Clean Origin vs. James Allen

A thorough comparison of James Allen and Clean Origin, to help you decide which is best for you

James Allen and Clean Origin are among the top names in the online diamond industry although they take quite different approaches.

In this comparison guide on Clean Origin vs James Allen, I’ll compare the different features, pricing, and everything between to help you make the best choice for you when buying an engagement ring based on my 10 years of experience of helping people buying diamonds online

James AllenClean Origin
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Diamond Information
Number of settings657416
Number of natural diamonds166,236N/A
Number of lab-grown diamonds61,50261,265
Natural Diamond Price: Round 1 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$5,190N/A
Lab Diamond Price: Round 2 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$3,190$750
Diamond imageryBest quality images of every single diamondHigh-quality images of every diamond
Diamond labs: naturalMainly GIA, some IGI/
Diamond labs: lab-grownIGIIGI, GIA, GCAL
Diamond searchVisit NowVisit Now
Company Information
Year founded20062017
Number of physical locations26
Owned bySignet JewelersAlexander Weindling
Service Policies (Click each to learn more)
Finance availableCredit card at 9.90%Yes
ShippingFree to you, but you will have to pay to returnFree shipping and returns
Resizing1 year, freeOne complimentary resizing within 100 days
Returns period30 days100-days
WarrantyLifetime, with some exclusionsLifetime warranty
UpgradeCredit 100% of original price, if new diamond 2x priceDoesn't offer upgrades
EngravingFreeYes, for a fee
Customer service hours24/724/07
Ringspo Ratings
Diamond selection
Value for money
Service policies
Overall rating
Ringspo overall opinionExcellent imagery of diamonds, allows you to understand exactly what you’re buying, with competitive pricesLab-grown specialists, Clean Origin offer one of the largest selectons of lab grown diamonds available online
Ringspo ReviewJames Allen Review#
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James Allen was originally founded in 2006 and since then they have led many innovations  – the most significant being a complete with 360˚ video on every loose diamond in their large inventory – something that many competitors still can’t match.

James Allen offers one of the widest range of competitively priced diamonds and their solid customer service over a long number of years has made them the online retailer that all others are trying to beat.

The company is headquartered in New York and is now part of Signet Jewelers – the same company that owns Blue Nile and the largest jewelry company in the world.

Clean Origin is a much newer company, having formed in 2017, but this actually puts them as one of the more established lab-grown diamond specialists

They’ve built a solid reputation for themselves as an online diamond company dedicated to providing ethical lab-grown diamond jewelry to the masses.

Clean Origin is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has a small amount of in-store showrooms, with 6 physical locations to see their ethical diamond offerings up close and in-person.

Diamond Selection and Quality

Your diamond is the heart of your engagement ring and in this section we’re going to compare James Allen and Clean Origin across some key factors:

  • Diamond selection
  • Diamond quality
  • Price and value

For years, most people thought that purchasing natural diamonds was the only way to get a real diamond. When Clean Origin launched, lab-grown diamonds were still very niche, but over the last 4 years, the interest in purchasing lab created diamonds has risen exponentially and they are now seen as a very viable alternative to natural.

James Allen caters to every preference, offering both loose natural diamonds and lab created diamonds. They carry around 166,236 natural diamonds and 61,502 lab grown diamonds.

Clean Origin’s dedication to providing lab grown jewelry to customers limits their collection to only providing loose lab grown diamonds. They have an inventory of 38,223 loose lab grown diamonds of varying grades to choose from.

James Allen’s selection of both natural diamonds and lab created diamonds gives everyone options to choose what they like best, whereas Clean Origin’s selections are geared to those specifically looking for a more ethically-sourced lab diamond.

Certifications and Ethical Sourcing

It’s important to make sure you’re choosing a certified diamond when browsing loose diamonds. Certified diamonds come with a digital or physical report that authenticates the grades and quality of your chosen diamond.

Not every diamond grading report is the same. Some laboratories are geared toward retailers who want cheaper certifications, resulting in less dependable reports. I recommend buying natural diamonds with GIA or AGS diamond certifications and lab grown diamonds with GIA or IGI certifications. The AGS doesn’t grade lab diamonds often.

James Allen primarily offers diamonds certified by GIA for their natural diamonds and IGI for their lab-grown diamonds. Clean Origin provides diamonds certified by a mix of IGI, GIA, and GCAL. While GCAL is a decent laboratory, I recommend choosing diamonds with GIA reports or IGI reports.

James Allen’s diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process, the jewelry industry standard to make sure their diamonds come from conflict-free sourcing.

If you couldn’t tell by their name, Clean Origin dedicates their company to ensuring their diamonds come from ethically sourced origins as well as maintaining ethics throughout the entire process.

By default, lab grown diamonds are considered by many to be more ethical than natural diamonds. Mining has obvious impacts on wildlife and the environment, while lab-grown uses only the energy needed to create them.

Growing a lab-grown diamond actually uses a huge amount of electricity (think of it as running a large oven for 3 months…), so unless this energy is produced sustainably, lab-grown stones can also have a significant effect on the environment. Clean Origin knows this and offers customers sustainable lab grown diamonds through one of their filters, the SCS-007 Sustainably Certified Diamonds. This allows for greater transparency on sustainability for both natural and lab grown diamonds. You can learn more about the standard on the SCS website here.

