I am sometimes asked why I recommend James Allen over other vendors, is it because I am an affiliate of theirs? Of course not. I work with many quality, honest, and reliable companies and depending on the needs of a particular person I will always send them to who I feel is the best match. The reason I promote James Allen so much on this site is because for someone who is not an expert in diamonds there is no better place to start looking then James Allen. Why? Actual diamond photos!
To understand why photos are so important take a look at my diamond clarity page and then head over to the diamond clarity chart page. After reading those pages you will understand that diamond grading is not an exact science and often a diamond will be certified at an I1 or SI2 and still be a great value. On the other hand, the diamond may have a nasty black dot smack center of the table and should be avoided. Without diamond photos there is no way of knowing!
Here is a great example. This 0.80 carat E-I1 is a great find. Take a close look at the diamond as it appears on this page. Can you see any problems? Now use the James Allen virtual loupe and get an even closer look at the diamond clarity. Can you see any problems now? Even I had a hard time finding the inclusion (between 6 and 7 o’clock) using the virtual loupe. What this means is that even under 20X magnification the diamond appears very clean. To the naked eye this will be a clean diamond at an I1 price! This diamond was listed at $2720. Compare to this 0.82 Carat E-SI1 diamond which is listed at $4410, and this 0.81 E-VS1 diamond listed at $5080 .
In other words the guy who bought that I1 clarity diamond saved himself between 30% and 48% for a diamond that nobody will be able to distinguish from the higher priced diamonds! This type of sale would not have been possible without being able to see the actual diamond photos as provided by James Allen. This is what bang for the buck is all about.
If you want a recommendation for a diamond that meets your needs at a great price – feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help.