James Allen Engagement Rings
It might surprise you to know that one of the pioneers of online jewelry was indeed James Allen (www.jamesallen.com). Started in the late 1980’s, this company was created by a man named James Allen Schultz and his wife. Being dissatisfied with their own engagement ring purchase lead to the humble beginnings of one of the largest online jewelry retailers in the United States. Back in the late 80’s, the internet didn’t exist as we know it. However, James Allen snagged the idea so early in the game that he has been termed one of the pioneers of internet retailing. The internet didn’t begin as we know it until the 90’s and from there jewelry business started catching on (slowly for the majority of them). It wasn’t until 1998 that the former “dirt cheap diamonds” aka James Allen got their start. Fortunately, they decided to do a name change to James Allen and it’s been a hugely popular staple on the internet ever since.
James Allen Engagement Rings: What Do They Offer?
Our first impression was that their website was clean and user friendly. It’s apparent that their marketing and development team has done everything they can to ensure that it is as easy as possible to pick out the perfect ring. They do make it look a lot easier than it is but essentially, they do cover the initial basics as follows:
Naturally we know it isn’t that simple, but it is an effective way to make the purchasing process appear less daunting.
They further broke down the options in a simple manner by these categories:
- Pave Set
- Side Stone
- Three Stone
- Mixed Metal
- James Allen Design
By clicking on anyone of those options on the James Allen engagement rings page you are taken to the specific area in which you can pick out your setting, diamond and voila, you have your ring. It is very important for first time engagement ring buyers to know that prices of the rings listed never include the diamonds and that can be a shocker for many men. However, they do clearly state that at the top of each page to ensure you know this.
James Allen Engagement Rings: How to View
One impressive thing about this website is they make it easy to see what the ring actually looks like up close and personal by providing high resolution images that rotate, provide the HD option and also a fancy computerized video of the ring on a finger. It really is one of the best options we’ve found online that cater to the needs of the customer. However, one of our reviewers from The Diamond Authority found that the video stalled his computer, causing him to have to reload the page and wait a long time to get back to the previous page.
Selecting a Diamond: James Allen Engagement Rings
The next part of the process looks easy enough. You click on “select a diamond” and it brings you to new page with over 4000 options of diamonds that will work in your chosen setting. Overwhelming, possibly, but realistically most men will want to do some research and the diamond finder tool helps narrow things down a bit. You can chose to sort by price, cut, clarity, color and carat. From here, it simply depends on your budget and preferences. You can select a diamond and view an actual video as well as the grading certificate. So far, so good. Scrolling down, we find even more information on the selected diamond and can make a little more sense out of the quality. The James Allen “Diamond Help Assistant” brings you to their education center, while the “Add to Comparison” option enables you to compare several diamonds side by side to help narrow things down even more.
Once the diamond has been selected, you’re ready to check out. It’s such an easy process and we haven’t found any red flags yet in usability. Next comes the order summary, which could shock a lot of men once they see the total price of the engagement ring and diamond. Our mid range quality diamond was nearly $3000, so you can imagine seeing nearly a $4000 price tag would be a bit overwhelming for the average Joe.
Getting Your James Allen Engagement Rings in the Mail
James Allen provides free Fed Ex shipping and you receive a good sized Fed Ex box with another inner box from James Allen, complete with their logo and embossed lettering. The inside of the box is beautifully and professionally presented, with secure foam around the wooden ring box and product information and certification documentation all present. The ring was sparkling and beautiful, just as we expected it to be when we opened the box. Everything was in order and a person would be hard pressed to find as easy of a buying experience in any local jewelry store.
All in all, we were impressed with our buying experience and found the website and customer service to be friendly and easily accessible. The only thing we could suggest is to offer a wider variety of unique and ornate styles that mirror the Tacori or Verragio designer rings that so many women love. There is a ring for nearly every woman on this website, but for the one that wants more unique style and a boutique experience or a diamond alternative, she may need to look elsewhere. All in all, we had a good experience and could recommend this retailer.