Top 4 Best Places To Buy Round Diamonds: Most Reliable Diamond Retailers in 2021

Looking for the perfect place to buy round diamonds online?

You're in the right place!

In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:

  • What Should You Look For When Buying Round Diamonds Online?
  • Is Real Gold Good For An Engagement Ring?
  • How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal?
  • What Are The Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying?
round cut diamonds

Top 5 Best Places to Buy Round Diamonds Online

If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding real gold jewelry from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops. 

1. James Allen

2. Clean Origin

3. Blue Nile

4. Ritani

5. Whiteflash

#1 Buying Round Diamonds At James Allen

james allen round diamonds

There are a number of reasons why we've chosen James Allen as our number one pick for Best Place to Find Round Cut Diamonds

One of best things about buying a diamond online with James Allen is the wide selection of round cut diamonds they offer. Most of their selection includes round cut diamonds but at a variety of diamond grades and price ranges. They carry over 14,000 ideal cut 1 carat minimum loose round diamonds of various grades. 

Having a large selection allows you to really be flexible while choosing a diamond that fits both your aesthetic tastes and your wallet. 

At physical retailers like Zales, you don't usually get to pick from a pile of loose diamonds mainly because of the security risks. Also, it costs them a heck of a lot of money. Additionally, it would take way too much time to compare diamonds in person. 

But if you're shopping online and have as many loose diamonds to pick through as James Allen, it become a simpler process and checkout. But there are also things that set them apart from other online stores, like their 360˚ viewer.

A lot of online retailers have 360 viewers, but this setup is my favorite. The view is super clear and crisp and simple for people of all ages and you don't have to be a technology wizard to figure it out.

I love that you can control the viewer and drag it back and forth to see each inclusion. This makes it so much easier for those of you trying to save money by buying an eye-clean diamond from a clarity grade that isn't normally eye-clean, like an SI diamond. 

If you're looking for high quality diamonds with the best clarity and color grades, they have plenty of options too. Some of their most expensive diamonds also allow you to get a free ring setting. They have many colorless and even fancy colored diamonds under this category. 

All of the diamonds at James Allen are going to be GIA certified or IGI certified, though you should only buy GIA diamonds from them. IGI isn't as great of a lab to buy from because of their looser grading. 

In addition to over 250 ring settings for round diamonds to choose from, they added a new feature called the Ring Builder. You can either go directly to the builder, or further edit ring styles out of their catalog with a rainbow ring emblem in the corner.

It allows you to really stylize the setting, like making a yellow gold prong basket on a rose gold ring shank.

james allen round diamonds

I think the best thing that James Allen offers their customers is a free lifetime warranty. The warranty covers routine maintenance, but you do have to pay shipping for it. Still, the cost you will save over the years keeping your engagement rings and wedding rings in tip-top shape is immense. Most online retailers won't give you that. 

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #2 Buying Round Diamonds At Clean Origin

    clean origin round diamond

    A lot of people haven't heard of Clean Origin, but they really should. They are a specialty online retailer that deals only in lab created diamonds. This means that all of their diamonds are traceable and created in a lab.

    While we at Learning Jewelry only ever recommend conflict-free diamond retailers, many people prefer lab diamonds for other reasons. 

    One of the reason is that you can get more carat weight for less when you go the lab diamond route. This is especially true at Clean Origin. They don't have near as many 1 carat diamonds as some of the other online retailers, but they carry more lab diamonds of higher carat sizes for the best price. 

    Clean Origin carries around 6800 loose one carat round diamonds with our same comparing grades. Their diamonds are certified by multiple labs and are also one of the very few places you can get GIA graded lab diamonds. IGI and GCAL certifications are also acceptable for lab diamonds. 

    They have two kinds of 360˚videos. You want the V30 viewer that comes with all the fancy little controls even if they're a bit overboard. You can still control it t's much easier to see blemishes than the far away speed, rotating Diamond Scan some of them have. 

    The biggest allure of Clean Origin is the prices because lab diamonds are so much cheaper than natural diamonds of the same grades. On average, you can save up to and even over 50% buy going the lab diamond route. But not everyone wants that. The best diamond is the one the best fits your situation. 

    I do like their ring settings too! 

    They have a lot of the traditional and popular settings like the pave or channel sets, but they also have unique ones. They are more expensive than a lot of the ones at James Allen and Blue Nile, with most of them costing over $1300 dollars. 

