James Allen vs. Whiteflash

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

James Allen and Whiteflash have each carved out very different and distinct positions among online diamond retailers.

In our James Allen vs Whiteflash comparison guide, I’ll go over everything these well-known online diamond stores have to offer to help you decide which one suits you best based on my 10 years of helping people buy diamonds online.

James AllenWhiteflash
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Diamond Information
Number of settings657530
Number of natural diamonds166,23614228
Number of lab-grown diamonds61,50210000
Natural Diamond Price: Round 1 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$5,190$7,600
Lab Diamond Price: Round 2 carat, Excellent Cut, VS1 round, G color$3,190/
Diamond imageryBest quality images of every single diamondHigh quality images of most round diamonds; high quality videos of other diamond shapes
Diamond labs: naturalMainly GIA, some IGIAGS and GIA
Diamond labs: lab-grownIGIIGI
Diamond searchVisit NowVisit Now
Company Information
Year founded20062000
Number of physical locations21
Owned bySignet JewelersDeborah Wexler
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 you, but you have to pay for the return
Resizing1 year, free1 year, free
Returns period30 days30-days or 10 days, depending on the item
WarrantyLifetime, with some exclusionsLifetime, with some exclusions
UpgradeCredit 100% of original price, if new diamond 2x priceLifetime trade-up guarantee
EngravingFreeYes, there is a charge of $39 for most items
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 pricesOffers some of the very highest quality diamonds in the world in Whiteflash A Cut Above - should definitely be considered by those who are looking for the best of the best.
Ringspo ReviewJames Allen Reviewhttps://www.ringspo.com/reviews/whiteflash/
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James Allen was founded in 1998 by James Allen Schultz and his wife Michele. The company was born out of Schultz’s own frustrations while searching for a diamond engagement ring (the same reason I originally started ringspo.com!). James Allen has long been a leader in the online jewelry space, and it’s no surprise that you see it recommended by so many diamond education websites online.

It was the first online diamond retailer to offer complete 360˚ video for all loose diamonds, something that many of its competitors still don’t offer, and has a history of offering some of the most competitive prices in the diamond industry. Now part of Signet jewelers (the largest jewelry company in the world and also the owner of Blue Nile), James Allen has two physical locations in New York and Washington DC but remains primarily an online retailer.

Whiteflash was established in 2000 by Deborah Wexler and has grown to be one of the most prominent online diamond retailers for those who are looking for high-quality diamonds. Whiteflash is known for providing precision-cut diamonds with exceptional brilliance.

The company is based in Houston, Texas with one physical location. While they are a big presence online, they are a much smaller company than James Allen. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as Whiteflash’s size means that you may end up talking to one of the founders on the customer chat who all deliver incredible service and attention.

Diamond Selection and Quality

Both James Allen and Whiteflash offer a large selection of loose diamonds and engagement ring settings, as well as an extensive collection of fine jewelry.

In this section we’ll look at several factors:

  • Diamond choice
  • Diamond quality
  • Diamond imagery

Having a large diamond selection available to choose from can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it means that you can almost certainly find exactly what you’re looking for. However, the downside of this is that so much choice can be a little overwhelming.

James Allen offers a vast selection of 166,236 natural diamonds and 61,502 lab-grown diamonds of almost any combination of shape, size and quality that you could want. A large selection allows you to compare many different loose diamonds, narrowing down your filters according to your preference.

Whiteflash offers a modest selection of 12,273 natural diamonds and 2,394 lab-grown diamonds of different qualities.

For a long time, Whiteflash did not offer any lab-created diamonds but have recently expanded their collection to include them.

This is obviously a smaller selection of diamonds than James Allen, but many of James Allen’s diamonds are either smaller than would usually be used in an engagement ring, or lower quality than I would recommend, so Whiteflash’s more curated selection is definitely worth reviewing.

One thing to know about most online retailers’ diamond inventories is that they are ‘virtual inventories’, which means that they are held by suppliers, rather than the retailers themselves. This is the only way that a retailer can offer hundreds of thousands of diamonds – otherwise, it would be too expensive.

The majority of Whiteflash’s diamonds are ‘virtual’, but they also hold around 500 diamonds on-site at any one time, which are diamonds that they have inspected and deemed high quality enough to buy as they are confident that they will be able to sell them.

These ‘in-stock’ diamonds are definitely worth checking out and the advantage is that you can ask the Whiteflash team about each one and they will be able to provide more detailed answers than if the diamonds were held by a supplier.

