This is an in-depth Kay Jewelers review. Read on to learn more!
Kay Jewelers Review
In this review, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about Kay Jewelers along with answering some of the most frequently asked questions including:
Who is Kay?
- What makes Kay jewelers unique?
- What are some of the things people like and hate about Kay jewelers?
- Their key features
- Are kay jewelers diamonds worth their price? Among others
Let’s get right into it!
Who Is Kay Jewelers?
Kay Jewelers is a renowned company that comes to mind when you think about fine jewelry, wedding bands and engagement rings. Signet, one of the most popular corporate jewelry stores owns the company.
Signet is based in the UK but mainly operates in America under Sterling Jewelers, a subsidiary company. It’s the parent company of Zales, Kay Jewelers, and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry. They own other stores as well including the most preferred store among many jewelers, i.e. James Allen.
Kay Jewelers has been around since time immemorial. The company opened their first store in 1916 in Pennsylvania. However, Signet jewelers is their headquarters with a home office in Akron, Ohio.
Kay Jewelers is one of the best jewelry stores in American with more than 1,000 stores. What’s more, they sell different brands on both their website and stores such as Vera Wang, Tolkowsky, Mikimoto, Leo Schacter, Le Vian and Neil Lane, a bachelorette ring designer.
Currently, Kay Jewelers remain the most popular high-end jewelry. However, Signet has started putting more focus on the online store as opposed to their shopping malls presence in America because COVID19 changed the dynamic. All this is in a bid to become one of the best online diamond stores.
What Makes Kay Jewelers Unique?
Kay Jewelers are more successful widely in stores as opposed to online even though they have brick and mortar locations all over the United States along with a fully functional website – www.kay.com. The company’s mission is to celebrate life and express love.
In addition, Kay jewelers give all their customers a personal experience and that’s what makes it stand out. They will treat you like family the moment you start looking for a ring. However, you can only get this experience when you visit their stores as opposed to shopping online. It’s typically known as clicks and bricks model of doing business which is quite successful especially in online diamond retailers.
Kay Jewelers has a range of online and in-store inventory. They carry black diamonds, gold chains, blue diamonds, bridal jewelry, charm and charm bracelets and colored gemstone jewelry. You can create mother’s necklace online with different birthstones and simulate its representation for online buyers.
You can inquire about the mountings book if these items aren’t enough. They have a range of books with different jewelry designs behind their jewelry counter. The book contains variety of empty ring settings. What’s more, you can ask the shop to customize your gemstone or diamond. They can also do a full custom design if that’s what you prefer.
When it comes to jewelry, Kay is known to give their customers a wide variety to choose from. Customers tend to develop healthy relationships with some of their consultants and have long-lasting reputation with them.
Kay Jewelers Customer Service
When reviewing diamond retailers, we tend to look at some of their online chats and proceed from there. We can also talk to an online rep along the way. For now, let’s take a look at the Kay jewelers instore service.
Kay Jewelers is a mega corp. For this reason, you are bound to run into different associates and managers with different outlooks and attitudes. No one needs to have any form of jewelry education save for the basic training that brands do for their new employees. Remember, store managers are not trained at Gemological Institute of America.
Managers and their assistants, on the other hand, need to undergo training with Gemological Institute of America. Their online customer service team are not well conversant with gemstones and diamonds. Instead, they’re usually taught on how to solve problems as opposed to educating them on diamonds. Make an appointment with the jewelry consultant albeit over the phone.
James Allen is hands down the best online diamond retailer. In this case, I would like to ask about their ring building process online. This didn’t take long considering that the company is quite big. However, instead of my waiting time decreasing, it increased which was quite a surprise. Finally, I was connected to someone to assist me.
They have a few options for their Extended Service Plan. All the bridal jewelry in their collection comes with this warranty which depends on the cost of the item in question. Here’s a highlight of the conversation I had with Jody, the jewelry consultant.
You’ll have to visit their online store if you want to purchase their Extended Service Plan that covers stone tightening, prong retipping, resizing and rhodium plating along with using the build a ring service.
Here’s a highlight of Kay Jewelers shopping experience and how the entire process goes. It’s quite easy although different items take longer as compared to others. Let’s delve right in, shall we?
Picking the Diamond
There was only one way that you could create engagement on Kay Jewelers website before 2020. Currently, there are many different ways that include searching for diamonds online. It was one of the major drawbacks but now the competition has been evened out.
Kay Jewelers have a ring builder that allows customers to choose preselected diamond grades of uncertified gemstones. The only downside is that you can’t know how the diamond looks like and where it’s placed. They have an engagement ring builder that’s overpriced especially for uncertified diamonds.
Let’s compare their collection of loose diamonds and try matching them up with those from James Allen, shall we?
Kay Jewelers Design-A-Ring build compares to other different online diamond retailers. It’s clean and minimal, best suited for older adults that tend to shop at brick-and-mortar online retailers. Currently, their collection has over 33,000 loose diamonds.
