Brilliance.com Review (2022) – Read This Before Buying
- Low prices (loose diamonds)
- Huge inventory (even though not own stock)
- Good customer service
- Extensive customization options
- Not own inventory but wholesale lists
- Subjective grading of pre-set diamond jewelry
- Low quality 360-degree videos
- Confusing and sub-par shipping and terms
Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by LabGrownCarats
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Summary of Brilliance.com Review
Brilliance.com is a well-established online jeweler that has been in the diamond business for decades. Brilliance.com generally receives excellent reviews, and it’s known for its low prices and excellent customer service. Brilliance.com not only sells mined diamonds but also lab-grown. That’s why we decided to review Brilliance.com, and in our Brilliance.com review, we’ll see if they live up to the expectations and what you should consider before buying.
Our Brilliance.com review finds that Brilliance offers great prices compared to some of the best online jewelers. They have a large diamond inventory, but not all diamonds are actually available, even if they are listed on their site. Brilliance.com has great customer support, making the buying experience easy and user-friendly.
However, Brilliance.com also suffers from slow order processing and delivery, partly due to them not having the diamonds listed in stock, subjective grading of ready-to-ship diamond jewelry, low-quality diamond image and video, and confusing and sub-par terms.
All in all, our Brilliance.com review finds that they offer reasonable prices and a decent shopping experience, but with some drawbacks. Our final Brilliance.com review score lands at 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Learn more about what we like and dislike about Brilliance and what you need to know before buying in our in-depth Brilliance.com review.
3 diamond jewelers we like better than Brilliance.com
Continue reading our Brilliance.com review.
- Who is Brilliance.com?
- Brilliance.com sells both mined and lab-grown diamonds
- Brilliance.com lab-grown diamond selection and quality
- Brilliance.com diamond buying process
- Brilliance.com diamond inspection
- Brilliance.com lab-grown diamond prices
- Brilliance.com shipping and returns
- Brilliance.com Review Verdict
Who is Brilliance.com?
Jacob Ohayon started Brilliance.com in 1989. He is a GIA-trained and certified gemologist with years of experience in the diamond industry. The company was initially created by importing diamonds to the US and later selling them directly to consumers. Since 2006, Brilliance has been selling diamonds online through its website at Brilliance.com and has morphed into the online diamond jeweler it is today.
Brilliance.com operates out of Boynton Beach, Florida, where they also have a showroom just like Clean Origin which has a showroom in Texas. However, Brilliance.com does not have any stores such as Brilliant Earth or Vrai. They also don’t collaborate with other jewelers such as Ritani or James Allen.
Who owns Brilliance.com
Brilliance.com is owned by Jacob Ohayon, who started the company in 1989. Since 2006, Brilliance has operated only through Brilliance.com, where they sell diamonds directly to consumers.
Is Brilliance.com legit?
Brilliance.com is a legit jeweler who has been in the diamond industry for decades. They are members of the Jewelers of America (JA) industry association. Brilliance.com has received hundreds of positive reviews at Trustpilot. In our Brilliance.com review, we find that they are trustworthy and legit. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before buying.
Does Brilliance.com have any stores?
Brilliance.com does not have any stores, but they do have a showroom in Boynton Beach, Florida, where they are headquartered. You can find their showroom at 3469 Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach, FL 33436. It’s recommended that you set up an appointment before visiting. Call them at 866-737-0754 to schedule an appointment or contact them through email or chat. Briliance.com is open 24 hours, Sunday – Thursday. 12:00am – 7:00pm Fridays and 10:00am – Midnight Saturdays.
Brilliance.com sells both mined and lab-grown diamonds
Brilliance.com has been selling diamonds for decades, long before lab-grown diamonds in gem quality became available at the prices that you find today–not long ago, lab-grown diamonds were prohibitively expensive (learn more about the history of lab-grown diamonds).
It’s, therefore, not surprising that Brilliance.com sells mined diamonds. But we’re happy to learn that they are now also selling lab-created diamonds, the ethical diamond choice. This is similar to some of our favorite places to buy lab-grown diamonds, such as Ritani and James Allen.