Certifications and Ethical Sourcing

If you are comparing these two retailers, then I would expect that you are well-aware of the importance if independent grading reports.

Certifications from recognized institutions like GIA, IGI, and AGS provide assurance regarding a diamond’s quality and authenticity – they essentially ensure that you are getting what you are paying for, and also make it easier to compare diamonds across retailers.

James Allen’s diamonds mainly come with GIA and some IGI certifications. The company complies with the Kimberley Process and America’s Patriot Act to ensure that all diamonds are conflict-free and sourced responsibly. Polished diamonds are only purchased through registered jewelry trade members.

Whiteflash provides AGS and GIA certifications for their natural diamonds and IGI certifications for their lab-grown diamonds. While it used to be a separate entity, AGS was amalgamated into the GIA as of 2023, which means that their testing has been brought into line.

Pricing and Value

To understand where you can get the most value, let’s examine the pricing structures of James Allen and Whiteflash.

James Allen offers a vast selection of diamonds, which can result in a broader price range. They are known for providing high-quality diamonds at more affordable prices, thanks to their scale, and James Allen frequently offers promotions and discounts, particularly during specific periods.

On the other hand, Whiteflash tends to be priced slightly higher. However, when assessing value for money, it’s not just about the price tag but also what you’re getting for that price. Whiteflash’s focus on diamond quality can mean that even if the price is higher, the value in terms of the performance of the diamond is also higher.

James Allen True Hearts vs. Whiteflash A Cut Above

At the time of writing, James Allen offered 169 True Hearts diamonds – its patented and branded collection of hearts and arrows ideal cut diamonds.

True Hearts diamonds begin at carat weights as low as 0.34cts and the are available in weights above 3 carats.

True Hearts diamonds command a significant price premium over regular excellent cut diamonds.

This 1.12 carat, G color, VVS2 clarity sound brilliant is priced at $10,380, while an equivalent regular excellent cut would be around $5,500.

One thing that separates True Hearts diamonds from other James Allen diamonds is the distinct hearts and arrows pattern that can be seen when viewed through a special tool, known as the ‘Idealscope’.

A True Hearts diamond aims to feature perfect symmetry and polish, which should theoretically result in more sparkle. You can see in the image above that each heart shape is very similar – although not absolutely perfect, this is a very good ‘hearts and arrows’ diamond.

A recent addition to James Allen is the lab-grown range of True Hearts diamonds, which means you can get the excellent symmetry of True Hearts, with the lower price-point of lab-grown.

Whiteflash’s line of branded hearts and arrow diamonds is the A Cut Above collection. The ACA diamonds at Whiteflash are a curated collection of under 100 super ideal cut diamonds.

Whiteflash also offers Idealscope imagery of each ACA diamond to show the precise symmetry and cut quality of each diamond.

However, ACA diamonds come with additional imagery via ASET which shows the level of light that each diamond reflects back to the viewer’s eyes – essentially showing how much it will sparkle.

ASET images aren’t provided by James Allen for True Hearts and in general, Whiteflash ACA diamonds will have slightly better symmetry than the majority of True Hearts diamonds.

While most branded super ideal collections only use round brilliant cut diamonds, Whiteflash has extended their ACA collection to include princess cut diamonds as well.

When comparing the prices between James Allen’s True Hearts diamond and Whiteflash’s A Cut Above diamond, Whiteflash’s diamond comes out a smidge cheaper than James Allen’s.

Both Whiteflash and James Allen have 360˚ imagery on their diamonds, allowing you to control the viewer so you can see it at every angle.

Overall, while both retailers offer premium super ideal cut diamonds, Whiteflash’s provision of ASET imagery, more clear explanation of their standards and higher general standard for symmetry means that if you are choosing between the two, the Whiteflash ACA is usually the one to choose.

However, this may not always be the case and each diamond does need to be considered on its own merits.

One last thing to note is that a standard ideal cut diamond costs significantly less than branded super ideal cut diamonds like True Hearts or A Cut Above, and for most people, the difference will be difficult to see once mounted in a ring and viewed under normal lighting.

If you feel that you may fall into this camp and don’t necessarily need the cachet of the super ideal cut and are focused on competitive pricing then James Allen’s standard diamonds are a great option. If you’re looking for top-tier quality and are willing to invest a bit more, Whiteflash might be the better choice for you.

