James Allen vs Brilliant Earth

by Tom Thornbridge

In the quest for sustainable and ethical luxury, lab-grown diamonds have emerged as a popular choice among environmentally and socially conscious consumers. Two of the leading names in this revolutionary market are James Allen and Brilliant Earth. Both brands have carved out significant niches in the jewelry industry, especially in the realm of lab diamonds. This review aims to delve into a comprehensive comparison between these two giants, focusing on the aspects most crucial to the average buyer. From quality and selection to customer service and ethical practices, we aim to unravel the nuances that set James Allen and Brilliant Earth apart, aiding you in making an informed decision for your precious investment.

Diamond Quality and Selection

When it comes to the quality and selection of lab-grown diamonds, both James Allen and Brilliant Earth offer impressive assortments. However, there are some distinctions worth noting:

  • Brilliant Earth’s Superior Quality: Brilliant Earth generally stands out for its higher quality in lab-grown diamonds. The brand is known for its rigorous quality control processes, ensuring that each diamond meets high standards of brilliance and clarity. Their selection often features diamonds that are expertly crafted with exceptional cut, color, and clarity, catering to customers seeking top-tier quality.
  • James Allen’s Diverse Range: James Allen, on the other hand, offers a broad range of lab diamonds in various cuts, carat sizes, and quality grades. This extensive selection is ideal for customers with diverse preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for something specific like a rare cut or a diamond of a particular size, James Allen’s inventory provides plenty of options.

The number of James Allen Lab Diamonds

  • Unique Offerings: Each company has its unique strengths. Brilliant Earth’s focus on quality makes them a go-to for those who prioritize the finest characteristics in a diamond. Meanwhile, James Allen’s wide range appeals to a broader audience, offering choices for every taste and budget.
  • Cut, Carat, and Clarity: Both James Allen and Brilliant Earth provide detailed information about the cut, carat, and clarity of their lab diamonds, allowing customers to make well-informed choices. However, Brilliant Earth’s meticulous attention to these details often translates into a higher overall quality in their offerings.

James Allen impresses with its diverse range and variety, Brilliant Earth takes the lead in the overall quality of lab-grown diamonds. This distinction in quality and selection is crucial for buyers to consider based on their specific needs and preferences.

Looking for alternatives? I recommend Whiteflash for great quality, but Blue Nile have a huge selection to choose from.

Pricing and Value

When comparing the pricing structures of James Allen and Brilliant Earth, especially for lab diamonds, several factors come into play:

  • Brilliant Earth’s Pricing: Generally, Brilliant Earth’s lab diamonds are priced slightly higher. This increase in cost aligns with their focus on higher quality and their commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability. The premium you pay at Brilliant Earth is for the assurance of top-tier quality and ethical practices.
  • James Allen’s Competitive Pricing: James Allen, known for offering a wide range of options, tends to have more competitive pricing. This makes them an attractive option for buyers with a tight budget or those looking for value purchases without significantly compromising on quality.
  • Value Considerations: Beyond the sticker price, it’s important to consider the overall value. Brilliant Earth’s higher prices might be justified for those prioritizing exceptional quality and ethical standards. On the other hand, James Allen’s affordability paired with a diverse selection offers a balanced value proposition, particularly for savvy shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for.

Here are two specific examples however:

A 1 Carat Super Ideal Cut VVS2 Clarity Diamond from Brilliant Earth


A 1 Carat D VVS Clarity Diamond from James Allen

While the James Allen diamond is a touch cheaper, the cut quality is superior on the Brilliant Earth diamond. Generally however I have found that Brilliant Earth is a touch more expensive overall, but the quality (generally) is higher. 

Website User Experience and Customization Tools

The online shopping experience and customization options are key aspects of both James Allen and Brilliant Earth, each catering to different types of customers:

  • James Allen’s Customization Tools: James Allen’s website stands out for its advanced customization and search tools. These features are particularly beneficial for diamond experts or those who have precise requirements. The detailed filters and customization options allow for a more tailored search, helping experts find exactly what they’re looking for.

james allen advanced search options

  • Brilliant Earth’s User-Friendly Interface: Brilliant Earth’s website, on the other hand, is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, making it more accessible for first-time diamond buyers. The user-friendly interface guides customers through the selection process in a more straightforward manner, which can be less overwhelming for those who are new to buying diamonds.

