Ann Louise Jewellers ring selection
At the time of writing this review, Ann Louise Jewellers offers a total of 114 styles of diamond engagement ring to choose from.
The rings are a mixture of cluster set diamond rings (where several smaller diamonds are placed close together to give the impression of a larger stone), and other rings with larger centre stones. A cluster of smaller stones generally costs less than one larger diamond, so cluster settings can be a good option for those with a tighter budget.
Apart from cluster rings, the diamond ring styles that Ann Louise Jewellers predominantly sell are either solitaire settings, or halo – two classic styles that have stood the test of time. Solitaire settings are generally less expensive than other styles and are great for keeping the focus on the centre stone, while a halo setting can make your ring stone look larger and more impressive.
Ann Louise offers a wide range of styles and prices for their diamond rings, which means that there should be one that fits what most people are looking for.
Ann Louise Jewellers diamond quality
Engagement rings are all about the diamond, and being able to choose a diamond that will sparkle brilliantly will make the difference between a truly stunning engagement ring and one that looks dull and unimpressive.
In this section, we’ll examine the quality of diamonds Ann Louise offers, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
Ann Louise Jewellers understand the importance of 4C’s; in their education section they mention that “Understanding these variables will help you get a better sense of what you personally value in a diamond.”
As you probably know, the biggest determinant of the cost of a diamond ring is the diamond itself and Ann Louise Jewellers offers a range of carat weight from; 0.01 carat all the way up to over 2 carats. This is a good range of carat weight where you can choose a carat that fits your taste and budget.
Carat weight is generally the biggest determinant of its price, but the factor that determines how much a diamond sparkles is the ‘cut’. Diamond cut is a measure of how well the diamond has been formed and it is essential that a diamond has good proportions to reflect light; otherwise it will be dull, lifeless and unimpressive. If a diamond is too tall or too shallow, it won’t reflect much light and therefore won’t sparkle.
Understanding the cut quality of a diamond is absolutely essential to be able to understand whether it will sparkle. If you don’t know the cut quality then you may very well be wasting your money.
Diamond is too shallow:
Light passes through the diamond and is lost, meaning the diamond looks dull and sparkles less than it should.
Diamond is too deep:
Light is bounced off the bottom facets at the wrong angle and is lost out of the side of the diamond, reducing sparkle.
Excellent / Ideal cut:
Light is reflected off the bottom facets and back through the table to your eye, meaning the diamond sparkles beautifully.
In the education section of their site, Ann Louise clearly explain the importance of cut:
“Not to be confused with shape (i.e. round, oval, princess), the cut of a diamond affects the brilliance, fire and scintillation; in other words, how much a diamond glitters.”
Despite knowing the importance of cut quality, Ann Louise Jewellers don’t show diamond cut grade for the diamonds on their website, even in their diamond specification section for each stone.
This means that despite knowing that diamond cut is the one important factor in determining how much a diamond sparkles, they don’t give customers this information!
When I asked Ann Louise Jewellers about this on their email, they said: “We try to upload as much of the clarity and cut information we can onto our website, however we may not have the diamond cut grading on each individual product’s page.”
Ann Louise Jewellers don’t allow you to choose clarity and colour in their product filter but they show it in their product details.
Many of the diamonds in rings on the Ann Louise Jewellers website are ‘I’ clarity:
I clarity is at the bottom of the diamond clarity scale:
Diamonds that have been graded I have significant flaws which can usually be seen:
We don’t usually recommend that diamonds with a clarity grade lower than VS2 are purchased, although some SI1 diamonds can sometimes be acceptable.
Overall, the lack of cut quality information (which means you don’t know whether a diamond will sparkle) and the low clarity means that Ann Louise is offering lower quality diamonds than we can recommend, unlike our recommended retailers like James Allen.
Ann Louise Jewellers diamond grading labs
‘Certification’, also known as ‘grading’; is when a diamond is assessed for Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight, with these recorded on a certificate which is totally unique for each diamond. A diamond certificate acts like a passport which tells you all about your diamond’s credentials and should give you piece of mind that you are actually buying what you think you are buying.
Diamonds which score higher in their grading report are generally more expensive – an F colour diamond will be pricier than an H colour, if everything is the same.
It’s important therefore that diamond grading levels can be trusted – you don’t want to pay more for an F colour diamond if it is actually an H. This is why independent diamond testing labs are important. An independent testing lab doesn’t have any incentive to say that a diamond is higher quality than it is, as they don’t make any more money if they do.
In fact, if they bump up diamond quality grades, it may mean people trust them less, which might mean they make less money.
