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Blue Nile is one of the most popular online jewelry stores, with an inventory of more than 500,000 diamonds across 10 cuts.
Since its founding, Blue Nile has also welcomed competitors into the online jewelry, and many provide a similar experience on their websites and in showrooms.
Here are nine Blue Nile alternatives and competitors to explore.
1. James Allen
James Allen is an online jewelry retailer founded in 2006. They offer many of the same lines of jewelry as Blue Nile, and the purchasing experiences mimic each other.
They are by far my number one recommended online jewelry store, and whenever a reader asks me where they should buy an engagement ring or other jewelry, I send them to James Allen.
In fact, it’s where I bought my wife’s engagement ring (a round-cut diamond in this setting), and I had an exceptional experience.
One area where they initially excelled over Blue Nile was their image and video technology. Brick and mortar stores used to dominate the jewelry business because buyers wanted to view the piece in person before buying such an expensive item.
So to provide the same certainty, James Allen invested in high-quality images and 360-degree video to showcase their diamonds and jewelry online.
Check out the high-quality image of an engagement ring below.
If you click to visit that product page on the website, you can rotate it to learn how it appears at every angle.
They even allow you to change the type of metal and view the piece in yellow or rose gold or platinum.
Until recently, a difference between James Allen and Blue Nile was James Allen sold lab-grown diamonds under their own brand, while the latter partnered with Lightbox Jewelry to do so.
But in 2022, Blue Nile began selling lab-grown diamonds under its brand name and now has close to 20,000 in its inventory.
At James Allen, there are more than 40,000 choices across all color, clarity, and cut grades.
Similar to Blue Nile, James Allen also allows you to create your own engagement ring by starting with a diamond or setting.
For example, you might be interested in how princess cuts pair with bezel settings or wonder where the prongs are placed on a marquise cut.
Once you’ve selected each part, they’ll provide an image of the two put together.
Many other Blue Nile competitors offer this feature as well.
2. Clean Origin
Clean Origin is a leader in selling lab-grown diamonds. They don’t offer natural diamond jewelry.
The brand was founded in 2017 by industry veterans who knew younger consumers were interested in sustainable jewelry that didn’t carry some of the negative reputation the diamond industry has earned.
From engagement rings and tennis bracelets to diamond stud earrings and pendants, Clean Origin has stunning designs, like this halo setting with scalloped pave on the shank.
Notice how it appears identical to a natural diamond. That’s because even gemologists can’t tell the difference when viewing them with the naked eye.
That’s one of many pros of lab-grown diamonds.
The other advantages are sustainability and price. They cost close to half of natural diamonds, so you can select a much higher carat weight, improved color or clarity grades, or a more elegant setting.
The downside is many buyers want an authentic, earth-created diamond.
Even though they have the same chemical structure, there’s lower demand for this type of diamond.
An area where Clean Origin surpasses Blue Nile is its return policy. If you aren’t satisfied with your choice, you can return it within 100 days for a full refund.
That’s plenty of time to decide whether to commit to the piece.
The return policy complements their free shipping, purchase protection and warranty, and 12-, 18-, and 24-month financing options.
VRAI is an alternative to Blue Nile that was founded in Los Angeles, California in 2014.
They’re focused on sustainable diamonds, so they only offer lab-grown gems.
Their mission includes “No mining. No emissions. No guilt.”
Although VRAI’s selection isn’t as expansive as Blue Nile’s, you’ll still find a range of jewelry such as earrings and bracelets.
Another difference between VRAI and Blue Nile is VRAI diamonds aren’t graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is considered by many the most prestigious organization for certifying the quality of diamonds.
Instead, VRAI’s diamonds are graded by a gemologist who has been certified by the GIA. This is an important distinction because it means VRAI’s diamonds aren’t graded by a third-party.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust the report, but many buyers want a third-party validation of its color, cut, and clarity grades.
Whenever a reader asks about which diamond they should buy, I always recommend one with a GIA report.