  • Comparison of Website Features: Both websites offer high-quality images and detailed information about each diamond. However, James Allen goes a step further with interactive 360-degree views and a more comprehensive filtering system. Brilliant Earth focuses more on providing an easy and educational browsing experience, which can be particularly appealing to those who are still learning about diamonds.

While James Allen and Brilliant Earth are excellent choices, don’t miss out on exploring Whiteflash for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship. For those who love variety, Blue Nile offers an extensive collection to satisfy every taste. Dive into these options to find your perfect lab grown diamond!

Certification Standards

Certification is a critical factor for lab diamonds, assuring quality and ethical production:

  • James Allen’s Certification: James Allen provides certification for their lab diamonds primarily from the International Gemological Institute (IGI). The IGI certification assures buyers of the diamond’s authenticity, quality of cut, clarity, and color.
  • Brilliant Earth’s Certification: Brilliant Earth’s lab diamonds come with certifications from leading gemological labs, including the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and IGI. GIA certification, in particular, is highly regarded in the industry and often considered the gold standard for diamond certification.

Customer Service and Support

Customer service and support play an essential role in the diamond purchasing experience:

  • James Allen Customer Experience: While James Allen offers a comprehensive online platform, their customer service has received mixed reviews. Some customers have noted challenges in communication and responsiveness, which is an important consideration for buyers seeking a high level of support.
  • Brilliant Earth’s Approach: Brilliant Earth is recognized for its attentive customer service, focusing on educating and guiding customers through their purchase. Their commitment to customer education particularly stands out, making the buying process more transparent and informative.
  • Return Policies: Both companies offer competitive return policies. James Allen provides a 30-day return policy, allowing customers ample time to decide if they’re satisfied with their purchase. Brilliant Earth also offers a 30-day return window, reflecting their confidence in the quality of their products and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Delivery and Packaging

The presentation of the product upon delivery is a crucial aspect of the customer experience:

  • James Allen Packaging: James Allen’s products are delivered in elegant packaging, typically a sleek, branded box that securely holds the jewelry. The presentation is modern and sophisticated, adding to the excitement of the unboxing experience.

Red James Allen Diamond Engagement Ring Packaging

  • Brilliant Earth’s Sustainable Packaging: Brilliant Earth’s packaging stands out for its sustainability. Their boxes are often eco-friendly, aligning with their brand ethos, and elegantly designed to enhance the unboxing experience. The packaging reflects their commitment to environmental responsibility while maintaining a luxurious feel.


Both companies take great care in delivering their products, ensuring that the final touchpoint with the customer is memorable and aligns with their overall brand experience.

James Allen vs. Brilliant Earth – Choosing the Right Lab Diamond Partner

In the realm of lab-grown diamonds, both James Allen and Brilliant Earth stand as prominent figures, each offering unique strengths and considerations. James Allen, with its diverse selection and competitive pricing, caters well to those who have a clear idea of what they’re looking for and are working within a specific budget. Their IGI-certified diamonds offer assurance of quality, although the customer service experience may vary.

On the other hand, Brilliant Earth emerges as a leader in quality and ethical practices. Their commitment to sustainability, combined with the prestigious GIA and IGI certifications of their diamonds, positions them as a top choice for ethically conscious consumers. The slightly higher price point is a reflection of this quality and ethical assurance. Additionally, their focus on customer education and sustainable packaging enhances the overall buying experience, making them a strong contender for first-time buyers and those prioritizing eco-friendly practices.

Ultimately, the choice between James Allen and Brilliant Earth for lab diamonds depends on individual priorities. If the emphasis is on a broad selection, competitive pricing, and specific diamond requirements, James Allen could be the more suitable choice. However, if top-tier quality, ethical sourcing, and a comprehensive customer-centric approach are your primary concerns, Brilliant Earth might be the better fit.

James Allen and Brilliant Earth are top contenders for lab diamonds, but there’s more to discover. Check out Whiteflash for their premium quality pieces that are sure to impress. Alternatively, Blue Nile’s vast selection offers something unique for every individual. Explore these options to make an informed choice for your special purchase.

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My primary goal is to offer a free diamond buying help service. With the myriad of choices available in the market, I understand the challenges buyers face.

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