Retailers DO have an incentive to increase diamond quality scores, as it will mean that they can sell a diamond for a higher price. For this reason, I recommend that you always look for a diamond which has been graded by an independent authority – my usually recommendation is the GIA because they have the strictest standards, so you will be sure that you are getting the quality that you are paying for.
Ann Louise Jewellers does carry some GIA certified diamonds in their stock and they do have a GIA certified diamond specialist at their head office to inspect their diamonds to ensure quality control.
It seems therefore that if you request a GIA-graded diamond, one can be sourced. However, the majority of Ann Louise’s diamonds are not GIA certified.
Ann Louise Jewellers service
Buying an engagement ring is a special purchase, and you want to have confidence that the retailer will not only treat you well while buying your ring, but also that they will stand behind their product after the purchase too.
Ann Louise Jewellers have 14 stores located throughout B.C. and Alberta – which means you have the option to visit the store to see a design you like in person and try it on.
One thing which could be improved is that Ann Louise Jewellers only offers a 14 day return policy – this is not very long if you decide that the ring is not right for you for any reason.
Looking at Google reviews, Ann Louise Jewellers scores 4.0 from 24 reviews. It’s always worth taking online reviews with a bit of a pinch of salt, but as an average, 4.0 would indicate that people are happy, but not ecstatic with the service they have received from Ann Louise Jewellers.
Ann Louise Jewellers value for money
The easiest way to understand whether a retailer offers good value for money is to compare it to others.
Buying a diamond ring is a big commitment – both financially and emotionally. So it’s important that you ensure sure that you are getting good value for money and aren’t spending more than you need to. After all, if you’re buying an engagement ring, it’s likely that you will have a wedding to pay for soon.
When comparing, we’ll keep the ring style, diamond clarity, metal, colour, carat as similar as possible. A good way to compare is to look at solitaire diamond rings as they are simple and timeless, without ornate settings to make the comparison more complicated.
Ann Louise Jewellers offers a solitaire ring called the Lumina “Florence” ring for $5,565:
The diamond in this ring has been independently graded by GIA, which is great to see. It is 0.7 carats, F colour and the clarity is listed as ‘SI’, which means ‘Slightly Included’ ie. there are some flaws which can be seen with the naked eye:
SI could actually be one of two colour grades, either SI1 or SI2 – ideally this would be more clearly stated on the website.
The $5,565 on the website obviously doesn’t include province-specific sales tax.
If you live in Alberta, the total cost for this ring would be $5,843.25:
However, if you live in Quebec, the total cost would be $6,398.36:
It’s easy to find an equivalent ring at my recommended retailer James Allen.
This ring is:
- 18k white gold solitaire setting
- GIA graded 0.7 carat diamond
- Excellent cut grade
- F colour
- SI1 clarity
This ring is priced at just $3,963:
Of course, you will also need to pay your province’s sales taxes on top of this, but under the USMCA regulations, any diamond ring that is manufactured in the US does not have any duty applied to it, so there will be no other taxes due.
You can read our full article on importing a diamond ring to Canada here.
At $3,693, the James Allen ring is a huge $1,872 less expensive than the Ann Louise Jewellers ring:
This is obviously a significant difference in price! With the $1,872 you would save by buying your diamond ring at James Allen instead of Ann Louise, you could:
- Increase the carat weight of the diamond
- Increase the quality of the diamond
- Spend it on a really special proposal
- Put it towards your wedding cost
Or possibly all of this!
The prices at James Allen may be different on the day you look – maybe higher, maybe lower – it’s worth clicking through to see today’s prices for exactly what you’re looking for.
Ann Louise Jewellers review
Value for money
Do we recommend Ann Louise Jewellers?
Ann Louise Jewellers have 14 stores located throughout B.C. and Alberta, Canada, which means you have many choices to visit one of their stores and experience their service. However the downside of having so many stores is that they have a lot of overhead costs, and this is reflected in their high prices.
The clarity grades and lack of transparency over the cut grading of the majority of their diamonds (which is the biggest factor that determines a diamond’s sparkle) is a red flag for us, while the 14 day return policy doesn’t allow for much wiggle room if you decide the ring you buy isn’t the right one for you.
Overall though, it’s the lack of value which seals the deal. By buying from one of my recommended retailers like James Allen, you can save significant amounts of money while still getting a diamond of the exact same quality. It should be a no-brainer.
- 14 stores to visit
- Wide range of setting styles
- GIA certification available on some diamonds
- Low quality clarity on the majority of diamonds
- No cut quality information on the majority of diamonds
- High prices