Last Updated on July 12, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann
You have likely heard of James Allen, Clean Origin, or both if you’re looking to purchase diamond jewelry, particularly lab-grown diamond jewelry. And that’s no surprise. Both are two of the most well-known and best places to buy lab-grown diamonds.
Both James Allen and Clean Origin received top ratings in our reviews for their competitive prices, high-quality diamonds, and superior customer service and support. However, the two also have significant differences, as you’ll discover in our James Allen vs. Clean Origin comparison.
James Allen sells both mined and lab-grown diamonds, whereas Clean Origin has decided to focus on the ethically and environmentally friendly option of lab-created diamonds only. And while our James Allen vs. Clean Origin comparison also applies to their inventory of mined diamonds, we’ll concentrate on lab-grown diamonds.
Continue reading our James Allen vs. Clean Origin comparison to discover which diamond jeweler is the better option for you.
- A quick comparison of James Allen vs. Clean Origin
- Introduction to James Allen
- Introduction to Clean Origin
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Lab-grown diamond selection
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Price comparison
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Shopping experience
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Sustainability
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Shipping and Returns
- James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Pros and Cons
- Summary of James Allen vs. Clean Origin
- More diamond seller comparisons and reviews
A quick comparison of James Allen vs. Clean Origin
Introduction to James Allen
James Allen, one of the top online jewelers today, was founded in 2006 by four jewelry and diamond industry professionals. James Allen stands out for providing unique 360° high-resolution video technology for each diamond on their website, unmatched customer support, a vast assortment of mined and lab-grown diamonds, and great prices.
James Allen offers a wide range of lab-grown diamonds, custom-built rings and engagement rings, wedding sets, custom-built earrings, and ready-to-ship necklaces and bracelets. They sell lab-grown diamonds that have been independently graded and offer free resizing the first year of your purchase, a hassle-free 30-day return policy, and free and insured shipping worldwide.
Learn more in our detailed James Allen review.
Introduction to Clean Origin
To deliver ethical and ecologically sustainable diamonds, three heavyweights of the diamond jewelry business launched Clean Origin in 2017. They have swiftly risen to prominence as one of the most popular online diamond jewelers and experts in lab-created diamonds.
EXCLUSIVE PROMO: $100 off purchases of $1,000 or more at Clean Origin. Use code: LABGROWNCARATS
Clean Origin sells lab-grown diamonds, custom-made jewelry, wedding sets, earrings, bracelets, and engagement rings. In addition to offering free resizing, a generous 100-day return policy, and independently graded lab-grown diamonds, they also provide free expedited and secured delivery.
Read more in our Clean Origin review.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Lab-grown diamond selection
First, we will look at the lab-grown diamond selections offered by James Allen and Clean Origin to determine which company offers the most extensive and premium diamond and jewelry assortment.
James Allen diamond quality and inventory
James Allen offers almost 550,000 mined and lab-grown diamonds. They had nearly 48,000 loose, lab-grown diamonds of different sizes and shapes at the time this article was written. In our search for our reference diamond (see below), we found over 2000 hits for mined diamonds but none for lab-grown diamonds.
However, we were able to find 29 matches when we increased the carat size to 2.0. Naturally, you’ll receive a lot more results if you broaden your search parameters (specifically diamond clarity and diamond color), and you’ll find more diamonds meeting them. James Allen’s inventory is focused chiefly on larger diamond stones since a large part of their inventory of loose diamonds is meant for diamond engagement rings (read our tips for buying an engagement ring at James Allen).
Furthermore, James Allen’s inventory favors higher lab diamond color grades than we usually aim for. James Allen, for instance, had 16 diamonds available when the search was expanded to include color grade G, and 82 lab diamonds were available when the search was expanded to include color grade F.
Our reference diamond is a round brilliant-cut lab-grown diamond with carat weights of 0.93-1.07 (recommendation: you can often save by going just below full carat weights). Our reference diamond clarity is in the range VS1 to VS2 and with a diamond color grade of I or J. The lab diamond cut grade is the highestpossible. For most lab-grown diamonds, graded by IGI, that diamond cut grade is ideal.
A wide variety of excellent diamond jewelry, including everything from traditional diamond stud earrings and tennis bracelets to striking necklaces and earrings, is also offered by James Allen. You may find practically every kind of jewelry design you can think of at James Allen.
James Allen enables you to design your own diamond jewelry, much like all the top sellers of lab-grown diamonds. By selecting a lab-grown diamond from their massive inventory of loose diamonds, you may, for instance, create a unique set of diamond earrings or a diamond pendant. However, since pre-set diamond jewelry often are paired with lower-quality diamond stones, we always advise choosing your own diamond and designing your own jewelry.