In some cases, we find that jewelers who sell mined diamonds tend to focus more on those, while lab-grown diamonds are a secondary option. We also often find that jewelers will not be forthcoming about the many benefits of lab-grown diamonds over mined ones to avoid off-putting mined diamond customers.
Brilliance.com, it turns out, is very honest about the benefits of lab diamonds while not trying to hide them. In fact, they’re very open about the many reasons lab-created diamonds are better than mined ones, which we applaud.
However, as with other jewelers who started by selling mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds do not feature as prominently at Brilliance.com. For example, several jewelry categories feature only mined diamonds, and lab diamonds are a little hidden on the site. However, it’s not uncommon in the industry since margins on mined diamonds tend to be higher (and so do prices).
Does Brilliance.com sell real diamonds?
Brilliance.com sells 100% real diamonds. They sell both mined and lab-grown diamonds. Brilliance.com also sells diamond alternatives or replicas, such as moissanite, but they are very clear that they are not real diamonds and do not feature prominently at Brilliance.com. Conversely, lab-grown diamonds, which are 100% real diamonds and precisely the same as mined diamonds, are available at Brilliance.com. As we have found in our review, Brilliance.com offers great prices on lab-grown diamonds, albeit with some issues, which you can learn more about in our Brilliance.com review.
Next, in our Brilliance.com review, we’ll see if this limited focus on lab-grown diamonds is also reflected in their inventory.
Brilliance.com lab-grown diamond selection and quality
When assessing the lab-grown diamond inventory in our review of Brilliance.com, we’ll look at both their selection of loose lab diamonds and their pre-set jewelry featuring lab-created diamonds.
See also our lab-grown diamond buying guide if you need help finding the perfect lab-created diamond.
Brilliance loose lab-grown diamond inventory
In total, at the time of the review, Brilliance.com had 142,243 lab-grown diamonds to choose from. That is more than any other diamond jewelers we have reviewed, such as the 110,000+ that Ritani and GemsNY had in store. But there’s a catch.
As we’ll come back to later, Brilliance.com does not, in fact, have all these diamonds in stock. Instead, they list diamonds available based on diamond inventory feeds from wholesalers. What that means is that when you pick a specific diamond, Brilliance.com first have to confirm that the diamond in question is still available, and they’ll then place an order for it.
The problem is that you’re not guaranteed to get the exact stone you have been looking at. And that’s a huge drawback and hindrance to the diamond purchase due diligence process.
It’s not uncommon in the industry. However, Brilliance.com seems more prone to using these lists and the drawbacks they entail. In addition to running the risk of not getting the diamond you wanted, it leads to delays in the order process–at a potentially time-critical moment.
Ignoring the use of wholesale diamond lists, we’ll continue our Brilliance review by further assessing their “inventory”. When we evaluate diamond inventory in our lab-grown diamond reviews, we also use a reference diamond, a lab diamond suitable for many purposes and a popular weight.
Our reference diamond is a round brilliant-cut stone, weighing 0.93-1.07 carat* The clarity is VS1-2 with an I or J color grade (some will prefer a higher color grade). The lab diamond cut, of course, is always the highest possible. With lab-grown diamonds, most often certified by IGI, that is ideal. The lab diamonds at Brilliance.com are certified mainly by IGI, so that’s the grade we’ll use.
*You can often find an excellent deal by going under and over the popular 1-carat.
Narrowing our search to these criteria, we find 178 “available” diamonds. Unfortunately, as seen in the below image, many of the diamonds are missing pictures, and the image background varies a lot. All of that is due to the use of wholesale lists. Some wholesalers or diamond feeds do not contain images, and coming from various vendors, the image composition will vary. The latter is not a problem as such, but not having images of the actual diamond available is a huge issue.
On the plus side, certificates are available for all diamonds, also the ones without images. However, 360 video images are not. Of course, you can request them, but that defeats the purpose of browsing and comparing diamonds.
