James AllenUSD 496
- Unbeatable unique shopping experience
- 24/7 support by certified gemologists
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Select your own diamonds and settings
- Free and fully insured international shipping
- Prices are slightly higher than a few competitors
- Return and exchange period shorter than what that a few competitors are offering (but still among the most generous)
- Not fully focused on lab-grown diamonds and doesn't advertise lab-grown diamond benefits
Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann
Summary of Our James Allen Lab-Grown Diamond Review
James Allen is one of the pioneers in online direct-to-consumer diamond sales and is one of the most well-known diamond jewelry brands. James Allen’s customers love them for their huge selection, competitive prices, and great customer service. In our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we’ll examine if they live up to their reputation and if we recommend James Allen for lab-grown diamonds and lab diamond jewelry.
The popularity of lab-grown diamonds has exploded due to their ethical and environmental benefits and affordability, and almost all diamond jewelers have added lab-created diamonds to their selection. In our exhaustive updated 2023 review of James Allen’s lab diamonds, we dive into their vast collection of lab-grown diamonds.
James Allen was one of the first jewelers to sell lab diamonds and has helped lab-created diamonds reach the mass consumer market. Does that mean James Allen is one of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds?
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short of it. In our James Allen lab-created diamonds review, we’ll learn that James Allen is still one of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds and jewelry in 2023. Our experiences with James Allen have always been positive, and throughout many years of reviewing lab-grown diamond sellers, James Allen continues to come out on top.
Since our last review of James Allen lab diamonds, they’ve expanded their inventory of lab diamonds, and the features on their site have both been expanded and improved. And, importantly. the prices for lab-created diamonds have continued to fall to the point where lab diamonds are 60-80% cheaper than mined diamonds.
We recommend James Allen lab-grown diamonds for the following reasons:
- A phenomenal and unrivaled shopping experience
- 24/7 exceptionally great service and diamond purchase guidance
- Competitive lab diamond prices and
- A huge selection of lab-grown diamonds (and mined diamonds), including colored lab diamonds
- Lifetime warranty and risk-free 30-day full refunds and exchanges
- Free international and fully insured shipping
In conclusion, updated 2023 James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we find that they retain their top spot, and we fully recommend buying at James Allen without any hesitation. James Allen still tops our list of the best places to buy lab-grown diamond jewelry in 2023.
- James Allen's Company History
- James Allen's Unique online shopping experience
- James Allen lab-grown diamond prices
- James Allen's lab-grown diamond selection
- James Allen's lab diamond shipping and returns
- James Allen's risk-free lab diamond return policy
- James Allen's environmental and human impact
- Our final James Allen lab-grown diamond review verdict
- James Allen customer reviews
- James Allen vs. the competition
James Allen’s Company History
James Allen was founded in 2006 by four industry heavyweights with a combined 60+ years of experience in the diamond and jewelry business. James Allen was created to marry their deep industry knowledge with expertise in online direct-to-consumer sales and unparalleled customer service powered by technology and a pioneering online shopping approach.
Until 2017 James Allen was the largest privately held online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer in the world when Signet, the world’s largest diamond jeweler, acquired it. Signet is well-known for mall brands such as Zales, Kay, Diamonds Direct, and Jared Jewelry, but lacked online competencies and clearly saw value in adding the leading online diamond vendor to their portfolio.
And as you can read in our James Allen review below, there is a good reason for that. We’re happy to report that the new ownership has not in any way harmed the customer service and value, and JamesAllen.com continues to be the leading online diamond seller. In fact, as you’ll learn in our review of Jared Jewelry, Signet has taken the best of James Allen and started using the same platform for their other brands.
Next, in our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we’ll dive deeper into the shopping experience, which is one of the key areas where James Allen is ahead of the competition.
James Allen’s Unique online shopping experience
One of the most important aspects of buying a lab-grown diamond is the shopping experience. That is because buying a lab diamond can be difficult, and the risk of ending up with a poor-quality diamond is high. But, the best lab diamond jewelers make the process easier and remove the risk of disappointment. Is James Alle one of them? Let’s find out when we consider the plan diamond buying experience next in our James Allen lab diamond review.
We’re pleased to report that there is no change from last year’s review of James Allen, and again in 2023, James Allen is the best place to shop for lab-grown diamonds.
In fact, James Allen led the diamond industry in improving and perfecting the online diamond shopping experience. They did this by simplifying the buying process while also giving you better access to diamond information and details necessary to find the perfect lab-created diamonds.
At James Allen, it’s possible to scrutinize every single diamond detail right from your computer or smartphone without leaving the couch—and they’ve made it easy.