    Like Blue Nile, Clean Origin only offers a manufacturer's warranty, cover design flaws and manufacturer's defects. They have a 100 day return policy unlike most jewelry stores. That's a generous amount of time to really decide if you love it. You can make sure it's everything you want visually and know that it's going to be comfortable and practical.

    Pros

    • All lab diamonds
    • 360˚ view
    • carries GIA certified lab diamonds
    • 100 day return policy

    Cons

    • No natural diamonds
    • No warranty

    #3 Buying Round Diamonds At Blue Nile

    blue nile round diamond

    Blue Nile is one of the most popular online stores in the diamond industry. They were actually the first ones to sell loose diamonds and ring settings online. They have a few different physical locations in the US but mainly operate online. 

    On average, most people will buy engagement rings from Blue Nile or James Allen. Blue Nile's long standing reputation adds a lot of stability and comfort with new customers. Their diamond prices are in close proximity with James Allen, but usually James Allen comes out with the cheaper prices on average. 

    Of course, all of Blue Nile's diamonds are GIA certified, so there's no worry that you're buying from a less valuable certifying lab like there is with James Allen. Not everyone knows that.

    So, it's nice to know that even an unsuspecting customer is still getting the best. But GIA certified diamonds are more expensive, so that diamond prices should always be matched up with the same grades to see which is really cheaper. 

    They have a huge selection of round cut diamonds, with over 17,000 loose diamonds (same minimum grades as above). Problem is, not all of them have 360˚ view. It's very important to have the view when trying to identify blemishes from lower clarity grades to save money.

    Fortunately, you can filter them, leaving us with about 13,000. That's more than enough to find the right one. 

    The 360 viewer is another great one, though I still prefer James Allen. Blue Nile's is further away and not quite as smooth right off the bat when you initially go to drag it. But it's still controllable, which is better and more than I can say for other online stores. 

    In addition to their Excellent Cut diamonds, they have an exclusive line called the Astor Ideal. It's only for round, princess cut, and cushion cut diamonds. They are considered Blue Nile's most elite diamonds for light performance.

    In addition to the normal GIA report, they have a GemEx report. GemEx reports don't really increase the value because they only provide light performance specifics, not diamond grades.

    They aren't essential to purchasing a diamond and aren't a substitute for diamond certifications or grading reports. But many people like them. I have a GemEx report for my ring.

    You don't need an Astor diamond unless you really want it, so you could definitely go for a regular ideal round diamond. Just stay away from Good or Very Good round cut grades. And as for ring settings, they've got over 250 to choose from. 

    The worst thing about Blue Nile that I can come up with is the fact that they don't have a lifetime warranty. They have the manufacturer's warranty, but that's not going to cover rhodium plating white gold, or retipping your prongs.

    Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #4 Buying Round Diamonds At Ritani

    ritani round diamond

    Ritani is most known for their designer ring settings, but after Blue Nile's ex CEO joined up, things changed. 

    Now they sell loose diamonds and diamond jewelry for the masses. Their loose diamond prices are comparable with tops dogs like James Allen and Blue Nile. Like Blue Nile, they also carry GIA certified diamonds as well as AGS certified ones. 

    Round diamonds make up the majority of the catalog, with over 4,000 1 carat loose diamonds (with our minimum grades) to choose from. They also offer lab grown diamonds and yellow fancy colored diamonds. Colored gemstones and other diamonds colors don't really have a presence here. 

    Read also>>The best places to buy fancy yellow diamonds

    Under all their diamonds, they offer a Diamond Market Analysis. This is a unique provided report online to break down the diamond prices. These days there's more talk of the diamond industry being a ripoff, price transparency is highly important in gaining customer trust. This is Ritani's way of showing that. 

    diamond market analysis

    The report shows you the cost of the diamond from the vendor. Then they show you customs and shipping fees and how much Ritani adds to the markup costs. How accurate it is, well I guess there's no way of really knowing. Still, as their prices are comparable to bargain diamond finder James Allen, it's probably pretty accurate. 

    One of the things they transferred over from Blue Nile was not having 360˚ viewing on every diamond. In fact, it's much worse here because each diamond is different. Some have stock pictures, some have 360 video that's a video loop you can't control, and some have HD photos.