An area where VRAI excels is the designs of their settings. One in particular I recommend checking out is two tone settings for engagement rings.
A two-tone setting features a combination of metals. VRAI’s classic two tone setting is composed of 18k yellow gold and platinum or 14k rose gold and platinum.
Here’s an image with a round-cut diamond on top.
Its purpose is to enhance the ring’s shine and offer a twist on the classic design. Instead of a classic solitaire with one type of metal, there’s a hint of another shade.
If you’re searching for synthetic diamond jewelry as an alternative to Blue Nile, explore the options from VRAI.
4. Diamonds Direct
Diamonds Direct has a network of physical stores in addition to its online experience.
The company was founded more than 60 years ago and now has 24 stores across cities like:
- Richmond, Virginia
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Jacksonville, Florida
Boasting more than 50 designers and 3,000 engagement ring mountings per store, they offer a personalized experience, where you can connect with jewelry consultants to learn about the qualities of diamonds you’re considering.
This is an advantage that many of the best online diamond stores miss, though many make up for it through virtual appointments.
Most buyers begin the process of searching for jewelry with little knowledge of the four Cs of color, cut, and clarity, and color.
By connecting with a consultant like the ones at Diamonds Direct, they can walk you through each aspect of a diamond’s grading report and explain the pros and cons of each cut.
I was talking to a friend of mine about his experience buying his fiancé’s engagement ring from Diamonds Direct. He had nothing but a positive experience.
You can create your own engagement ring, and like many of the vendors on this list, Diamonds Direct sells wedding rings.
It’s a popular choice to purchase both from the same vendor, so it’s a matching set.
They offer conflict-free diamonds and similar warranties and guarantees as competitors. This includes a 30-day money back guarantee, a lifetime warranty, jewelry maintenance, and more.
My recommendation is to begin your experience online by browsing their options and then connecting with their team at a nearby location to complete the purchase.
5. Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co, known as Tiffany’s, is a luxury jewelry retailer.
They’re one of the largest in the industry with a brand that stands for prestige.
Compared to Blue Nile, Tiffany’s has more product lines. This includes:
- Fine watches
- Home accessories like bar and drinkware
- Housewarming gifts
They’re most famous for creating the Tiffany setting. It’s a six-prong solitaire ring with a knife-edge band.
To illustrate, here’s the classic design.
Introduced in 1886, it was an anomaly at the time, but it soon became the standard.
The setting is a patented design, so although other jewelry companies have mimicked the style, there’s only one true Tiffany setting.
But Tiffany’s prestige comes with a higher price tag.
I created diamond rings with similar qualities on Tiffany’s and Blue Nile’s websites.
The diamond had the following qualities:
- Clarity: VVS1
- Carat weight: 1.01
- Color: G
- Cut: Excellent
At Tiffany’s, the ring sold for $14,600.
At Blue Nile, it was priced at $7,356.
I compared another set of engagement rings from the two brands. They both had a one-carat diamond with the same grades and a petite micropave setting.
The ring from Tiffany’s cost almost three times as much as the one from Blue Nile.
Tiffany’s sells high-quality jewelry and offers tremendous service, but if you’re looking for value, try an online vendor like Clean Origin or James Allen.
Ritani is an online jewelry store founded in 1999.
There are more than 100,000 round cut diamonds in their inventory, both earth-grown and lab-created. You’ll also find the same cuts as their competitors, from emerald and marquise to princess and cushion.
An area where Ritani excels is the online experience. Specifically, the website is intuitive, easy to navigate, and perfect for someone who’s new to the process of buying jewelry online.
When you’re creating your own engagement ring, it’s easy to filter diamonds by the most important qualities. Narrow the selection by shape, price, carat and more.
Once you’ve reduced the selection, click “Recommended” in the navigation bar to see their gemologist-approved algorithm’s recommendations.
I’ve highlighted where to find that feature in this image.
It’ll show diamonds with the right blend of the four Cs, which is how you find the best value.
Ritani’s design options don’t stop with engagement rings. The feature is also available for earrings and pendants.