You can choose from general 4C’s filters to complicated filters such as diamonds from fluorescence to grading labs. Most of their online loose diamonds are GIA or AGS certified. However, most of their in-store engagement rings are uncertified and they also carry few GIA certified preset rings.
When you choose a 1 carat to about 1.5 carat weight selection of diamonds, the selection is narrowed to 8,000. It’s quite heavy drop especially from 33,000. They should have more because the average carat weight of a diamond is 1.2.
You can see the diamonds on their 360-degrees viewer similar to that of James Allen. The movement can be controlled as well.
Choose the Setting
Kay Jewelers allows you to choose loose diamonds on its own or ring settings. As they should, because they give you two different options for ring settings. Choosing from two ring settings is a bit crazy since princess cut diamonds are quite popular in terms of preferred diamond shapes. It works for them since you need to buy a setting or alternatively have one of their shops help you put it together at an extra cost.
A local jeweler can do the ring setting for you but that beats the purpose of buying the diamond online especially if there are other different options to choose from. However, it’s probably a work in progress because it’s a new feature. After all is said and done, Kay Jewelers could use some improvement to match reputable online retailers like Brilliant Earth and James Allen.
In addition, their ring setting collection is quite limited and equally expensive. For instance, adding another ring setting to a diamond costs about $8,300 exclusive of warranty and tax.
A summary of the details is usually listed below matching band options before adding the engagement ring to your shopping bag. Plus, it takes 12 business days to process your order in addition to the shopping choice. They might require your signature.
At this point, you can add the product to the cart. You can use Safari browser if you Google Chrome doesn’t allow the ring to go in the shopping bag.
There’s no way to add the Extended Service Plan seeing as its Kay Jeweler’s warranty covering all metal work. This is quite a drawback. However, you can add the Kays Extended Service Plan by visiting their store.
When making a purchase, the company gives you two options. In this case, you can either choose to use the Long Live Love Card which is typically Kay Jewelers Credit Card or debit/credit card. You can also lease, but that can only happen through the live chat because most stores are usually closed.
You can use the Long Live Card for purchases at Jared and Kay Jewelers. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do it at this point since you can’t do the application from the checkout page. Apply here before checking out if you’re have any interest in exploring the financing plans for your Long Live Love card.
Here’s a highlight of some of the financing plans to choose from:
The company’s return policy is not only easy to the consumer base but also convenient. You can choose to return the merchandise online or at the store. This means that you can still visit the store even after making an online purchase especially if you’re looking forward to a hassle-free return.
You can start the return process online if you can’t get to the store or simply prefer mailing it.
Kay Jewelers has a 30-day return policy. This means that the company allows you to return products within 30 days from the day of purchase for a refund as per your original mode of payment. It will reverse if you’re using the Long Live Love card.
However, you might have to wait not longer than 10 business day for a refund if you paid cash. The payment will go back to the card in case you used your debit/credit card. What’s more, Kay Jewelers have a 60-day exchange policy for those who plan on exchanging the purchase and get something else.
You can do the exchange in their stores as well. Watches have a 30-day return policy. However, you can’t return or exchange engraved and customized merchandise.
What Are Some of the Things People Like About Kay Jewelers?
Kay jewelers have great warranties for most of their jewelry pieces. However, the warranty depends on the merchandise you buy. The Lifetime Diamond Commitment Warranty is one of their best warranties. Just as the name suggests, it’s a free lifetime warranty for any purchases with emeralds, rubies, diamonds and sapphires.
However, you need to visit the store after every six months so that the ring can be cleaned and inspected to get the free lifetime warranty. The warranty is worth it if you follow the rules to the latter.
If you ring features sapphire, emerald, rubies or diamonds and the stone gets lost, Kay Jewelers will replace it for you with another one of the same quality or even better provided the inspections are up to date. This warranty is one of a kind since online retailers don’t offer any ring or stone protection.
The only downside is that Kay Jewelers don’t give their clients an option of choosing the replacement stone. This means that the quality can be a bit compromised.
Kay Jewelers also have other different plans including Jewelry Replacement Plan and the Extended Service Plan. Most of the jewelry pieces in their collection come with the Extended Service Plan warranty. However, the jewelry replacement plan is usually the most viable alternative if the product doesn’t have the extended service plan warranty.
A few of their merchandise have no warranties. In addition, Kay Jewelers have a Watch Plan for watch purchases. The company offers the Extended Service Plan for wedding bands and engagement rings. The warranty covers your metalwork including tightening stones, rhodium plating white gold, resizing, and prong retipping for life.
Save for regular maintenance, the Extended Service Plan also covers straightening earring posts, reshaping ring tanks, chain breaking, fixing damaged channels along with any minor damages. There might be an extra cost for other extensive damages.
Kay Jewelers allows you to resize a couple of times for life unlike what online retailers offer. The cost of the Extended Service Plan usually depends on the cost of the product you purchase.
Here’s a highlight of approximate prices:
The Jewelry Plan is best suited for different items like Pandora charms, mother’s ring, alternative men’s metal wedding bands and hollow gold jewelry. The plan allows you to replace the merchandise once at no extra cost within a period of 3 years.