Customization and Design Options

Both James Allen and Whiteflash offer customization options that allow you to choose from an inventory of loose diamonds and empty ring settings. You can narrow down your filters to the exact grades you want. One of the things I highlighted earlier about the number of diamonds that each retailer offers is that Whiteflash offers far fewer than James Allen, which can mean that if you are looking for something really specific, Whiteflash may not have it available at the time you are looking.

In the picture below, you can see the clarity, cut, and color grades filters are set pretty wide.

The carat weight parameters are set between 0.50ct-2.50. Out of the 12,000 natural diamonds Whiteflash has, only 481 of them are between these popular carat weights.

It’s much less of a selection than it appears at first glance.

When I give similar parameters using James Allen’s diamond inventory, I still have over 65,000 diamonds to choose from. James Allen’s collection is bigger, so it’s not surprising there’s so many.

Out of all of James Allen’s natural diamonds roughly about 39% of them fall between these parameters. Only about 4% of diamonds offered at Whiteflash are within these parameters.

Early on, one of James Allen’s biggest features was their 360˚ degree viewing option on all of their diamonds. Back then, their diamond inventory was larger, with over 400,000 loose diamonds available.

James Allen’s viewing options show your diamond up close and personal at about 40x magnificatio, with the ability to see it from any angle you like.

Whiteflash also has 360˚ video, but it’s different from James Allen’s. Whiteflash has two types of viewers, the sparkle viewer and the brilliance viewer. The sparkle viewer shows your chosen diamond against a black background and the other against a standard background like James Allen’s diamonds. The diamonds are not as magnified either, which can make it difficult to see inclusions in clarity grades like VS2, where the super-zoom images on James Allen really allow you to understand whether an inclusion is likely to be visible or not.

Ring Settings and Precious Metals

Whiteflash offers customers around 530 engagement ring settings. They specialize in designer ring settings including brands like Ritani, Verragio, and Tacori. As expected, this also adds a premium cost to many of their settings.

Ring settings at Whiteflash are available in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum. There are many ring settings that cater to a wide variety of tastes and styles.

James Allen offers 680 settings, which honestly isn’t too far off from Whiteflash’s inventory. Compared to how many loose diamonds they have, James Allen’s number of settings stay on the lower end. Most of James Allen’s ring settings cater to popular engagement ring styles that you find in a lot of engagement ring stores. They offer designer settings too, from brands like Verragio, Danhov, and others.

James Allen offers a wide variety of settings, ranging from classic solitaires to intricate vintage designs. They provide a range of metal options, including white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.

Both retailers offer an extensive selection of engagement ring settings in various precious metals. However, when it comes to the design-a-ring process, I have to side with James Allen.

James Allen allows you to see your engagement ring setting in 360˚ video while Whiteflash only provides HD images. James Allen also lets you switch out the shape on the same page, just in case you wanted to try a different look for your setting.

If you’re looking for a platform that lets you play around with designs and visualize them in real-time, James Allen might be your go-to. But if you’re after a piece crafted with utmost precision and gemological expertise, Whiteflash won’t disappoint.

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 emphasizes its customer service by offering 24/7 availability of non-commissioned staff via web chat, phone, and email. You can book a live video appointment with a trained gemologist to go over your diamond’s specifications and other details.

Whiteflash also places a strong emphasis on customer service. Their customer support comes with impressive credentials including several Graduate Gemologists, Diamond Graduates, and AGS Certified Gemologists.

They offer extensive diamond and jewelry education, ensuring that customers are well-informed about their purchases.

They are one of the few that thoroughly explain their super ideal diamonds and why they’re priced much higher than their standard diamonds.

Additional Services:

  • Engraving: Whiteflash charges $39 for most rings, offering both script and block lettering. In contrast, James Allen provides free engraving up to twenty characters with any purchase.
  • Financing: Both companies offer financing options, making it easier for customers to make their dream purchase.
  • Shipping: Both retailers provide insured shipping options, ensuring your precious purchase reaches you safely.
  • Resizing: Both James Allen and Whiteflash offer free ring resizing for one year, excluding eternity rings.
  • Returns: Whiteflash has a 30-day return policy for “in-stock” items and a 10-day return policy for diamonds from the “Virtual Selection”. Custom orders are non-returnable. James Allen offers a more straightforward 30-day return policy for all products, except custom items.
  • Warranty and Upgrade: Both retailers have lifetime trade-in policies for diamonds. James Allen requires diamonds to be purchased from them for upgrades, while Whiteflash considers diamonds purchased elsewhere.

