- Low diamond prices available
- Large diamond inventory
- Great shopping experience
- Inspection features not as good as James Allen
- Return policy a little confusing
- Not enough information about lab diamonds
- Limited focus on sustainability
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Summary of GemsNY Review – Diamonds & Jewelry
GemsNY has been selling diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry for more than 25 years from Manhattan’s legendary diamond district. Their consumer-facing retail sales are based on their wholesale business, which allows them to sell diamonds, including lab-grown diamonds, at great prices.
Through their physical presence in New York City, they successfully bridge online selling with the ability to visit them and see diamonds in person. In addition, they use their vast experience and deep gemologist expertise to help their customers find the perfect diamonds for their needs.
GemsNY boasts a large selection of high-quality lab-grown diamonds, and that’s why we decided to take a closer look and review GemsNY lab-created diamonds.
GemsNY is also still somewhat behind our top-rated diamond sellers, James Allen, Clean Origin, Ritani, Grown Brilliance, and Brilliant Earth, who each have a leg up either on buying experience, prices, support, return policies, or environmental impact. Laster in our GemsNY review, we also note that the return period should be slightly longer and less confusing.
3 lab-grown diamond jewelers we like better than GemsNY
In addition, their buying support and guidance, coupled with excellent diamond inspection features and an extensive selection of some of the best diamonds, makes GemsNY close to being one of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds.
We would have liked to see GemsNY highlight the benefits of lab-created diamonds more clearly, ideally through dedicated topics as part of their diamond education section. However, this is what you have us for.
While it’s a plus that you’ll be able to meet their expert gemologist at their NYC location and inspect your diamond purchase in person, it requires that you travel unless you live in the greater New York City area. Additionally, the phone consultation is no match for an in-person meeting or video chatting like Clean Origin, Ritani, and James Allen offer.
All in all, our GemsNY review lands at 4 stars out of 5. GemsNY gains our recommendation for their low prices, a large inventory of quality lab-grown diamonds, and buying experience, particularly for create-your-own jewelry.
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- Who are GemsNY?
- GemsNY mined vs. lab-grown diamonds
- GemsNY lab-grown diamond selection
- GemsNY diamond buying process
- GemsNY diamond inspection
- GemsNY lab-grown prices
- GemsNY shipping and returns
- GemsNY Review Verdict
- Don't just take our word for it
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Who are GemsNY?
GemsNY has been selling diamonds and jewelry since 1998 from New York City’s diamond district in Manhattan. They are involved both in wholesale and retail sales (through GemsNY), and their GemsNY consumer brand benefits from their exposure to wholesale and their 25 years of diamond-selling experience from the heart of the US diamond industry.
Generally, we recommend buying diamonds online due to the ability to inspect diamonds at your own pace, browse through inventories, and compare prices. And to avoid pushy salespeople and their, sometimes, questionable advice.
GemsNY is an exception to that experience. The buying experience, which we will get back to later in our GemsNY review, is geared towards online buying, and it’s exceptional. However, as an additional option, you can visit GemsNY in person to further discuss your purchase.
That’s great if you live in the greater New York area or can squeeze in a trip. But for most people, the online shopping experience will be the one interaction they’ll do with GemsNY. So we’ll review them based on their website and other remote channels.
Is GemsNY legit?
GemsNY is a safe place to buy diamonds and jewelry with its long history and deep diamond and jewelry expertise. In addition, GemsNY possesses the necessary gemologist expertise to guide its customers toward the right diamond purchase.
GemsNY mined vs. lab-grown diamonds
While GemsNY has its roots in mined diamonds and gemstones, it did not initially sell lab-grown diamonds. In fact, you can still find remnants around the internet where they state that they don’t sell lab-created diamonds. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore, and they now sell the more ethical and sustainable choice, lab-grown diamonds.
Since lab-created diamonds are exactly the same as mined diamonds, minus the potential negative societal and environmental impact, any jeweler’s experience will be just as relevant for lab diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are assessed and valued in precisely the same way as mined diamonds.
That said, not all jewelers understand or advertise the many benefits of lab-grown diamonds over the mined equivalents. Often, jewelers make more money from selling mined diamonds, and they might be afraid to alienate customers looking for mined diamonds. Or worse, they may push them towards mined diamonds based on false claims or confusingly refer to diamonds as an investment (it should not be).
