Jared Jewelers(.5 / 5)
Chances are if you are looking to purchase a diamond engagement ring, you probably have checked out Jared Jewelers or Jared’s Galleria of Diamonds. Jared Jewelers are nearly everywhere with most stores conveniently located near a mall. They have been selling jewelry since 1993 and are part of a division of Sterling Jeweler’s Inc.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for Jared’s), this is usually the first stop that most couples or men make when shopping for engagement rings. In fact,…
- Most consumers start here to take a look at diamonds and get a very basic education on diamonds
- Most consumers limit their purchase to what is in stock at the time
- Most consumers don’t know the value of a gem laboratory (GIA or AGS) with a positive global reputation
- Most consumers have no idea what a quality diamond is or what it looks like
- and finally, Most consumers end up purchasing from Jared Jewelers because they simply don’t know any better
You already have counted yourself out of the majority of MOST consumers because you are here reading this review. If you want to know why Jared Jewelers is not worth your time or hard earned cash, keep reading,…
Jared Jewelers Engagement Rings
Jared’s offers many designer engagement rings from many different designers including: Neil Lang, Vera Wang, Scott Kay, Hearts Desire, the Leo Diamond and Forevermark.
Here is a display of what you can search through on Jared Jewelers website:
Most of what you see in Jared Jewelers engagement ring search are actually ‘preset’ rings, meaning that they are ready to be purchased as you see them; fully mounted with the center stone diamond already in the ring. This is opposed to purchasing the loose diamond separate and selecting a ring setting separately. Although a preset engagement ring may seem like a much easier buying option there are many disadvantages to shopping for diamonds in this way.
For the most part, if you click any one of the preset Jared Jewelers engagement rings you’ll see that there is no corresponding lab report to confirm the diamond’s 4 C’s of color, clarity, carat weight and cut. This makes it extremely difficult to confirm that the diamond is of the quality level that you are being asked to pay for. A reputable gem lab report is useful because:
1. They confirm that a diamond is of the quality level that you are being asked to pay for.
2. They help for verification purposes in cases where you need to get your jewelry repaired.
3. Diamonds with respected lab reports are worth more and are thus easier to resell.
What’s more, if you were to investigate most of the present engagement rings offered by Jared Jewelers, you’d find that most center stone diamonds have a clarity grade of SI2 or lower. This means that inclusions are easily visible with a loupe and are likely not eye-clean. Depending on the amount and size of the inclusion/blemish, this may severely affect the beauty of the stone.
Let’s take an example and explore further. Here’s a Vera Wang 2.00ct double halo preset engagement ring that is set in 14k White Gold and is selling for $9,999.00:
Let’s keep in mind that this image is a computerized CAD image of a ring with diamonds. It is by no means a depiction of the real thing. So, don’t be caught glamorized over a computer image. Now, the cost of this 14k white gold halo with a 1.00ct I SI2 center stone is $9,999.00 which is outrageously expensive!!!
You may have noticed that the 1.00ct I SI2 from Blue Nile has a lot of inclusions. Well, it’s a SI2 afterall, but at least you get to see the diamond that will be set in the ring as opposed to just buying one with a diamond already set. With Jared Jewelers, you have no idea what the quality of the center stone is and you don’t pick it out either. Notice that there aren’t any corresponding gem lab report for the Vera Wang ring – yet there is a set price of $9,999.00. They are basically giving you no information other than a brand name and generic specs on a mystery diamond.
I don’t have to tell you that this is extremely unethical. Consumers deserve transparent information that is easily found including: the exact diamond being sold along with corresponding gem lab report. This is basic information and shouldn’t be difficult to produce. Therefore, I’d stay far away from the preset engagement rings found on Jared’s website or brick and mortar stores. You can choose your own diamond, with better cut, color and clarity for a fraction of the price elsewhere.
Loose Diamonds From Jared Jewelers – The Leo Diamond and Tolkowsky
Now, consumers don’t have to purchase preset engagement rings from Jared’s. Jared Jewelers also has the option to purchase a loose diamond and setting separately. In their ‘Design-A-Ring‘ feature, they allow you to search through various filters including branded diamonds: the Leo Diamond and Tolkowsky as well as non-branded diamonds.
Let’s talk a little about the Leo Diamond…
The Leo Diamond is actually a modified round brilliant cut diamond (not a traditional 57 facet round diamond) designed by Leo Schachter, who is a 2nd generation diamond polisher. Leo began his career in New York City in 1952 and in 1999 he branded his modified round brilliant with his name. The Leo Diamond has 66 facets as opposed to the traditional 57 facet round brilliant found everywhere else. The extra 8 facets are found in the pavilion (lower half) of the diamond.
If you were to go shopping at a Jared Jewelers store, you would likely hear the sales rep say that the Leo is, “The first diamond ever independently certified to be visibly brighter”. What does this mean exactly? Who makes this claim? It seems that GemEx Systems®, an independent gemological laboratory, uses a tool called a BrillianceScope™ to measure the return of light from different angles.
Is the Leo Diamond really worth all the hype? Are they really visibly brighter than other round brilliant diamonds? Take a look at some Leo Diamonds that have been cut/pasted from Jared Jeweler’s website:
What do you think? Do these diamonds look symmetrical, bright, white, visually appealing, or even consistently the same? They look wonky, dark, and dead looking to me. In fact, I’m sure we can at least agree that each of the diamond’s above are not even remotely similar!
It’s clear that the quality isn’t consistent and the visual beauty of these diamonds is not what they claim them to be.
