|Price and Value|
|Services and Warranty|
Blue Nile review: A trusted online jewelry retailer...
Whether you’re buying your first piece of jewelry or adding on to an extensive collection, it’s important to purchase your pieces from a trustworthy retailer.🥇 Blue Nile is a well-respected name in online diamond buying, and the company has helped thousands of customers find the perfect engagement ring, Christmas gift, etc.
How do we feel about Blue Nile’s service and products? We’re definitely fans, and we’ll go over all the reasons you should choose Blue Nile for your next jewelry purchase.
Founded in 1999, Blue Nile has become one of the largest online diamond retailers in the business. But, how does a company that predates the dot-com boom come to be an e-retail powerhouse? It all started with a man named Mark Vadon.
While searching for the perfect engagement ring for his future wife, Vadon was frustrated by the lack of options at brick-and-mortar stores. He eventually purchased a ring from a small online retailer, where he realized there was an untapped market for providing quality diamonds at a low price to consumers via the web.
Today, Blue Nile carries a massive inventory of diamonds, colored gemstones, and other jewelry. Their “customer first” business philosophy means that Blue Nile believes in transparency between the company and buyers and providing the lowest prices possible for their products.
So how does Blue Nile have access to such a large inventory? Well, they don’t necessarily have all of these diamonds sitting in warehouses. Instead, Blue Nile has exclusive contracts with a broad range of diamond wholesalers worldwide. As such, every diamond you find on Blue Nile’s website is unique to their brand, and you cannot find these stones anywhere else.
Blue Nile also now has physical showrooms where you can set up an appointment to view their selection firsthand. As the company continues to grow, it will be interesting to see what they come up with next as Blue Nile aims to be the first choice among buyers!
There are many reasons you may want to choose Blue Nile, but here’s a quick roundup of what makes this company a top-notch online jewelry retailer:
So how is Blue Nile’s jewelry selection? Honestly, it’s pretty great! Blue Nile offers an impressive collection of diamonds and jewelry with a little something for everyone.
Blue Nile boasts an inventory of 150,000+ loose diamonds, ranging from roughly .25 carats to over 20 carats. There’s a diamond to fit every budget, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands!
These diamonds come in a variety of shapes, from traditional round diamonds to popular fancy shapes. Their quality varies as well, and you can refine your search criteria to match the type of diamond you’re seeking.
Blue Nile diamonds are graded by the GIA, and the lab rigorously inspects diamonds and provides transparent grading criteria. You can also access each diamond’s report by visiting the stone’s product page and looking for the link to the official report. It should look a little something like this:
All Blue Nile diamonds are also listed as conflict-free, which means their inventory is free of stones with problematic origins. Each diamond is ethically sourced to avoid environmental and human rights issues, and Blue Nile abides by the rules created by the Kimberley Process regarding mining and selling practices.
While Blue Nile’s general inventory is rather beautiful, there are three major categories we’d like to call attention to. These next three sections are dedicated to them!🔍
In addition to diamonds at all quality grades, Blue Nile provides their own line of premium diamonds. The Astor collection features “super ideal” diamonds in round, princess, and cushion shapes. These diamonds are cut to strict criteria by master craftsmen who focus on enhancing brilliance and sparkle.
In reality, these diamonds are the top 0.1% of Blue Nile’s inventory🏆, and they’ve all received an Excellent cut grade by GIA. They also rank “very high” for their brilliance, scintillation, and fire by GemEx, which is a laboratory that grades diamonds on their light performance. There’s also 360° imaging available for every Astor diamond, so you can get a full look at just how these high grades impact the diamond’s overall sparkle.
The Astor collection makes it easy for shoppers seeking high-quality diamonds to weed out the majority of the store’s inventory and focus on their top-notch products. However, it’s important to note that Blue Nile does not provide idealscope, ASET, or hearts and arrows imaging for Astor diamonds. These images are typically sought after for a clearer view of each diamond’s optical symmetry and light performance, so without them, you’ll just have to take Blue Nile’s word for it!
