Find your diamond
Find your jewelry

Concerns about buying a Neil Lane ring from Kay


Sep 1, 2016
Hello All!

So I stumbled upon this website when I was googling concerns about Vera Wang and Neil Lane engagement rings. I found a Neil Lane ring from Kay that I love but when I asked the sales associate for the grade/quality ratings he said that Neil Lane doesn't certify his diamonds. I was confused and in turn ended up here.

The ring I'm interested in is a oval center diamond with double halo and a split band with diamonds when it nears the center of the ring. It is priced at $4,249 and total carat weight is 1ct. Side note: when I told the guy that was helping me and Kay about the Vera Wang quality grade at Zales he told me that often times Zales lies about their certifications or numbers.

So the Vera Wang ring I like is very similar but it is a 3/4 ct and doesn't have a double halo (single halo instead) and no split band but the band does have diamonds on it like the Neil Lane one. According to the tag it said the ring had an si2 and H rating. This ring is priced at $2.499 but it will be around $2,000 because of a sale.

Please let me know what you all think and any recommendations. My boyfriend is coming home from a work trip tomorrow to go look at the rings and cancel the original tulkowsky that we had on hold but I want to make sure I am making the right decision. Thank you in advance!

Side note: I'm trying my best to not purchase online because I like being able to try the ring on and look at it under the microscope before we buy it.



Sponsored By:


Mar 3, 2013
I would never buy an E-ring from Kay, so my advice is limited to that.


Jul 27, 2011
Where are you located? We might be able to recommend a PS darling vendor that's in your locale so you get the double benefit of us helping you online, and your dealing with a vendor in person.


Feb 28, 2016
I don't think either of the stores lie if they use GIA certification, but there are reasons you should avoid them.

1. They don't have a bench in-shop, so you will have to mail out everything for repairs. Because of that, things can get lost or misplaced and it can take a long time.

2. The repair work may be shoddy.

3. Since it's a large chain store, the mass production usually isn't high quality and they can't work with you to customize what you want, they may not be able to make a ring in your size, and so on.

4. They do gimmicky names for diamonds like Leo or whatever.

5. Their value isn't great.

6. The warranty isn't great. My fiancé got me a necklace from Kay and within a month the chain broke. I asked if I could get it repaired and they said it'd be $40. Even though it had been 3 weeks and the necklace was $100. There was no way repairing a chain was $100. They could have even scrapped the chain and given me a new one for a discount, you know? Also I heard that they'll sometimes only honor your warranty if you come in every 6 months in for an inspection, so military families who are deployed sometimes get screwed out of their warranty.

I would avoid big chain jewelers.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Jul 31, 2014
100% do NOT purchase from either of these vendors! I would definitely steer you towards one of the recommended vendors. I understand your desire to see a stone in person, but the value and quality you can find from the vendors recommend here is far beyond that of local stores (unless you are local to one of the vendors on the list--in which case that's the best of both worlds!) I would also remind you that the vendors we recommend have excellent return policies, so if you order one of their diamonds and wish to return it you will not have any issues.

Definitely start a thread on RockyTalky and let the experts here find you something that will blow you away! :wavey:


Dec 14, 2009
Regarding your comment about wanting to see it through a microscope, you can get a 10x loupe from Amazon (or anywhere else) for $10-25. If you are open to it you can buy a loupe and buy a diamond online with a good return policy and loupe the diamond to your hearts content. Plus, you will have the advantage of seeing how the diamond looks in the lighting in your home/office/outside - not jewelery store crazy bright lights.


Mar 29, 2005
If you're serious about not wanting to buy your diamond online, we're probably of limited help to you as that's where our primary focus is. And that would explain some of the responses you've gotten so far.

As to whether either of the rings you posted are a good choice for you depends on what you consider to be important. If you are primarily concerned about the quality of the center stone, my guess is that neither of the center diamonds are high quality stones. They aren't certified and the prices for the rings suggest they aren't on the higher end of the characteristics used to judge diamonds. One of the diamonds is labeled as being an H, SI2, but by who and who knows if their opinion is even close to right? H is a great color for lots of people and SI2 is on the low end of the clarity scale but some SI2's can be a great value, and others can have some big visible flaw right where you'd see it most. And there's no information, not even someone's guess, about the cut of the diamond which is what matters most. Ovals can be particularly tricky to get right. So the center stones are probably not great quality based on what little we know. The same is probably true for the stones in the halo and pave.

But the question is whether that truly matters to you. If you're able to take either of these rings out into daylight away from the jewelry store lighting and you still love one or both of them, then maybe you've found your ring. There are lots of women out there who have diamonds PS would consider to be not so great and they love their rings and wouldn't trade them for the world. If, however, you're concerned about having a quality diamond or you don't like how they look in normal lighting, you may want to consider getting a ring with better diamonds, and neither Kay nor Zales are usually the best places for that. You could check to see if they have rings you like with certified stones in them and see if you like those better in normal lighting. They will be more expensive both because better stones cost more and because the certification process also costs some money. You would probably get better pricing for those kinds of stones if you bought online, but if you're seriously about not doing that, then you'd have to see what sources you have locally for certified stones.

The one other caution is that both styles of rings you like have fairly complicated settings with both halos and pave on the shank. Styles like that are more likely to need repair because they have so much going on. Pave can fall out and need to get replaced or other repairs might be needed. Do some research on other people's experiences with both Kay and Zales when it comes to repairs. Chances are at some point, you're going to need pave replaced or something else fixed (even if it's a high quality setting which these may not be) so having someone who can do that is important unless you're okay being without your rings for what can be a long time.

Hope this helps.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!


Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor

Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.