Contrary to what you might think, comparing diamonds side by side on your screen gives a much more true and honest view of the stone you’re buying and makes it possible to compare diamonds side by side. This was a game-changing improvement over the shopping experience at physical stores, and James Allen is one of the best at it. It’s no surprise that Jared Jewelry is now using James Allen’s loose diamond platform.
On the other hand, when you shop for diamonds at a store, you can be sure that the lighting is anything but natural and will make any diamond sparkly much more than in broad daylight. And you won’t be able to zoom in and look through stones at your own leisure like you can at James Allen (but you will be pressured to purchase a sub-par diamond by commission-incentivized sellers).
Let’s dive deeper into what features James Allen offers for lab diamond shoppers.
Lab-grown diamond inspection at James Allen
First off, at James Allen’s website, you can enjoy full 360-degree high-resolution 3D views of every single diamond (though it’ll take you a while to view them all). You can see all stones magnified 40X, so you are sure not to miss any details or imperfections (read our buying guide to learn why you might actually want some imperfections).
James Allen lab diamond customer support
James Allen is not the only lab diamond jeweler to feature 360-degree high-resolution images, so does Ritani, Clean Origin, Brilliant Earth, and all our recommended places to buy lab diamonds. And while James Allen does slightly better and generally has higher quality diamond images, it’s their customer service and diamond buying support that sets them apart.
Buying a lab-grown diamond is not easy, though it helps following our guide to finding the perfect lab diamond. That’s why the best lab diamond jewelers offer help from their customer support. Either through email, phone, chat, or virtual appointments.
But no one does it better than James Allen. They both pioneered and perfected the online buying experience by assisting you through every single step.
For example, while examining diamonds, you can chat 24/7 with a non-commissioned certified gemologist and ask any question about the lab diamond or alternative options. You can spin and highlight features of the diamond, and the gemologist can follow along. This way, you can have a fully interactive discussion about the details of their stones. Who needs to deal with a pushy diamond salesperson in a store now?
If you happen to be in either Washington D.C. or New York City, you can visit any of their two physical stores. Still, there really is no reason since their full inventory is only available online. Their online shopping experience is much better than in any physical store (and any other online jeweler).
Lab-grown diamond certification at James Allen
Lab-grown diamonds are graded and certified by the same laboratories and grading institutions as mined diamonds and use the same standards and procedures. You can, therefore, rest assured that your lab-created diamond is exactly the same as a mined diamond, and you can compare them like-for-like using the 4C grading system (read more about the 4Cs here).
All diamonds purchased through James Allen are graded and certified by IGI, AGS, and GIA, the highest-regarded diamond labs, so you can rest assured that you get exactly what you expect.
Virtual Diamond Ring Sizer
Imagine buying an engagement ring from James Allen and finding out that the ring doesn’t fit your future partner! To avoid this, James Allen helps you find the right size using their ” can also use their “Virtual Ring Sizer” and several other methods of getting the ring size right.
Virtual Diamond Ring Try-On
Not only does James Allen offer their “Virtual Ring Sizer”, but for our James Allen review in 2023, you try on any ring and even build a custom ring on the fly while seeing what it looks like on your hand! It’s super easy to use, you just need a phone and to follow the link on their site. See how easy it is below:
And, should you somehow not be happy with the final non-virtual result, you can always avail of their free 30-day exchanges and refunds (more on that later in our James Allen lab-created diamond review).
Summary of James Allen shopping review
In our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we have been very impressed by the shopping experience, which is one of the best, if not the best, diamond shopping experiences we have reviewed. But a superior lab diamond shopping experience only matters if you’re also getting a great deal on lab diamonds. Let’s find out if that’s the case next in our James Allen lab diamond review.
James Allen lab-grown diamond prices
Lab-grown diamond prices are typically 60-80% lower than mined equivalents. So when you shop James Allen’s lab-created selection, you are sure to save – or be able to upgrade with the same budget! And doing better for the environment and society! That’s just by choosing a lab diamond over a mined diamond.
What we’ve found in our lab diamond price analyses is that, compared to some of the lab-grown only diamond sellers, James Allen’s prices are typically slightly higher than the lowest-priced jewelers, such as Ritani and Clean Origin. But this minor premium is what you pay to have access to trained gemologists 24/7 and their truly unique shopping experience.
And it really is a small price to pay to be able to inspect your diamond investment in the finest details and to be 100% certain of every single aspect of your diamond purchase (mined as well as lab-created). The negligible cost difference ensures that you’ll end up with the perfect diamond. We think it’s worth it. But if you feel confident in your lab diamond expertise, you can consider alternatives to James Allen, such as Ritani, Clean Origin, or Grown Brilliance.
Compared with traditional diamond and jewelry sellers, you’ll find that James Allen offers some of the absolute best prices both online and offline, and nowhere will you find the same level of service and certainty about your diamond purchase. Expect to save up to 40-50% over the average physical retailer when shopping online at James Allen!