Clean Origin diamond quality and inventory
A wide range of premium lab-grown diamonds is available from Clean Origin—approximately 30,000 loose lab-grown diamonds in various shapes, sizes, and quality. Unfortunately, there were only 13 matches in their inventory when we looked for our reference diamond (see above), and we wished they offered a more comprehensive range. However, almost all the diamonds we found were of exceptional quality.
Additionally, Clean Origin offers a significant selection of ready-to-ship jewelry designs in various traditional and contemporary styles.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Price comparison
James Allen diamond prices
Although they are not always as low as Clean Origin, James Allen’s pricing is often among the best available. And if you’re lucky, you could be able to save even more during sales and promotions on lab-created diamonds.
Since James Allen specializes in larger, more expensive diamonds, we could not identify any matches for our reference diamond (see above). For instance, if we look for a diamond that is between 1.50 and 2 carats, J to I color, VS1 to VS2 clarity, and perfect diamond cut, we get 29 results with costs ranging from $1,840 to $4,330, which is among the best you’ll find for high-end diamonds.
The prices for James Allen’s pre-set diamond jewelry are very competitive too. For instance, a 14K white gold four-prong 2-carat (tw.) tennis bracelet costs $1,800.
A similar 14 K white gold 3-carat (tw.) bracelet costs only $1,705 at Clean Origin, but while the carat weight is higher, the diamond quality is slightly lower.
However, as smaller diamonds and accent stones are sometimes not independently graded, comparing pre-set diamond jewelry is tricky. The good news is that you get what you pay for when you buy diamond jewelry from reliable and well-rated retailers like James Allen and Clean Origin, and both tennis bracelets are very competitively priced.
Please be aware that we highly suggest you design your own diamond jewelry pieces by choosing your own diamonds wherever possible. This will result in far better and more sparkly diamonds.
Clean Origin diamond prices
Clean Origin has some of the most affordable and competitive prices for loose lab-grown diamonds. In terms of pricing, Clean Origin is comparable to Ritani (see our Ritani review). Consequently, you’ll save a lot of money when you purchase at Clean Origin!
Our reference diamond at Clean Origin costs between $800 to $1,170. These lab-grown diamonds are among the most reasonably priced ones we’ve seen everywhere, based on comparisons with other diamond shops.
Clean Origin offers pre-set diamond jewelry at very reasonable prices. For instance, a 1/2 carat (tw.) solitaire pendant goes for $695, which is less expensive than similar-sized but better-cut graded diamonds from Ritani ($900) or James Allen ($1070).
Again, we strongly advise you to create your own diamond jewelry item by selecting your own diamond rather than buying a piece that has already been manufactured. If you do that, the diamonds you get will be considerably better. And one of the best places locations to create your own jewelry is Clean Origin.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Shopping experience
Possibly the most important consideration, other than price and quality, when buying a diamond is the shopping experience, which includes the opportunity to evaluate possible diamonds thoroughly. So next, we’ll compare James Allen vs. Clean Origin’s shopping experiences.
James Allen’s shopping experience
Of all the top online diamond retailers (or offline), James Allen undoubtedly provides the greatest diamond purchasing experience.
By allowing you to study every facet of a diamond from your computer or smartphone without getting up from the couch, James Allen was among the originators of the online diamond shopping experience.
Contrary to popular belief, side-by-side comparisons of diamonds on a computer (or phone) screen in the comfort of your home give a far more realistic picture of the stone you’re buying. That’s because, while watching the diamonds in 3D, you can scrutinize them, study the HD images, and compare them with the diamond grading reports.
This procedure has been refined by James Allen, who has both simplified and advanced it. Additionally, they include services that let you chat with (non-commissioned) gemologists about the specific diamonds you are considering.
Recognized independent diamond institutions like IGI evaluate diamonds, and all diamonds are accessible in HD and with 360-degree views. Certificates are also easily accessible.
James Allen has mastered the art of purchasing diamonds online, but if you’re still not convinced, there are two James Allen showrooms in Washington, DC and New York, NY.
The Clean Origin shopping experience
Clean Origin provides a simple, hassle-free shopping process on its user-friendly website. You may examine 360-degree high-definition videos and images of every diamond and complete diamond statistics and grading reports to evaluate diamond quality. In addition, the independent diamond grading certifications are easily accessible on the website.
Additionally, Clean Origin provides live chat, phone, and email support from diamond professionals. Each Clean Origin customer care team member has at least five years of expertise in the diamond business and has received the necessary training to assist you in selecting the ideal diamond.
