James Allen vs. Ritani

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

James Allen and Ritani are two of the most prominent online diamond retailers, each of which allow you to build your own engagement rings from the comfort of your home.

While they may appear similar on the surface, there are some differences between their offerings, which may not be apparent when you first look at them.

James AllenRitani
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Diamond Information
Number of settings657207
Number of natural diamonds166,236212,361
Number of lab-grown diamonds61,502171,100
Natural Diamond Price: Round 1 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$5,1904757
Lab Diamond Price: Round 2 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$3,190$856
Diamond imageryBest quality images of every single diamondHigh-quality images of all diamonds
Diamond labs: naturalMainly GIA, some IGIAGS and GIA
Diamond labs: lab-grownIGIGIA, IGI, GCAL, Diamond Foundry, GSI, and HRD
Diamond searchVisit NowVisit Now
Company Information
Year founded20061999
Number of physical locations20
Owned bySignet JewelersJoel Klein
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 to US, free return insurance
Resizing1 year, freeOne free resizing within the first year
Returns period30 days30-days
WarrantyLifetime, with some exclusionsLifetime warranty
UpgradeCredit 100% of original price, if new diamond 2x priceCredit 100% of original purchase, 2.5x greater upgrade
EngravingFreeFree engraving
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 pricesFormerly a very upmarket brand, Ritani have become one of the most affordable online diamond retailers over the last two years, especailly for lab-grown diamonds.
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.

By cutting out the middleman and providing full transparency, James Allen continues to offer loose diamonds and or complete engagement rings at competitive prices.

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.

Ritani has gone through a variety of market positionings over the last 10 years, until it has settled on the value-focused and transparent pricing model that it currently offers.

When I started Ringspo in 2013, Ritani was mainly a supplier of expensive and high quality settings to other retailers, and it does still continue to provide settings for other retailers to sell.

As such, its positioning is that it offers exceptionally good value with its diamonds, but its settings are often priced higher than competitors.

Based on our experience of working with both companies for more than 10 years, our goal is to help you make a decision that aligns with your style and financial goals. 

Diamond Selection and Quality

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.

In most of our comparisons, James Allen has a much larger collection of natural diamonds than other diamond retailers. However, in this case, Ritani actually has a larger collection of natural diamonds and lab diamonds than James Allen.

At the time of writing, James Allen carries around 166,236 natural diamonds and 61,502 lab grown diamonds.

While this is obviously a large number of diamonds, it’s actually far fewer than it has had in the past when there could be over 500,000 available to choose from at any one time.

Ritani has around 212,361 natural diamonds and 269,091 lab grown diamonds for customers to choose from.

Having a vast selection of loose diamonds to choose from makes it easier to find a great priced diamond and you’re able to do that with both of these retailers.

Keep in mind as you narrow your filters down by diamond shape, carat weight, and other diamond grades, you’ll greatly reduce the offerings given to you by either store, but having such a large number does mean that they are more likely to have available exactly what you are looking for.

Search function

With so many diamonds available from either retailer, being able to quickly narrow your search to find the diamond of the carat weight and quality you are looking for is key, especially because you are usually looking on several sites at the same time over a period of a few weeks when finding a diamond.

James Allen’s search function continues to be the best in the business – while other retailers have split out information across different tabs, James Allen has kept all the most important part of the search on the first screen, with the more advanced search options e.g. table % under an ‘advanced options’ tab.

This makes it super simple to set your search parameters and find the diamond selection that is right for you.

Ritani’s diamond search function used to be similar to James Allen’s, but is now a series of dropdown menus:

This involves far more clicks to get to your desired range of diamonds, which makes it more difficult to zone in on exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe not the biggest deal if you use a website once, but the process of finding a diamond for an engagement ring often takes many visits to a website, which can make this sort of search frustrating.

Image quality

One other big difference between James Allen and Ritani is the consistency and quality of images that they provide.

Every single diamond James Allen sells has a high quality image of the diamond magnified 40x and a 360 degree view that you can drag rotate drag and rotate as you wish.

This makes it really easy to understand exactly what you’re buying and is especially helpful if you are considering a diamond with VS2 clarity or below, where being able to understand the size and location of the inclusions is really important to understand whether the diamond will be ‘eye-clean’ or not.

If you haven’t already checked out James Allen’s ‘super zoom’ feature it’s definitely worth clicking through here and checking them out.

By contrast, Ritani’s imagery is less consistent and less user friendly. It does offer either a zoomed in image or a video of most diamonds, but it seems to be one or the other. And you can’t actually see this unless you roll over the item or click into it.

The standard image results just shows rows and rows of a stock image of a diamond:

This is less helpful for choosing your stone and does make the process more time-consuming.

Lastly, the imagery provided by Ritani can sometimes be lacking e.g. this is the image of a smaller VS2 princess cut diamond:

At this level of zoom, it’s impossible to really examine the diamond which means you can’t see whether inclusions are visible or not.

Despite this, for most larger diamonds, the imagery or video provided by Ritani is sufficient to examine a diamond to the level you need to make a decision, it’s just less consistent and less easy to use than James Allen’s, which continues to be the industry leader in showing the level of detail that is needed to make a clear decision about every diamond they sell.