Blue Nile also sells colored diamonds in 9 different shades. There are roughly 5,000 colored diamonds in their inventory at any given time, and the range of colors includes:
You can search their colored diamond collection by color, carat, shape, and intensity. The colored diamonds also come with a GIA grading report, so you can make sure your diamond’s quality is backed by documentation. Most product listings also contain 360° images, but all of them feature further information regarding colored diamond grading and where that particular diamond fits into the color scale used to grade colorful stones.
Blue Nile has partnered with Lightbox to provide an incredible selection of lab-created diamonds. Each lab-created diamond is guaranteed to have a clarity rating of at least VS and a cut grade of Very Good. These lab-created pieces aren’t just for engagement jewelry either: there are earrings, bracelets, and necklaces as well.
In addition to near-colorless stones, Blue Nile also offers lab-grown diamonds in light blues and pinks, and the pricing is fairly reasonable. Because the laboratory environment in which these diamonds were created produces uniform characteristics in each stone, Lightbox diamonds are consistently $800 per carat.
However, keep in mind there is a small setting fee on top of the cost of your stone, and of course, you’ll pay for the setting as well. Still, when compared to natural stones, this is a steal if you’re looking for high-quality pieces!
You can shop the Lightbox collection for yourself here.
If Blue Nile is lacking anywhere, it may be in their setting styles. While the company does offer an impressive collection of jewelry types, actual styles can be somewhat limited for buyers with specific tastes.
Blue Nile has over 500 engagement ring settings to choose from, and you can start with a diamond or a setting if you utilize their “Build Your Own Ring” feature. The “Build Your Own Ring” platform allows you to narrow down your diamond and setting choices as you go by selecting specific prices, styles, metals, colors, shapes, and more.
Engagement ring settings are available in 14K and 18K white, yellow, and rose gold, and there’s also platinum pieces which come with a higher price tag.
Blue Nile engagement rings come in predictable styles, with solitaires and halos making up a majority of the inventory. There are some three-stone and unique settings, and there are also plain band versions as well as styles with pavé, channel set, and other types of accent stones for added sparkle.
You can actually search for engagement rings that have matching Blue Nile wedding bands (more on that later!), but you can also just peruse their selection of roughly 800 wedding bands yourself. Just like the engagement rings, these wedding bands come in 14K white, yellow, and rose gold as well as platinum, and there are several styles to choose from.
However, the styles available are rather common, so if you want something different you may have to use Blue Nile’s custom order services. But, if you just want something straightforward, Blue Nile provides a nice selection of plain metal bands, pavé/micropavé and channel set designs, colored accent stones, eternity styles, and larger stacked or cluster wedding bands.
Beyond their proprietary collections, Blue Nile has a small selection of designer brands for buyers wishing to amp up their wedding suite. Designers include top names like Bella Vaughan and ZAC by Zac Posen in addition to Blue Nile’s own Signature, Studio, and Gallery Collection lines.
You can also filter for specific designers as you search, making your shopping even easier. These designer brands offer products that are more elaborate than the standard inventory, and they have a refined yet eye-catching beauty to them.😊
Blue Nile sells rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets for all occasions, but some collections stand out among the crowd. Here are two special categories where Blue Nile goes above and beyond.
Blue Nile encourages shoppers to make pieces personal by including birthstones. While it’s not a required category, it’s a nice touch for those shoppers looking for a personalized anniversary gift, such as stackable bands, necklaces, and earrings.
The birthstone homepage on Blue Nile’s website can even help you figure out which birthstone you should search. Take advantage of their birthstone chart that’s broken down by month and can take you to a selection of pieces with that specific stone.
Blue Nile’s selection of pearl jewelry is impressive, and the 300+ pieces in their inventory all feature quality pearls. 🦪Pearl options include freshwater, Tahitian, Akoya, and South Sea, and there are classic white pearl styles as well as multi-color variations, such as this Tahitian pearl necklace.
