James Allen Review: Still the Best for Lab-Grown Diamonds?

James Allen

USD 395
5

Price

5.0/5

Selection

5.0/5

Service

5.0/5

Features

5.0/5

People & Planet

5.0/5

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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Summary of Our Review of James Allen’s Lab-Grown Diamonds

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. Its customers love it for its vast selection, competitive prices, and excellent customer service. In our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we’ll examine whether it lives up to its reputation and whether we recommend it 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 2024 review of James Allen’s lab diamonds, we explore their vast collection.

In our James Allen review, we find that the quality of jewelry and the boxes are excellent.
James Allen’s iconic red jewelry box

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 2024. 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 and improved the features on their site. Notably, the prices for lab-created diamonds have continued to fall, and they are now 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 excellent service and diamond purchase guidance
  • Competitive lab diamond prices and
  • A vast 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, with the updated 2024 James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we find that they retain their top spot, and we thoroughly 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 2024.

James Allen review rating:

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James Allen’s Company History

James Allen was founded in 2006 by four industry heavyweights with over 60+ years of experience in the diamond and jewelry business. It was created to marry their deep industry knowledge with expertise in online direct-to-consumer sales, 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 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. Still, it lacked online competencies and saw value in adding the leading online diamond vendor to its portfolio.

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 harmed 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 its other brands.

Next, in our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we’ll explore the shopping experience, one key area where James Allen is ahead of the competition.

Unique online shopping experience

One of the most critical 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 has been no change from last year’s review of James Allen. Again, in 2024, James Allen is the best place to shop for lab-grown diamonds.

James Allen led the diamond industry in improving and perfecting the online diamond shopping experience. They did this by simplifying the buying process and giving you better access to diamond information and details necessary to find the perfect lab-created diamonds.

At James Allen, you can scrutinize every diamond detail 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 accurate 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. Unsurprisingly, Jared Jewelry is now using James Allen’s loose diamond platform.

Our review finds that comparing lab diamond side by side at James Allen is extremely easy.
Comparing lab diamonds side by side at James Allen is extremely easy.

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 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.

Diamond inspection

First, at James Allen’s website, you can enjoy 360-degree high-resolution 3D views of every diamond (though it’ll take a while). You can see all stones magnified 40X, so you will surely not miss any details or imperfections (read our buying guide to learn why you might want some imperfections).

Are James Allen’s lab diamonds certified?

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.

James Allen lab-grown diamond report found during our review of James Allen lab diamonds.
An actual lab-grown diamond grading report from IGI at James Allen

How is James Allen’s customer support?

James Allen is not the only lab diamond jeweler to feature 360-degree high-resolution images; Ritani, Clean Origin, Brilliant Earth, and all our recommended places to buy lab diamonds do, too. While James Allen does slightly better and generally has higher-quality diamond images, their customer service and diamond buying support set them apart.

Buying a lab-grown diamond is not easy, though following our guide to finding the perfect lab diamond helps. That’s why the best lab diamond jewelers offer help from their customer support 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 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?

Our James Allen review tried the live chat with trained gemologists where you can inspect your diamond at James Allen.
Chat and inspect diamonds in real-time with certified gemologists

You can visit any of their two physical stores in Washington, D.C., or New York City. Still, there is no reason since their entire inventory is only available online. Their online shopping experience is much better than any physical store (and other online jewelers).

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 Ring Sizer on James Allen's website - James Allen Review
Use four methods to ascertain your ring size and ensure you get a perfectly sized ring.

Virtual diamond ring try-on

Not only does James Allen offer their “Virtual Ring Sizer”, but for our James Allen review in 2024, you can 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 need a phone to follow the link on their site. See how easy it is below:

James Allen virtual ring try-on.
Try the virtual ring simulator at James Allen

If you are unhappy with the final non-virtual result, you can always take advantage of their free 30-day exchanges and refunds (more on that later in our James Allen lab-created diamond review).

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.

Summary of our shopping experience

In our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, we were very impressed by the shopping experience, which was one of the best, if not the best, diamond shopping experiences we have reviewed. However, a superior lab diamond shopping experience only matters if you also get a great deal on lab diamonds. Let’s find out if that’s the case next in our James Allen lab diamond review.

Lab-grown diamond prices at James Allen

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.

In our lab diamond price analyses, we’ve found that, compared to some 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 genuinely unique shopping experience.

