Brilliant Earth vs. James Allen: Which Is Better?

Brilliant Earth vs. James Allen: Which Is Better?

James Allen or Brilliant Earth? Who is the better jewelry retailer?

Congratulations! You have come to the right place. Here you will find the answer to your question and also:

  • What is the shopping experience like in these stores?
  • Who between these two jewelry retailers has the best warranty?
  • Which store has the best value for money?
  • What do customers have to say about James Allen vs. Brilliant Earth?

Bottom Line: James Allen is a better jewelry retailer for both diamonds and other types of jewelry. Their products cost 20-30% less and the value is better than pieces sold by Brilliant Earth.

When you buy diamonds from Brilliant Earth, you pay so much but get a lesser quality of diamonds.

James Allen sells diamonds online and you can view the diamonds using their 360-degree technology. The customer care service is available 24/7 and the return policy is convenient.

If you are worried about the diamonds being stained with blood, James Allen also has lab-created diamonds that are up to three times more but go for half the price.

Check the James Allen Diamond Collection here.

James Allen is among the top online diamond sellers. Brilliant Earth on the other hand is trying to establish itself on the internet space and build a niche for itself.

Almost, if not all jewelry retailers online sell their diamonds cheaply than brick and mortar jewelry stores.

This, however, does not mean that all online jewelry vendors are the same.

Some virtual stores have 360 viewing techniques for their pieces while others have showrooms for viewing diamonds. Others have better warranties and friendly return policies than others.

Brilliant Earth has beyond ethical diamonds, but how do they measure up to James Allen? Let’s look into that.

Brilliant Earth vs James Allen

Shopping Experience

Shopping for diamonds and other jewelry online is easy and straightforward. Almost all online vendors offer the same experience. Both James Allen and Brilliant Earth have a library of loose diamonds as well as ring settings.

But, they are not the same.

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth has a collection of both natural and synthetic loose diamonds, although, their collection is not as vast as that found in James Allen or Blue Nile.

Their library is made up of more or less 30,000 loose diamonds that you can look at. They also have pre-set rings made of diamond.

Their collection also features a vast collection of fine jewelry made of diamonds and other gemstones, loose attractive colored diamonds, and loose diamonds.

Brilliant Earth has a 30-day return policy in case you do not like the ring you receive or it has defects.

This jewelry store alleges that they go far and beyond having blood diamonds.

Most jewelry retailers trust and prefer to use the Kimberley Process to ensure that the diamond they get does not fund terrorism or civil unrest. However, Brilliant Earth seems to think the said process is not reliable enough. They say that the Kimberley Process does not cover diamonds obtained through other unethical means.

James Allen

The collection of loose diamonds at James Allen stands at 300,000. They also have a library of fancy colored diamonds, lab manufactured diamonds, and loose gemstones.

James Allen also has fine jewelry, but most customers flock there to buy diamonds.

While Brilliant Earth only has a few of their diamonds to view, James Allen allows 360 view of HD images of all the diamonds in their library. James Allen uses the Kimberley Process to source all the diamonds that end up in their store.

RECOMMENDED: Where to Buy Ethically Sourced Diamonds

James Allen also allows you 30 days after the day of delivery to return a diamond without any stress. The company sends you a FedEx label that is already paid for and will ship the diamond back to you in time.

Customer Service

Customer service is an important factor that most customers consider before deciding where to shop. It refers to how the customer service team interacts with you during the purchase process and when you have to return a product for some reason. It also involves any other services that you may need.

Brilliant Earth

The Brilliant earth customer service team can be contacted through their email, phone number, or live chat. These channels are, however, limited by time. You can only reach the customer service on weekdays between 5 am and 9 pm Pacific Time. On Saturdays and Sundays, the services are available between 7 am and 7 pm. When it comes to the online chat, you can only access a jewelry specialist from 6 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 7 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

One great customer service at Brilliant Earth is their temporary setting for a ring. If you want your future significant other to select their own ring but retain the feeling of a proposal, this online retailer gives you an 18K gold temporary solitaire setting.

The setting costs $75. It allows your fiancé to be a part of the process but also retain the romance involved in a proposal.

James Allen

Like Brilliant Earth, James Allen’s customer service is also available on live chat, email, and phone number. The difference is you can get through to them all day all week: they are available 24/7.

James Allen is committed and fully involved in the experiences of their customers. The diamond experts at the company make a great effort in answering all customer questions and they seem knowledgeable.

While most jewelry lovers prefer James Allen for diamonds, other customers have had their share of bad experiences with this online diamond vendor. What makes James Allen stand out is how they are involved with negative customer issues.

