Friendly Diamonds Review – Read This Before Buying (Updated 2024)

Friendly Diamonds

USD 595
4.1

Price

4.0/5

Selection

4.0/5

Service

4.5/5

Features

4.0/5

Sustainability

4.0/5

Pros

  • Easy, transparent buying
  • Support by certified gemologists
  • GIA-graded lab diamonds
  • Competitive prices
  • Fully focused on lab-grown diamonds

Cons

  • Inventory skews toward more expensive grades
  • Some return policy restrictions
  • Missing product and diamond images

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Summary of Friendly Diamonds Review

Friendly Diamonds may be a relative newcomer to the lab-grown diamond world, but that does not mean you should rule them out for your lab-grown diamond needs. They specialize in lab diamonds and primarily focus on engagement rings, but they also offer earrings, other pieces of lab diamond jewelry, and loose stones.

Our review of Friendly Diamonds finds they provide great service, fair prices, a slightly limited but high-quality selection of lab-grown diamonds, and an easy buying process. In addition, they offer expert gemologist guidance, and you can book appointments on their site and their location in NYC.

We would have liked to see more advanced and in-depth diamond inspection features, such as more HD images and HD videos for all diamonds. Nevertheless, they make certificates readily available, which is excellent and partly makes up for the lack of inspection.

In addition, they have a decent selection of GIA-certified lab diamonds in their inventory, which is a plus for anyone who prefers diamonds graded by the world’s most well-known institute.

Prices are slightly higher than some of the cheapest lab-grown diamond jewelers, such as Ritani, but they do have a price match guarantee, which you can always try to avail of.

Our updated 2024 Friendly Diamonds review shows that they still offer an excellent assisted diamond shopping experience and reasonable prices. If you find the perfect lab diamond in their inventory, consider them and compare them with our other recommended jewelers. Our rating lands an excellent 4.1 stars out of 5, bringing them on par with Best Brilliance and GemsNY.

Friendly Diamonds Rating:

Three diamond jewelers we like better than Friendly Diamonds

Who are Friendly Diamonds?

Friendly Diamonds started its journey selling environmentally-friendly lab-grown diamonds to consumers. While they might be relatively new to selling lab-created diamonds to consumers, the people behind Friendly Diamonds are not newcomers to the diamond industry but seasoned experts.

The story of Friendly Diamonds is a little hard to find. Even on their website, their “Our Story” description is just a mission statement.

We previously noted that the audience targeting slightly varies from the mainstream diamond sellers and was closer to that of LightBox Jewelry (but that Friendly Diamonds did a much better job selling lab-grown diamonds than Lightbox). However, with the recent changes and improvements, Friendly Diamonds is starting to compete more with established online jewelers such as Clean Origin.

They still sell through Amazon (but not on Etsy anymore). That is similar to New World Diamonds, Grown Brilliance, and Best Brilliance. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but you would probably not see DeBeers selling diamonds directly on Amazon (but maybe LightBox Jewelry will one day) or lab diamonds on QVC. We applaud them for expanding access to high-quality lab diamonds to new audiences and channels.

Is Friendly Diamonds legit?

Friendly Diamonds is a legit diamond jeweler selling through its website and platforms like Amazon. Friendly Diamonds has many positive reviews from shoppers, and our review find them to be a reputable jeweler.

Does Friendly Diamonds sell lab-grown diamonds?

Friendly Diamonds only sells lab-grown diamonds, the environmentally better choice of lab-created diamonds.

Does Friendly Diamonds sell real diamonds?

Friendly Diamonds only sells real diamonds. They do not sell mined diamonds but only lab-created diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are just as real as mined or natural diamonds. But they are better for the environment, more ethical, and cheaper.

Lab-grown diamonds only

Friendly Diamonds only sells lab-grown diamonds. They do this because they believe in the environmental and social benefits. So do we. They are committed to doing better than the traditional diamond industry and giving consumers a better and more conscious choice.

Being solely focused on lab-created diamonds allows them to gain expertise and source the best lab diamonds. Their customer service and gemologist guidance reflect this deep knowledge, and anyone new to lab diamonds can confidently shop at Friendly Diamonds.