Pricing and Value

Usually when comparing diamond prices and value, it’s easy to find a similar diamond across both retailers and then see how they differ in price.

However, fInding similar graded lab grown diamonds from both James Allen and Clean Origin to compare prices proved to be a little difficult as Clean Origin has a limited number of lower carat weight stones, while James Allen had a limited number of lab grown stones at higher carat weights.

Below I’ve picked out a 3.09ct GIA certified excellent cut diamond with F color and VS1 clarity from James Allen’s lab grown diamond inventory. This diamond costs around $5,580 in the sale that James Allen are running at the time of writing.

A diamond with the same grades and carat weight from Clean Origin has been priced at $4,671, which is an extremely competitive price.

For these specs, Clean Origin is priced lower than James Allen, although this may not always be the case – it’s always worth checking both retailers for the exact specs that you are looking for to see how they compare.

Website and User Experience

James Allen and Clean Origin have a similar website to each other. They both offer a clean look with easily organized menus. The menus aren’t crowded with options, making it easy for people who aren’t used to buying diamonds online.

You can narrow down your options by using the filters to choose your diamond shape, carat weight, color grade, and carat weight. Both retailers offer additional filters for other diamond specifics.

James Allen allows you to see the diamonds displayed without having to click into the individual diamond. You can easily scan the diamonds, making it easier to find the right one.

Clean Origin doesn’t show you any kind of preview. When you click into an individual diamond, you are  shown a stock image. You have to click the window on the side to see it in 360˚ and it opens in a new tab. There’s a lot more clicks involved when trying to observe a diamond with Clean Origin, while James Allen offers a more convenient and easier diamond browsing experience.

James Allen was the first online diamond retailer to offer interactive 360˚ viewing on all of their diamonds. At this time, they had nearly three times as many diamonds as they do today.

Interactive 360˚ video is important because it allows you to observe how the diamond looks from every angle. It can also help you when finding diamonds with clarity imperfections. You can zoom out to see how some of those imperfections may look further away.

Clean Origin offers video diamond viewing, but it’s less interactive. They have a recorded clip that allows you to pause the video, but you are unable to click and drag it. It makes it harder to really see the diamond’s characteristics when you have to keep replaying the video.

Customization and Design Options

Both James Allen and Clean Origin offer customization options, but how do they stack up against each other?

James Allen has a diverse range of options to create an engagement ring. In addition to loose lab grown and mined diamonds, customers can opt for colored gemstones, and fancy colored diamonds. They offer a large selection of engagement ring settings with around 250 to choose from.

Most of James Allen’s engagement ring settings fit what’s popular and trendy, rather than what is unique. They offer settings crafted in 14K and 18K gold as well as platinum. Some ring settings may only be available in certain metals.

Their new Ring Studio further enhances the customization experience, allowing users to tweak certain settings, such as changing the ring head to rose gold while retaining a yellow gold band. This level of detail ensures that every ring is as unique as you want it to be.

Clean Origin doesn’t have anything to offer in terms of natural diamonds, but they have everything regarding lab diamond jewelry. Unlike James Allen, they only sell lab diamond jewelry. All wedding bands, diamond earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are crafted in lab grown diamonds. Engagement ring settings with accent stones are also lab-created.

With James Allen, some of their collection is crafted in lab-diamonds. They have many loose lab diamond center stones to choose from, but the accents in the settings are still in natural diamonds. The majority of their fine jewelry colleciton is natural diamonds as well.

Clean Origin has around 250 ring styles, similar to James Allen. One standout feature is their Perfect Fit Collection, which features slimmed-down sides of the ring shank. This design ensures that rings, especially top-heavy ones, fit snugly without tilting or spinning.

As far as aesthetics go, I prefer James Allen’s design. I like the way you can interact with the viewer as well as seeing the diamonds when browsing. But if I were seeking out lab diamond jewelry specifically, I’d be drawn to lab-grown diamond exclusivity at Clean Origin.

Service: Both Before & After Purchase

Buying an engagement ring is a special purchase.

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.

This attitude can be boiled down to one term: customer experience – essentially how hard a business is trying to make sure that your interactions with them are smooth, friction-free and, ideally, delightful.

James Allen offers 24/7 customer service. While they can’t assist you in-person like Kay Jewelers, you’re able to access live support and their diamond experts at any time. Contact James Allen through chat, live diamond inspection, phone, email, text, and WhatsApp.

Clean Origin’s customer service is open Monday-Friday 8:30am-12am EST and Sunday 9am-12am EST. You may contact them by email, text, or phone. You can also book virtual appointments or see them in-person at one of their 6 locations. Half of these locations are in Texas.

James Allen has better service convenience for customers being open 24/7, but Clean Origin has additional locations for you to visit if you reside near one of them.

Additional Services

Other services a retailer offers may persuade you into buying from one diamond retailer over another. Let’s explore what Clean Origin and James Allen have to offer beyond customer support.