Having learned that the prices for lab-grown diamonds at James Allen are competitive, what about their selection and quality of lab diamonds? We’ll look closer at that next in our James Allen lab-grown diamond review.
James Allen’s lab-grown diamond selection
James Allen sells both mined and lab-created diamonds, but in our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we’ll focus on the latter. That said, our review findings extend to James Allen’s mined diamonds, too, except for the higher prices.
Since James Allen sells both mined and lab-created diamonds, they naturally have a broader selection than most sellers who are solely focused on lab-grown diamonds. At the time of writing, they have close to 270,000 mined diamonds in their inventory.
Their selection of lab-created diamonds is smaller at around 52,000, but it’s still among the largest inventories of lab-grown loose diamonds on the market. And while the ratio is not around 50/50, as we recently saw in our updated Ritani review, it’s more than enough to guarantee that you will be able to find the perfect match.
When we review lab-grown diamond jewelers, we also use a reference diamond to make the lab diamond selection more comparable between jewelers. This lab diamond is one of the most popular sizes and shapes and has grade ranges that we typically recommend. Our reference diamond is the following:
- Carat weight: 1.0 (plus-minus a little to get you a better lab diamond deal)
- Cut grade: Excellent or Ideal (whichever is the best, depending on the laboratory)
- Color grade: I-J
- Clarity grade: VS1-VS2
- Shape: Round Brilliant
- Origin: Lab-grown (naturally)
At the time of our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, they offered 193 lab diamonds that fit our reference diamond features. That is a lot more than almost any other lab diamond jeweler, and only Ritani has a larger selection of lab diamonds (they had 472 at the latest count).
However, among the 193 lab diamond, almost all were of excellent quality, and you are very likely to find several lab diamonds that fits perfectly with your jewelry. Overall, we find that James Allen has a vast selection of high-quality premium lab diamonds with recommended diamond grades.
So, in our 2023 James Allen lab-grown diamond review, they still offer one of the best selections of lab-created diamonds, and it will not be a problem finding a diamond that matches your specific 4Cs.
Do note that James Allen skews towards higher color-graded lab diamonds than many of their competitors. This also explains why their average prices, in some instances, are slightly higher. In some cases, we recommend aiming for a lower color grade, typically when setting the diamond in gold jewelry. In case you can’t find a suitable lower color-graded lab diamond at James Allen, you can consider one of our other recommended best places to buy lab diamond jewelry and engagement rings.
One area where James Allen has a clear advantage is its unmatched variety and selection of fancy-colored lab diamonds (such as blue lab diamonds, green, pink, yellow, etc.). Their colored mined diamond selection has always been huge at James Allen, and in recent years, they have greatly expanded their inventory of colored lab-created diamonds, too.
Another thing to note is that all of their colorless and fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds have not received any post‑growth treatment or color enhancement. The practice is debated in the diamond industry, but many prefer their lab-created diamond not to be treated (we don’t think it’s a problem, but treatment could lower potential future resale value).
Finally, when it comes to jewelry settings (rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, etc.) James Allen far surpasses most competitors, and their wide-ranging ability to customize (including free engraving) puts them ahead of the pack. Currently, only Grown Brilliance offers similar ring customization features, which is why we recommend them as one of the best places for lab diamond engagement rings.
Our James Allen lab-created diamond review has so far found that their prices are great, and so are the quality and selection of lab diamonds. But what about shipping and returns in the (unlikely) event that you want to return your lab diamond jewelry? Let’s take a closer look at that.
James Allen’s lab diamond shipping and returns
James Allen offers free FedEx Overnight shipping on every order and free return shipping on all orders (currently US only). Orders are shipped securely overnight following a 7-10 day production time and offer flexible delivery options to avoid ruining any surprises. James Allen’s delivery and shipping offers are as good as they get and miles better than most competitors, let alone what you’ll find at lower-rated lab diamond jewelers.
Shipping is fully insured, and order delivery is required to be signed by the receiver. Returns are completely hassle-free using the same high shipping standard, with the option to send through a FedEx-staffed shipping station if you need any assistance. The process is very straightforward and risk-free, and James Allen provides everything you need to make an easy return or exchange.
James Allen’s risk-free lab diamond return policy
In addition to the easy return process, James Allen offers risk-free 30-day full refunds and free exchanges. The process is straightforward, and they’ll help you through every step and guide you in case of an exchange.
With their risk-free money-back guarantee, you can shop confidently at James Allen, knowing that you can return any purchases. But, if you rely on their expert guidance, we doubt you’ll have to. Regardless, it’s nice to have peace of mind.
James Allen’s environmental and human impact
Since James Allen is not dedicated solely to selling lab-grown diamonds, these do not feature prominently on their website, nor do they devote space to detail the environmental and social footprints of their man-made diamonds.