Although the setup isn’t nearly as advanced as James Allen’s, it is still excellent. Additionally, you may schedule a video consultation with Clean Origin to assist you through the diamond purchasing process, or you can visit the Clean Origin store in Dallas.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Sustainability
James Allen sustainability
James Allen offers both mined diamonds and the better choice: lab-grown diamonds. Generally speaking, James Allen does not place much emphasis on sustainability, the influence of their diamond sourcing and retail activities on the environment or the climate, or on the social impact. Additionally, they make no mention of recycled materials like Brilliant Earth, Vrai, or Clean Origin.
This could be done either to prevent offending consumers of mined diamonds or simply because it isn’t their primary focus. However, given their substantial selection of lab-created diamonds, James Allen implicitly has a sustainable diamond profile, although one that is not that obvious.
Clean Origin sustainability
Clean Origin was founded to put sustainability and quality first and give more ethical diamond alternatives to concerned consumers. Because they are more ecologically friendly, they have always promoted lab-grown diamonds rather than diamonds that were mined.
But unlike James Allen, it does not stop with selling the better diamond type of lab-created diamonds.
Additionally, Clean Origin states that they will plant a tree for every dollar spent. And what’s more, all of the company’s metals, including platinum, white, yellow, and rose gold, are recycled.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Shipping and Returns
Every order placed with James Allen is eligible for free FedEx Overnight shipping and free returns (the US only).
Clean Origin’s generous offer of 100-day free returns, however, is unmatched by James Allen, which offers an excellent but more typical 30 days of free return.
James Allen vs. Clean Origin: Pros and Cons
Below we have listed the pros and cons of James Allen vs. Clean Origin to help you decide which of the two top-rated diamond jewelers is best for you.
What we like about James Allen (Pros)
What we don’t like about James Allen (Cons)
What we like about Clean Origin (Pros)
What we don’t like about Clean Origin (Cons)
Summary of James Allen vs. Clean Origin
Who do we believe to be the best after carefully weighing James Allen vs. Clean Origin? It depends on what you are searching for and what is more important to you, as is frequently the case.
If you require personal support and help during the diamond examination process and if you are a bit less sure about what to buy, we advise going with James Allen. While Clean Origin’s prices are lower, the difference is not significant, and, for your needs, the extra cost could be justified. If you shop at James Allen, you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect diamond.
If you’re looking for the greatest deals and the largest selection of diamonds of the highest quality, then we think Clean Origin is the preferable option. The assistance and features are excellent, albeit occasionally not as cutting-edge as those at James Allen, but you may not need those and prefer saving on cost instead.
This also goes for their pre-set diamond, where Clean Origin’s prices are among the lowest. However, we recommend you build your own and pick a better diamond when you can – and with Clean Origin offering some of the absolute best prices on loose diamonds, you’ll still get a great deal.
Clean Origin edges ahead of James Allen when it comes to returns with their generous 100-day return period, while they both otherwise have similar excellent return and shipping policies.
Lastly, Clean Origin also has a little more focus on sustainability. However, if sustainability is more important to you, see our comparison of Brilliant Earth vs. Vrai, the two leading sustainable jewelers.
In either case, James Allen and Clean Origin are excellent choices, and we strongly recommend both. That’s why we list them in our list of the top 5 sites to buy lab-grown diamonds and rank them as the top two among all our lab diamond reviews and in our James Allen review and Clean Origin review.
Is James Allen better than Clean Origin?
Two of the best places to buy diamond jewelry are James Allen and Clean Origin. But which is better, Clean Origin or James Allen? That depends on what matters the most to you. While Clean Origin has lower prices, James Allen provides a better shopping experience and customer support. If you want help with diamond examination, we recommend James Allen. However, we believe Clean Origin is better than James Allen if you value having access to an even larger selection and lower prices.
More diamond seller comparisons and reviews
On LabGrownCarats.com, we evaluate lab-created diamond jewelers offering the ethically superior diamond choice of lab-grown diamonds. In addition, we offer advice on where to find your next piece of lab-created jewelry and how to save on lab diamonds.
In our diamond sellers comparisons, we help you decide between jewelers, and we recommend the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds online and the best places for lab-grown diamond engagement rings.
Read our comparisons of some of our other highly rated diamond jewelry, such as Clean Origin vs. Brilliant Earth, to see if Clean Origin or Brilliant Earth may be the best place for you or James Allen vs. Ritani to learn if Ritani or James Allen may be better for you.