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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 (My Top Pick For GIA Diamonds)
2. Clean Origin (Best GIA Lab Diamonds)
3. Blue Nile (Most Selection of GIA Diamonds)
4. Ritani (Best Designer Settings for GIA Diamonds)
#1. Buying GIA Certified Diamonds at James Allen
Out of all our picks, James Allen's 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. Buying GIA Certified Diamonds at Clean Origin
Clean Origin is probably a name most diamond buyers aren't familiar with, even if they do shop online. That's because only sell lab grown diamonds. Lab diamonds are becoming increasingly popular, due in large part to the concern over conflict-free diamonds. Even though Learning Jewelry only recommends retailers that are conflict-free, some still would rather buy lab grown diamonds.
Lab created diamonds are real diamonds that have been subjected to a lab environment that simulates the conditions underground that grow natural diamonds.
Enter Clean Origin. Not only does Clean Origin sell lab grown diamond engagement rings and wedding bands, they have a ton of lab diamond bridal jewelry as well. Most of our other recommended online lab diamond retailers have a limited section of lab jewelry or none at all.
Clean Origin has a page of over 16,000 loose diamonds of different shapes and degrees. Like James Allen, you can also filter out over 300 GIA certified diamonds from Clean Origin. They have certification as one of the main options, so need for advanced options here.
Clean Origin also allows potential buyers to get up close and personal with their lab diamonds using a 360˚ viewer. Their viewer has more bells and whistles, but they're not really needed in my opinion. Lab diamonds don't have the same crystal inclusions like natural diamonds, so they tend to have better clarity anyway. You'll be less likely to find lower tier clarity like I diamonds for lab diamonds than you would natural. But still, having the viewer is important when buying diamonds online, or in general really. Check their viewer out below.
Another big thing that sets Clean Origin apart from the rest of our list is their impressive return policy. They offer a wild 100 day return policy, giving customer adequate time to either make sure you love it like you did online or grow to hate it. But the company is so confident you'll love it, they give you this extended amount of time to make sure it's up to your standards. How's that for quality service?
The main drawback to Clean Origin is there lackluster warranty. They will only cover your design flaws or any manufacturing defects. None of the upkeep for your jewelry is covered.
- Top selection of GIA certified lab diamonds
- Lowest pricing on lab diamonds
- 100 Day Return Policy
- No natural diamonds
- Smaller GIA diamond selection
#3. Buying GIA Certified Diamonds at 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.
- Largest selection of GIA diamonds
- Great reputation and brand
- Poor warranty
- More expensive pricing
#4. Buying GIA Certified Diamonds at Ritani
If you're familiar with the name Ritani, it's probably because they've been a ring setting designer for quite some time. They initially were a designer ring company that made deals with other online diamond retailers to be sold on their site.
But now, Ritani offers a selection of loose natural and lab created diamonds to go along with their designer settings. They only carry GIA or AGS certified diamonds and you can also filter them as well. Just go to their Diamonds page, click on More Filters, and then scroll a bit down til you see Certificate. It'll be the last option on the filters, and you can just select GIA.
Ritani has partnered up with a number jewelry stores to allow you to view your loose diamond in person. This allows you to observe the cut grade as well as any diamond fluorescence in person
They also have a 360˚viewer, but it's really inconsistent on a lot of the diamonds. Some diamonds only have HD photos, others with 360 video, and some with no images at all. The viewer is also not the best in my opinion. It'd be very difficult to see any inclusions or blemishes with the video loop they offer. Your best bet is to ask for those photos. Check out the viewer below.
Reader's Note: Since the start of COVID19, Ritani has temporarily disabled their in-store preview program and are updating it. Learning Jewelry will update when we hear more.
I really like that you can view the GIA certificate online and they even have a little diamond buying guide that educated you on both GIA and AGS certifications, so you can feel a little more qualified to pick your diamond purchase. They also offer a 30 day return policy, and free lifetime warranty that will cover all maintenance on your diamond engagement ring.
- Can view the GIA certificate online
- 30 day return policy
- Specializes in designer diamond settings
- Pricing can be expensive
- Their online diamond viewing experience isn't great
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 experts 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.
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 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.