B2C Jewels Review
Huge choice at bargainous prices
B2C Jewels is a fairly new player on the customer-facing jewelry scene, but the family behind the business have been involved in the wholesale diamond trade for over 20 years. This experience and their connections means that B2C Jewels has built a business with large economies of scale, which means that they can offer extremely competitive prices.
Out of all of my recommended retailers, B2C Jewelers often offers the lowest prices due to their wafer thing profit margins. This, combined with the huge variety of attractively priced engagement ring settings makes them an attractive prospect for the shopper who is looking to make their budget go as far as possible.
As with each of the reviews of diamonds on my site, I’ll break this down into 4 sections:
- Diamond Selection
- Ring Setting Selection
- Website Design and ease of use
- Customer Service
B2C Jewels offers a huge number of diamonds through their website – at the time of writing it’s just over 230,000. If they were to hold each of these diamonds in a warehouse, it would be well over a billion dollars of inventory, which for any commercial organisation would be a tall order.
To avoid this, B2C’s diamond inventory is a ‘virtual inventory’ which means that diamonds are actually owned and stored by other organisations within B2C’s network of partners and are only purchased from the suppliers once a diamond is chosen through B2C’s website.
This is good for consumers because it means that a huge number of diamonds are available to choose from. No matter what you’re looking for and your budget, it’s very likely you’ll be able to find a diamond that works for you.
The downside of the business model is that the diamonds are also offered on other jewelers’ websites too.
In the past I have found some great diamonds while helping guys find their dream engagement ring, only to find that when the time came to pull the trigger (sometimes only a couple of hours later), that diamond had already been sold.
Unfortunately B2C Jewels don’t offer the ability to reserve a diamond to avoid this issue. It would be a great feature for them to introduce to allow guys to take a little bit of time to consider their purchase before
General Diamond Inventory
B2C Jewels have been working hard to increase the quality of the diamonds offered on their site and it is definitely paying off. The majority of the diamonds offered have been certified by either the two most reputable gem grading labs: GIA or AGS. When searching, I would recommend that you click just these two boxes in the ‘Report’ section of the search tool.
B2C has also increased the number of diamonds on their site which have actual images of the stones, rather than just stock photos. Having an actual image of each individual stone is especially important if you are going o choose a SI1 grade, where some stones may have visible inclusions and some might not. Without a picture of the stone, it’s impossible for a diamond buyer to know whether a SI1 diamond will be ‘eye clean’ and have no visible inclusions or not.
For B2C’s signature top grade ‘Perfection’ diamonds, ASET and hearts and arrows images are also provided, which makes judging their quality and choosing between them possible.
If you’re looking for a round or a Princess cut diamond then B2C Jewels’ prices are extremely competitive – they frequently undercut other websites, even if it’s the exact same stone offered on both sites. Where B2C falls down slightly is when looking for a top quality stone. If you are looking for a GIA ‘Triple X’ diamond (one with excellent cut, excellent symmetry and excellent polish) then other retailers can often beat B2C’s listed prices.
When searching for a diamond I use the Holloway Cut Adviser to rule out stones which are graded as having ‘excellent’ or ‘ideal’ cut, but which won’t actually sparkle particularly well.
Due to the huge number of stones available, B2C seems to have a higher number of diamonds than average that score poorly on the HCA.
- Open the ‘More Search Options’
- Set the Depth % to between 60.1% and 61.9%
- Set the table % to between 55% and 57%
This will return diamonds which are more likely to return as much light as possible back to your eyes and sparkle brilliantly.
Diamonds with a shape other than round are known as fancy shapes because, well, they’re a little bit fancier than a run-of-the-mill round diamond.
When buying fancy shapes, especially shapes like the marquise, oval, heart or pear, it’s vitally important that you see an image of the actual stone that you’re considering to make sure that the shape of the cut is good. This isn’t something that you can tell just from a grading report and the 4Cs stats.
B2C have added images of a small number of their fancy shaped diamonds and they are definitely well priced, so if you are considering a fancy shape then it is worth checking them out. However, for a retailer with a much larger inventory of fancy shaped diamonds and high quality 360 images of each one, check out James Allen.