    You can obtain HD photos of any diamond within 24hrs. But there's no way to narrow which ones have the video and don't. But they will say what each one has while you're scrolling. 

    ritanidiamondviewinginconsistence

    Ritani's prices change when you're checking out their ring settings.

    Remember, they're a brand name ring designer and those patented settings come with a premium. On average most of their ring settings will be more expensive than other jewelry stores, but still have excellent craftsmanship. 

    The best thing they've got is a free lifetime warranty. They are the only other retailer aside from James Allen that offer one that covers stone tightening, prong retipping, and rhodium plating.

    Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #5 Buying Round Diamonds At Whiteflash

    whiteflash round diamond

    Whiteflash is for those who consider buying diamonds an art, or rather, a light show. Out of all of our retailers, Whiteflash offers the best cut diamonds. The overall brilliance of your diamond is because of the cut. 

    They offer around 3100 1 carat diamonds with our grades and more beyond that. Be careful when sorting through their diamond inventory because not all of the diamonds have 360 view. Some can't be seen and those are from the Virtual Selection.

    There are filters to sort in house from virtual when selecting your diamond grades. Diamonds from the Virtual Selection only have a 10 day return period, so make sure you know which type of diamond you get. 

    You get imaging reports when you search for loose round cut diamonds at Whiteflash. The ASET and Idealscope images show you exactly where light enter and exits your diamond. All of their diamonds are AGS certified, which is just as good and respected as the GIA. 

    They have an elite collection of super ideal cut diamonds called A Cut Above. Round cut diamonds and princess cut diamonds are part of this collection. It meets strict requirements of higher tier clarity grades and VVS to FL and colorless (color grades of DEF).

    The bigger the carat weight, the more rare the diamond is. And the prices on this collection are high but the light performance is gorgeous. 

    Read also>>The complete guide to princess cut diamond

    Whiteflash has improved their diamond viewing though, for the diamonds that have it. 

    It used to only show you the diamond with a black background, which makes it hard to see inclusions from I clarity or SI clarity diamonds. But they call this the Sparkle video and one with a regular background called the Brilliance video. That will show you inclusions, but I wish it had better zoom. 

    They offer you a 1 year service warranty that covers wear and tear. Most wear and tear issues don't start till after a year so I find this warranty kind of pointless and more for show.

    But... 

    I do recommend getting your white gold engagement rings and wedding bands rhodium plated toward the end of the year as well as getting stones and prongs checked and tightened. 

    Read also>> The full Whiteflash review

    Pros

    • Best cut quality
    • Comes with ASET and IdealScope images
    • Lifetime upgrade
    • 1 year free service warranty

    Cons

    • More expensive
    • Super ideal cut diamonds are gimmicky

    Round Diamonds FAQ 

    Are Round Diamonds Good For An Engagement Ring?

    Round cut diamonds are the preferred choice for diamond engagement rings. They're the most popular diamond shape due to the ability to be capable of perfect symmetry and ultimate brilliance.

    Round diamonds are incomparable to any other diamond shape.

    Is It Cheaper To Buy Round Cut Diamonds Online?

    When you buy diamonds online instead of a physical retailer like Kay Jewelers, you could be saving over 40% on a diamond of the same grades, but most likely will have better grades. 

    Ideal round cut diamonds at Kay's are way more expensive than online. I know, I have one. My Tolkowsky ideal cut is a F color and SI2 clarity grade with inclusions that I can visibly see. It also has a GSI grading report (which is trash FYI) and GemEx report. The engagement ring went for $3,999. Oh and it's 3/4 carat center halo setting with pave diamonds. 

    GSI Grading Report

    A diamond with the same grades at James Allen with a GIA certificate would cost me around $2,130. With a similar ring setting, it still comes out to $1000 less. While they're not direct comparisons, and there are other variables, this is a common occurrence. 

    Your best bet is too compare apples to apples to be sure, but you'll more than likely find they are cheaper online and the process is much less pushy because no one's trying to make a sales goal online. 

    Are Round Cut Diamonds More Expensive?

    Not only are round cut diamonds the most popular diamond shape, they're also the most expensive. 

    Surprise, surprise, right? But it's not for the reasons you think. 

    There's a lot of things that dictate diamond prices and a lot of it is unique to each diamond. Round diamonds are the most expensive because gem cutters cut away a lot of diamond rough when creating the shape.

