Their radio advertisements focus on custom jewelry at half the price of designer jewelry. I was intrigued by the idea of designing the engagement ring so J and I checked it out. It’s a small location with rings on the second floor. They had a small showcase of their custom ring settings. The salesperson stated we could get those rings or design our own. They would sketch the design, do a CAD drawing, make a wax mold, then finally make the ring. It seemed like an interesting process. But we couldn’t really progress much because we didn’t have a specific design in mind.
Because their rings were custom made, they wouldn’t let us take pictures of their settings for intellectual property reasons. Also, they shared the listed price for their diamonds, but wouldn’t go into detail about how much of a discount they could offer until we decided on the setting. Jared’s and Charleston Alexander also mentioned that they could make any ring that we wanted, so it’s hard to tell who would be best at custom designed jewelry.
Blue Nile is a large online retailer of diamonds. Actually, it would be more accurate to say they are a large lister of diamonds. That’s because they don’t keep an inventory and sell out of it as a regular store would. They have agreements with jewelry stores and list their stock of diamonds online. Then if someone orders the diamond from Blue Nile, the jewelery store would mail the diamond to Blue Nile and would get their cut of the profit.
Blue Nile generally has the lowest prices due to low overhead. If a jewelry store you go into has a diamond on sale for $2000 and they have a partnership with Blue Nile, it’s possible to find that same diamond with the same certification on Blue Nile for $1700. If you purchase it from Blue Nile and go back to the store, the store will probably tell you the diamond has already been sold, but not mention that it was sold through Blue Nile.
Definitely use Blue Nile’s website to benchmark the current price of a diamond according to certified ratings. They also do settings. I’ve heard from a friend that they’ve seen diamonds ordered from Blue Nile and that they were fine. But you want to see them in person and if you decide to return them, you want to insure them (which could cost a couple hundred).
One thing I learned about from Blue Nile is fluorescence. It’s another characteristic of a diamond that can be rated. This is a color or effect that a diamond has when subject to UV light. Blue Nile advises getting a diamond with none to slight fluorescence. If you have a lot of fluorescence, the diamond could look milky or less sparkly. Some fluorescence ratings say “Strong Blue” which sounds cool, but I’d have to see what it looks like in person.