Who is better: Ritani or James Allen?
In this guide, we compare these two online Jewelers side by side to determine who is the best overall. We'll answer questions like:
- Who Offers The Best Shopping Experience?
- Who Has The Best Customer Service?
- Which Company Has The Best Prices For Diamond Jewelry?
- Does James Allen or Ritani Have The Best Warranty?
While it's no secret that online diamond retailers have the edge in both price and value over local jewelers or corporate retail jewelers, not all of these companies are the same.
James Allen is one of the most reputable online retailers and has a strong customer base.
Ritani is an online diamond retailer of designer settings and loose diamonds, as well as unique designer jewelry.
But which one of these two companies is the better place to buy your future engagement ring? Let's find out.
Bottom Line Up Front: James Allen is a better online retailer of jewelry, with a more seamless, lower stress buying experience. They offer 360° HD images of every diamond, 24/7 customer service, an excellent free warranty, and hassle free return policy.
Their prices also tend to be lower than Ritani, since Ritani sells designer settings that are more expensive. Both Ritani and James Allen are reputable online jewelers that offer quality diamond jewelry. However, James Allen takes the lead in our head to head comparison.
Shopping Experience Comparison
The best part about shopping with an online diamond retailer is the personal touch customers are able to add to their engagement rings and bridal jewelry. This kind of shopping experience elevates more of what you're shopping for and less of that pushy salespeople stuff.
Ritani has a large collection of loose diamonds, ring settings, and fine jewelry. However, they don't carry any rings already set. Which is fine, because I'd rather build my own anyway.
I do like the Ring Recommender, which has you put in some preferences of what you're looking for and Ritani will grab you a diamond and setting that might be up your alley.
On the website, the pictures are big and bright in the site when you're browsing the catalog. Most online retailers dealing in diamonds focus more on the diamond itself, but Ritani's pictures allow you to see details in the setting.
Ritani gives you an HD picture of the diamond and a 360 view, but it's a video. On a round cut diamond, the view is too far to even be inspected properly.
Also, my biggest issue with Ritani is the inconsistent diamond viewing. Some diamonds have HD images only, others have just the 360 video, some only have stock images and nothing else.
Even still, you can find diamonds that have all three of these. They need to be uniform. You can request HD images and they'll have them to you within 48 hours. Just seems like a hassle for something they could just do on the site.
If you have a Ritani partner near you, you can get a free store preview. If not, you're out of luck.
Note: Currently, due to COVID19, the in-store preview is being revamped and isn't available.
I do love the way you can toggle between white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold for all of the settings without changing the actual picture:
Ritani also gives their customers 30 day returns and a money back guarantee from the date of delivery. They will even pick it up at your door, which is convenient and free.
Read Also: How to buy diamonds online?
They have a large selection of diamond and gemstone jewelry, but they do not carry any premade diamond engagement rings.
When you look for a diamond on jamesallen.com, you get a close-up 360 view of your diamond- on every diamond they carry. You can drag the diamond back and forth to really get a clear view of its characteristics, which is more convenient than a video from far away like Ritani.
James Allen doesn't allow you to see the diamond beforehand like Ritani, but they do have a 30 day return policy and pay for the return shipping with no restocking fee if you don't like it. Thankfully, because of their 360 technology, you can see all the characteristics ahead of time.
The company specializes in loose diamonds and ring settings, but they do have a selection of fine jewelry consisting of both diamonds and gemstones. They also allow you to purchase loose lab-created diamonds, fancy colored diamonds, and loose rubies, emeralds, or sapphires.
You can customize them into gemstone rings, but you can't see them live.
Read Also: Are lab-grown diamonds good or bad?
Most of James Allen's creations take about three weeks to make. Then they are shipped over-night to the customer and require a signature for delivery.
Customer service is important when buying diamonds at online jewelers because of the risk involved when making a large purchase online. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to look at James Allen or Ritani reviews online to credit authenticity and whether or not they have great customer service.
On review sites like TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau, Ritani overall has high praise when it comes to customer service.
On TrustPilot, Ritani has the following ratings out of over 400 Reviews:
They also only have 3 complaints on the Better Business Bureau, which is very minimal. I'm not sure if it's because people don't buy from Ritani as much, or if they truly don't have many complaints.
I did find the following complaint rather unsettling, because it seemed like a ridiculous statement from Ritani about the metal not matching the finish.
Ritani has two main ways to contact customer service, via Live Chat and phone number. The company is also very helpful when it comes to addressing complaints.
On all of the various review sites, they respond to customer complaints and make attempts to solve them.
James Allen has a great reputation for customer service as well. They offer 24/7 customer service and contacts through three channels: email, online chat, and phone number.
They patrol different review sites and have an account on Reddit as well.
James Allen's customer service team consists of diamond experts and GIA gemologists. They can answer any and every question about their company with transparency.
A customer recently reviewed James Allen on the site and was angry about her platinum engagement ring continuously bending. It bent out of shape twice in one month and she was without it a lot after being repaired through the New York showroom.