That said, the general benefits of lab-grown diamonds, of course, also apply to lab-created diamonds bought at JamesAllen.com. These include benefits to the local environment and communities by avoiding land and animal habitat disturbances and decreasing mineral waste. Human and workers’ rights violations, poor safety, political turmoil, and conflict are likewise not issues at diamond laboratories.
On a broader scale, the production of lab-grown diamonds requires only 1/7th of what diamond mining does, and the energy usage is, on average, 25 times lower, benefiting the global climate.
While not specified in our James Allen review, we assume that clean energy is not wholly used to produce lab-created diamonds sold at James Allen, unlike the lab-grown diamonds Vrai uses or the sustainable-rated lab diamonds from Brilliant Earth. So there are still a few benefits that can still be reaped.
You can read more about all the benefits of lab-grown diamonds here.
Our final James Allen lab-grown diamond review verdict
Summing up our experience with James Allen and their lab-grown diamonds, we have again, in 2023, been very impressed. In our view, James Allen remains one of the absolute best places to buy lab-grown diamonds in 2023.
James Allen has impressed us with their superior customer service, unparalleled shopping experience, features, and trained on-call gemologists to aid you through the buying process. To help you decide, we have summed up our James Allen review of the pros and cons of buying lab-grown diamonds at James Allen.
James Allen Pros and Cons
In our review of James Allen’s lab-grown diamonds and jewelry, we have found both pros and cons.
- Fantastic customer support and service
- Excellent shopping experience
- A vast inventory of high-quality lab diamonds, including fancy colored
- Feature-rich website, including ring creator
- Free and fully insured shipping, including return shipping
- Prices are slightly higher than at some competitors
- The return period could be longer
- Lab-grown diamonds could be featured better
While a few places, namely Clean Origin and Ritani (see James Allen vs. Clean Origin and James Allen vs. Ritani reviews), have slightly lower prices, James Allen is still priced extremely competitively. And the tiny premium you pay is worth it as you will almost certainly end up with the perfect stone that fits your exact needs.
We fully recommend buying your next diamond at James Allen, and we award them an impressive 5 stars out of 5 possible and find only insignificant infractions! Again in 2023, James Allen is our favorite lab-grown diamond jeweler!
Save 10% off select lab-grown diamonds at James Allen.
Shop the lab-grown loose diamond James Allen sale here!
James Allen customer reviews
Don’t just take our word for it. Customers have been buying at James Allen for years, and they continue to receive outstanding reviews online, which are closely aligned with the conclusions of our James Allen Lab-Grown Diamond Review. We, too, feel confident recommending James Allen for your next diamond and jewelry purchase.
James Allen vs. the competition
James Allen is one of our highest-reviewed places to buy lab-grown diamonds. But we always recommend that you shop around. Overall, James Allen excels when it comes to the shopping experience, customer support, diamond quality, and inventory. Where a few competing lab diamond jewelers do a little better is the pricing. James Allen tends to be a little more expensive, but the slight premium you pay is, in our view, offset by the better buying experience, support and guidance, and knowing that you are more likely to find the perfect lab diamond when shopping at James Allen.
We compare all the best lab-grown diamond jewelers, and below you can find our comparisons between James Allen and other lab-grown diamond jewelers:
- James Allen vs. Brilliant Earth
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin
- James Allen vs. Ritani
- James Allen vs. Vrai
- James Allen vs. Jared
Does James Allen have any stores?
While James Allen has perfected the online diamond shopping experience, they do feature two showrooms. One is in the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, DC, while the other is in Manhattan, New York, NY. You can visit them at the following addresses, but you’ll need to book an appointment. James Allen partners with Jared for maintenance and repairs too.
Where are James Allen’s showrooms?
James Allen has two showrooms. Here are the addresses:
Washington, D.C. (Georgetown)
3109 M Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
New York City (Manhattan)
551 5th Ave
New York, NY 10176
3 best alternatives to James Allen lab-grown diamonds
Our Editorial Review Process
Our reviews are unbiased and not influenced by monetary or commercial considerations. We do not accept money for editorial content. We do not accept payment for editorial content and decline most requests for partnerships and paid content proposals. We only collaborate with a select few lab diamond jewelers that we wholeheartedly endorse.
Our stringent review process adheres to strict guidelines and evaluates all lab diamond jewelers under the same rigorous criteria. As a result, all of our reviews cover critical aspects, even those of the highest-rated jewelers. We recommend several lab diamond jewelers, but each for specific reasons. In our expert reviews and when suggesting the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds, we explain why we suggest a particular jeweler and what you should think about before making a purchase. This way, you can find the lab-grown diamond jeweler that is right for you. But make sure to shop around and compare lab diamond prices.