Jewelry settings range from necklaces and bracelets to rings and earrings, and the prices are reasonable considering the quality of their cultured pearls. Earrings make up a large portion of their pearl inventory, and this is where you’ll also find the largest variety in setting styles.
Blue Nile’s shopping experience is hassle-free and user-friendly and focuses on making the confusing information surrounding diamond quality more digestible.💃🏻 The purchasing process is a breeze as well, and Blue Nile walks you step by step through their platform from selection to payment.
Although the process overall is excellent, here are a few features we want to highlight that stand out as extra helpful to buyers.
One of the best features Blue Nile offers is the chance to create your own jewelry piece. You can start with a diamond or a setting, filtering characteristics as you go until you find the right match. Everything from the diamond’s 4Cs to the metal color and style of your ring is open for you to design as you wish.
The “Build Your Own” feature is typically used to design engagement rings, but you can also use it to create other pieces, such as a one-of-a-kind diamond pendant or pair of earrings!
By adding diamonds to your wishlist, you can take advantage of Blue Nile’s diamond comparison feature to decide which stone is the best pick. After adding the diamonds you wish to compare, simply visit your wishlist and click “Compare Diamonds” for a breakdown of each gem’s specs and price.
Your comparison page should look like this:
If you’re just looking for diamonds rather than using the “Build Your Own” feature you can also click “Save to Comparison” on a diamond’s product page to produce the same result! This handy feature provides a straightforward way to compare diamonds and find the best choice for you without having to click back and forth.🙌🏻
Blue Nile keeps you ahead of the curve when it comes to shipping and delivery estimates, which is a desirable feature for anyone buying a gift! Blue Nile provides a shipping estimate of roughly 4-5 days, and you can track your package after that.
This feature is nice when shopping around the holidays, and Blue Nile places reminders throughout their site and on product pages letting you know which items will make it on time for any upcoming holidays.🎄 The one downside: some customers have complained about shipping delays with Blue Nile. So, if you’re in a time crunch, be sure to order your item ahead of time and save yourself the heartache of watching the tracking updates daily.
In a post-Covid world, some people are (understandably) unable to or uncomfortable with viewing diamonds and engagement rings in store. To combat this, Blue Nile offers virtual appointments for those buyers who cannot or do not want to visit in person.
The appointment takes place in a virtual showroom where a diamond professional can walk you through several pieces. It really is a showroom too: you’ll see pieces in real-time with multiple camera angles and ideal lighting to give you an idea of how each piece performs. These appointments can be done anytime and anywhere, so they’re built around your schedule. It’s a great substitute for an in-person appointment, so try to schedule a virtual appointment if you can’t visit a showroom!
If you need a little inspiration, you can visit the “Recently Purchased Engagement Rings” page and see what other shoppers have designed or purchased themselves.
Using this feature can be really helpful when you’re not sure which metal color or style of ring to choose, and it gives you an idea of which styles are the most popular. If you want something more unique, you can even gather some inspiration from all of the rings you like to custom order the ring of your dreams!❤️
If you want your engagement ring to match your wedding band, then you’re in luck: Blue Nile offers a “Has Matching Wedding Band” selection under the Style filter so you can shop for engagement rings that have wedding bands suited to their design.
Blue Nile also alerts you to rings that have matching wedding bands on the product catalog page, as shown below:
This can take a lot of time out of ring shopping, as it’s a pain to have to match an engagement ring to a wedding band among their inventory. Using this feature makes it easy to see which bands best suit the unique shape of your engagement ring without having to try them on in person.
Blue Nile has a comprehensive customer service suite that they extend to all customers. From hassle-free returns to simple shipping and resizing, here are some of their best customer service policies:
Day or night, there will always be a dedicated service professional to assist you at Blue Nile. Whether you reach out via phone, chat, or email, Blue Nile’s non-commissioned experts can offer you assistance in choosing the right diamond as well as answer questions regarding products, shipping, and more.
In addition to support, Blue Nile also offers complimentary gift wrapping and appraisals, engraving services, and no-cost cleanings and servicing biannually. Even after your purchase, Blue Nile is there to help you throughout the lifetime of your jewelry piece.