It’s almost impossible to find any information about lab-grown diamonds on GemsNY’s website. The only mentions are a blog post explaining the individual 4C grades (there are slight differences between grading institutes). The blog post does make a credible attempt at educating its visitors, but you would have to search their blog to stumble upon the article.
We would have preferred that GemsNY dedicate more resources to educating their visitors about the benefits of lab-created diamonds, particularly in their diamond education section, and perhaps highlight some of the mined diamond issues. Of course, they do sell ethically sourced mined diamonds, but as we have written about, even ethically sourced mined diamonds have their problems, which should not be ignored.
This may be because they did not initially jump on the lab-grown diamond wave, or it can be in an effort not to discourage any mined diamond shoppers. Regardless, we do applaud GemsNY for highlighting that lab-grown diamonds are exactly the same as mined diamonds in terms of their qualities as a gemstone and the benefits of lower price points. But we would have liked for them to focus more on the environmental benefits and, as we see in our Brilliant Earth review, offer more sustainable choices and climate-friendly solutions.
And, as we’ll see in the next section of our GemsNY review, they feature an extraordinarily large selection of lab-grown diamond jewelry inventory. So all is forgiven.
GemsNY lab-grown diamond selection
As we have already referred to earlier in our GemsNY review, they have an impressive selection of diamonds, including lab-grown diamonds. In fact, at the time of writing, they have more than 50,000 lab-created diamonds in their inventory. Of these, 30,000 are round-brilliant-shaped diamonds, the most popular diamond shape.
As you will know from our lab-grown diamond buying guides and our educational lab-grown diamond articles, diamond cut is by far the most critical aspect of diamonds (particularly brilliant-cut diamonds). And for that reason, we recommend only buying diamonds of the best cut grade. With lab-created diamonds, of which IGI grades most, the best grade is ideal.
Narrowing our search to ideal cut grades, GemsNY’s inventory decreases to 34,000 diamonds and 14,500 round brilliant-shaped. However, this is a massive collection of high-quality lab-created diamonds.
In fact, only Ritani boasts a more extensive inventory of lab-created diamonds, and only slightly (Ritani currently has 54,000 loose lab-created diamonds in stock). You, therefore, have a good chance of finding several high-quality stones available that suits your need.
To further assess their inventory and compare it with other sellers, we’ll search for our reference diamond, a 0.93 – 1.07-carat round brilliant with the highest cut grade (ideal), VS1-2 clarity, and I-J color grade. This is a very common diamond weight and our recommended range of diamond grades in many cases.
With this restriction added, GemsNY offers a record 104 suitable diamonds, of which many are highly recommendable. That is incredibly impressive. And even exceeding the number that Ritani has to offer, but fewer than we found in our Brilliance.com review (who, however, rely on wholesale inventory). And very far from sellers such as Helzberg Diamonds or Friendly Diamonds, where we had to loosen our criteria to get any hits. So, we do not doubt that GemsNY will be able to satisfy any lab-grown diamond needs.
GemsNY lab-grown diamond jewelry selection
At LabGrownCarats, we recommend that you always create your own diamond jewelry. That means choosing the diamonds that the jewelry you’re buying is paired with. While this is an extra step in the process and can be somewhat time-consuming, it’s well worth it. This way, you will be able to select the exact diamond that matches your preferences and the jewelry you’re looking for.
In addition, pre-set jewelry (where you don’t choose your own diamonds) tends to be made with sub-par diamonds or even, in some cases, too expensive diamonds (for example, with a higher color grade than it needs to be).
All this being said, we went ahead and took a look at GemsNY’s pre-set diamond jewelry selection.
Interestingly, GemsNY has a minimal selection of pre-set diamond jewelry. They make a considerable effort at pushing their “make your own” jewelry, which we also recommend. The few diamond jewelry sets they have pre-made are all with mined diamonds. We’re not sure why, but to be honest, we think it’s okay since you should create your own jewelry by selecting the perfect diamonds anyway.
In the next part of our GemsNY review, we’ll examine the buying experience, which has come off to a flying start, starting with the above search.
GemsNY diamond buying process
Now that we have found that GemsNY has a vast inventory of lab-grown diamonds, this part of our GemsNY review looks at the rest of the buying process.
Overall, the experience of searching for, inspecting, and shopping for diamonds and jewelry at GemsNY is excellent. It’s easy to navigate the site, and the search and shopping process is straightforward and smooth. In addition, GemsNY makes an effort to be transparent with diamond information and clearly does not try to hide anything.