Payment and Financing Options

Both James Allen and Whiteflash offer a range of payment methods and financing plans to cater to different needs. Here are the details:

James Allen:

Payment Methods: James Allen accepts major credit cards. They also offer the option for bank wire transfers for international orders, with a 3% discount if you choose this method. You can split your payment between two credit cards, but this must be done over the phone. Additionally, James Allen provides the option to check out with SplitIt, which allows you to spread your purchase out over equal payments.

Financing Options: James Allen offers a 24-month payment plan with a 9.9% APR. Alternatively, you can opt for a plan that allows minimum monthly payments for six months, carrying no interest as long as the balance is paid in full by the end of the period.

You can pay for purchases using credit/debit cards, bank wire transfer, Paypal, or through SplitIt. SplitIt allows customers to purchase jewelry spread out in equal payments to avoid interest. This service is subject to approval.


Payment Methods: Whiteflash accepts major credit cards and PayPal. For purchases over $1,000, wire transfers are an option, and choosing this method gets you a 1.5% discount. Like James Allen, Whiteflash allows payment splitting between two credit cards, but this transaction must be done via phone.

Financing Options: Whiteflash offers financing through Affirm, which allows you to split payments into 3, 6, or 12 monthly installments with financing rates as low as 10% APR. They also provide a 90-day Flex Plan, where you can place a 20% down payment on a purchase of $1,500 or more, then make equal payments every 30 days with no interest, provided the balance is cleared by the end of the period.

It’s important to choose a plan that aligns with your financial situation. Always read the terms carefully and ensure you’re comfortable with the conditions before committing.

Shipping, Delivery, and Returns

Having the flexibility to return or exchange items if they don’t meet your expectations is crucial when making a significant purchase like a diamond. Here’s how James Allen and Whiteflash handle shipping, delivery, and returns:

James Allen:

Shipping: James Allen offers free international shipping, ensuring that wherever you are in the world, your diamond will reach you without any additional cost. This is a significant advantage for international buyers.

Returns: James Allen offers 30-day free shipping and free return shipping. Free return shipping is limited to US customers, with a maximum of three returns per customer. International customers will need to pay a return shipping cost of $50. Special orders are excluded from the return policies.


Shipping: Whiteflash offers free shipping but does not offer free return shipping. High-value items are shipped via FedEx Overnight, allowing for quick delivery.

Returns: Whiteflash has a more complex return policy. ‘In stock’ items can be returned within 30 days, while diamonds from the ‘Virtual Selection’ have a 10-day return window. Custom orders, however, cannot be returned. It’s essential to know which collection you are purchasing from.

If you’re near one of James Allen’s 10 locations, you’ll benefit from their modern approach to diamond shopping. However, if you’re looking for a more intimate and educational experience and happen to be in Houston, Whiteflash’s showroom is worth a visit. Given the broader reach of James Allen with multiple locations, they might be more accessible to a larger audience.

So which is a better fit for you – James Allen or Whiteflash?

Choosing between James Allen and Whiteflash is no easy task. Both have carved out their niches in the diamond industry, offering unique strengths. James Allen stands out with its vast selection, innovative 360-degree view technology, and frequent promotions. Their commitment to conflict-free diamonds and emphasis on customer experience, both online and in their physical stores, make them a top choice for many.

Whiteflash, on the other hand, is the go-to for those who prioritize diamond quality above all else. Their emphasis on AGS and GIA certifications, coupled with their exclusive designer collections, ensures that customers receive a product that meets the highest gemological standards.

Ultimately, the best choice is the one that aligns with your priorities, be it price, quality, selection, or customer experience. Whichever you choose, rest assured that you’re dealing with industry leaders who prioritize customer satisfaction above all else. We hope our guide on Whiteflash vs. James Allen helped bring you some clarity.


Does James Allen or Whiteflash offer a larger selection of diamonds?

James Allen has a much wider selection of loose diamonds than Whiteflash. It makes it easier for you to find the perfect diamond at a competitive price.

Do both James Allen and Whiteflash offer lab-grown diamonds?

Yes, both retailers offer lab-grown diamonds, but James Allen offers more. In the past, Whiteflash did not offer lab-grown diamonds at all.

How do the prices between James Allen and Whiteflash compare?

James Allen is known for providing competitively priced diamonds, and many of their diamonds are less expensive than those from Whiteflash. However, their premium super ideal cut diamonds can be more expensive than Whiteflash’s super ideal cut diamonds.

Which retailer is older and has more industry experience?

Whiteflash was founded in 2000, making it older than James Allen, which was established in 2006. However, James Allen is more well-known and often a first choice for those looking for an affordable diamond.