An even worse option is to purchase a solitaire Leo Diamond in a preset ring. Here’s an example of a pre-set 1.00ct I I1 Leo Diamond found on Jared Jewelers website:
If you click on the link to Jared Jewelers you can clearly see that the image is simply a computerized CAD image of a generic diamond. In fact, the center stone can range from .95ct to 1.11ct and will be an I in color and an I1 in clarity. So, we have already confirmed that the Leo Diamond is not cut consistently well and the clarity grade being offered in a solitaire setting is very low. How can a consumer purchase this diamond engagement ring with any trust or confidence? Consumers have absolutely no idea what they are buying – yet Jared Jewelers is asking for a whopping $5,799.00 for this! This is crazy.
There are so many examples of ideal cut solitaire engagement rings on ODBA’s blog, but just to prove my point, here is a quick example of a better quality diamond for less money:
It doesn’t take anyone with great diamond experience to see the huge difference in quality and price here. My point is that Jared Jewelers is not transparent about their diamond or jewelry quality because they purposely sell lower quality items and much higher prices. If you want to know more about the industry and it’s common scams, be sure to sign up to my ‘Diamond Secrets’ email subscriber list at the footer of this page. Click the video, watch the intro and sign up. You’ll be glad you did.
BrillianceScope and GEMEX – What Are These and Why Does Jared Use Them?
The BrillianceScope is used mainly as a selling tool that claims to measure light returned to the observer (aka a diamond’s brilliance). GemEx leases the device to diamond vendors and jewelry stores who use it to take measurements of their in-house diamonds. The store readings are then mailed to GemEx who then upload the diamond light measurements to their website for public viewing. The hard-copy GemEx Light Performance Report is then mailed to the store to help sell the diamond in-house.
The issue with this system is the known 5% error factor due to inaccurate centering and positioning of the diamond on the BrillianceScope apparatus. Obviously, some vendors can manipulate a diamond’s position on this machine to maximize light reflection and brilliance when in fact the diamond may not be as good of a performer. This has been brought to GemEx’s attention, however they discount this as they put the responsibility of positioning the stone/data collection on the diamond vendor! It has also been shown that the BrillianceScope rewards diamonds with long lower girdle halves. This means that the BrillianceScope may be giving higher/better results for diamonds that would otherwise not be considered the best with both GIA and AGS cut grades.
And finally, GIA and AGS have both tested and returned this technology because of its inconsistency.
All Leo diamonds are NOT the same in cut. Some Leo diamonds are considerably better in cut quality than others, so you’ll need to compare cut quality if you are still considering this diamond brand.
What Kind of Lab is GSI?
Another interesting aspect to this partnership is that Leo Diamonds sold through Jared Jeweler’s are certified either through IGI or GSI. International Gemological Institute has long been known to be very loose with their diamond grading, catering to mostly store-bought diamonds that are typically of lesser overall quality than other AGS or GIA graded diamonds.
Gemological Science International (GSI) on the other hand is a relatively unknown independent gemological lab headquartered in New York with labs in India and Israel. However, it is assumed among the diamond industry GSI is a ‘softer’ lab which means they give higher quality grades for the same quality diamonds. Therefore, a G/SI1 from GSI might really be an I/SI2 from other well recognized labs like GIA or AGS. So why would Jared Jewelers sell diamonds from an inferior gem lab? Unfortunately, in some cases lower quality stones are sent to these lesser known labs in order to get an upgrade in color/clarity/cut in order to make them more appealing as well as easier to sell. If you subscribed to my ‘Diamond Secrets’ email list, you’d hear me talk about soft grading in gem labs to manipulate grading for higher prices. It’s a scam and it needs to stop.
Compare the GSI Report of Authenticity foudn above to a GIA or AGS lab report. A lab report from either of these labs will include cut proportions (table%, depth%, crown and pavilion angles), as well as a plotted diagram of inclusions/blemishes. The report from GSI is mysteriously vague and noncommittal which is just one reason why they are not considered a top end gem lab with consistent grading.
In addition to Jared’s Leo and Tolkowsky diamonds, they also sell non-branded “Ideal” cut diamonds that are all GIA cut grades that range from “Very Good – Excellent”. Overall, I have found that although the consumer may find acceptable diamonds in all ranges of Jared’s diamond selection, they are all overpriced due to the mark-up required for overhead, consignment, and branding costs.
Other Jared Jeweler’s Facts:
1. Jared charges for shipping, from $12.95 – $19.95
2. 30 day return policy (they do not refund shipping charges)
3. Diamond trade-in as long as you double the trade-in value
4. Ring engraving not available for online purchases
It’s clear that although Jared Jewelers can be found at nearly every mall and also dominate the airwaves during commercials at holiday season, they are not a place where you’d want to spend your hard earned cash on an expensive engagement ring or jewelry. We seen clear examples of vague diamond information, high prices and low quality. In addition, the third party gem labs that they offer are not reputable and even controversial.
The bottom line is that although Jared Jewelers may supply some nice cut diamonds in their inventory, on a whole their diamond inventory is of a lower quality and their prices are marked up 25-35% more than other diamond retailers.
With all the reasons stated above, I cannot recommend Jared Jewelers as a quality diamond vendor or jewelry retailer. Consumers are better off doing more research and looking to more ethical and transparent retailers that sell quality over quantity.
If you’d like help in choosing the right engagement ring for your budget, please contact me for advice. I’m more than happy to assist you! Until then,…
Happy Diamond Buying!
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