Blue Nile provides free, secure shipping anywhere in the U.S., with free overnight shipping for orders over $1,500. They also provide shipping to over 45 countries across the globe and 23 currency options for payment. They’ll even ship to APO, DPO, and FPO addresses for military personnel.
However, just be aware that international shipping takes a little longer. Buyers in most countries can expect their product in 3 to 14 days, but others—such as China—may have to wait as long as 6 weeks!
A lifetime manufacturer’s warranty comes with every item you purchase from Blue Nile, and the company assures each item is defect-free or else you can receive free repairs or a replacement. Manufacturer’s warranties do have their limits, and all issues covered under these policies must be caused by a defect in the actual manufacturing process.
That being said, it’s still much better than no warranty at all, and it guarantees that you’ll end up with a defect-free product you can love for a lifetime.
If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, you can take advantage of Blue Nile’s hassle-free return policy! Blue Nile provides 30-day free returns and exchanges, and they’ll pay for the shipping required to send your item back. You can even check the status of your return to keep tabs on any outstanding charges.
If your fiance miscalculated your ring size, have no fear: Blue Nile promises free ring resizing within one year of purchase. If you’ve ordered a ring that cannot be resized due to stylistic elements, Blue Nile will still honor this guarantee by exchanging your ring for one in the right size.😚
Most people aren’t sure what their actual ring size is, and it can be hard to know which size to purchase from an online retailer. Luckily, Blue Nile created printable guides and will send free ring sizers upon request! You can also read our thoughts on proper ring sizing to learn how to do it at home.
How can you save even more money on your purchase?🤔 Here are a few ways you can actually shave a few extra dollars off the price of your jewelry at Blue Nile:
The Blue Nile credit card offers great financing options and the ability to pay for your jewelry on a monthly basis. There’s no annual fee, and having the card makes you eligible for members-only deals and promotions that you won’t want to miss!
You can actually avoid accruing interest on your payments depending on the price of your item and your payment schedule. Review the interest-free payment options here to learn more about the requirements for this offer.
While Blue Nile promises customers affordable prices for quality jewelry, they don’t want you just to take their word for it!👍🏻 If you shop at a different retailer and find a diamond that is a near match in quality to one on Blue Nile’s website but has a lower price, Blue Nile will match that lower price for you.
The Diamond Price Match Guarantee is a free service available to all potential Blue Nile customers. You just need to call their dedicated line at 1-888-565-7641 to speak with a diamond consultant, who will review your inquiry regarding the price match.🦸🏻
Blue Nile offers excellent deals throughout the year, and they’re especially great during the holidays! This is just a short list of holidays where you can expect a discount:
Blue Nile also has a 10% discount for military personnel, and you can find random deals of up to 40% off throughout the year. To keep up to date with all these deals, you may want to join the Blue Nile email program. Register your email and Blue Nile will send you information regarding deals and promotions regularly.
That’s right: spread the word and you can receive up to $100 toward your next purchase at Blue Nile! All you have to do is provide a friend’s name and email address, and once they make a purchase you can receive your sweet savings.
🎯The very best thing you can do to save money is arm yourself with knowledge of the 4Cs! Knowing what a diamond is worth and whether or not you’re getting a good deal is crucial when it comes to shopping at any online retailer.
While you may love your diamond now, that may not always be the case and you may crave something new. As such, Blue Nile has upgrade and buyback services you can take advantage of years after your purchase!
Blue Nile partners with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, who exclusively protects jewelry via comprehensive repair and replacement coverage as well as loss, theft, damage, and disappearance protection for those unexpected incidents.
Insurance coverage is incredibly important for special pieces—engagement rings, wedding bands, future family heirlooms, etc.—and can save you money in the long run should anything happen to your jewelry. This coverage is offered to U.S. and Canadian buyers, and you can get a free quote before you buy! You can visit Jeweler’s Mutual’s website to learn more about how you can protect your Blue Nile purchases.