To compare, we found over 472 when searching Ritani’s database and over 100 qualified lab-grown diamonds at GemsNY, which all had actual diamond images. Discounting the lack of pictures and confirmed availability, the inventory of Brilliance.com is still more extensive than what we have seen at many other diamond jewelers.
Brilliance.com pre-set lab-grown diamond inventory
If you do not want to spend time searching for your diamond stones, you can pick a ready-made jewelry piece where the diamonds are pre-selected. However, we don’t generally recommend that you do that since many jewelers use sub-par diamonds for pre-set jewelry and because you’ll get a better deal and diamond by choosing it yourself.
The main issue is diamond cut, which often will not even be listed. This is absurd since the diamond cut is the most critical aspect of any diamond. A notable exception is Ritani, who uses ideal-cut diamonds.
It turns out that another notable exception to that rule is Brilliance.com. Or so it seems. The good part first. You can see the diamond cut grade of all pre-set jewelry, unlike at many other places where you must first ask.
For the most part, the cut grade listed is ideal, which is the best grade that IGI employs, while GIA uses excellent as the best cut grade. And that’s when we got a little confused. Because looking at mined pre-set jewelry, the cut grade is listed as ideal. So either they don’t use GIA-graded diamonds (the best diamond lab for mined diamonds). Or they grade the diamonds themselves, just like Vrai does.
Now, for smaller diamonds, typically access stones or when they are too small to grade (such as a tennis diamond bracelet with 50+ diamonds totaling 1 carat). In that case, the grading may be carried out in-house or by the vendor, and you’ll just have to trust the quality or make sure you can return the product.
However, an independent diamond laboratory should grade diamonds of a specific size. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at Brilliance.com, as their customer support confirmed.
All the diamonds in the non custom jewlery are certified and graded in house by our master gemologistBrilliance.com
So while it’s fantastic that Brilliance.com uses ideal cut diamonds, they are, in fact, graded by themselves.
However, at Brilliance.com, they can customize any jewelry and use any diamond you find in the mined or lab-grown inventory. And that’s precisely what we recommend that you do.
And that leads us to the second part: The lack of inclusion of lab diamonds in the inventory at Brilliance.com. Except for diamond stud earrings, all pre-set diamond jewelry is only available with mined diamonds. And as we suspected, the main focus of Brilliance.com, as is the case with many jewelers not solely focused on lab diamonds.
That said, the ability to customize any jewelry with the diamond of choice is a huge benefit, which we’ll get back to later in the Brilliance.com review.
Brilliance.com lab-grown diamond certification
As we have already touched on, diamonds in pre-set jewelry are all graded in-house, which, at best, can be used as a guide. So instead, you should choose your own diamonds from their diamond inventory. And all lab-grown diamonds that Brilliance.com lists are certified by IGI (the leading lab-grown diamond grading institute).
So if you pick a diamond from their loose diamond inventory, you can trust that you are buying a legit diamond and that the grade is trustworthy. And, as we’ll see in the following section of the Brilliance.com review, you get access to all grading reports on the site.
Brilliance.com diamond buying process
The next part of our Brilliance.com review is an evaluation of the buying experience on their website.
Like many other online diamond retailers, the purchasing procedure is straightforward and user-friendly. Either choose a piece of jewelry already set with a diamond or begin by finding a loose diamond you want to use (we recommend the latter).
Brilliance.com’s ready-to-ship lab diamond jewelry selection is limited to stud earrings. So you would have to customize it anyway.
While it’s only possible to customize diamond rings online, you can contact the Brilliance.com support team, and they can help you customize any type of jewelry. That’s really great, though we would have preferred the option also to do it online. It’s not as smooth a process going through support, but it’s doable, and something Ritani and Clean Origin also do for some jewelry types.
Finding a diamond is easy and almost identical to most other online jewelers. You enter your search criteria, and the website returns diamonds fitting those. Many results are returned, but these are based on wholesale diamond feeds. So you may want to find a backup stone in case the first one is unavailable.