It is a small price to pay to inspect your diamond investment in the finest details and to be 100% certain of every single aspect of your diamond purchase (mined and lab-created). The negligible cost difference ensures you’ll have 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 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 James Allen’s prices for lab-grown diamonds are competitive, what about their selection and quality of lab diamonds? We’ll look closer at that in our review next.

Lab-grown diamond selection

James Allen sells mined and lab-created diamonds, but we’ll focus on the latter in our James Allen lab-grown diamond review. Our review findings also extend to James Allen’s mined diamonds, except for the higher prices.

Since James Allen sells mined and lab-created diamonds, it naturally has a broader selection than most sellers solely focused on lab-grown diamonds. At the time of writing, it has close to 270,000 mined diamonds in its inventory.

Their selection of lab-created diamonds is smaller, at around 52,000, but it’s still among the market’s most extensive inventories of lab-grown loose diamonds. 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.

Almost 52,000 lab-grown diamonds are available at James Allen.
Almost 52,000 lab-grown diamonds are available at James Allen

When we review lab-grown diamond jewelers, we use a reference diamond to make the lab diamond selection more comparable. This lab diamond is one of the most popular sizes and shapes, with grade ranges that we typically recommend. Our reference diamond is the following:

At the time of our James Allen lab-grown diamond review, they offered 193 lab diamonds that fit our reference diamond features. That is much 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, almost all the 193 lab diamonds were of excellent quality, and you will likely find several lab diamonds that match perfectly with your jewelry. Overall, James Allen has a vast selection of high-quality premium lab diamonds with recommended diamond grades.

So, in our 2024 review of lab-grown diamonds at James Allen, we find that 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 competitors. This also explains why their average prices, in some instances, are slightly higher. We sometimes 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. Still, 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, James Allen surpasses most competitors in jewelry settings (rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, etc.s. Their wide-ranging ability to customize (including free engraving) puts them ahead of the pack. Only Grown Brilliance offers similar ring customization features, so we recommend them as one of the best places for lab diamond engagement rings.

Our James Allen lab-created diamond review has found that their prices are great, as 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.

Shipping and returns

James Allen offers free FedEx Overnight shipping on every order and free return shipping on all orders (currently U.S. only). Orders are shipped securely overnight following a 7-10 day production time and offer flexible delivery options to avoid ruining 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.

The lab-grown diamond jewelry box from James Allen.
The beautiful and tasteful diamond jewelry box from James Allen

Shipping is fully insured, and the receiver must sign the order delivery. Returns are hassle-free using the same high shipping standard, with the option to send through a FedEx-staffed shipping station if you need 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 is one of the reasons our James Allen review gives them 5 stars,
Returning lab-grown diamonds and jewelry to James Allen is both easy and free.

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 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.

Only Clean Origin offers a better return policy with 100-day risk-free returns.

James Allen’s environmental and human impact

Since James Allen is not dedicated solely to selling lab-grown diamonds, these are not prominently featured on its website, nor does it devote space to detailing the environmental and social footprints of its man-made diamonds.

That said, the general benefits of lab-grown diamonds 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, producing 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, been very impressed. In our view, James Allen remains one of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds in 2024.

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 summarized our James Allen review of the pros and cons of buying lab-grown diamonds at James Allen.

James Allen Pros and Cons

We found pros and cons in our review of James Allen’s lab-grown diamonds and jewelry.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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 highly competitively. And the tiny premium you pay is worth it as you will almost certainly end up with the perfect stone that fits your needs.

James Allen Review Ring Box

We thoroughly recommend buying your next diamond at James Allen. We awarded them an impressive 5 stars out of 5 possible and found only insignificant infractions! Again, in 2024, 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!

Our readers’ reviews

We encourage our readers to share their experiences with James Allen. Read our visitors’ reviews of James Allen.

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Other 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 also gets great reviews on Google.com
James Allen also gets great reviews on Trustpilot.

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. James Allen excels in 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 bit more expensive. Still, 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’s store locations

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
Rolf Hartmann, your lab-grown diamond expert
James Allen Review by

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 their exciting development from industrial usage to the incredible gemstone quality they 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.

Rolf Hartmann

Your lab-grown diamond expert

Our Editorial Review Process

At LabGrownCarats, we strive to help our readers find the perfect lab-grown diamond at the best possible price. We provide valuable resources such as educational guides, price analyses, product recommendations, and candid and thorough reviews of lab-grown diamond jewelers.

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.

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