Did you know Blue Nile will actually help you upgrade your current stone? The Diamond Upgrade Program is a major bonus for anyone who intends to upsize their center stone in the long run.🧁
First, buyers must return their natural diamond from Blue Nile to receive a credit for 100% of the gem’s original price. They can then apply that total to the purchase of one or more diamonds that add up to at least double the price of the original stone.
However, this program is only for natural diamonds, not lab-created or colored stones. Your diamond also cannot be damaged, and you must have the original diamond report. While these rules may seem somewhat strict, they’re a small ask for being able to return your diamond and receive a credit to use on your next diamond purchase!
Ready for something new? Blue Nile can help you sell your old diamonds and jewelry through their partnership with CIRCA, a worldwide leader in pre-owned jewelry. If you have diamonds, jewelry, or watches from Blue Nile that you no longer want, you can utilize their mail-in process to receive a price estimate and sell your jewelry.
Or, you can schedule an in-person consultation with a specialist to examine your pieces firsthand if you are uncomfortable with shipping your items. CIRCA also offers immediate payment for your jewelry, and you don’t need the original paperwork or box!
If you follow our site, you know we’ve also reviewed James Allen and discussed their products, customer service, and platform. So which online jewelry giant is king? Really, it depends on what you’re looking for. Here’s a quick comparison of these two well-respected companies:
|Blue Nile||James Allen|
|Products||150,000+ loose diamonds plus colored gemstones, lab-created diamonds, bridal settings, and various rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings||200,000+ loose diamonds plus colored gemstones, lab-created diamonds, bridal settings, and various rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings|
|Imaging||360° images and videos for SOME diamonds; others have a stock photo||360° images and videos for ALL diamonds plus ASET and idealscope imaging|
|Lab Certification||Grading reports for all diamonds|
|Grading reports for all diamonds
GIA, AGS, and IGS
|Customer Service||24/7 customer service via email, chat, and phone; free chats with non-commissioned diamond professionals available||24/7 customer service via email, chat, and phone; Real-Time Diamond Inspections by professionals available|
|Return Policy||30-day money-back guarantee with prepaid shipping label; all documentation must be included and item must return in original condition||30-day money-back guarantee with free shipping in U.S. ONLY; U.S. residents can enjoy this service only three times, and item must return in original condition|
|Upgrade Policy||Will credit 100% of diamond’s original price (assuming no damage) for the purchase of a diamond at least 2x the stone’s value||Will credit 100% of diamond’s original price (assuming no damage) for the purchase of a diamond at least 2x the stone’s value|
|Warranty||Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty||Lifetime warranty that covers routine maintenance and cleaning|
|Price Match||Diamond Price Match Guarantee||Will match price under certain situations and new price will be honored for 48 hours|
|Resizing||Complimentary ring resizing within one year of purchase||Complimentary ring resizing within one year of purchase|
|Servicing||Complimentary yearly maintenance and cleaning||Maintenance and cleaning covered by lifetime warranty|
|Custom Orders||Special orders and custom modifications available upon request||Custom orders available with option to use James Allen Ring Studio to create your own ring|
|Diamond Buyback||Diamond Buyback Program via CIRCA||None|
|Packaging||Silver-gray box containing soft, light gray ring box and all documentation||Silver “presentation” box with drawers that open to store documentation; red lacquer ring box|
When it comes to popular online jewelers, Blue Nile is definitely one of the best. Blue Nile’s performance may be lacking when it comes to the resolution of the 360° videos and images, but their dedication to diamonds graded by the first class GIA lab certainly makes up for it. What’s more, Blue Nile has a host of services and programs that benefit their customers throughout the lifetime of their pieces, and the Diamond Match Guarantee Program means you can always get the best deal for the diamond you want.
Overall, Blue Nile is a trustworthy and well-respected online retailer, and it’s stiff competition for other big names in the jewelry industry. Keep up-to-date with Blue Nile’s sales and events to ensure you get the best price for your next new piece!