So whether you want a basket or martini settings for diamond stud earrings or an radiant-cut diamond for a necklace, Ritani’s customizable options could be right for you.
They also promote price transparency. You can check out a breakdown of the costs of a diamond from the wholesaler, the operational costs involved, and the margin Ritani earns on each sale.
If you find a diamond from Blue Nile or another one of their competitors with the same grades that costs less, they’ll try to find a similar one at a lower price.
My only word of caution is to make sure the comparable diamond was graded by the same institution, whether the GIA, International Gemological Institution, or GCAL.
There are often slight differences in those subjective judgements, so the best way to compare them is between the same organization.
Jared The Galleria of Jewelry was formerly known for its slogan “He Went to Jared.”
It conveyed a sense of prestige. The company has since traded in that tagline for “Dare to be Devoted” as it also emphasized its online presence.
Jared is owned by Signet Jewelers, the same company that bought James Allen and also owns Kay and Zales.
You’ll find their websites have a similar aesthetic when you’re designing an engagement ring.
Here’s the layout for that feature.
Here’s the same one for James Allen as a comparison.
As a general rule, brick and mortar jewelry stores are more expensive than ones that operate primarily online like Blue Nile.
Jared is no exception. You’ll often pay a higher price for a diamond ring with the same grades from the GIA if you buy it from Jared over Blue Nile.
But Jared does have a wider line of products, so if you’re looking for jewelry that isn’t a diamond ring, check out their selection that also includes:
- Birthstone jewelry
- Bride and groom gifts
Don’t buy a diamond from Jared solely based on the brand. That’s true of all the jewelers on this list.
Read the GIA report to learn about the diamond’s qualities and then make your decision on whether its price is appropriate.
8. With Clarity
With Clarity was founded in 2013. Its founders wanted the process of buying jewelry to combine the best of the in-person and online experiences.
One example is allowing customers to try on a model of the ring at home for free.
They’ll send you up to two replicas that mimic their engagement rings.
Here’s an image of what you can expect from the replica.
You can preview them at home for two days. If you decide on those designs, you can purchase the real version.
This is a helpful offering from With Clarity, because I find their image and video technology isn’t as strong as what Blue Nile or James Allen provides.
In addition to diamond rings, they also sell men’s and women’s wedding rings. Similar to other Blue Nile competitors, they’ll help you find a matching set for your engagement ring.
If you’ve landed on a yellow gold engagement ring like the one below, you can easily complement it with the yellow gold wedding ring.
Their policies also align with other jewelry stores. For example, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to return your piece if you aren’t satisfied.
The warranty protects against manufacturing defects, but they’ll also replace diamonds under 0.10 carats that are lost during normal wear.
9. Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth sells many of the same types of jewelry as Blue Nile, including:
- Engagement rings
- Men’s and women’s wedding rings
- Fine jewelry
They’ve branded themselves around eco-friendliness and responsibly-sourced diamonds that go beyond the standards set forth by the Kimberley Process.
Instead of only ensuring their diamonds aren’t used to finance civil wars, they abide by other criteria that focus on working conditions at mines and how their operations affect the environment.
Below is a list of a few of Brilliant Earth’s core principles.
These high standards mean you’ll often pay a premium for Brilliant Earth over Blue Nile.
For example, I compared prices for round-cut diamonds with the following qualities:
- Carat weight: 1.00
- Color: E
- Cut: Very good
- Clarity: VVS2
At Brilliant Earth, prices start at $8,410.
At Blue Nile, there are options starting at $7,476.
You’ll have to decide if the higher prices at Brilliant Earth are worth it, but you can have confidence about the quality of their pieces.
One of my favorite lines from Brilliant Earth is their pave settings, like this petite twisted vine setting.
They offer the same ability to create your own engagement ring, so you can learn how their diamonds pair with the different types of settings available.
I actually bought my wife’s wedding ring from Brilliant Earth, and we were both incredibly satisfied with the purchase.
It was this half-eternity ring.
To learn more, read my full review of Brilliant Earth.