B2C Perfection Diamonds
Most retailers have a brand of diamonds which they view as the best of the best, and with B2C their range is called ‘Perfection’. Perfection diamonds each have triple excellent gradings from the GIA (for cut grading, symmetry and polish) and then have B2C’s own standards for cut applied to them.
Each Perfection diamond is supplied with Idealscope, ASET and hearts and arrows diagrams, which shoppers can use to analyse the quality of the diamond and use it to make an informed decision on the stone.
While some retailers are extremely clear about the criteria for their signature diamonds e.g. Whiteflash publishes the angles that each diamond must fit into on their website, B2C is less forthcoming with the information.
Price-wise, perfection diamonds are significantly higher than diamonds which are also graded ‘triple excellent’ by the GIA and therefore appear on paper to be just as good. If you’re interested in a B2C Perfection Diamond, then I review below. It does go into some detail, but it’s worth taking the time out to understand what you are getting for the premium price. Click to toggle the section to read.
To see whether there is a difference between B2C Jewels Perfection stones and a regular GIA ‘Triple Excellent’ stone on the B2C site, I examined two stones with very similar grading reports:
- Carat: 1
- Color F
- Clarity: VS1
- Polish: Excellent
- Symmetry: Excellent
- Fluorescence: None
The two diamonds are linked below and their prices are as follows:
That’s a big different in cost, despite being very similar on the certificate. I wanted to check whether the B2C Perfection diamond was worth this huge premium
Holloway Cut Adviser
To review the quality of the diamonds I first conducted a test with the Holloway Cut Adviser. This is an easy to use tool which is a tool developed by a diamond industry veteran which takes into account all of the angles of a diamond and uses an algorithm to determine:
- the level of light return (the proportion of light which is returned to your eye
- the fire (the mixed colours that a diamond produces)
- the scintillation (the level of sparkle) and
- how big the diamond looks compared to other diamonds with the same carat weight
The Holloway cut adviser is a good tool to weed out diamonds which have been given ‘excellent’ cut grades on their report, but which actually perform poorly. It takes into account how all the angles of a diamond work together to reflect light, rather than just judging on the quite broad proportion criteria of the standard ‘ideal’ or ‘excellent’ grade.
Diamond 1: Regular Triple Excellent:
Diamond 2: Perfection:
The Holloway Cut Adviser shows that although Diamond 1 has been classified by the GIA as having an ‘excellent’ cut grade, it actually performs poorly on the Holloway Cut Adviser.
In comparison, the B2C Signature Cut diamond’s result from the HCA indicates that it would sparkle brilliantly. This is a good result, but to be honest this is the result that we should be seeing for the price that the diamond costs.
Does this mean that B2C Signature Diamonds are always worth the premium over regular ‘Triple Excellent’ diamonds? Not necessarily..
Finding a diamond that performs just as well as a Perfection Diamond
The ‘regular’ Excellent cut diamond that I looked at above was just the least expensive stone that fit all of the usual clarity, carat and color characteristics that I look at.
If we add some more restrictions to finding our diamond, then we should be able to find a diamond that is just as high quality as B2C’S ‘Perfection’ line, for a much lower cost.
To do that we need to restrict two of the factr
- Depth %: 59.5% – 62.0%
- Table: 53% – 58%
When I did this, I found this diamond, which costs $7,194, so only slightly more then the original diamond I tested and significantly less than the B2C Perfection Diamond.
Holloway Cut Adviser
The first thing I did was run the new diamond through the Holloway Cut Adviser again, to see how it compared to the Perfection Diamond:
New Triple Excellent:
Looking at the two HCA results, there’s nothing to choose between the two stones. A score of less than 2.0 on the Holloway Cut Adviser means that the stone is good, but a lower score doesn’t necessarily mean that one stone is better than the other.
So what else can we do to compare the two stones?
ASET stands for ‘Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool’ and although that sounds complicated, it’s basically a viewer which shows how much light leaks from a diamond and how much will be bounced back to the viewer in the form of brilliant sparkle.