That is refreshing and much different from the experience of traditional jewelers such as Zales and Helzberg or fashion jewelry sites such as Lightbox Jewelry.
While some visitors may miss the ability to shop a lot of pre-made jewelry, we believe the right way to buy lab-grown diamond jewelry is to create your own. And the experience at GemsNY is one of the best that we have tried.
Make your own diamond jewelry at GemsNY
The first step in creating your jewelry at GemsNY is to search for eligible lab diamonds. That means deciding on carat weight, clarity, color grade, and budget. Then, of course, you also have to pick a cut grade, but that one is easy – always take the best. However, at GemsNY, you may notice an unusual cut grade: ideal plus!
What is the Ideal Plus diamond cut grade?
So take the Plus with a grain of salt and don’t rely solely on this in-house grade. Others, such as Brilliant Earth and James Allen, also have proprietary grades, but also here, we suggest using these only as a rough guide.
Once you have narrowed down your diamond search, the next step is to take a closer look at each of them. With many available diamonds, you may want to be more specific about your criteria than at other diamond sellers, though ideally, you would go through each of them.
Another option is to ask for help with choosing your diamonds. That’s something we recommend with any reputable diamond jeweler, mainly when they provide independent expert guidance, such as James Allen or Ritani do.
With GemsNY, you have the option to schedule an appointment, but this is limited to in-person meetings. They do not have a virtual option as the sellers mentioned above do. You can call them, but, especially today, most people would probably prefer and be comfortable with a video chat.
That also has the benefit of you being able to see the diamonds in question. If you live in the NYC area, we recommend scheduling an appointment to meet with their highly qualified gemologists. Just make sure you do your research in advance. We also recommend that you buy online as this gives you more time to consider and compare and relieves you of the stress of making an expensive decision on the spot.
If you cannot travel to their offices in Manhattan, we suggest you use the chat function or email them. They are very willing to guide you through the buying process, and our experience is that their advice is sincere and transparent. So we recommend you take advantage of their help but make sure you also make your own informed decision.
Next, in the GemsNY review, we’ll take a closer look at the features that allow you to inspect and evaluate diamonds on their website. This is a critical step in any diamond purchase and one you should spend adequate time on.
GemsNY diamond inspection
When you have found a diamond you would like to have a closer look at, you land on the detailed diamonds page of GemsNY. Here, you are presented with a vast amount of highly relevant information.
First, you can view a high-quality video of the diamond in question. This allows you to inspect the brilliance of the diamond and for any visible flaws and imperfections. The video is shot close-up, but on its own, it’s not enough to carry out your due diligence.
Luckily, GemsNY shares much more information. You get access to diamond diagrams and an image of the diamond that ideally should have been in high definition and zoomable. It’s not, but it’s better than nothing.
You also gain access to the lab diamond certificates, which are mostly from the respected IGI diamond laboratory, the leading grader of lab diamonds. This is a crucial piece of information that details the diamond, including where any imperfections (inclusions or blemishes) are located. Once you have found them, revisit the video and images.
Oddly, GemsNY only gives you access to what is indirectly referred to as an “inaccessible version” of the diamond certificate. We’re not sure why that is the case. But the size of the pop-up is tiny without the ability to zoom in. So you have to squint your eyes to read it.
Why? Because they want your contact information so they can start spamming you. To see the “accessible version” of the diamond certificate, you have to share your information.
We don’t have patience for that, and we recommend that you instead right-click on the pop-up and save the pdf file locally on your computer and see it there (because the pdf is actually full size, it’s just minimized due to the small size of the pop-up window).
Below the images, diagrams, and video, GemsNY details more information about the diamond. They go above and beyond what most sellers do and add additional information such as polish, girdle, fluorescence, etc. Most are available in the certificate, but it’s nice that they also put it in a nice table (especially when you can’t read the zoomed-out certificate).
Lastly, GemsNY plots the specific diamond grade on the scales and explains how the particular diamond fares on the spectrum. That gives a friendly and quick overview, particularly for anyone not used to buying and inspecting diamonds. But, of course, these are the sellers’ representations of the grades, and you should ideally understand them well before making any diamond purchase (start your diamond education here).
In our GemsNY review, we have found that both the overall shopping experience and the specific inspection part of the process are excellent at GemsNY. There are a few minor issues, but the buying experience is generally effortless while informed, and you can carry out necessary due diligence throughout the process.