Certifications and Ethical Sourcing

Diamond certifications provide an unbiased assessment of the diamond’s grades including its cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.

The most recognized certifications in the industry come from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS). IGI (International Gemological Institute) is also a reputable source, especially for lab-grown diamonds.

Natural vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds

James Allen’s natural diamonds are mainly certified by GIA, with some by IGI, while Ritani’s natural diamonds are certified by AGS and GIA. As of 2023, the AGS has merged with the GIA, but their reports will still present the grading slightly differently using AGS’s numbered scale.

For lab-grown diamonds, James Allen relies on IGI, whereas Ritani offers a broader range, with certifications from GIA, IGI, GCAL, Diamond Foundry, GSI, and HRD.

I recommend sticking with lab grown diamonds that are either certified by the GIA or IGI in most cases. These are some of the top labs in the industry while others are not as comparable to quality.

Both James Allen and Ritani adhere to conflict-free diamond sourcing via the Kimberley Process. All of Ritani’s engagement rings are handcrafted in the United States where labor laws are strictly enforced.

Additionally, Ritani donates to a number of causes and charities. They are most proud to support education in Namibia. Read more about Ritani’s ethical sourcing and charitable contributions here.

Pricing and Value

Both James Allen and Ritani boast competitive prices for their diamonds, but let’s compare them up close. While price is definitely a factor, it’s up to you to determine if certain services or offerings are worth the extra cost.

Ritani does not offer super ideal cuts or hearts and arrows diamonds like James Allen’s branded line of diamonds, the ‘True Hearts’ collection. When viewed through a special tool, these precision-cut diamonds showcase symmetry and polish. Customers are able to see the light performance via special photos included with every True Hearts diamond. However, these diamonds also come with a premium price.

For those more conscious of a budget but still seeking a high quality diamond, you’ll want to compare the standard offerings of both James Allen’s and Ritani’s diamond selection.

There are many factors that go into diamond pricing, but the diamond grades have a large impact on the price. By narrowing the filters provided by each retailer, you’re able to roughly compare similar quality diamonds on each site.

Looking at a 1 carat ideal cut round diamond with G color and VS1, the price at the time of writing is $4,510 on James Allen:

At Rtani, the price for a similarly specced diamond is $4,757:

This is a relatively small difference in price and depending on what you are looking for, either one of these two retailers may offer a lower-priced diamond.

Regardless though, both are good value and offer amongst the fairest prices of any online retailer.

If we look at lab-grown diamonds, Ritani comes in at a lower price. Looking at a 1.01ct lab grown-diamond with the same color and clarity specs as above and an IGI grading report, Ritani’s price is $736, while James Allen’s is around $910.

One thing I really like about Ritani’s website is the breakdown it gives of the cost that goes into each diamond, so you can clearly see the cost to them, what it costs for them to produce and deliver the ring and then also their profit margin:

They also provide an easy-to-understand analysis about each diamond:

While some of this is subjective, it is pretty helpful as an at-a-glance summary of a diamond’s attributes.

To look at the total price of a ring, I added both diamonds to a 2mm 14K white gold knife-edge solitaire engagement ring setting, a popular and classic choice to showcase your center diamond.

Though Ritani’s more decorative settings are priced quite highly to reflect the workmanship involved, their standard settings are priced very competitively and are less expensive than James Allen’s (although James Allen does offer regular sales on their settings, which would bring the price lower than Ritani’s).

In total, the lab grown diamond engagement ring from James Allen would cost around $1570. The lab grown diamond ring from Ritani would cost about $977, so for lab-grown, Ritani is coming in significantly less expensive.

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 was also one of the only ones to offer 24/7 support via chat, email, or by phone. Most major jewelry store retailers did not have this, giving James Allen the advantage.Today, James Allen still has 24/7 customer service.

Ritani is open 6 days a week and closed on Saturdays. This could be an issue for those looking to do their shopping on a Saturday. Ritani is open Monday-Friday 9am EST-10pm EST. On Sundays, 12pm-9pm EST.

While not as convenient as James Allen’s 24/7 support, Ritani can accommodate outside hours to book appointments to suit your schedule on a case by case basis.

James Allen’s website functions as a one-stop shop for your engagement ring needs. You can find everything you’re looking for without ever leaving home. If you need to talk to a real person about a diamond you’ve found, you can do it via the Diamond Inspection.

The Diamond Inspection can be selected on the diamond you’ve chosen to look at. After filling out the form, you’ll be connected to a live specialist that can talk you through the different details of your chosen diamond.

The main feature that makes Ritani stand out from other online diamond retailers is the ability to see the ring you’ve created via the Free In-store preview. After you’ve chosen your diamond and ring setting, you can choose to see your ring in-person before buying it.

Ritani has partnered up with retail stores all over to arrange the in-store preview with no obligation to buy. Chat with a real life person at a partner retailer near you. This is an excellent option for those who are nervous about making a big purchase online before seeing it. If you’re confident about what you want, you can always check out right away.

Additional Services

Let’s compare some of the different services offered by James Allen and Ritani.

