Zales was founded by Morris Zale, William Zale, and Ben Lipshy back in 1924 in Wichita Falls, Texas. In a short period of time, by 1941, they opened 12 stores in Oklahoma and Texas. Today, Zales has more than 750 stores in the US and Puerto Rico. Zales belongs to the group of one of the most reputable diamond sellers, but this reputation doesn’t automatically imply everything is perfect here. Here’s what to know about Zales and whether it pays off to buy your diamonds there.
Throughout this review, we are going to compare offer from Zales.com and diamonds found at online-only websites.
Zales vs. James Allen
In order to understand whether it can pay off to shop diamonds to Zales, we compared them to James Allen’s stones. Products from different categories at Zales were taken into consideration:
- Signature collection
- Generic product category
- Celebration diamond category
Diamond ring from the Signature Collection is a one-carat diamond solitaire engagement ring which put in 18k gold. The price for IGI-certified I SI2 solitaire ring is $4999, which is extremely expensive. On the other hand, James Allen’s I SI2 round diamond which has ideal cut comes at a price of $4070.
If you match this stone with an 18k white gold solitaire setting, four-prong ring similar to one from Zales, it adds $360 to the price and the total cost is $4430. This means the cost difference between James Allen’s and Zales diamonds is 13%.
Let’s not forget that buying in Zales’ stores also implies you have to pay tax because they have their stores just about anywhere. On the other hand, online-only websites like James Allen don’t experience these issues.
This diamond is one-carat in a “regular” 18k white gold setting, similar to Signature Collection. We compared it to the diamond from James Allen that matched these same characteristics, I VS2 round diamond with ideal cut. The price of the diamond itself is $6330 + $360 for setting, which is $6690 in total. However, Zales’ ring cost $8499, which is 27% higher than the counterpart at James Allen.
Unlike Generic and Signature Collection, it was difficult to compare Celebration Diamond due to the fact it is a special cut, a standard round cut with more additional facets added on.
For the purpose of the review, we evaluated True Hearts from James Allen certified by AGS, which is a sign of agreat quality. On the other hand, Celebration Diamonds are IGI certified, which isn’t a sign of great quality.
If we take into consideration $360 for the 18k white gold solitaire setting, the price costs about $4980 which is 20% lower than at Zales. The price of Zales’ diamond is $5995.
Online-only stores prevail because
- Customers aren’t required to pay state sales tax
- They don’t need to carry any serious amount of inventory which benefits all parties involved
- No need to pay for high overhead rate
- Certified diamonds
- Quality exceptional
Zales is one of the oldest diamond retailers or sellers in the United States. Judging by the reputation, one would expect high-quality diamonds that will justify their price. However, the closer inspection into the diamond showed that price of diamonds is high, but the quality doesn’t justify it. In fact, it is entirely possible to find similarly looking diamonds without paying that much money. The answer is in online-only websites which provide a vast selection of diamonds and the choice is amazing on their official site presentation as well.