James Allen:

  • Engraving: James Allen offers free engraving services done online before the time of purchase.
  • Financing: They provide financing options through the James Allen credit card with special interest plans.
  • Shipping: James Allen offers free shipping on all orders, but customers may have to pay return shipping.
  • Resizing: James Allen offers one free resizing within the first year of purchasing the ring.
  • Returns: James Allen has 30 day returns and they can be initiated on the website.
  • Warranty: James Allen provides lifetime warranty that covers selected repair services as well as manufacturer defects.
  • Upgrade: The diamond upgrade program allows you to upgrade your current diamond while picking a new one that is at least 2x the original price.
  • Physical Stores: James Allen has two physical locations, one of which is their headquarters in New York City. They primarily operate online, not in-store.

Clean Origin

Clean Origin, though newer on the market compared to James Allen, has made its mark, especially in the lab-grown diamond sector. Their online presence, while not as strong as James Allen’s, is growing, and the feedback from customers is generally positive.

  • Engraving: Clean Origin does not offer engraving services, which may be disappointing for those who want to add a personal touch to their Clean Origin engagement ring or wedding band.
  • Financing: Clean Origin doesn’t have their own credit card, but offers financing through Affirm.
  • Shipping: Clean Origin ships free both ways, but only ships to the US and Canada.
  • Resizing: Clean Origin offers one free resizing within the first 100 days.
  • Returns: Clean Origin is one of the only retailers that offer 100 day returns.
  • Warranty: Clean Origin covers manufacturer defects, but offers a repair plan for a cost dependent upon the item purchased.
  • Upgrade: Clean Origin doesn’t offer diamond upgrades, which isn’t uncommon for lab diamonds because of their fluctuating prices.
  • ●      Physical Stores: Clean Origin operates 6 store locations in addition to their online presence, with half of them being in Texas.

As far as service policies go, I have to hand it to James Allen. They offer a variety of services to customers all over the world with convenient customer support at any time. Clean Origin offers a limited experience to US and Canadian customers only with no diamond upgrade or engraving options.

Up next, we’ll explore some of these additional services in detail.

Payment and Financing Options

James Allen accepts a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, bank wire transfers, and Paypal. They also offer checkout through their partnership with SplitIt, allowing customers to pay for their purchase over equal payments.

If you are considering using credit to buy your ring, James Allen offers financing through the James Allen credit card. They offer no interest if you pay your purchase off in 6 months or a 24 month plan with 9.9% APR.

Payment Methods: Clean Origin also provides multiple payment options, including credit cards, bank wire transfers, and Paypal.

Financing Plans: Clean Origin has also partnered with Affirm to offer financing solutions. If approved, you can split your payment in monthly payments. They offer a 0% APR 12 month plan on purchases over $3,500.

Shipping and Returns

James Allen offers free international shipping, ensuring that wherever you are in the world, your diamond will reach you without any additional shipping costs. Return shipping is free to the US, but international customers will have to pay a $50 fee.

James Allen provides a 30-day return policy. This gives you ample time to inspect the jewelry, perhaps even get a second opinion, and ensure it’s precisely what you wanted.

Clean Origin also offers free shipping, but they only ship to the US and Canada. This limits the company’s reachability and may be frustrating for potential international buyers.

Clean Origin’s return policy is 100 days free returns, a feat that makes them stand out from the competition. Most jewelry retailers give a standard 30 day return period. Their reason for giving an extended return period is a good way to see how their jewelry stands up, as most defects and ongoing issues with jewelry present themselves within the first three months.

If you’re an international buyer or value the reputation and assurance that comes with a well-established brand, James Allen might be the choice for you. If you’re looking for a more extended return window and are primarily shopping within the US, Clean Origin’s policies might resonate more with your needs.

Which is a better fit for you – James Allen or Clean Origin?

Ultimately, you should choose the retailer that most aligns with your needs and shopping preferences.

If you’re looking for a vast selection, both of natural and lab-grown diamonds, and value the experience of a well-established retailer, James Allen might be the way to go. Their website experience, customer service, and range of offerings are hard to beat.

However, if you’re specifically looking for lab-grown diamonds and value a more boutique experience with a strong focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing, Clean Origin is an excellent choice. Their commitment to providing high-quality lab-grown diamonds at competitive prices is commendable.

Whether you’re choosing James Allen’s smooth shopping experience or Clean Origin’s ethical prices, either jewelry store is a suitable option for high-quality jewelry.


What’s the primary difference between Clean Origin and James Allen?

Clean Origin specializes in lab-grown diamond jewelry only from a curated collection, while James Allen offers both natural and lab-grown diamonds with an extensive inventory.

Are the diamonds from Clean Origin and James Allen certified?

Yes, both retailers provide certified diamonds. Clean Origin’s diamonds come with certificates from the IGI, GIA, and, GCAL grading laboratories, while James Allen offers GIA, AGS, and IGI certified diamonds.

How do the prices compare between Clean Origin and James Allen for similar quality diamonds?

Clean Origin, focusing on lab-grown diamonds, generally offers competitive prices. James Allen may not come out on top with prices but offers a great range of services and features that may be of more value to customers than Clean Origin’s offerings.