It’s the best tool to determine how much a diamond is actually going to sparkle, and if you want a detailed intro to ASET and how to read the images, you can check out this blog. However, a quick guide to interpreting ASET images is:
- Red: the most intense light – as much red as possible is good.
- Blue: shows the contrast pattern of the diamond – this should be as symmetrical as possible.
- Green: light reflected at an angle, which gives low intensity. Some green is inevitable, but we want to reduce this as much s possible.
- Black: light leakage. We want to reduce this as much as possible. (Sometimes the light leakage shows as white)
Here’s a couple of example ASET images to show what good and bad ASET images look like:
Majority is red (indicating light getting reflected) with small areas of low-intensity green and a distinct pattern of blue. The blue pattern resembles arrows, an indication of the symmetry of the diamond.
Although there is some red, the majority of the light is low intensity green and the dark areas show where light is being lost entirely. This diamond would appear dull and lifeless.
Every B2C Perfection diamond is supplied with an ASET image, but not every regular diamond is. For the regular diamond that I am testing, I contacted B2C Jewels through their live chat function and their helpful customer service assistant was able to supply ASET image.
They had this available straight away because another consumer had previously requested them. If this hadn’t been the case, B2C Jewels would have had to contact the supplier to see whether the images were available and then would have sent through via email later.
New Triple Excellent diamond ASET:
Perfection diamond ASET:
The ASET image that was supplied is computer generated through the AGSL and looks slightly different to the image which was supplied for the Perfection diamond, which is is an actual photograph. However, they both show exactly the same thing.
Comparing the two images to the Well-cut diamond’ ASET image above, shows similarly regular patterns of blue contrast, which are known as ‘arrows’. Both also have regular areas of green (indicating light loss). The size of the green areas on both diamonds are slightly larger than on the example image, which indicates that slightly more light is being lost, but when they are compared to each other, the two stones both perform at the same, very high, level.
We also have a ‘heats’ image of each diamond available to compare. Hearts are formed On a perfect hearts and arrows diamond each of the hearts should be symmetrical, with flat tops to the lobes and no ‘cleft’ between the two halves of the hearts.
New Triple Excellent:
The hearts image for the regular Excellent cut stone tells a similar tale. It is not quite a perfect hearts diamond – some of the arrowheads in front of the hearts are not symmetrical and some of the hearts still have clefts between the two halves, but it is actually a better hearts and arrows diamond than the ‘Perfection’.
We also have the ‘hearts’ image to review, which is less positive. This diamond does come close, but ultimately can’t be called a perfect hearts and arrows diamond.
Is Perfection worth the extra money?
In conclusion, to answer the question of whether the Perfection diamond is worth splashing the extra cash over a non-Perfection Excellent cut Round Brilliant diamond then I would say that based on the two stones that I compared that it is not.
By being smart and choosing a regular excellent cut stone with the right angles and requesting the ASET and hearts and arrows images, you can find a diamond that will perform equally well as a Perfection diamond for significantly less cost.
What this does hopefully show you though is that even in B2C Jewels’ regular diamond inventory, there are some very high quality diamonds, if you know what to look for. If you’d like any help in finding a high quality diamond for your engagement ring from B2C Jewels then just drop me a line and I’m happy to help.
Engagement Ring Settings
B2C Jewels has an absolutely huge selection of engagement ring settings – possibly the largest number of any jeweler anywhere in the known universe.
Factoring in combinations of the 6 different types of metal, 1,946 setting styles across 10 diamond shapes and the 200,000 diamonds on offer through B2C, I have carefully calculated that there are exactly eleventy billion different engagement rings that you could choose from at B2C Jewels. With that many on offer, you’d have to hope that there would be something for everyone.
One thing which isn’t so good about B2C’s engagement ring settings is that all of the images on their websites are digital renders, rather than actual images.
The advantage of this is that a users can see any of the ring settings with any of diamond shape. The disadvantage is that it can be hard to picture exactly what a ring is going to look like from an image.