You can read the full post here.
Even in the midst of inconvenience, James Allen strives to keep their customers happy.
Lifetime warranties are especially important in wedding jewelry, such as a diamond engagement ring, or weddings bands.
Over time, your wedding rings will start to wear down, even with the best craftsmanship. Sometimes prongs start to catch on fabric and they need to be retipped, or diamonds become loose and need to be tightened.
Ritani offers their customers a free lifetime warranty. However, it only applies to Ritani merchandise, not collections of designer rings.
You also have to activate your warranty online and they ask you to do it within 45 days of purchase. You won't lose it if you don't, but if you want something repaired, you'll have to sign up.
It's not that big of a deal, but why make people sign up to begin with when you could just give them a hassle-free warranty?
The lifetime warranty includes manufacturing defects, rhodium plating, stone tightening, prong retipping, and cleaning. However, this warranty is only applicable to wedding and engagement rings.
Other Ritani jewelry does not come with any type of warranty.
You'll need your receipt, otherwise your warranty is void. You can send your ring to Ritani with a $35 dollar shipping fee.
Additionally, they give one free resizing within the first year of purchase, but you can only go up or down 1/4 of a size to utilize it.
James Allen also offers you a free lifetime warranty that covers loose stones, prongs, rhodium plating, cleaning, and polishing. All you have to do is either ship it to James Allen for $35 or taking it to a Jared location.
They give customers one free resizing within the first year. If you are outside the first year and need you own ring to be resized, they will charge you $25 for gold & $50 for platinum resizing.
Read Also: What are James Allen's insurance options?
James Allen stands behind all of their merchandise. Unlike Ritani, the lifetime warranty covers all jewelry, whether it's a True Hearts solitaire diamond ring, or a diamond emerald pendant. While their fine jewelry isn't as popular, it's still nice to know they have those covered as well.
James Allen wants you to have a warranty that is useful to you, not one that is so conditional it becomes inconvenient.
Price vs Value
While both Ritani and James Allen rings are going to be far cheaper than any brick and mortar jewelry store, one of these diamond dealers has a slight advantage when it comes to pricing. However, they both are high quality.
I've picked two cushion cut solitaire rings from both Ritani and James Allen. While the settings may not be identical, they are close. The cushion from Ritani has a carat weight of 1.51 and the one from James Allen has a weight of 1.52.
But other than those differences, the diamond grades are the same. The two are very close in price, but as you can see, James Allen is just little bit less costly than one at Ritani.
Read Also: What is diamond carat weight?
One of the main reasons that Ritani will have higher prices than a lot of James Allen products is because of the settings.
Ritani sells designer settings, which make them higher than if you were to purchase settings from James Allen. Designer is not something you need, but more of a preference.
For instance, the plain 18K yellow gold setting we put the Ritani diamond costs almost $1300. The setting at James Allen is only $530. The diamonds may be a great deal at Ritani, but they make most of their money through the high priced settings.
Read Also: Is there sales tax on James Allen jewelry?
Ritani could be a great place to order a loose diamond, but most people shopping online for diamond engagement rings want the setting too, so it's better to shop at James Allen and get both at the same time.
In the world of Reddit, Ritani does not seem to have a presence, nor is it a preference to buy diamonds from. While definitely cheaper than other corporate diamond industry companies, they do not command a presence in the online world.
According to one of the few posts about Ritani found on Reddit, most people that know of Ritani and online diamond retailers seem to have a bit of indifference.
When it comes to buying quality diamonds from online stores, most Redditors prefer James Allen, Blue Nile, or Brilliant Earth. James Allen has a much bigger presence on Reddit, as they also are on the site as users.
James Allen is always answering complaints or questions throughout different subreddits.
Their reputation on Reddit for the most part is positive, which is a great sign. Check out the following post asking about the company and what fellow Redditors had to say:
Reading this post among others, it is clear that James Allen is used and liked far better than Ritani.
While most of the comments on the post are specifically telling the original poster to go with a local jeweler or opinion on why you shouldn't purchase online, the only actual customer experiences on the post are all James Allen customers.
Four raving reviews from people who bought both a diamond and a setting, or just the loose diamond itself. The amount of positive reviews on Reddit about James Allen rings far outweigh the number of negative reviews, at least from people who have actually purchased from the company.
Our Verdict: James Allen
In the battle of Ritani vs James Allen, the match is close. However, we believe James Allen has the slight edge when it comes to being the better use for your money and time.
The shopping experience with James Allen is smooth and straight-forward. With Ritani, they leave a lot of questions to be asked.
For many of their features, they ask that you contact customer service, rather than just tell you on the site.
When it comes to customer service, both companies excelled in this area.
In terms of warranty, James Allen's lifetime warranty does not give stipulations and there's no need for a sign up. And as for price and value, James Allen is clearly cheaper than Ritani because all of Ritani's ring settings are designer settings, which cost more than an average ring setting.
The bottom line is that if you've narrowed down between Ritani and James Allen for an online jewelry retailer, you'll want to choose James Allen.