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Zales Lab-Grown Diamonds Review: Are they legit? | 2024

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Bottom Line Recommendation

Zales lab-created diamonds are overpriced, providing a traditional shopping experience with limited customization. Therefore, I personally recommend to purchase from more reliable and cost-effective retailers such as this one. There is no reason to buy lab-created diamonds from Zales when you can get a much better deal at retailers like Blue Nile or James Allen, offering up to a 50% price difference.

For instance, Zales offers a 2.00-carat F VS2 diamond in a simple solitaire setting for $10,799. In contrast, at James Allen, you can buy a similar diamond with a ring included for less than $5,000 and also view a detailed video of the exact diamond you will receive, as you can see here.

My top picks

1.1 Carat E VS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond

1. Best balance

1.1 Carat E VS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond
3.03 Carat D VS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond

2. Largest diamond

3.03 Carat D VS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond
1.71 Carat D VVS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond

3. Most premium

1.71 Carat D VVS1 Round Cut Lab-Grown Diamond

Table of Contents

Zales is one of the most famous jewelers in America. They have a wide variety of diamond rings, necklaces, and earrings. But what about their lab-grown diamonds? Are they worth it? In this Zales lab-grown diamond review, we will take a closer look at their pricing, selection, and diamond inspection. You’ll learn precisely why other options, such as this diamond vendor, can be a much better option.

Let’s start with a price comparison.

Key takeaways

If you’re just stopping by for the key points, here they are:

  • Overpriced Diamonds: Zales’ lab-created diamonds are significantly more expensive compared to other retailers like Blue Nile and James Allen.

  • Limited Customization: Zales offers a traditional shopping experience with limited customization options for selecting diamonds.

  • Selection: Zales has a limited stock of lab-grown diamonds, particularly in categories like bridal rings.

  • Buying Experience: At Zales, you cannot pick individual diamonds; you can only choose the ring design and carat weight, without seeing the exact diamond you’ll receive.

  • Diamond Inspection: Zales does not provide detailed videos or certificates for specific diamonds online, making it difficult to inspect what you’re buying.

  • Authenticity: Zales sells real diamonds, both natural and lab-grown, with certificates from reputable labs.

  • Customer Reviews: Mixed reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs highlight issues with diamond quality and customer service.

  • Customer Service: Mixed reviews on customer service indicate varying experiences, with some customers reporting satisfactory support while others faced challenges.

  • Better Alternatives: Retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile offer better value, extensive selections, and detailed inspection options.

  • Company Background: Zales is owned by Signet Jewelers, which also owns other well-known jewelry brands like Jared and Kay.

  • Shipping and Returns: Zales offers free shipping within the US and Puerto Rico, with a 30-day refund policy and a 60-day exchange policy.

Zales lab-grown diamonds

A large problem with Zales lab-created diamonds is their limited selection and diamond quality, including bridal rings. While James Allen offers around 70,000 different lab-grown diamonds in a wide range of prices, qualities, and jewelry types such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and, notably, bridal rings set in 14K white gold, your local Zales store has limited stock. Usually, from the store’s sales and revenue standpoint, they know the most efficient diamond quality they should have in stock.

For example, if they know most people buy 1.00 carat F VS1 lab-created diamond, there is no reason to have a large stock of 1.00 D VVS1. But what happens if you are interested in that perfect 1.00 VVS1 lab-grown diamond? You’ll have a minimal selection to choose from, especially in categories like bridal rings. By visiting the following link, you can see James Allen offers a vast selection, giving you the option to pick the best one.

Zales lab-grown buying inspection and shopping experience

Whether you plan to buy at Zales online or at the mall, you’ll get pretty much the same old-school shopping experience. Everything is pre-chosen for you; you cannot pick the diamond; therefore, you don’t know what you’ll receive. All you can do is pick the engagement ring design and the lab diamonds’ carat weight. That’s it. Freedom? Pretty limited…

The ability to inspect and examine the diamond you are paying for on their website is, to put it simply, not possible. The only thing they show you is the design you buy, with some sample photos. You CANNOT SEE the diamond you are buying. Likewise, you’ll see a video clip of the product. Don’t get confused; it’s not the diamond you will get. In the same way, you cannot see the diamond certificate.

It’s a pure gamble.

zales lab grown diamonds experience

Buying a diamond blindly? A big No-No for me.

Some customers don’t really care, and I get that. They love their branding, the immediate purchase, knowing they spent X amount of money, and like what they see.

Yet, buying a diamond from James Allen offers you a massive selection of diamonds, with a 360HD video of each one. You can clearly see the difference between each diamond and pick the best one for your budget.

James Allen made it even more straightforward with their new Design Ring studio. You can literally build your own design (or pick an existing one), add a diamond, and you are good to go.

Buying a diamond online can be done in 1-2 days and has never been more simple. If you need my free help, you can reach out here.

Does Zales have fake diamonds?

No. Zales offers a wide range of mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. When shopping for an engagement ring with a center diamond, you’ll receive a certificate from a respected diamond lab such as the GIAIGI, and AGS. You’ll know it’s a legitimate diamond, not a fake one.

Moreover, if you decide to get a halo setting, a pave, or any other engagement ring with composite diamonds, know that these diamonds are real. Usually, they are tiny and used to maximize the beauty and sparkle of the design, but they are not graded. Of course, you can ask if they are mined or lab-created, and the staff would need to give you a clear answer.

Zales Shipping and returns

Zales offers free shipping on all orders within the United States and Puerto Rico. Items usually ship within 24 hours of purchase, and you’ll receive a tracking number via email once your order ships. All orders above $1,000 require a signature upon delivery, to keep everything safe and protected.