We would have liked to see Friendly Diamonds dedicate more resources to lab-created diamond information and education. However, we appreciate that they have invested in educating consumers about the false promise of conflict-free diamonds and the societal impact of mining.

Next, we examine whether their focus on lab-created diamonds is mirrored in their inventory.

Diamond selection

When assessing the inventory and selection of diamond jewelers, we compare the total amount of diamonds available and look for specific, popular diamond ranges. Our typical reference diamond is a round brilliant 0.93-1.07 ct., VS1-2 clarity, I-J color, and excellent to ideal cut stone.

As Friendly Diamonds focuses 100% on lab-created diamonds, they do not have any mined diamonds in their inventory. This is similar to other jewelers we have reviewed, such as Grown Brilliance and Clean Origin.

When looking for our reference diamond, we only found three available stones. This is much less than we found at Ritani (16) but similar to the inventory of James Allen (4). Similar to what we found when we reviewed James Allen and Grown Brilliance, the diamond inventory at Friendly Diamonds skews towards higher color grades.

That is common for jewelers focused on engagement rings, where shoppers sometimes look for more expensive and higher color grades. With Clarity, which also focuses on engagement rings, has nine diamonds available in our reference color range.

Once you expand to include color grade “H”, the selection increases to 16 available diamonds, which is decent but far from Ritani’s 90 diamonds and 41 at With Clarity. When we included all color grades from J and above and clarity grades ranging from VS1 to Flawless, we found more than 4,000 diamonds.

The inventory of I-J colored diamonds (which we often recommend due to the exceptionally great value) might be slightly smaller than at other sellers. But we did find that the lab-grown diamonds they offered often were of high quality, so it’s worthwhile searching their inventory.

In all, we found that the selection at Friendly Diamonds, notably higher color-graded stones, has increased significantly since our last review update. If you are looking for these, chances are you’ll find something suitable in their inventory.

GIA-graded lab diamonds

, the leading lab-grown diamond grading institute, grades almost all lab-grown diamonds. However, some shoppers may prefer diamonds graded by (the inventory of the diamond 4Cs). They are both more expensive and rare. If you do your homework, we don’t think there is any need to pay more for a GIA certification. But if you do, Friendly Diamonds has a decent selection.

When we looked for our reference diamond and also when loosening some of our search criteria, we almost only came across IGI-graded diamonds. But we did find a couple of hundreds in the higher end of grades.

So, if you prefer GIA-graded diamonds, a good place to look is Friendly Diamonds. But remember that GIA-graded diamonds are typically more expensive (but it doesn’t necessarily make them better).

Shopping Experience

In this section, we will assess the buying experience at Friendly Diamonds. The website was updated in 2023, and we have noted several design and user experience improvements.

The buying process at Friendly Diamonds is pretty straightforward. It resembles many other sites, including some of our highest-ranked jewelers. The design and images are attractive, the products are mostly nicely presented, and most information is available, even if you sometimes have to search a little for it. We’ll get back to that in the following section.

On Friendly Diamonds’ website, you start by going for a ready-to-ship jewelry piece or choosing a setting or a loose diamond and pairing them yourself. We always recommend picking the diamond from the inventory of loose lab diamonds since you’ll get a better and cheaper stone. So, we appreciate the option of doing that at Friendly Diamonds.

During the process, you follow simple steps guided by relevant diamond information and educational sections. This helps buyers with less knowledge about the diamond appraisal process.

But if you prefer more help and guidance, Friendly Diamonds also offers consultations with a gemologist through an office or virtual appointments. You can schedule these on their website; this booking system is very convenient. Finding available time slots is not a problem. If you are in New York City, you can also visit them at their office.

Virtual appointments are something many jewelers now offer after pioneers such as James Allen first started with them. During the pandemic, most prominent jewelers added this feature.

You can also call, chat, or email Friendly Diamonds. While the responses were generally prompt, we were disappointed with the clarity of their advice during the purchasing process (mainly through the chat channel). If you receive an unsatisfactory response, we recommend contacting them again or trying a different channel. Other customers are generally very satisfied with their customer support, particularly post-sales.

