Most people who are interested in buying a diamond engagement ring online have heard of Blue Nile. Founded in 1999, Blue Nile was one of the first companies to offer premium diamonds and diamond jewelry to an online customer base. Their decision to leave the world of brick-and-mortar stores behind was considered risky at the time (e-commerce was still in its infancy), however the decision has certainly paid off handsomely for them. They have an established brand and sell millions of dollars of jewelry annually. If you are considering buying from them, you can generally be assured that you will get what you pay for–however, as is often the case when shopping with larger companies, the customer is often lost in the shuffle. There are several not-so-positive reviews out there on a popular review site, but I still wanted to give readers of this site my own opinions. Lets take a closer look at Blue Nile and help you decide if it’s the right company for you.
Website and Features
Blue Nile’s website is fairly appealing to the eye. They have nice branding and their site is a vast resource of diamond information. If you are a newbie to the world of diamonds, there is plenty of reading available on their site to get you up-to-speed on the four C’s. Of course, this site also contains said information, so why not take a moment to read up on the Four C’s right here. All done? Excellent.
Now, perhaps the single biggest point of emphasis for Blue Nile is what they refer to as their “Signature Diamond Collection”. These diamonds are what they describe as “The top 1% of all diamonds in the world, hand selected and cut to our most exacting standards.” Basically, they are referring to the quality of the Cut of the diamond. It is the Cut of a diamond that has the most impact on a diamonds’ sparkle, or brilliance as it’s also referred to. Most people are of the mindset that size is what matters most, and while it’s obvious that most men would like to give their girlfriend the biggest possible diamond ring, it’s very important to give strong consideration to a diamond’s cut quality. A diamond that is AGS-certified as having an ideal cut (GIA does not offer ratings for Cut quality) will actually appear bigger than it really is due to the sheer amount of sparkle. This is a good thing. Blue Nile (and most diamond experts) recommend making Cut the most important characteristic when buying a diamond, and I would tend to agree. Be warned, however: while Blue Nile’s signature diamonds may be of a high quality, they are also very expensive. Which brings us to…
Blue Nile may be the top-selling online diamond vendor, but with all that comes considerable costs. And in order to offset these costs and still make money, they have to charge a premium for their products. As previously mentioned, their Signature Diamond collection in particular is priced very high in comparison to some other online companies. I would highly recommend doing some price-comparisons if I were you, it could save you a bundle. For example, most diamonds in Blue Nile’s Signature collection have an “ideal” rating by AGS. You should browse other online vendors and have a look around specifically for comparable diamonds (size, color and clarity) and then seek out those that have an AGS ideal rating. You’ll be surprised how much cheaper you can find a pretty much identical diamond elsewhere.
Customer Service and Return Policies
Some people couldn’t care less about the level of service they receive when they buy something. If the product is good, that’s good enough for them. I can respect that, however if you are the type of person who appreciates good service, Blue Nile may not be what you’re looking for. To be honest, it’s not something that matters much to me, and I can actually understand their service not being the best–they have such a high volume of customers and requests coming in on a daily basis, it’s difficult for them to respond in a quick and friendly manner. Again, this is a matter of personal preference, so make your decisions accordingly.
One thing that is worth noting is Blue Nile’s notoriously tedious return policy. The gist of their policy is explained in this Blue Nile review, so I’ll let you read it for yourself. Suffice to say, they will definitely honor any refund request that is made, but they will not make it easy for the customer to make the actual return.
You’re probably coming away from this Blue Nile review with a low opinion, but that’s not my intention. Blue Nile definitely has some positives going for it: it’s a well-established, legitimate company that offers high-quality diamonds and diamond jewelry. You will absolutely get what you pay for, and they will absolutely honor any requests for a refund (but not without some hassle). If you’re the type of person who isn’t big on customer service and for whom money is no object, then Blue Nile might be the right place for you. However, if you want to try to get the best bang for your buck, and if you value good personal customer service, then you may want to take some time and browse around. There are several good options out there for customers to choose from, Zoara for example is very high on my list. If you are shopping for an engagement ring, then you already know how important this purchase will be–there’s no need to rush into it. Take your time, do some research and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision. Good luck!