B2C Jewels have also just introduced a premium range of engagement ring settings called ‘Cinora’. These are more unique designs than the regular settings and as part of the bespoke service B2C will work with you to model and custom design the ring if necessary to ensure that it’s exactly what you want.
I haven’t worked with anyone who has chosen a Cinora ring yet, but from all my other experiences of helping guys find incredible engagement rings from B2C Jewels then I am confident that their commitment to customer service will mean Cinora rings are extremely high quality.
The B2C website is well presented and perfectly functional, but the main purpose of this section of the review is to help potential buyers find their way around a couple of the quirks of the B2C site.
Most jewelers make the certificate easy to find and it’s usually just a case of clicking an image on the diamond detail page to load the certificate.
For some of B2C Jewels’ diamonds this is the case, but for others the certificate hasn’t been uploaded and the user is required to email B2C to request that the certificate be emailed to them. While this isn’t an insurmountable hurdle, in the competitive world of e-commerce, this is a definite negative for B2C.
There is a work-around though. If you have found that a diamond that you like on the B2C website site but there is no certificate available, you can go to the ‘Report Check’ section of the GIA’s website and enter the certificate number to verify the stats.
B2C have excellent customer service throughout the purchase process Any questions that can’t be answered by the customer service team are referred to qualified gemologists, who will get back to you via email extremely quickly.
Try it on at home
One service that B2C Jewels offers that none of my other recommended retailers offer is the ability to try it on at home.
The way it works is that ring shoppers can select up to three ring styles and a replica of the actual ring made out of silver alloy, with a one carat diamond simulant, will be mailed to them
The recipient has 7 days to examine the rings and can then return them in a pre-paid envelope that B2C supply. There’s no obligation to actually buy from B2C after the trial, so it’s pretty risk free.
There’s a small shipping and handling fee and deposit required to use the home try on service, but as a way of taking the risk and the fear of the unknown out of buying a ring online, I think that this is a great service.
B2C were one of the first retailers to offer a discount for paying by direct transfer, rather credit card. This is 3% on your whole ring, which is definitely not to be sniffed at and, when combined with B2C Jewels already razor-thin margins, means that their prices are hard to beat.
Once you purchase, your ring will be set to you in a black box with an inbuilt spotlight to show the ring off to the very best of its ability, as seen on the left. Some ring retailers insist on plastering their logo across the ring box, but B2C’s branding is restricted to an easily removable ribbon, which is definitely a positive.
Free shipping is offered for all rings within the USA, but International shipping is not free. B2C Jewels do include a Blue Nile.
As with all of my recommended retailers, B2C Jewels offer an excellent returns policy, to reduce the chances of buyers being unsatisfied with their engagement ring. It’s a huge and very meaningful purchase to make, so everyone involves wants to ensure that you are happy with your ring!
B2C’s return policy is 30-Day Free Return Policy, with a free Fedex shipping label supplied, which is up there with the very best amongst online engagement ring retailers.
If you’re happy with your ring style but didn’t quite get the size correct, B2C also offers free resizing within 30 days of purchase too. This is a useful service if you’re planning on surprising your partner with the ring. I always recommend going slightly larger than you think with the ring size so that you can still slip it over her finger at the magic moment, bu it’s easy for the jeweler to resize. It’s easier for a jeweler to resize a ring down than up.
B2C Jewels Rating
B2C Jewels is a great choice for a ring buyer who wants to make their budget go as far as possible. They have a huge range of styles of engagement ring settings at very competitively prices and their slim margins on diamonds means that they are difficult for other retailer to beat on price.
If you are looking for a top quality diamond though, there are better options within my recommended retailers who specialize in precision cut top quality stones. Brian Gavin and Whiteflash are both renowned for and offer higher quality stones than B2C Jewels’ Perfection series at similar prices.
But, if you aren’t looking for a 100% perfect ‘hearts and arrows’ diamond, but rather want a good quality diamond at a great price the B2C is an excellent choice.
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Need a helping hand?
If you have any questions at all about B2C Jewels, this review or anything else about how to find your perfect ring, I’d love to help you out directly. At no cost. Yep, for free!
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