One thing that we found was missing during our shopping review was images of jewelry variations. Specifically, they only show their jewelry with one of the total carat weight. See, for example, this eternity diamond ring.

If you are looking for another carat weight, you can’t see what that looks like in the product images. Since they do not accept returns if you buy multiple product variations, we recommend showing the jewelry in all diamond-carat sizes.

Buying multiple order variations at Friendly Diamonds is discouraged.

Note that Friendly Diamonds has ensured us that genuine returns are honored and that they simply want to avoid serial returns. That is fair. We suggest that you contact their customer service before buying more than one variant of a product to get written confirmation that the return will be accepted.

Another thing we miss is clearly showing the diamond details of pre-set jewelry. Most information is available, but you’ll have to click a non-underlined and non-colored link here:

But, once you find it, most details are listed. We would also like to see the diamond cut grade listed, especially since this is the most important grade of any brilliant diamond.

Despite these omissions, we find that overall, the buying experience at Friendly Diamonds is straightforward, their website is well-designed, and the whole buying process and customer support are great.

Diamond inspection

When buying diamonds, you must invest time in finding the perfect one or piece of jewelry. Proper research includes comparing diamonds, inspecting diamond images and videos, and studying the product details and diamond certificates.

Your ability as a shopper to do that varies a lot between jewelers. Many diamond sellers do not show images of the actual diamond or only use low-quality imagery. Not all places have 360-degree diamond videos, and not all give you access to diamond certificates. In this review section, we’ll see how Friendly Diamonds fares.

During our assessment of the diamond selection, we tested the ability to search, sort, filter, and compare diamonds. This worked well, and we have noted additional and improved search filters, which allow you to make more advanced searches.

That is particularly useful for searching for not-round brilliant diamonds since cut-grading is different for fancy-shaped diamonds, such as emerald-shaped ones. You can learn more about that in our guide to fancy-shaped diamonds and in-depth guides to the specific shapes.

In short, you need to consider factors such as table and depth ratios, which you can enter into the search fields. You can do that at Friendly Diamonds, where you can see a diagram of the individual diamond, as illustrated below. This helps assess diamond quality in addition to the grades.

Once you have narrowed your search and want to inspect your diamond candidates in detail, Friendly Diamonds typically gives you access to an image and a 360-degree video of the diamond dimensions and characteristics (the 4Cs) and the diamond certificate.

You should expect this, even though some jewelers do not offer it, particularly mall jewelers like Kay Jewelers or shopping networks like QVC.

Compared to our earlier reviews of Friendly Diamonds, we have noticed that more 360-degree images are now available. However, we still lack HD still images. And often, as you can see below, the diamond image is just a (random) frame from the 360-degree video.

In many cases, neither video nor still images are available. It looks like you can click the 360-degree button, but nothing loads (we waited a very long time and tried several different browsers, so it’s not a technical problem).

The videos also vary significantly in quality, and they are far from the quality you get at other jewelers, such as James Allen, and their “super zoom” imagery.

You may be able to request HD images, just like you can when shopping at Ritani. Still, ideally, these would be readily available. But coupled with direct access to the certificates of every diamond, Friendly Diamonds still offers a fair opportunity to conduct research.

Next, we’ll examine the prices for lab-grown diamonds at Friendly Diamonds.

Lab-grown diamond prices

When we review diamond jewelers, a key factor is the prices of the diamonds. Since diamonds are not created equally, comparing diamond prices accurately is difficult. Instead, we assess the price level of the complete inventory and compare specific diamond ranges, just like we did using the reference diamond.

As you may recall, the inventory of our reference diamond was minimal. So, we also relaxed the criteria to include more stones. Our comparison found that the lab-grown diamond prices at Friendly Diamonds are generally higher than what the cheapest places, notably Ritani, offer. We did find a few cheaper diamonds, but they were not recommendable (e.g., clarity appeared lower than the grades). See example below:

When the criteria are adjusted and more expensive diamonds are included, quality, volume, and prices are much better. The cheapest diamonds are often of lower quality, but there are plenty of excellent-quality stones.