If you want help deciding what to search for, follow the steps in our lab-grown diamond buying guide.
In addition to reading our guides to finding suitable diamonds, you may also want to consult with the jeweler’s customer support team. Some diamond jewelers, like James Allen, Ritani, and Clean Origin, offer trained gemologist support through virtual appointments and chat functions (James Allen wins for the best inspection features).
Brilliance.com also offers this service. You can either call, chat or set up a virtual appointment. But, again, it’s straightforward to do, and their customer service team is very responsive (even on the weekend, they’ll respond in less than a minute). That’s pretty impressive.
The virtual appointments can’t be scheduled online but require you to fill out a request form. However, other jewelers such as James Allen, Ritani, Grown Brilliance, Brilliant Earth, and more allow you to schedule appointments online, which is much more convenient.
Customer service is friendly and helpful, though they are a little pushy and, at times, seem more focused on getting you closer to a sale than answering your questions. However, they’ll get there, and you should ensure you answer all your questions. And always compare with other jewelers. This includes comparing diamonds in detail, which we refer to as diamond inspection, and that’s exactly what we’ll look at next in our Brilliance.com review.
Brilliance.com diamond inspection
In this section of our Brilliance.com review, we’ll assess the diamond inspection features on their site. This is a crucial part of the buying process and probably one of the most complicated. Therefore, you must have access to the right features and information.
You’ll perform the diamond inspection once you have found a shortlist of suitable diamonds. Then, you compare them by clicking from the results page to the individual diamond page.
At Brilliance.com, this is also very similar to how it works at other online jewelers. You’ll land on a page with many additional details about the particular diamond, images, and 360-degree video.
The image presented is decent quality and easy to zoom in, though the quality could have been a little better (a higher resolution would have been nice). The 360-degree video images are also a must-have feature, but again, the resolution is a little low. In this case, we find it to be too low.
The video feature is very valuable, allowing you to loop the video by looking at specific aspects of the diamond (looking for any inclusions or blemishes). It’s just a shame the quality is almost too low for it to be helpful.
You can also access the diamond measurements, which you can compare against the ideal type (learn more about lab diamond shapes).
Lastly, and very importantly, you get direct access to the diamond certificate, which details the diamond grades and any inclusions or blemishes that could impact the diamond’s clarity.
The only issue is that the certificate loads in a small pop-up window, making it difficult to read, but you can always download the pdf (or zoom in).
In summary, the diamond inspection features are good, and we like that there’s direct access to all diamond certificates. However, the image, particularly the 360-degree video, is of too low quality for you to perform the proper due diligence.
Brilliance.com lab-grown diamond prices
When evaluating prices in our review of Brilliance.com, we start by looking at the cost of loose diamonds. These are much easier to compare, even though diamonds are unique and inherently impossible to compare precisely. So instead, we compare the overall price ranges for high-quality diamonds.
On average, the prices at Brilliance.com are very competitive and close to the price leaders Clean Origin, Brilliant Earth, Grown Brilliance, and Ritani. As a result, you’ll often find lab-grown diamond sales at Brilliance.com and be able to make a good deal.
We recommend signing up for our newsletter to be alerted of sales and see any ongoing sales like Black Friday or holiday sales.
Using our reference diamond as a yardstick, the prices at Brilliance.com range from $665 to $2,421. Based on our appraisal, the wide spread in prices seems to be due to Brilliance.com sourcing their inventory from various places rather than differences in quality alone.
That also explains how Brilliance.com sometimes matches the prices of price-leaders such as Ritani and Clean Origin and sometimes is closer to those of Vrai or Best Brilliance. But overall, Brilliance.com does offer competitive prices. So if you don’t mind the potentially longer wait and uncertainty of the diamond being available, you might be able to get a great deal.
See here if you want to compare the price of a 1-carat lab-grown diamond.
As for ready-to-ship jewelry with pre-set diamonds, recall that Brilliance.com only offers stud earrings with lab diamonds. Otherwise, you’ll have to customize (which we recommend anyway).
