Helzberg Diamonds review
Should you buy your engagement ring or wedding ring from Helzberg?
Helzberg has a rich history – having been founded in 1930, it has nearly more than 100 years of diamond expertise.
For any business to survive that long, it must be doing something right, and it has grown to over 200 jewelry stores across the nation.
In this Helzberg review, we will primarily examine Helzberg from the point of view of buying a diamond engagement ring. However, the findings are equally relevant for any other type of jewelry.
If you’d like to jump straight to the ‘value for money’ section and see how choosing one of my recommended retailers could save $3,164 compared to Helzberg, click here.
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Helzberg ring selection
Helzberg offers a total of 454 styles of engagement rings to choose from:
This is a huge number to choose from, and can be slightly overwhelming!
However, Helzberg allow you to filter down their selection, to make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.
The majority of the engagement ring styles that Helzberg sell are either solitaire or halo settings – two classic styles that have stood the test of time. Solitaire settings are a generally less expensive setting 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.
The large number of ring styles available through Helzberg means that they offer a wide range of diamond shape – more than many other jewelers. The most common shape they offer is the round brilliant – it’s not only the most popular shape, but it’s also the best shape for maximum sparkle.
Helzberg have a custom ring builder features called “Create Your Own” – where you can choose your desired setting for you ring.
While this level of customization is great, it’s still limited compared to my recommended retailers, such as James Allen. For example, the Helzberg ring builder has a total of 14,000 diamonds available to choose from, James Allen website’s diamond search tool has over 300,000, which means you are far more likely to be able to find the exact diamond you’re looking for.
Overall though, there’s an impressive range of engagement ring setting styles and diamond shapes on offer from Helzberg, which means you should be able to find something that fits your taste.
Helzberg 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 of our Helzberg review, we’ll examine the quality of diamonds they offer, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
While Helzberg don’t show ‘clarity’ and ‘color’ in their product filter, it is is listed on the product details of each individual ring:
These diamond specs are pretty typical of the diamond in a pre-set Helzberg engagement ring, with H/I color and I1 clarity.
Diamond clarity is a measure of the number of inclusions, or flaws, that a diamond has. At the top is ‘flawless’, while at the bottom is ‘included’, where flaws are easy to see.
I1 clarity diamonds are very low on the clarity scale and most will have inclusions that are easy to see with the naked eye, like the diamond below with the obvious mark across the middle:
We therefore wouldn’t recommend an I1 clarity diamond, but would recommend that you seek out an eye clean SI1 clarity diamond like the one below:
As we’ll see later, a diamond like this can actually be found for the same price, or even lower, than a diamond with obvious flaws if you visit my recommended retailer and buy smart.
A diamond’s carat weight is the biggest determinant of diamond price, the factor that determines how much a diamond sparkles is diamond ‘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:
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.
One disappointing feature of Helzberg’s website is that they don’t include “cut” information in the product filter or product information for their diamond. Instead, they just show the diamond shape, rather than the cut grade:
When I ask their about this information in their live chat, they said; “I am sorry we do not have a filter to see items by grade or cut online”
This is regarding their ready-made ‘off the shelf’ rings, it’s therefore impossible to understand how much your diamond is going to sparkle before you buy it. Not ideal and not recommended.
Using the Helzberg custom ring builder gives you much more control over the quality of your diamond – a good thing!
In their “Start with a diamond” section, Helzberg allow you to choose your desired shape, carat, clarity, color and cut including your chosen setting for your diamond.
This “create your own” feature which Helzberg offers is a big positive for me, as you can customize your own diamond engagement ring that fits your budget and according to your taste.
A good starting point if you are creating your own ring is:
- Clarity: VS2
- Color: G
- Cut: Ideal
If this was your diamond, it will look extremely white and flawless to the naked eye, without having to pay the high prices of the higher grades.
Helzberg diamond grading labs
Diamonds are graded on four key factors – carat, color, clarity and cut – and a host of smaller factors too. Diamonds which score higher are generally more expensive – an F color diamond will be pricier than an H color, 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 color 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. Helzberg mention grading report in the product specifications for their rings but don’t tell you which lab actually reviewed the diamond;
When I asked them about it through live chat they said; “Once purchased we will ship the grading report, that information is not online to view” and “GIA certifies our diamond”
As we discussed, Helzberg has a “Create your own ring” section – in this section they have 14,072 certified diamonds available at the time of writing this review.
14,000 is a good number of diamonds to be able to choose from, but far fewer than our recommended retailer James Allen which offers over 300,000 to choose from. The more diamonds there are available, the more likely you are to find the perfect stone for you.
However, if all 14,000 of these diamonds are GIA certified, that is a big plus point for Helzberg, as it means that you can trust that the diamonds are of the quality they claim to be. Compared to many other mall jewelers, this is a major plus point.
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.
Helzberg has a large number of stores, which means that visiting a store to choose a ring, or talk to staff is very easy. It also makes resizing easy, which is available for free in any store.
Returns-wise, if you feel the ring isn’t right for you they will give you a full refund within 30 days, which is better than a lot of jewelers.
Looking Google reviews, each individual store is given its own profile. A typical score appears to be from 3.9 – 4.2 e.g. this store in Mesa, Arizona scores 3.9 from 53 reviews:
Online reviews do need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it indicates that people are broadly satisfied, but not necessarily ecstatic with the service they’ve received at this Helzberg branch.
Helzberg value for money
Buying a diamond ring is a big commitment – both financially and emotionally. So it’s important that you ensure 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.
To see how Helzberg value for money compares, we’ll compare it to one of my recommended retailers – James Allen. James Allen is an online bridal jewellery retailer who I have helped hundreds of people buy from over the last 10 years.
When comparing, we’ll keep the ring style, diamond clarity, color, carat as similar as possible. A good way to compare is to look at Solitaire diamond rings as they are simple and timeless, without an ornate setting to make the comparison more complicated
Looking at Helzberg, they offer an 18k solitaire ring with a 0.54 carat diamond for $3,779.
This diamond has the following quality characteristics:
- H color
- VS2 clarity
- round shape
- excellent cut
- GIA certification
Finding an identically spec’ed ring at my recommended retailer James Allen is very easy:
While the price at Helzberg was $3,779, the price at James Allen is just $1,775.
This is a significant difference – the ring is $2,024 more expensive at Helzberg, or more than twice as expensive!
We did another price comparison with a bigger carat stone of 1.02 carats – and we can see that a ring with the same specs has a difference of $3,164 from my recommended store James Allen.
While you may not be looking for a diamond of this size or price, it is indicative of the high prices Helzberg are charging – over $2,000 more for an identical diamond and ring combination.
Of course, this is just a couple of examples, and the ring you are looking for may be very different to this. However, it’s worth noting that with the money you would save by buying from James Allen instead of Helzberg 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.
Value for money
Do we recommend Helzberg?
Helzberg offer a huge range of diamond ring styles and settings – the ability to visit them in one of their 200 plus stores are a benefit. While it may be tempting to go to a Helzberg because of the convenience, by reviewing their online store, we can see that the expensive real estate in shopping malls has resulted in high prices.
Helzberg’s quality of merchandise is actually higher than many other mall jewelers, and the ability to choose a GIA-graded diamond is a big plus point.
However, it’s the lack of value that really seals the deal – you can save significant amounts of money when buying your ring from my recommended retailer. It just makes sense.
- ‘Create your own’ allows you to tailor your ring
- GIA certified diamonds
- 30 day return policy
- Offers low quality clarity for off the shelf rings
- Limited details about certification
- High prices for engagement rings