Since our last assessment of Friendly Diamonds’ prices, we have observed that they have decreased relative to other jewelers (lab diamond prices have been falling compared to mined diamonds).

Prices are still slightly higher than at Ritani but closer to With Clarity and Grown Brilliance. And below prices at James Allen and Brilliant Earth. And their prices are much lower than you would find at any traditional jeweler or even many other online retailers.

In addition, Friendly Diamonds tells us they have a price-match guarantee, but we have not found any details about it on their website. From our past experience, these can be difficult to get approved, but we suggest you try if you find a lower-priced and very similar diamond. You can also try to search for the certificate number and find the same diamond somewhere else (many retailers, including Friendly Diamonds, tap into wholesale lists).

Before we round up our review, we will examine Friendly Diamonds’ shipping and return policies and compare them to their competitors.

Shipping and returns

Friendly Diamonds offers free shipping on all US orders (international shipping costs are added). Shipping is fully insured, so you don’t have to worry about lost parcels. They use UPS, FedEx, and USPS to deliver – the quality of each may vary in your area (in New York City, we would not feel confident having USPS deliver precious cargo such as diamonds).

Returns are similarly free and fully insured in the US. Since our last review, Friendly Diamonds now sends you a return label (if in the US), making the process much more seamless (before you had to make your own arrangements). This is great and similar to our other recommended jewelers.

The return period is up to 30 days, which is pretty standard but not as generous as Clean Origin’s 100-day period. But it’s much better than the stressful 5-day return at Kimaï or the two weeks Swarovski offers.

Do note that they only accept one return and do not accept returns if you ordered more than one variation of a similar product. They claim the reason is environmental concerns, but that rings a bit hollow.

A positive is that Friendly Diamonds accepts returns of products that have been inscribed for a fee of $50. Most places do not even accept these, and the $50 fee is very reasonable.

Friendly Diamonds Review Verdict

In our updated 2024 review of Friendly Diamonds, we have noticed several improvements compared to our earlier assessments. We continue seeing Friendly Diamonds improve its site, features, and service. Prices have decreased, and the inventory has grown.

We have been positively surprised but also spotted some gaps. These include missing diamond images and video, missing product variation images, some return policy restrictions, and a small inventory of diamond lower color grades (which are often great value). But they make up for it with a decent selection of GIA-graded lab diamonds.

We like that they are dedicated to lab-grown diamonds and the expertise that comes with the focus on lab-created stones. In addition, they are strong advocates for the lab-grown choice that is friendlier to the environment and society than mined diamonds. Expanding access to lab-grown diamonds to new buying platforms like Amazon is also a plus. Especially as a counter-weight to the often horrible experience of buying lab diamonds on Amazon.

Prices have decreased but are still slightly higher than at price leader Ritani. That said, the prices at Friendly Diamonds are very reasonable and better than most of the average diamond jewelers offer (such as Helzberg, Zales, Kay Jewelers, and other mall jewelers).

So, while Friendly Diamonds may not yet compare with our highest-ranked jewelers, they are a much better option than most jewelers we have reviewed. Not least when it comes to lab-grown diamonds.

If you find the perfect diamond at Friendly Diamonds, we recommend buying from them. But always compare with other diamond jewelers.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, we recommend you try out Ritani, Grown Brilliance, James Allen, Brilliant Earth, With Clarity, or Clean Origin. You can read more about them and other sellers in our lab-grown diamond seller reviews section.

Three lab-grown diamond jewelers we like better than Friendly Diamonds
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Rolf Hartmann
Rolf Hartmann

Rolf Hartmann has decades of experience in the jewelry industry. He knows everything you need to know to find the perfect diamond. He's an expert in lab-grown diamonds and has followed the exciting development of lab diamonds from industrial usage to the incredible gemstone quality that lab-grown diamonds are today. Rolf guides you to find the right diamond at the best possible price and expertly and transparently reviews all lab-grown diamond sellers.

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