This is a super in-depth review of Jared.
In this up-to-date review I’ll break down:
- Who Jared is
- Key features
- Things I like
- Thing I don’t like
- Whether or not their diamonds are worth the price tag
- And lots more
Let's get started!
Who Is Jared ?
Jared the Galleria of Jewelry is one of the biggest corporate diamond retailers found in US stores. They’re one of the many jewelry brands under the mega corporation, Signet Jewelers.
Signet owns Sterling Jewelers. Sterling Jewelers owns Jared, Kay, Zales, and James Allen now.
They’re considered the top tier when standing next to Kay Jewelers and Zales. They run very similar to both website setups.
Jared operates mainly as a brick-and-mortar retailer with hundreds of locations around the US. Their “He Went to Jared” slogan is popular all over tv commercials. As the world shifts toward the digital age, they’ve been expanding their website to compete with other online retailers.
What Makes Jared Stand Out?
There are 2 main things that make Jared stand out from the millions of other diamond sellers:
- They have 100s of stores in the United States for customers to see rings in-person.
- They often have lower prices than comparable specialty retailers.
Let me dig into each.
Physical Locations All Over
Most online diamond retailers operate online, with a limited amount of retail stores if any. Jared has more physical locations than any other online retailers.
I’d say that’s the biggest thing that draws people in. Couple that with their marketing budget, and it’s easy to see why people go there.
There’s the fact that you can go there to begin with. Even though shopping has shifted online for many of us during the last few years, a lot of people are still apprehensive. For those people, there’s places like Jared readily available.
Free Diamond & Gemstone Warranty
Another big feature that makes Jared stand out from other online retailers is the Lifetime Diamond and Gemstone Warranty. It’s the same warranty given at Kay Jewelers. The two are sister stores, but Zales is more like a cousin. Their warranty only covers diamonds, not sapphires, emeralds, or rubies.
The warranty is contingent on you going to any Jared or Kay location every 6 months. They’ll check your diamond engagement ring out under a microscope. They should tap the edge of all your diamonds to make sure none of them are loose.
If everything looks good, they’ll go clean it. If not, they’ll offer to send it to their repair shops.
If your center stone or side stone falls out, Jared will pay for the replacement of the stone. They will only replace it if you’re up to date with your inspections according to their system.
One thing that’s lacking among online diamond retailers is a good warranty. James Allen and Ritani both give free lifetime warranties for engagement ring settings. But a lot of them don’t offer anything for repairs.
Jared offers a warranty that covers stones for free and another that covers the setting for a cost. They cover every base, and people like that.
Jared Shopping Experience
So, what can you expect when shopping with Jared?
Here's the general rundown on how the average process should go. It CAN be as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Note that different items may take longer than others.
In previous articles, we’ve mentioned how Jared doesn’t carry loose diamonds like its online competitors. In the last couple years, they’ve changed that. So let’s check out the experience of picking our own diamonds with Jared.
Picking Your Loose Gemstone
Under their Diamonds tab, you have the option to choose between a natural diamond or a lab diamond. They carry about 20,000 natural and 25,000 loose lab grown diamonds. You can sort your diamonds by the 4Cs, lab, fluorescence, and other filters.
All of their loose diamonds have 360˚ viewing that allows you to control the angles of the diamond. Having this setup is the best way to buy a diamond online. I’ve picked out a 1.01 carat princess cut diamond that has a clarity of VS2, color of H, and a GIA grading report.
The grading reports offered at Jared are GIA, AGS, GSI, HRD, and GemEx. If you opt for buying a preset engagement ring online, most of them don’t have certificates at all. You can also view the certificate online.
If you don’t like your engagement ring from Jared, you have 30 days to return it to the store or online. You have 60 days to exchange, but exchanges can only be done in-store.
Choosing Your Setting
Jared’s loose diamond collection is impressive for having just implemented the feature. Their ring setting section could use a little work. They have 125 options. There’s 63 options for my 1 carat princess cut diamond.
They don’t have 360˚ viewing of the setting, which is kind of a bummer. You get a profile view and a top view. I wish they had a bit more, but that’s okay. I’ve chosen this side stone ring setting for my princess cut diamond.
The total of my engagement ring built on Jared’s website is $7,269. Now that I’ve picked my engagement ring, let’s head to the check out.
On the checkout page, you can see your diamond and ring setting split into their respective costs. Today is Oct 27th, and Jared says below that I should have my ring by Dec 2nd.
That’s about a month away, which seems kind of long compared to other online retailers. But, it is the holiday season. At least the shipping is free.
You can choose to check out by filling out your information or you can check out directly through PayPal.
You can return any jewelry back to Jared within 30 days and exchange in-store within 60 days.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve purchased online, you can return your ring to any Jared location. If you don’t want to leave, you can start the return process online.
You’ll need to make sure all paperwork like certificates are returned with it. Make sure to verify before purchasing that your ring can be returned. They don’t accept returns on customer merchandise, but that usually applies to full customs created in-store.
What Did I Like About Jared?
Here's some of my favorite things about Jared.
Honestly, this positive light can also turn negative pretty quick. However, I can say that in most of my experiences with dealing with customer service both online and in-store, Jared has some great customer service.