RECOMMENDED: Is Customer Service at James Allen Good?

The majority of the negative complaints about James Allen at the Better Business Bureau have been addressed and resolved.


Craftsmanship aside, rings and other pieces of jewelry are made from precious metals that start to wear out after prolonged use. At this point, a jewelry wearer realizes the importance of a good warranty. Warranties are important for anyone who has a wedding ring, engagement ring, or any other valuable jewelry.

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth gives its customers a lifetime warranty for free. The warranty covers any manufacturing flaws on the jewelry such as a ring that needs tightening frequently. To use this warranty, the retailer requires that you part with $50 for shipping the jewelry back to them.

Apart from the free lifetime warranty, there is an optional Extended Service Plan that is payable and remains valid for three years only. This plan covers all routine metalwork that your jewelry piece will need like rhodium plating for white gold pieces, center stone tightening, re-tipping of prongs, and steam cleaning or polishing.

The ESP also covers any .25carat or less diamond that gets lost. Shipping the replacement diamond is free under this warranty.

Additionally, there is a grace period of 60 days to resize a ring that does not fit. When this period elapses, you will be charged a resizing fee.

Finally, Brilliant Earth charges $40 if you want something engraved in the diamond ring. However, once engraved, the ring cannot be returned to the retailer.

James Allen

James Allen offers a free lifetime warranty, only that it covers both manufacturing defects and routine repairs. With this warranty, you do not have to worry about spending money on polishing, steam cleaning, rhodium plating, prong re-tipping, or stone tightening. This warranty does not cover the loss of diamonds.

If you find this warranty convenient and would love to use it, James Allen requires that you pay $30 for shipping the diamond back to them if you are in the US or Canada and $50 if you are in any other country. Free resizing is also offered but only in the first year of purchasing.

If you need to resize your wedding or engagement ring after the first year, you will be charged $50 for platinum, and $25 for white, yellow, or rose gold rings.

When you check out a maximum of 20 characters, James Allen lets you engrave your ring for free. You can also return the ring in case it has any issues.

Price vs Value

To get a clear comparison of the value for money between Brilliant Earth and James Allen, I chose two identical eye-clean emerald cut diamonds. Both pieces have the same clarity, color grade G, and weigh 2.01 carat.

RECOMMENDED: Diamond Clarity Explained

Both of these diamonds have a GIA certificate. The price of diamonds is important, but so is the quality.

2.01 Carat Oval Diamond
2.01 Carat Oval Diamond
2.06 Carat emerald diamond
2.06 Carat emerald diamond

Look at the prices; it is obvious that Brilliant Earth has more expensive diamonds even when their clarity is a little lower. The piece from James Allen is less priced by $1370 and that is minus sales tax and warranty.

RECOMMENDED: Does James Allen Charge Sales Tax on Jewelry?

Apart from the highly-priced jewelry, you need to buy the Extended Service Plan so that your jewelry remains looking new not to mention the plan lasts three years only.

Both James Allen and Brilliant Earth sell high-quality diamonds at cheaper prices than most corporate physical jewelry stores. However, James Allen takes the crown for having great diamond prices and value.

Reddit Reviews

Most people who want to buy jewelry go to the Reddit website to check out customer reviews about jewelry designers, jewelry stores, and the types of jewelry they sell.

When the conversation is about online diamond vendors, you cannot fail to read about Brilliant Earth and James Allen.

Both of these stores have both negative and positive reviews. Unfortunately, most customers have negative things to say about Brilliant Earth. I came across a post that claims to expose the alleged 100% ethical diamonds that Brilliant earth sources. Check the post out below:

Many people who have bought their rings from Brilliant Earth seem to think their products are of high quality. Some of them say that when the ring is appraised, it turns out with a lesser value than they initially paid for.

When it comes to James Allen, Redditors only have good things to say about the company. This diamond retailer seems to be the number one choice for most jewelry lovers.


There is no doubt that both James Allen and Brilliant Earth are good diamond retailers. You can buy wedding and engagement rings from them without worrying about the product quality. However, one is obviously better than the other. In this case, James Allen is the best.

James Allen offers you high-quality diamonds at a cheaper price and a free lifetime warranty to cover all routine maintenance. Brilliant earth on the other hand has expensive diamonds and requires you to pay for any maintenance.

This not to say that Brilliant Earth is a bad retailer, it is just that James Allen is a better store.

However, if you want to physically see and touch the diamonds before purchasing, brilliant Earth has stores spread out where you can walk in and see the jewelry before purchasing.

If online shopping is not your thing, Brilliant Earth is the place to go.

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