• The Rings Guide

James Allen vs. Blue Nile

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

James Allen and Blue Nile are two of the largest and most reputable ways to buy engagement rings online. Both have large inventory, thousands of positive reviews and offer great value on a variety of diamonds. Blue Nile has been around longer (founded in 1999) and was the original online diamond shop. James Allen (founded in 2006) is the newer challenger, but has added great functionalities to make it competitive with Blue Nile. While both are great options to purchase your engagement ring, read on for more detailed pros and cons of each.

Both Blue Nile and James Allen

  • Hundreds of thousands of conflict-free diamonds

  • 24/7 service, with chat built into website

  • 30 day returns and lifetime guarantee

  • Diamond price matching

  • Free resizing within 1 year

The two sites are very similar, but there are a handful of differences that may lead you to one vs. the other.

Blue Nile


+ 5 showroom locations (NY, NH, VA, WA, OR)

+ Lower prices more often (though varies by diamond type)


- Smaller selection of diamonds overall (~150K+)

- Only 75-80% of diamonds viewable in 360 video

James Allen


+ Larger selection of diamonds overall (~200K+)

+ All diamonds viewable in 360 HD video

+ Selection of lab-created diamonds

+ Free engraving


- 2 showroom locations (DC, NYC)

- Shipping isn't free for international returns

The Verdict

While both Blue Nile and James Allen are great options, I would give the slight edge to James Allen, for having the option of lab-grown diamonds, a broader range of setting styles and their 360 HD videos for all of their diamonds offered. That said, as you narrow down to a specific diamond shape/size etc., you should check both sites as one may happen to have better options that the other.


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