James Allen vs. Zales: Best Priced Diamonds In 2022

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

James Allen and Zales are two popular engagement brands that come to mind when shopping for an engagement ring.

With large collections and a robust online shopping experience, Jame Allen and Zales have made finding the perfect engagement ring easier than ever.

But with so many options available, which engagement retailer offers the highest quality diamonds at the best price?


Who are James Allen and Zales?

James Allen and Zales are two popular engagement retailers showcasing large collections of engagement rings in a variety of popular styles and shapes.

Zales: “The Diamond Store”

Founded in 1924 and housing 700 stores in North America and Puerto Rico, Zales has built one of the most successful fine jewelry empires to date. With a large collection of pre-made engagement rings, as well as an assortment of loose diamonds that can be selected for custom designed rings, Zales has earned the name “The Diamond Store.”

Because Zales operates both online and in store, the engagement retailer has centered its focus on helping customers find the perfect ring through a variety of shopping options tailored to each individual need. Customers shopping with Zales can expect a large variety of engagement rings at prices higher than other retailers, including James Allen.

James Allen: Affordable Luxury Diamonds

Featuring an impressive collection of over 200,000 natural and lab grown loose diamonds, James Allen has made a name for itself as the engagement retailer of choice for customers looking to design their dream ring.

By selling exclusively online, James Allen has developed the perfect business model to allow customers the opportunity to shop their exclusive collection of high-quality and exquisitely cut diamonds at a fraction of the price of traditional engagement retailers. Additionally, all diamonds stocked through James Allen are conflict-free and come with GIA or AGS certifications.

The Diamonds

James Allen and Zales house a large inventory of diamond engagement rings. While both retailers offer a wide variety of engagement jewelry, the two retailers provide very different products for those shopping for an engagement ring.

Zales: Stylish Diamonds

Zales prides itself on stocking a large selection of stylish diamond rings and loose diamonds. All diamonds sold through Zales have conflict-free sourcing and are sourced from suppliers adhering to high ethical standards.

The Zales collection includes both lab grown and naturally sourced diamonds available in popular shapes, including:

  • Baguette
  • Round
  • Emerald

Rings are available in a handful of metal types, including white and rose golds. Designer collections are also available through Zales, including the Vera Wang Bridal and Marilyn Monroe Bridal collections.

Zales also offers loose diamonds for custom rings that can be selected based on a variety of criteria, including shape, carat weight, and diamond quality. While rings at Zales can be viewed online through high-quality photography and videos, loose diamonds cannot be viewed through the online store.

All engagement rings purchased through Zales can be returned within 30-days, or exchanged within 60 days (excluding engraved rings). Zales offers the Lifetime Diamond Commitment that covers cleaning, breakage, and lost diamonds with the stipulation that the ring must be inspected in-store every six months.

James Allen: High-Quality Diamonds

James Allen offers a truly impressive selection of customizable ring options that are tailored to the needs of customers. Starting at just $200, a James Allen customer can take total control of designing the perfect engagement ring.

The James Allen collection includes the most popular setting styles, including:

  • Pave
  • Halo
  • Side-stone

Diamonds are available in 10 different shapes and can be viewed in 40x SuperZoom using the exclusive James Allen Diamond Display Technology. Additionally, customers can design their ring using the James Allen Ring Studio.

James Allen Ring Studio

Each diamond purchased through James Allen comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, lifetime upgrade, and lifetime warranty that covers manufacturer defects and routine maintenance.

The Shopping Experience

Both James Allen and Zales customers can view collections online. With thousands of engagement ring options offered by both jewelers, an engagement ring shopper is guaranteed to find the perfect ring.

Zales Experience

Shopping with Zales is an experience tailored to the needs of the customer. A Zales customer can browse the many pre-made ring options or designer collections offered through Zales, or work with a Diamond Expert to design the perfect ring.

Customers shopping the pre-made collections at Zales can browse rings based on a variety of factors, such as ring style and diamond shape. Additionally, customers can filter search options by metal type, stones, and price.

For those looking to create a custom ring, Zales offers an exclusive Design Suite, which allows shoppers to select a diamond based on criteria such as shape and quality, as well as additional options, including side setting and mounting.

Zales Design Suite

Zales provides customer support through telephone, email, and chat. Additionally, customers purchasing from Zales can select from a handful of buying options, including Zero Down Special Financing.

James Allen Experience

The James Allen shopping process is designed to help customers easily navigate creating a custom engagement ring. The process follows three simple steps and allows customers to begin by either selecting a setting or diamond, both of which can be filtered using a variety of criteria, including style, metal type, shape, and price.

Each custom ring has the option for custom engraving and arrives straight to the customer’s doorstep via FedEx Priority Overnight or FedEx Two Day Saver. James Allen ships both domestically and internationally and includes hassle-free returns with free shipping for customers located within the United States.

James Allen’s top-notch customer support is available 24/7 via chat, email and telephone to answer questions and help customers explore financing options, such as the 6 month no-interest financing plan or 1.5% discount for wire transfer payments.

The Winner: James Allen

While both James Allen and Zales offer large collections of engagement rings online, the impressive collection of affordable high-quality diamonds offered through James Allen is unbeatable. With unparalleled customer service, an amazing lifetime warranty, and a wide variety of top-tier diamonds and ring settings, James Allen is the clear winner when it comes to purchasing the perfect engagement ring.

Eran Hayo is the Chief Editor of Jewels Advisor, with over 5 years of experience in the fields of jewelry and memorabilia. He built Jewels Advisor to serve one main purpose – to teach you everything he knows about jewelry, and help you make better-informed decisions when buying diamonds and engagement rings online. His work has been cited on famous publications such as The Sun, MSN and WikiHow.