Of course, you can simply pick up your order from the closest Zales store, based on your location.

If, for some reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase, Zales offers a full refund within 30 days or an exchange within 60 days of purchase. You can return items to any Zales store in the United States or Puerto Rico or ship them back to Zales’ headquarters in Irving, Texas.

Zales outlet front store

Zales reviews by customers

Customer feedback on Trustpilot, Reddit, and other review sites is mixed. Some people had a great experience buying their lab-grown diamonds from Zales, while others complained about the quality of the diamonds or the customer service. Overall, Zales seems to have a decent traditional brand, but it doesn’t offer the best shopping experience. If you want to get the most bang for your budget, I recommend checking this website.

Website Rating Number of reviews
Trustpilot 1.8 111
Consumer Affairs 2 571
Site Jabber 2.3 267

Zales Reviews on Consumer Affairs

Customer reviews on Consumer Affairs present a mixed picture of Zales’ service and product quality, with varying levels of customer satisfaction.

Positive Reviews:

Monnie praised Zales for its superb quality, modern and antique selection, reasonable prices, and amazing customer service.

R. Miguel highlighted the exceptional service and educational value provided by the staff at Zales Outlet in Sawgrass Mills Mall, recommending them highly.

Kate commended employee Mary Kate for her helpfulness, respectful demeanor, and ensuring a great shopping experience.

Negative Reviews:

David reported a poor experience with ring resizing and repair, receiving damaged rings and misinformation about their readiness.

Amanda faced issues with Zales honoring a lifetime guarantee, resulting in dissatisfaction with customer service.

Josh experienced problems with a misrepresented mother’s ring, with the gold plating wearing off quickly and Zales refusing to rectify the issue.

Zales Reviews on Consumer Trustpilot

Customer reviews on Consumer Trustpilot reveal a range of negative customer experiences with Zales.

Negative Reviews:

Inv reported being double charged, causing financial inconvenience and leading to dissatisfaction with the transaction process.

Ms. Goodman experienced poor service with a necklace and earrings set, facing repeated repairs, loss of the items by Zales, and being asked to pay more for replacements.

Marilyn Lockhart highlighted inconsistent customer service, where one associate failed to locate her warranty contract, but another, Aniyah, eventually resolved the issue.

Kellan Blomberg faced a broken promotional promise and an unjust late fee, resulting in a poor experience.

Positive Review:

Janice L. Dickerson praised Ms. Joyce at Zales in Oak Court Mall for her patience, professionalism, and knowledge, recommending her highly for assisting with jewelry purchases.

Conclusion - My Personal Experience

To make a long story short, Zales is the traditional jeweler at your local mall that you’ve always heard about. Does it mean they are the best place to get your lab-created diamonds for the best bang for your buck? Absolutely not.

If you want a convenient diamond shopping experience, walk into the store, have a staff member helps you out; you can have that at Zales. To explore and shop Zales’ extensive lab-created diamond collection, consider visiting their online store or a local retail outlet. If you are the kind of buyer that wants to know more, understand exactly what you pay for, Zales is not for you.

For a start, they are very expensive. Zales belongs to Signet Jewelers, the same company that owns James Allen, yet Zales is more costly. Online stores like James Allen have lower business expenses; they don’t need to pay rent, unlike brick and mortar. This way, they can offer you the same product at a lower price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Zales offers a range of jewelry, and customer experiences vary. Some reviews highlight the high quality and beautiful design of their pieces, while others have encountered issues with durability and customer service. The quality of Zales’ products can be inconsistent, depending largely on individual pieces and experiences.

Zales is known for being a prominent American jewelry retailer with a wide selection of diamond rings, necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry. They are recognized for their extensive range of both lab-created and natural diamonds, and their presence in malls and shopping centers across the United States.

Zales claims to offer diamonds that are conflict-free and sourced ethically. They adhere to the Kimberley Process, which aims to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the market. However, it is always recommended to ask for detailed sourcing information when purchasing to ensure the diamonds meet your ethical standards.

Many reviews and comparisons suggest that Zales’ jewelry, particularly their lab-created diamonds, is overpriced compared to other retailers. Alternatives like Blue Nile and James Allen often offer similar or better-quality diamonds at significantly lower prices due to their online business models and lower overhead costs.

If you prefer a traditional shopping experience where staff guide your purchase, Zales is a suitable choice. However, if you want more control over your selection, detailed information about the diamonds, and lower prices, online retailers might be a better option.

Zales Jewelry is owned by Signet Jewelers, which also owns Jared, Kay, Diamond Direct, James Allen, and others. Signet is a well-established company with a market cap of around $4 billion, ensuring stability and a solid reputation in the jewelry industry.

Zales Jewelry was founded in 1924 by Zale and his wife, Hattie, in Wichita Falls, Texas. It became a leading jewelry retailer and went public in 1961. In 1984, Zale Corporation acquired Zales, which later became part of Signet Jewelers in 2014. Today, Zales operates over 700 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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Some retailers understand that the diamond buying process can be overwhelming. For that reason they are willing to share a portion of their profits with me if I can make this experience more simple for you.

In this partnership, you benefit from complimentary content and personalized consultations. If all sides are happy and you decide to buy, the retailer (and not you) compensates me.

While many diamond retailers have approached me, I hold the highest standards, choosing to collaborate only with those whose services and pricing I can confidently endorse. Your satisfaction and access to quality service are my top priorities. Therefore, you can trust that I maintain an unbiased perspective, without compromising the integrity of this blog.

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