Are they a little pushy and uncomfortable? Yes. But it’s not their fault, it’s the crappy company standards. The employees are trying to make unrealistic sales goals or they don’t feed their families. The pressure’s on them, which means it’s on you.
Even the online associates ask if you want them to stay while you complete your purchase after you’ve already told them you’re not ready to buy.
But they’re so nice. Even when I worked at Kay’s, we built personal relationships with our guests. I had found many friends among my guests. Granted, I wasn’t a shark, but still saw a lot of people drawn to our more aggressive salespeople.
Jared, Kay’s, and Zales really do have great people, unless you have a problem. If you don’t like the company or are making a stink over something, they tend to turn cold pretty quick. It can go either way.
I wish any of the Sterling Jewelers subsidiaries would develop their personalized jewelry section because it has the potential to be a really great feature.
There’s so many online diamond retailers and there’s even more lab grown diamond online retailers. But there aren’t many personalized jewelry pieces that can be ordered online.
Jared does. Unlike other personalizations, you can opt for cheaper versions using sterling silver or 10K solid gold. You can customize and view the different stone combinations to create family jewelry, mother’s jewelry, or couples jewelry. It really love that it lets you actually see how your combinations look online.
What Didn't I Like About Jared?
No store is perfect. Here's a couple things Jared could improve on.
Some might think 125 ring settings is a pretty wide selection. But when competitors like James Allen and Blue Nile offer 100 more options than that, you should feel a need to pick up the slack.
It’s not the fact that they have a less amount either. What really bothers me is that they don’t have many options for fancy diamond shapes. Fancy shapes are any shape besides a round cut diamond.
Diamond & Gemstone Warranty
I feel the need to visit this again because you might be confused. Didn’t I talk about the Lifetime Diamond & Gemstone Warranty being one of the biggest features that make Jared stand out?
Indeed, but I didn’t say it was a good feature.
Most customers don’t realize it’s heavily flawed. It’s not so bad for those who’ve picked out a diamond online with clarity like mine. You’ll need to pick an eye-clean clarity grade like VS2 or above.
If you’re choosing the Ring Builder that gives you preselected carat weights, or any preset engagement ring with I clarity, this is not a good warranty. I’ll explain why.
In most Jared and Kay Jewelers stores, the preset engagement rings are going to be I clarity or SI clarity diamonds. In Kay’s, most are I clarity. These two clarity tier are known to have natural inclusions. I diamonds can look pretty bad, like these below.
The issue with the Diamond Bond is the fact the company will replace your stone at the same grade or better. That means if you lose an SI1 clarity diamond, it’s replaced with an SI clarity diamond. Makes sense, right?
Maybe you browsed through Jared’s inventory and found yourself an SI diamond that has noticeable natural inclusions close to the edge of the diamond. With a prong setting there, you probably wouldn’t notice it. Normally, most SI2 diamonds will have at least one dark inclusion on the table (face) of the diamond.
Say you knocked the diamond out and lost it. No biggie, because you’re up to date on all your inspections. It’s going to take a month for Jared to replace that center stone because all center stores have to be replaced at home office.
Now imagine you’ve just picked your engagement ring with your new SI1 diamond. You look down and the first thing you notice is a big black inclusion almost in the center of your diamond-like this SI diamond below:
Jared service centers and home office don’t sort through replacement diamonds to find the SI diamond with the least inclusions. They’re natural. There’s no guarantee your new diamond will have the same inclusions as the other. Some are more noticeable than others. They will be looking at the clarity grade, not the diamond.
All that time you spent picking out your diamond went to waste the moment it was replaced.
How's Jared's Pricing?
All in all, Jared’s pricing on their loose diamonds isn’t near as bad as it is on all their other diamond jewelry. But it’s still pretty expensive for little options.
If you have to buy from Jared, go the loose diamond and ring setting route. But I don’t really advise that.
I chose a diamond from James Allen with the same basic grades as the princess cut diamond I picked out from Jared. Here are the two diamonds below.
Other than the fact James Allen’s princess diamond is $440 cheaper, there were other options with those grades cheaper than that.
So, how’s Jared’s diamond pricing? Still more expensive than most.
Bottom Line: Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry
Overall, I don’t recommend Jared as a good place to buy a high quality engagement ring. They’ve taken huge steps in adding loose diamonds and ring settings online with 360˚ viewing.
However, compared to fellow company member and competitor James Allen, they still can’t compete. One might think it strange to have two subsidiaries competing for customers under the same corporation.
The reason for this is because Jared knows that there’s a lot of people who still don’t trust buying diamonds online. That end is used to sell you lower quality diamonds for more than they would be online.
I also imagine Jared didn’t upload any of their loose diamonds and ring settings until after Sterling acquired James Allen. Their setups are almost identical. However, Jared is still holding onto its retail flaws online like higher priced loose diamonds, unreliable labs, limited choices, and expensive ESPs.
All of those problems can be solved easily by just choosing to shop at James Allen. They carry over 200,000 loose diamonds of various shapes. They carry GIA, AGS, and IGI diamonds. They also offer a repair warranty that covers routine maintenance for life. It doesn’t cover as much as Jared’s but it’s free.
If you purchase your engagement ring at James Allen, you can take it into any Jared store and send it for sizing or repair there.
You see, they might’ve gotten it at Jared, but they should’ve got it at JamesAllen.com.