Once you receive your replacement, the company gives you a new jewelry plan. However, the Jewelry Plan is less than the Extended Service Plan.
Here’s a highlight of some of JRP prices:
By now, you already know that James Allen offers free warranty but a paid premium should suffice. The Extended Service Plan covers more than the free lifetime warranty that James Allen provides to their clients. However, some people would prefer not to use the warranty even making a purchase from the said brand. And it’s for a good reason. Keep scrolling!
Kay Jewelers, just like other retailers, allow their customers to upgrade their rings. This means that you can upgrade your jewelry pieces especially diamonds with an exemption of the lab created ones.
However, you have to visit one of their stores to make use of the trade-in policy. But Kay Jewelers gives you many different options thanks to their vast inventory. Plus, any trade-in is bound to get the full price of the item, your ring setting notwithstanding. The policy is typically diamonds on diamonds.
Kay Jewelers also have gold exchange that you can check on their website. However, the trade-in policy doesn’t cater to colored gemstone jewelry apart from those with diamonds. The upgraded jewelry piece must be twice the value of the initial cost of the old one. This means that you can get up to a maximum of 50% off the new jewelry piece.
What People Don’t Like About Kay Jewelers
There are a number of things that aren’t quite as exciting about Kay Jewelers. Don’t fret, it’s quite normal because it can’t be all rainbow and sunshine. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Kay offers many different options of designing a ring online which can be a bit confusing. Plus, finding loose diamonds is no easy feat. Their loose diamonds are relatively cheap as compared to their in-store counterparts.
You cannot bypass customer reviews and reputation when looking for a reliable and trustworthy online retailer to shop from. Kay Jewelers is a mega corporation. This means that people have a lot to say about the company, positive and negative in equal measure.
You’ll find lots of negative reviews about Kay Jewelers on different social media platforms like Facebook and others like the Better Business Bureau and Reddit. The company has been battling lawsuits coupled with unsubstantiated rumors from both customers and employees. However, for the most part, people tend to complain about their repair shops.
Over the years, Signet has had some scandals when dealing with customers and internal management. There are those that believe that Kay Jewelers and other related jewelry stores like Zales and Jared are scams.
This Buzzfeed article in 2016 was one of the biggest media hit that Kay Jewelers took along the road. It details an awful experience that one of their customers had to deal with after buying an engagement ring worth $5,000.
The customer sent the ring for repair only to come back with an entirely different stone, a diamond simulant -moissanite. It tested diamond at both Zales and Kay’s. After testing it out at two different companies, the customer found out that it wasn’t authentic diamond. More people shared similar stories after the incident.
There are more of these stories online and that doesn’t look good for the company. Suffice to say, I bought my wedding band and engagement ring from Kay Jewelers. However, you might want to service your jewelry pieces at a local jeweler as opposed to sending it back to the company for maintenance.
Kay Jewelers Pricing
The prices of the jewelry pieces vary from one brand to another. We did the legwork for you and compared their prices to those of one of their competitor’, James Allen. Both Kay Jewelers and James Allen are owned by Signet.
Check out the pics below and note the difference in pricing:
The full price of a diamond ring at James Allen is about $3,830. That’s a difference of $1,360. Besides, James Allen offers more than 200 settings for such diamonds while Kay has 20 settings or thereabout for all diamond shapes for 1 carat diamonds in their inventory.
AVAILABLE ON JAMESALLEN
Kay Jewelers are more expensive even if they had solitaire setting as compared to James Allen’s. If you want maintenance, you’ll also have to pay for the extended service plan. On the flip side, James Allen’s ring settings usually come with free maintenance warranty.
Save yourself the agony by not buying less value jewelry pieces at higher prices.
Final Thoughts – Kay Jewelers Review
I would advise you against buying bridal jewelry such as wedding bands and engagement rings from Kay Jewelers especially if you plan on purchasing online. According to analysis, there are more than enough reasons not to get this merchandise at Kay Jewelers.
One of the main reasons is that you might end up paying a higher price for sub-standard quality diamonds. You can’t tell the kind of diamond that will land on your ring since there’s no assurance that the diamond grades are what they’re purported to be. Plus, you don’t get to see how the diamond looks visually before it’s mailed your way.
In this case, it would be best to buy from a reputable online retailer with GIA certification. James Allen comes highly recommended since their prices are relatively cheap and they’re equally transparent. That’s why most people who shop at Kay’s prefer visiting their stores as opposed to buying online.
AVAILABLE ON JAMESALLEN
One of the many reasons why Kay Jewelers are still in business is because they have a wide range of jewelry pieces in all their stores. Most people prefer buying something that they can see and touch. Plus, they have a large inventory that’s why they come highly recommended to those looking for brick and mortar stores with different jewelry options.
In addition, Kay Jewelers has a number of lab grown gemstone jewelry with a lot of items that cost less than $100. You can get lost in pages of different colored gemstone jewelry pieces online along with creating customized mother’s jewelry with the birthstones. Kay has a variety of unique choices when it comes to fashion jewelry that’s why it tops the list owing to its large inventory.