Looking for the best place online to buy GIA certified diamonds from?
Perfect! You're in the right place. In this LearningJewelry.com guide, I'll answer:
- What is Diamond Certification?
- Are GIA Certified Diamonds Expensive or Cheap?
- Why You Should Buy GIA Certified Diamonds
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of all my top picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about my best buying tips and tricks and which stores are recommended to buy from.
Top 4 Best Places to Buy GIA Certified Diamonds Online
1. James Allen
Out of all our picks, James Allen is going to have the largest selection of loose diamonds to create your perfect engagement ring. When pitted against other online retailers, you can be sure they've got some of best prices around.
James Allen has three types of diamond certifications: GIA, AGS, and IGI. However, we only recommend buying certified diamonds from GIA or AGS.
Since James Allen has over 600,000 loose diamonds to select from, it's really helpful to be able to sort through them. Under the advanced filters in their loose diamonds page, you can actually filter GIA diamonds, which is so helpful.
They don't have many AGS diamonds, so it's best to stick to GIA certified only. I only wish you were able to view the certificate online. Instead, they go above and beyond to offer you a real time diamond inspection.
You can actually go over the diamond you're looking at and its certification with a real time diamond expert. You can have a candid conversation with a real human without ever leaving home! Best of all, none of James Allen associates make money based on commission, so you can be sure the advice they're giving you is unbiased. This isn't so true with physical jewelry stores trying to make sales goals.
Beyond price, James Allen has some key features to separate them from our other picks, like it's crystal-clear 360˚ viewing technology. You have full control of the rotation, so you can be sure you're getting exactly what you saw online.
The last great feature I have to mention about James Allen is their warranty. No only do you get to fully customize your GIA certified diamond engagement ring, but they're throwing in a free lifetime warranty, so your ring can stay gorgeous for life.
- The most GIA diamonds available in their store
- Interactive selection tool
- Free lifetime warranty
- Lowest diamond prices
- You have to talk to someone to view the diamond certificate
2. Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth is an online diamond company (that also has around 30 locations around the US) that is focused on bringing ethical diamonds and gemstones to the forefront of the jewelry buyer's mind.
They pride themselves on offering ethically sourced lab created diamonds as well as natural diamonds with traceable origins using GIA Origin Reports as well as the standard GIA diamond certification grading report.
At Brilliant Earth, you have options with GIA certification. If you've chosen one of their blockchain diamonds that comes with a secure link to show you the footprints of your diamond, it can also come with a GIA report.
If you opt out of the blockchain diamond traceability, you have the option of purchasing a diamond with a GIA Origin Report. None of the other guys on our list (except maybe Leibish) offer GIA Origin Reports.
These GIA reports will tell you exactly which country your diamond was mined from.And lastly, you have the option of purchasing a beautiful natural diamond with the standard GIA diamond grading report.
Not every diamond at Brilliant Earth is GIA certified. Many of them are, but they carry other grading labs like IGI certified diamonds and HRD certified diamonds. Fortunately, you can separate the GIA ones from the pack using their very extensive diamond filters.
The main reason why Brilliant Earth hits a number two on our list is because they tend to come out more expesive than GIA diamonds at James Allen. Their engagement ring warranties are also paid warranties, whereas James Allen's warranty is free.
- Variety of GIA certified diamond reports
- Offers GIA Origin Reports
- Paid Warranty
- More expensive
3. Blue Nile
Blue Nile is one of the oldest and well-known online diamond retailers. They have a long-standing reputation as a leader in online diamonds. Having this sort of reputation already puts them in a positive position for the public to buy GIA certified diamonds online.
Unlike James Allen, Blue Nile carries only carries GIA certified loose diamonds. You can also find GIA certified colored and lab diamonds too.
They have 360 viewing on their diamonds, but not all of them. Thankfully, you can actually toggle the 360 viewing option in their diamond search, so only diamonds that can be viewed show up. There viewer is nice, but I'm not crazy about the smoothness of it. Still, it's better than not having one at all!
The biggest downsides about Blue Nile is their diamond prices and their lifetime warranty. Blue Nile diamond prices aren't the cheapest around, with James Allen holding the best diamond pricing in GIA certified diamonds online. But this also doesn't stop them from being the most popular online diamond store in the jewelry industry. People continue to buy from them, so the quality must be excellent for the price.
Their lifetime warranty isn't really a warranty at all. It's a base manufacturer's warranty which tells you that if your ring is defective, they'll replace. As they should- it's their flawed ring. But this isn't a real warranty. If you're wanting a warranty, you'll need one that covers routine maintenance.
Read Also: Read Our Complete Blue Nile review
- Largest selection of GIA diamonds
- Great reputation and brand
- Poor warranty
- More expensive pricing
4. Leibish & Co.
What put Leibish down at #4 isn't anything to do with quality. In fact, it's the opposite. You can guarantee you're getting the best of colored diamonds when shopping with Leibish. The problem is, the average person won't be able to afford a 1 carat sized colored diamond.
Majority of the diamonds at Leibish are GIA certified. When you're the best in colored diamonds, you have to carry the best grading reports: GIA.
Now, I really only recommend buying GIA certified fancy color diamonds at Leibish. They have a selection of colorless diamonds, but they're not worth the price. I'd also skip out on the ring settings at Leibish. They are limited to a particular style and are much more expensive than your average ring settings. You're better off purchasing a loose diamond here at Leibish and getting it set somewhere else.
- Best GIA colored diamond selection
- View GIA report easily
- Highly Expensive
- Limited selection on colorless diamonds
GIA Certified Diamonds FAQ
Why do I need diamond certification?
A diamond is a diamond is a diamond, right?
You should never buy a loose diamond without a certification, also called a grading report. In the diamond industry, there are multiple labs that provide grading reports. Diamond certification lets you know that the diamond has been looked over by expert gemologists to ensure that you are paying the proper cost for the right quality of your diamond.
Without a diamond certification, it's possible to obtain a diamond with worse clarity and color grades than originally advertised, thus ripping you and your wallet off.
Read also: Lab Grown Diamond Certification
Why should I buy a GIA certified diamond?
Just like diamonds are not created equal, the same is true about certification labs. Each lab grades a little differently. What one lab may describe a diamond as SI2 clarity might be graded as I clarity by the GIA.
GIA certified diamonds are the best certified diamonds you can find, in store or online. The Gemological Institute of America is the world's leading resource on everything diamond and gemstone. The GIA established the grading of diamonds worldwide when they delivered the 4Cs of diamond quality. This is the grading system in which all diamonds are assessed for quality.
So it would only make sense that the organization that created the world's view on diamonds would also have the best diamond grading laboratory. Every GIA certified diamond has been matched with a master set in order to properly assess its grade. The only other grading lab we recommend is the American Gem Society. Both the GIA and AGS have top standard in diamond certification.
Are GIA certified diamonds expensive or cheap?
When it comes to diamond certification, it's no secret that the GIA diamond certification is the most expensive of all the labs, which is why many mega retailers opt for less expensive labs. When you need diamonds in mass quantities graded, you're looking for the cheapest prices. This is why you'll find more GSI and IGI certified diamonds in popular retail stores than you would see GIA or AGS certified diamonds.
Like with most of the diamond jewelry world, there isn't a shortcut on high quality. That's not to say that you have to buy the most expensive diamond to get high quality. It just means that there are no cheap high quality diamonds. Certified diamonds are more expensive. GIA certified diamonds are the most expensive.