Zales Jewelry Review: Are Their Diamonds Quality?

zales logoZales the Diamond Store belongs to the group of oldest jewelry stores in the United States. It all started in 1924 in Wichita Falls, Texas where Morris Zale and Ben Lipshy opened their first Zales Jewelers store. By 1941, the company had 12 stores in Oklahoma and Texas, but today they are present in more than 750 locations across the US and Puerto Rico. The primary idea behind the company was to offer quality products to everyone, but is their mission accomplished? How does Zales compare to online-only diamond seller websites?

How Does Zales Compare on Price?

Even though we’re discussing the company’s online store to other websites that provide diamond jewelry, it is impossible to separate Zales from its physical locations. That’s because the revenue generated on their website amounts only to a small fraction of their total revenue with ratio 96% vs. 4%. In terms of price and convenience online-only services prevail. Why? Let’s see.

zales jewelry engagement

Online stores don’t have to feature a substantial amount of inventory because it is almost always virtual. It’s simple, diamonds displayed on those websites are owned by wholesalers and manufacturers across the world. When you place the order, these websites purchase the diamond from the vendor.

As a result, the customer gets diamond at a low price while the store makes more profit because it doesn’t have to finance costly inventory.

Online-only stores keep the process more streamlined, while stores like Zales encounters numerous obstacles that don’t allow the smooth process. For every quality and size combination, the store has to keep minimum one pair available at all times, but in the main office, they need a decent number of back pairs, which causes problems with replenishing stock at stores.

Are Zales Diamonds Quality?

For the jewelry store chains, the best possible customer is the uneducated customer who doesn’t know how to recognize high- and low-quality diamonds. To salespeople, it’s easy to talk someone into buying all sorts of poor-quality jewelry.

For example, stores like  James Allen will only sell certificates from reputable labs such as GIA or AGS.  Zales sells diamonds primarily certified by the IGI lab.

Let’s see how much value you really get for your money shopping at Zales. We have compared a basic 1-carat diamond solitaire ring from Zales.com to its closest counterpart on JamesAllen.com.

We compared:

  • Zales’ “Signature Collection” a 1-carat diamond solitaire engagement ring
  • James Allen, I SI2 ideal cut round diamond

round cut diamond

At the time the article was being created, the Zales’ ring cost $4999 while the price of James Allen ring was $4070.

Matching James Allen’s stone with a basic 4-prong 18k white gold solitaire setting like the one at Zales only adds another $360, making the total $4430, meaning the pricing difference between two stores is about 13%.

Remember

Keep in mind is that if you buy locally at a Zales store or from Zales.com, you will have to pay state Sales Tax since Zales has a business presence in every one of the 50 States. On the other hand, online-only stores help you avoid this problem, you get them tax-free and save more money on your credit card.

Conclusion

What we can conclude after inspecting Zales’ and James Allen’s offer, prices, and quality is that it is more convenient for your budget to purchase jewelry from online-only stores than to get ripped off. With state sales tax, expensive price as it is, and questionable certifications, it seems like online-only websites help you avoid all this hassle. Bearing in mind money doesn’t go on trees, it’s smarter to give a chance to these stores rather than big chains whose only goal is to milk more money.


Quick Access: View the large inventory James Allen has to offer online here. With their rock solid return policy and competitively low prices, we believe they are a great option for all our readers.