Diamond Reviews

Best Online Retailer: Blue Nile vs. James Allen Review

By  | 

While you are going to have plenty of different options available to pick and choose from if you’re going to order a diamond or diamond jewelry online, the truth of the matter is that to businesses online dominate this industry more than anyone else – and the odds are pretty good you’re going to at least consider doing business with one (or both) of them!

Blue Nile and James Allen are legitimate titans of the online diamond industry today. They have unmatched inventory, some of the best prices in the business, amazing customer service, and a whole host of other benefits that no other company online can offer.

That’s a big part of why so many choose to do business with them over everyone else.

At the same time, trying to compare these two industry giants can be a bit of a tall task unless you know exactly what to look for. In this quick guide, we break down both of these contenders to help point you in the right direction.

Let’s dive right in!


Blue Nile certainly gets the advantage when it comes to sheer inventory over James Allen, as Blue Nile has nearly 250,000 diamonds available for sale compared to the almost 100,000 that James Allen makes available.

This incredible inventory guarantees that you are able to find the perfect diamond from Blue Nile with no real difficulty, and it also guarantees that they have an ideal stone for anyone regardless of their budget.

Presale process

James Allen gets a bit of an edge when it comes to the overall presale process, however.

James Allen provides a variety of sizing tools that they will make available to customers upon request (free of charge), and they also offer a whole host of specialty customer support and shopper services that simply aren’t going to be made available from any other company in the industry – including Blue Nile.

Blue Nile’s presale process is still pretty rocksolid, but it does lack as far as features are concerned compared to James Allen.

Imaging and video

A handful of years ago, James Allen would have dominated this segment like no other company ever has before, but that just isn’t the truth any longer.

Sure, James Allen helped to pioneer the use of 360° high-definition video and imaging of every single diamond that they make available, but Blue Nile now does the exact same thing and even provides extra imaging solutions and extra video files for the diamonds that they offer – all 250,000 of them.

If anything, this category is a push!

Sales support

Sales support throughout the purchasing process at both Blue Nile and James Allen is top-notch. Both companies offer multiple channels of communication on a 24/7 basis, though James Allen is the only one that allows people to actually write letters to the company and have a back-and-forth letter correspondence if they choose to go in that direction. This is a bit of a dying art, but it’s nice to know that the option is still available – especially for those that want to go down a more romantic pathway when purchasing diamonds or diamond jewelry.

Customization process

The customization process from Blue Nile is off the charts, customers will be able to completely customize jewelry pieces from James Allen as well.

Blue Nile has taken advantage of their position in the market to partner with some of the biggest, most popular, and most well-known diamond jewelry designers on the planet today, and all of the pieces that they have available to go with the diamonds that they offer are semi-custom or completely custom.

If a one-of-a-kind piece is important to you, this is likely the direction to go in.

Payment options available

Both companies accept pretty much any form of payment imaginable, including all major credit and debit cards, PayPal, Google Checkout, Apple Pay, multiple card payments (over the phone), check and money orders, and even bank transfers which include a pretty significant discount.

Final verdict

At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong when it comes time to order from either Blue Nile or James Allen.

Both of these companies bring a lot to the table, both of them have some significant advantages you will enjoy when you decide to go in that direction, and both are industry leaders for a reason. You’ll be happy with your purchase no matter which direction you decide to go in!