GemsNY lab-grown prices
One of the most important aspects of any diamond purchase is, of course, price. So in this section of our GemsNY review, we’ll take a look at their prices and compare them to other sellers, primarily our other top-rated lab-grown diamond sellers.
Having found that GemsNY boasts one of the largest selections of lab-created diamonds that we have come across and that they are of high quality, we are happy to report that GemsNY also sells these at really low prices!
In fact, the prices that GemsNY lists their diamonds at are comparable to those of price-leading jewelers Clean Origin and Ritani. That is pretty impressive, considering that GemsNY is technically a traditional jeweler based in the NYC diamond district. However, their wholesale business operations, coupled with an embrace of online channels, allow them to sell diamonds at some of the lowest prices we have seen.
GemsNY claims that they sell at wholesale prices and that these are 60-70% lower than elsewhere. GemsNY is undoubtedly cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar jewelers, such as Zales or Kay – or Diamond Direct, who also claims to cut out the middle-man.
GemsNY is also cheaper than many online jewelers. And, when compared with the leading online lab diamond sellers, the prices of GemsNY are reasonable, which is not bad. In a few categories, prices are almost as low as at Ritani and Clean Origin (which are the cheapest places to buy lab diamonds).
Of course, no diamond is alike. That said, aggregating across numerous lab-grown diamonds lends us the clear conclusion that GemsNY has some of the best prices on the market.
Another critical aspect of our GemsNY review turned out very favorably. The last element to assess before we conclude our review is GemsNY’s shopping terms and shipping.
GemsNY shipping and returns
Shipping is free and fully insured, as it should be (but some, like Zales, still charge for it, and others, like New World Diamonds, have minimums). Returns are insured and free too. This is all fairly standard, but still great that GemsNY also checks off this box.
Most parcels are sent with FedEx, and they also handle returns. So it’s an easy process, which you hopefully do not have to avail of, but it’s good to have certainty.
GemsNY’s return policy is a little confusing. They have a 30-day return period, which is pretty standard, but it does not cover the diamonds themselves. Each diamond has a return period ranging from 0 to 30 days, depending on the supplier. While GemsNY clearly advertises the return period on the diamond details page, most customers might miss that critical piece of information.
The positive is that it includes create-your-own jewelry and that most diamonds we have looked at have a 14 or 30-day return period, which should be adequate for most shoppers.
It does not cover fully customized purchases such as engraved jewelry. However, this is normal. Some sellers consider create-your-own customized and will not take back jewelry where you have selected your own diamonds, like Helzberg.
So while it can be time-consuming for customers, if you ensure that the diamond you buy comes with a minimum of a 14-day or, ideally, a 30-day return period, you can shop confidently and risk-free. However, we would have liked to see a more standard 30-day period across all items. The outlier is still Clean Origin’s generous 100 day-return period.
GemsNY Review Verdict
In our updated 2023 GemsNY review, we continue to find both positives and have discovered a few issues with GemsNY.
Where we find that GemsNY really stands out positively is for their vast selection of high-quality diamonds and their rock-bottom prices. They are behind fellow New Yorkers and one of our favorite jewelers, Ritani, regarding the size of inventory and market-leading prices. But it’s still decent.
The buying experience is enjoyable and makes the challenging diamond shopping task easier. As a shopper, you are guided throughout the process and met with honest and in-depth data, helping you make an informed decision. We just wish they would include more information about the benefits of lab-grown diamonds.
We would have liked to see more and better diamond images, and the whole thing about restricting access to the certificate is a bit baffling. However, the biggest issue is GemsNY’s return policy, which we find confusing and not consumer-friendly. They can learn from Clean Origin and their exceptionally graceful return policy.
We also think that an option to schedule a video chat with a gemologist, similar to what James Allen and Ritani provide, would be beneficial. That said, their service and support are excellent, and they will happily (and honestly) assist and guide you to find the best diamond for your needs. And if you are in the NYC area, you can drop by.
GemsNY is a reputable and legit lab-grown diamond seller, trusted by many delighted customers. Their selection and prices are trailing a few of the market leaders but are still among the better we’ve seen. If you happen to find the perfect diamond at GemsNY at a great price, then we do not hesitate to recommend that you buy it there. However, first consider our other favorites, such as Brilliant Earth, Clean Origin, Ritani, or James Allen.
Don’t just take our word for it
Their customers highly rate GemsNY, and they agree with our favorable GemsNY review rating. Therefore, we do not hesitate to recommend GemsNY for any lab-grown diamond purchase. And so does the rest of the internet.