    On average, a round diamond only utilizes about 45% of the diamond rough. Most fancy shapes utilize a large portion of the rough. Princess cut diamonds use about 70% of the rough, which is why it's cheaper. 

    You gotta think about how much it costs to excavate diamonds. How much equipment, manpower, and labor is done to get it. Then it has to be gem quality. Most diamond rough isn't.

    Furthermore...

    The way the crystal is formed also dictates what shape it must become. They can't just make any diamond rough a round shape. Then they trash most of it to cut the round shape. 

    The other reason why it's more expensive is because round diamonds are the only true ideal cut diamonds. They're the only shape that can be formed with perfect symmetry. 

    Read also>> Round vs princess cut: which is better?

    What Should You Look For When Buying Round Cut Diamonds?

    When searching for any diamond, you have to understand the 4Cs of diamond quality: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. We've got plenty of diamonds guides that go over each of these in-depth. Here are some tips when picking out round diamonds.

    Cut

    Diamond cut is the most important aspect of the 4Cs, if you haven't figured that out by now. This is especially true for round diamonds because of their ideal cut quality. I don't recommend choosing a round diamond cut grade other than ideal or excellent. There's just really no point, in my most humble opinion.

    If you're going to buy the most expensive diamond shape, you might as well get to enjoy the best brilliance and that's an ideal cut diamond. 

    If you want to go for super ideal cut diamonds, Hearts and Arrows diamonds, or any other kind of specialty diamond, know you are paying for extra snazz, but not anything necessary to have the best diamond. 

    Color and Clarity

    You shouldn't ever compromise diamond cut, but diamond clarity and diamond color are more expendable. Because round cut diamonds are brilliant cut with lots of short little facets. This style of cutting makes it harder to see some inclusions. If you have a big black spot, it might still be visible regardless. 

    Read also>> Which types of inclusions should you watch out for?

    That's why you should ever buy a round cut diamond online that you can't see. You probably won't need one if you're buying diamonds with VVS clarity grades, but there's no need to pay all that extra if you have a 360 viewer.

    You can easily save yourself a couple thousand by choosing an SI clarity diamond that is eye clean if you take your time. 

    Brilliant cut diamonds also take away some of the color away from a round diamond because of all that white light. But people's perception of color is different. Personally, I don't go below an H color diamond because I'm very sensitive to it and it bothers me. But some people prefer their diamonds on the warmer side.

    Diamonds with a yellow tint from a lower color grade like JKL will be more obvious in halo settings than a solitaire. Smaller diamonds tend to have better diamond grades. Colorless halo diamonds will make a tinted center stone even more obvious. 

    Red Flags When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online?

    There isn't a lot of red flags with diamond shapes, but there are some things to be aware of. 

    Hearts and Arrow Diamonds

    One of the big trends in the jewelry industry is the Hearts and Arrows effect. This is where you can see a pattern of hearts and arrows when looking at the diamond through a special tool. If it's well-cut, you won't need this special tool.

    So if they tell you that it's only viewable under the tool, you know that diamond probably isn't well cut.

    hearts and arrows whiteflash

    The exact symmetry of a round cut diamond makes this effect. You should also know that not all Hearts and Arrow branded diamonds are ideal cut and not all ideal cut diamonds present the hearts and arrows pattern. An ideal cut diamond without this pattern is still exact proportions. It's about the way the diamond was cut. 

    Some jewelry stores may advertise their diamonds as hearts and arrows, but won't have exact symmetry. You should choose the standard 57/58 facets (some diamonds include the culet as a facet and some don't) when buying round diamonds. 

    How To Get The Best Deal When Buying Round Cut Diamonds Online?

    • Always choose Ideal Cut or Excellent Cut grades
    • Choose a retailer with a 360 view that allows you to see blemishes
    • Only buy GIA or AGS certified round diamonds or GIA, IGI, or GCAL lab grown diamonds
    • Choose a ring setting that protects the culet (tip of the diamond) 
    • Diamonds with lower color grades look more white in yellow gold ring settings
    • Choosing diamonds with fluorescence can save you money
    • Choose a retailer that offers a lifetime warranty

    Meet Your Jewelry Expert

    Learn More About Jewelry

    Want to learn more about jewelry? Check out these other helpful resources written by our jewelry experts!

    Leave a Comment