Their lab-grown diamond stud earrings run from $275 for 0.25 carat total weight (that is 0.125 carats each) to $6,795 for 4 total carats. A 1 total carat set of lab-diamond stud earrings costs $1,095, which puts Brilliance.com above Clean Origin at $800 (for their “great value” diamond quality) and below the $1,356 at Ritani (though there’s is often a Ritani diamond sale).
It’s critical to note that the diamond cut quality at Ritani is ideal, the best. At the same time, it’s lower at Clean Origin, and we recommend the ideal pair at Ritani over Clean Origin. Brilliance.com lists the cut grade as ideal, but as we have found, the diamond has been graded by themselves, just like Vrai does. So we would not necessarily trust that grade to be comparable to the independent ideal cut grade that the diamonds at Ritani have received.
Brilliance.com shipping and returns
The last part of our Brilliance.com review considers their shipping and return policies.
The shipping costs at Brilliance.com is, to be honest, a little complicated, so they have a table. It’s even a little contradictory. Brilliance.com state shipping is free, but orders over $2,000 cost $35 to ship. That’s not exactly free, even if it is the nicer overnight delivery option. We think they should just offer free expedited shipping on all orders like James Allen and others do. At least you don’t have to pay for all shipping like with Zales.
Brilliance.com offers 30-day free returns, which is pretty standard. However, note that the period starts at the shipping time, not when you receive it. We would have liked to see a longer return period, such as at Grown Brilliance (45 days) or Clean Origin (100 days).
Also, note that it can’t be canceled once an order begins processing. That’s a little odd, considering that the processing at Brilliance.com is relatively slow. However, again, it’s likely due to Brilliance.com relying on wholesale diamond lists and buying the diamond from the wholesaler.
They also state that custom items can’t be returned or canceled. It makes sense that engraved items or something very custom and unsellable to someone else has limited returns. However, custom items can still be resold, and other diamond jewelers offer much more lenient terms for custom items.
Brilliance.com Review Verdict
In our Brilliance.com review, we have found both positives and negatives.
Positives include competitive prices, good and responsive support, and the option to schedule virtual appointments, even if they are a little cumbersome.
We also appreciate their vast inventory of lab-grown diamonds, though it’s not really their own inventory but rather wholesale lists. Nevertheless, it does give the buyer a wide range of options.
We like that diamond certificates are readily available and that IGI grades their lab diamonds. The diamond inspection process is adequate, but as we note below, it could be improved.
Lastly, we appreciate that they list the many benefits of lab-grown diamonds clearly and do not try to hide them to not speak poorly about mined diamonds.
On the negative side, we were disappointed in the minimal inventory of ready-to-ship jewelry with lab diamonds and the lack of independent grading of the diamonds they use for pre-set jewelry.
While the diamond inspection, on the whole, is adequate, we think the resolution of the images should be improved, particularly the 360-degree video images.
Another issue is the potential uncertainty of getting the actual diamond you have looked at due to the use of wholesale diamond lists. We recommend that you find at least one alternative option. In addition, it could delay the order process, which may be problematic if you’re running short on time. So make sure you’re buying well in advance of your need.
Lastly, we didn’t like their return policies and confusing shipping options. If you are choosing your own diamond and thus “customizing”, we recommend you first get written assurance that you can return the product for a full refund.
Concluding our Brilliance.com review, we find that Brilliance.com falls behind the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds. But they are also far from the poor experiences of Helzberg, Lightbox Jewelry, and Zales.
If you find the perfect diamond at the right price at Brilliance.com, and you don’t mind the potential extra wait or choosing another diamond, and if you are assured you can return your jewelry for a full refund, then we won’t hesitate to recommend that you buy it from them.
However, in case you want to avoid all those “ifs” then we recommend you compare with our highest-rated lab-grown diamond sellers such as Clean Origin, James Allen, Grown Brilliance, Brilliant Earth, and Ritani for their low prices, extensive inventories, and superior service and support. You can read more about them and other sellers in our lab-grown diamond seller reviews section.