts that vary dramatically in size and shape. In addition, avoid diamonds where the tips of the hearts are twisting in either direction. Because those characteristics indicate a difference in the length of the lower girdle facets.

The Ideal Scope image in the lower right corner of the frame enables you to determine the degree to which a diamond is leaking light. All diamonds leak light to some extent, so we're looking for the ones that reflect more light back up towards the observer.

Once you find the right diamond, then it's just a matter of choosing the right setting. In that case, this blossoming vine engagement ring looks like a great option! Of course, there are many more styles to choose from. Under those circumstances, you'll want to check out all the settings that they offer. 

30-day Returns on James Allen Diamonds:

It goes without saying that buying a diamond engagement ring sight-unseen off the internet can seem a daunting experience. At the same time, the technology available on James Allen makes it possible for you to evaluate a diamond like never before.

James Allen Hassle Free Returns

Hassle Free 30 Day Returns.

In the first place, you're able to see the characteristics of diamonds in 3D high definition video. Secondly, you can move the diamond with your mouse and evaluate it facet-by-facet. Plus, the reflector scope images enable you to judge the degree of optical precision.

As a matter of fact, very little is left to chance. However, in the event that you don't absolutely love the diamond you buy from James Allen, they offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

That means that you can order a diamond from James Allen and inspect it in the comfort of your own home. Obviously, you'll want to walk it around in all different types of lighting conditions. Then you'll be able to see how it performs in the real world.

Let Your Dog Give It The Sniff Test:

Because you can return the diamond for a full refund if you don't like it for any reason. Will your local brick and mortar jeweler do that? Probably not and they're not likely to give you full credit on an upgrade either. And that's what makes this next questin pretty funny:

"Can you trust James Allen to honor the terms of their 30 day return policy?" You're kidding me, right?

Cute Dog Proposal, James Allen SKU 17740R14

Cute Dog Proposal with Diamond Solitaire.

Do you really think that a company that sells upwards of $200 million dollars worth of jewelry a year is going to hassle you about your return?

The whole premise of their success is built upon the foundation of you being another satisfied customer. With that in mind, they'll even pay the cost for return shipping up to three times!

Of course, you can always get the dog to present the ring on your behalf. In that case, there will be no need to return the ring. After all, who can say no to that face?

Designing Your Engagement Ring:

By now you know that James Allen is a great place to buy an engagement ring. With more than 150,000 diamonds to choose from, the odds are that you'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for. It's simply a matter of deciding on the best combination of carat weight, color, and clarity.

Oval, Round, Emerald Cut Halo Settings

Choose Your Favorite Halo Setting.

Obviously, I'm going to encourage you to focus on diamonds that are cut to the highest standards. After all, it is the cut quality of a diamond that dictates the light performance. Characteristics like carat weight, color, and clarity are less noticeable than cut quality and sparkle factor.

If you're looking for a good middle ground, I suggest limiting your search to diamonds that are VS-2 and higher in clarity within the range of I-color and higher. Remember that diamonds that exhibit medium to strong blue fluorescence may look slightly whiter and brighter than diamonds without fluorescence. At the same time, the effect of fluorescence is so subtle that most people are not apt to see it without some coaching.

James Allen Designer Settings:

If you're looking for a designer setting, then you'll find some of the more popular designs:

How to Buy an Engagement Ring in 3 Easy Steps:

If you've made it to the end of this James Allen review, then you know more about buying a diamond than most people. You're going to be able to buy a diamond engagement ring from them with confidence and peace of mind.

  1. 1
    Select a Diamond.
  2. 2
    Choose Your Favorite Setting.
  3. 3
    Review Your Order & Checkout.

All you really need to do to be successful is to set the search parameters as outlined above. Be sure that the crown and pavilion angle offsets are within my preferred range.

Petite Pave Crown Setting James Allen Diamonds

The Petite Pavé Crown Setting.

Look at the diamond in the 3D high definition video and see that light is reflecting evenly throughout the facets.

You'll also want to make sure that the arrows pattern is exhibiting high contrast brilliance and that there isn't a lot of obstruction under the table facet

Then you just click the link to put the diamond in the shopping cart and set off to select the perfect engagement ring. In the event that you're looking for inspiration, the petite pave crown setting is a popular choice. After all, that puppy to the left looks pretty happy with it.

In-depth Diamond Buying Advice (for free):

Of course, you might still have some questions about the diamonds you are considering. That's all right, I would be surprised if you weren't a little hesitant to buy a diamond sight-unseen off the internet without some professional insight. That is why I want to invite you to take advantage of our free diamond concierge service.

How to Create a Win Win Situation

Our Free Diamond Concierge Service.

Just click the blue button below and fill out the form. Be sure to send us links to any diamonds that you are considering, or you can just tell us what you are looking for and the price range you are working with.

We'll be happy to search for diamonds that meet our selection criteria and provide you with an in-depth analysis for free.

We only ask that you use our links when you place your order. Thank you.

Nice Ice Blueprint™

Download Your FREE Copy of the Nice Ice Blueprint™
The Ultimate Diamond Buying Guide for 2020

Copyright 2020 by Gray Matter Development LLC

97 Shares
Share89
Pin8
Tweet