  • Resizing: James Allen offers 1 free resizing within the first year. Additional resizing outside this period is $35 for gold and $50 for platinum. Ritani also offers free resizing within the first year, but only to US & Canada customers.
  • Engraving: Both James Allen and Ritani offer free engraving on rings.
  • Promotions: Both retailers offer regular promotions and discounts off their diamonds and ring settings. Ritani also offers a military discount of 1.5%. When compared, James Allen offers bigger discounts at 30% off while discounts are usually 2% and 10% off.
  • Diamond Upgrades: Any loose diamond at James Allen can be upgraded as long as it is 2x the original price. Both lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds are part of this program. Ritani can also upgrade your diamond, but the purchase must be at least 2.5x the original price. Lab grown diamonds are not part of this program at Ritani

In addition to traditional diamond upgrading programs, Ritani also offers a buyback diamond program. If you have old GIA certified diamonds with at least SI2 clarity, K color, and weighing one carat, Ritani may buy your diamond from you. 

Payment and Financing Options

When it comes to purchasing a significant item like a diamond, understanding your payment and financing options is crucial. Both James Allen and Ritani offer financing options to make your purchase more manageable, but they differ in their terms and conditions.

James Allen provides financing through their partnership with TD Bank, N.A via the James Allen Credit Cards  Here are the key details:

  • Deferred Interest if Paid in Full Within 6 Months: No interest will be charged if the full balance is paid within the promotional period. However, if not paid in full by the end of this period, interest will be charged from the purchase date.
  • 9.90% APR with 24 Monthly Payments: This option allows you to spread your payments over 24 months with a fixed interest rate.
  • Online Account Management: Easy 24/7 access to your online account for balance checks and payments.

Other payment methods supported at James Allen:

  • James Allen accepts major credit cards/debit cards and Paypal payments.
  • If you choose to pay via bank wire, you’ll receive a 3% discount.
  • You can split your payment between two credit cards, but this has to be done over the phone.
  • You can also choose to check out with SplitIt, which spreads your purchase out over equal payments.

Ritani offers financing through Synchrony. Here’s a breakdown of their offerings

  • No Interest if Paid in Full Within 12 Months: No interest will be charged if the promotional balance is paid in full within 12 months. Minimum monthly payments are required.
  • 9.99% APR for 36 months: Fixed monthly payments required for 36 months.
  • 9.99% APR for 60 months: Fixed monthly payments required for 60 months.

Other payment methods supported by Ritani:

  • Ritani accepts major credit cards/debit cards and Paypal.
  • If you choose to pay via bank wire, you’ll receive a 1.5% discount.
  • You can split your payment between three credit cards at checkout

Shipping, Delivery, and Returns

James Allen offers free insured shipping on all orders within the United States. They also provide free international shipping to around 35 different countries. All items may be returned or exchanged within 30 days through James Allen customer service. Return shipping is also free, but is limited to three returns.

Ritani offers free shipping to US customers only. The return shipping is also free. Ritani provides a 30-day return policy on all engagement rings and other fine jewelry. If you purchase a loose diamond without a setting, the diamond has a 15 day return policy. If you buy the diamond first and the setting later, your return window is extended.

Ritani has introduced international shipping through their Borderfree program. Borderfree provides Ritani delivery to over 220 countries, allowing international customers to see Ritani prices in their own currency. This is a fairly new program. Check out their Borderfree program here.

Warranties, Appraisals, and Insurance

Before making a significant purchase on a diamond ring, make sure you understand the types of warranties, insurance, and appraisals offered. Many people get confused between the different kinds of policies.

A lifetime manufacturer’s warranty only covers defects. It doesn’t cover rhodium plating, re-tipping prongs, polishing, or other services needed. If your ring has repetitive issues, it may be analyzed to determine if a free replacement is needed.

James Allen has a free lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and repair warranty. The repair warranty covers routine maintenance, like the services mentioned above. Ritani also offers a free Lifetime care plan that includes the same types of services.

A diamond certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal. Appraisals are helpful when getting jewelry insurance. James Allen doesn’t offer appraisals, but has a partnership with Jewelers Mutual, one of the best jewelry insurance programs available. You may even upgrade your lifetime warranty to a Jewelers Mutual care plan that covers additional repairs such as broken bands, bent prongs, and other services.

Ritani provides appraisals and also offers jewelry insurance through Jewelers Mutual. You can request a quote through them here.

So which is better, James Allen or Ritani?

Unlike some of our comparisons, there’s not necessarily an obvious choice for which retailer is ‘better’ here, and which one you choose should align with your priorities and what you’re looking for.

If you value convenient services and a simple online experience, James Allen may be your choice. I find myself using them the most out of any online retailer when sourcing recommendations for people due to the quality of the imagery they provide which means that I can find high quality VS2 or SI1 diamonds that I can be confident will be eye-clean as I can clearly see the location and size of the inclusions.

Ritani is, however, an extremely competitive choice. They offer some of the lowest prices on diamonds of any store and their standard settings are also keenly priced. Their transparency around the cost and profit they make on every diamond is unique in the industry and if you can stomach the slightly frustrating online experience, you should be able to find a good diamond at a great price.