Shane Co. review
Should you buy your engagement ring or wedding ring from Shane Co?
Shane Co. is a fourth generation family business, having originally been founded in 1929.
Since then, they’ve grown to 20 retail stores across the US and position themselves as ‘your friend in the jewelry business’.
Do they live up to this billing? In this Shane Co. review, we will primarily examine them from the point of view of buying a diamond engagement ring. However, the findings are equally relevant for any other type of jewellery.
Shane Co. ring selection
Shane Co. does a great job of offering ring buyers the flexibility to find the exact ring they are looking for.
Choosing a style is easy and they offer two routes finding the perfect engagement ring – either “create your own” or select a “perfectly preset” style.
In their perfectly preset option, Shane. Co offers 56 ring styles already paired with a diamond, to make it super straight forward to select your ring.
However, it’s the “create your own” option that offers far more choice as you can choose your style from 1,155 available and pair it to the center stone of your choice.
Shane Co. offers a really broad range of styles in different precious metals (white gold, platinum and the resurgent yellow gold) and each can be paired to the center stone of your choosing. A great feature.
Overall, the ring setting selection and purchase experience is significantly superior to most other jewelers.
Shane Co. 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 Shane Co. review, we’ll examine the quality of diamonds they offer, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
When you’re trying to find a diamond, it’s important that you can find the one with the right mix of attributes for you – the mix of the 4Cs that feels right and fits within your budget.
To help with this, Shane Co. offers nearly 12,000 diamonds to choose from:
To narrow the search, Shane Co. offer a good tool to help you choose the diamond with your desired quality characteristics:
This is a good tool, but you may actually find that if you are too restrictive with your search, Shane Co. may not have a limited selection of diamonds that fit what you are looking for, or possibly even no diamonds at all.
I searched for a 1 carat diamond round with H color, VS2 clarity and ‘excellent’ cut quality, which is the most common diamond quality I recommend when helping people find their ring.
While some retailers may have a large number of diamonds that fit these specs which can then be chosen from, Shane Co only had two:
Not every VS2 clarity is eye clean, so having more than two diamonds to choose from is extremely important to ensure that the diamond doesn’t have a noticeable flaw.
So, while 12,000 seems like a good number of diamonds to be able to choose from, it’s 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.
While carat weight may be 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.
We only recommend that you buy a diamond which is either ‘excellent’ or ‘ideal’ cut, otherwise it may not sparkle.
In the diamond search tool, Shane Co. offer ‘Excellent’, ‘Ideal’ and the “Shane classic” cut as the very highest (and most expensive) cut grade.
Usually ‘Excellent’ and ‘Ideal’ are used interchangeably in the diamond world, which can be confusing – GIA use ‘Excellent’ in their cut grade ranking, but this is sometimes called ‘ideal’ by jewelers. We asked Shane Co. about their ‘Shane’ cut in their live chat and they said; “These diamonds are in the top 1% of overall quality standards in the world, and the brightest diamonds that we offer”
Many other jewelers do also offer their own special ‘ideal’ cuts, so this isn’t unusual. However, if I was being asked to pay a premium for the Shane cut over a regular ‘Excellent’ cut diamond, I would want to understand the actual diamond proportions and angles, as this is what affects the amount that a diamond sparkles.
Overall though, the quality of diamonds that Shane Co offers is good, but a wider selection would be hugely beneficial to ensure that you can find the right combination of quality factors for you.
Shane Co. 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.
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.
Shane Co. allows you to choose independent laboratories such as GIA, GSI and HRD in their create your own section, which is very good.
Shane Co. 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.
Shane Co. has 20 retail stores across the US, which means that if you have one local to you, visiting a store to choose a ring, or talk to staff is very easy.
If you decide to buy online, shipping is free and your ring will be insured while being shipped – great for peace of mind.
Returns-wise, if you feel the ring isn’t right for you they will give you a full refund within 60 days, which is better than a lot of jewelers. Looking at reviews on Google, the reviews are split out by individual store. The Lynwood store in Washington has a very impressive score of 4.6 from 696 reviews, indicating that people are happy with the service they have received from Shane Co.
Overall, it’s hard to find fault with any of Shane Co’s policies or the level of service they deliver to customers.
Shane Co. value for money
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.
To see how Shane Co. value for money compares, we’ll compare it to one of my recommended retailers – James Allen. James Allen is an online bridal jewelry 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 looking at Solitaire diamond rings as they are simple and timeless, without an ornate setting to make the comparison more complicated Looking at Shane Co, they offer a 14k white gold solitaire ring with a 0.50 carat center stone for $1,955:
This ring’s diamond has been graded by GIA with the following specs:
- H color
- VS2 clarity
- Excellent cut (‘Shane’ cut is listed, but it’s a GIA excellent cut)
If we look at this price compared to my recommended retailer James Allen, James Allen’s price for an identically specced 14k white gold solitaire setting with a 0.50 carat, H color, VS2 clarity, ideal cut GIA certified diamond is just $1,510.
This is a saving of $445 compared to Shane Co, or to put it another way, Shane Co. is 29% more.
If you look at the price with the same specification, we can see that there is a difference of $445 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 Shane Co. are charging 29% more for an identical diamond and ring combination.
We also compare the 1.00 ct diamond to see how Shane Co. value for money compares for 1.00 ct weight diamond – Shane Co. offer an engagement ring in 14K White Gold with a 1.00 carat, H color, VS2 clarity, Shane classic cut and round shape for $7,445 – this ring is GIA certified.
The same ring at James Allen is $5,670. Again a huge saving of $1,775 from shopping with my recommended retailer.
Of course, this is just an example, and the 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 Shane Co. 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.
Shane Co. Review
Value for money
Do we recommend Shane Co?
Shane Co. positions itself as ‘your friend in the jewelry business’, and they do guide you through the purchase process well, with higher quality merchandise than more jewelry chains.
Their website allows you to choose the exact combination of diamond quality characteristics you want, although the relatively small number of diamonds available compared to some retailers available can mean that they have a limited selection to choose from.
Shane Co’s service policies are excellent and their reviews from customers indicate that the level of service received is exceptional.
However, balancing all of this is the lack of value compared to my recommended retailers. While an excellent experience is surely important, the fact that you can save significant amounts of money when buying your ring from my recommended retailers means that they are the smarter choice.
- Great buying experience and service
- GIA certified diamonds
- 60 day return policy
- Limited diamond selection available
- Poor images of diamonds on website
- Very expensive