US and Canadian Bees: Experience with Buying a James Allen Lab Diamond?

posted 2 months ago in Rings
Post # 2
Member
5843 posts
Bee Keeper

OK, I’m not from Canada, so I can’t answer for things like customs and whatnot, but maybe my relatively recent experience dealing with the company living in the US might be helpful. If not, feel free to ignore the rest of the post!

I have a JA True Hearts regular diamond that I got last and I’ve been very satisfied. I was quite particular about what I wanted in my stone and JA was the only vendor whoī had a diamond within those parameters.. I just wanted a plain solitaire so I had them set it, and the setting is well made. It took a little longer than I expected because they had to make the setting to fit the stone. . The diamond def matched the video. Tne customer service was quite responsive, I really have no complaints. I’m in the US, so I can answer questions about customs.

Getting 2 stones and returning 1 should be no problem, a lot of people do that. I was able to have them look at the stone in person too. They were also quite helpful after I got the ring because I had questions about insurance. They have a very good deal with Jewelers Mutual which I wanted to go with, but my husband insisted we stay with State Farm which carries all our property. Here is a photo:

 

 

Post # 3
Member
240 posts
Helper bee

Not Canada or US based but I can hopefully ease your mind on the stone quality, I think they’re pretty accurate and fair in their assessments 🙂

The videos on the website are on a light background so it might be harder for you to spot any wonkyness in the cut as “ideal cut” is actually a fairly broad spectrum.

There’s a fella on YouTube called ‘JANNPAUL diamonds’ and he’s very good at explaining how to spot what you’re looking for online 🙂

My ring and stone are from JA and while it’s not a big stone I get loads of comments on how white and bright it is. It’s a step down from ‘flawless’ but I can’t spot a single smudge or cloud in it. It’s ideal cut and gorgeous but I can see that it doesn’t have the perfect symmetry of the top grade cut, that’s all! 

Post # 4
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2021

Canadian Bee here. 

 

I love my JA ring/ diamond and it does look exactly like the video when i go look at my the recently purchases catgeory and go find my stone. However, there are some things to keep in mind when shipping to canada which I found out the hard way. 

I don’t know if this applies differently to loose diamonds and not the completed ring itself, but I would be hesitant at how easy all of it sounds, because we were also under the impression that everything would be easy and loophole free. 

 

My husband said he paid around $500 to get my ring shipped across the border (ring was roughly $8300 CAD i think). And what was more frustrated was at one point i thought I wanted to exchange the center diamond (thought it looked too big lol) and I found out there is actually a fee to ship it back to the USA and even worse the service agent informed me that she could not guarantee that it wiuld not incur duty a second time when it came back to Canada. For this reason, I kept my ring as it. 

Post # 5
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2020

Not from Canada, but I love my James Allen engagement ring. It looks exactly like the picture and video showed. I didn’t buy a loose diamond and did have a ring made so it took a little longer then expected.

Post # 6
Member
982 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

Canadian here. There are no duties on jewellery from the US but there are Provincial sales taxes. I live in Ontario so I’m charged the 13% HST.

I don’t have any experience purchasing from JA but I have purchased multiple items from US jewellery retailers. Most recently a pair of studs from Whiteflash and a lab diamond from Ritani. 

 

Post # 7
Member
1256 posts
Bumble bee

Canadian Bee – I don’t have a James Allen diamond, but my experience may be similar. My partner and I ordered from Ritani. I understand James Allen also uses FedEx.

Due to NAFTA there are no duties on loose gemstones. Ritani charges the provincial sales tax in advance. Just look at your total when you are ordering to see if GST/HST (depending where you live) is charged.

My partner ordered the loose diamond on Sunday April 11 and it was delivered by FedEx on Friday April 16. We weren’t home, but were able to walk over to the local FedEx that evening after work and pick it up. We just required ID, no other issues.

There were also videos in Ritani’s website – I don’t have a loupe, but the diamond looked similar I guess haha.

Post # 8
Member
26 posts
Newbee

Canadian bee here. My partner ordered from JA without issue! This was in October 2019. We got an oval lab diamond in their white gold halo setting. They don’t charge provincial tax beforehand, so we had to pay that at the border and some paperwork had to be filled out via email before customs released it. It was a relatively easy process. I think the ring was only held at the border for a day or so. 

I didn’t technically “return” the ring but I did send it back to fix the halo on the setting since it wasn’t properly fitted to the shape of the diamond. This was also an easy process! 

My sister and her fiancé purchased a lab diamond engagement ring from JA recently in June and there were also no issues. Ring looks beautiful and she loves it. 

I’m upgrading my ring and just purchased another lab diamond ring from them. I scoured RareCarat, got many videos of stones from different vendors, and also reached out to Ada Diamonds, but the prices on JA just can’t be beat 🤣

 

Post # 9
Member
1029 posts
Bumble bee

I live in Ontario and had James Allen diamonds set in a ring that was previously set with moissies. My jeweller did all the leg work but it was not at all expensive and all went smoothly.

Post # 10
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

Not Canadian or JA but we looked at JA for a loose lab stone. We ended up going with With Clarity and I Love love love my stone. Got it set at a local jeweler and couldn’t be happier. Check our rate caret and you may find some other Greta online places for lab frowns 

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