Blue Nile Review: These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope.
The First. The Foremost.
If you want a safe, reliable, no-nonsense online diamond or jewelry buying experience Blue Nile is the largest, most significant internet diamond seller in the world. The pioneer of the online diamond and jewelry experience, Blue Nile provides everything needed to make confident decisions, with customer service available to answer any questions and extremely competitive pricing. In addition to worldwide online sales, Blue Nile is now opening locations in retail spaces across the USA, bringing the philosophy and practices that made them the world’s largest diamond seller online to a walk-in experience near you. Whether an engagement or wedding ring, anniversary, graduation, or gifts for fun, Blue Nile has an expansive range of options to fit any budget, quickly available, with guarantees to ensure a smooth, risk-free buying experience.
Blue Nile at a Glance
Blue Nile is the world’s largest, most significant online jeweler.
The origin story is famous. A gentleman shopping for diamonds at the dawn of eCommerce was dissatisfied with his traditional in-store experience and decided to prove that buying a diamond and a ring could be done online. He founded Blue Nile in 1999 with a disruptive new concept: Instead of investing everything in diamond inventory, he created a fine jewelry workshop and ingeniously partnered with loose diamond producers and wholesalers, listing their diamonds online with markups far below traditional retail. Those attractive prices were accompanied by groundbreaking no-risk purchase policies to boost consumer confidence, along with customer service and bench jeweler training programs focused on eCommerce needs and fulfillment. By 2010 Blue Nile had become one of the largest jewelry retailers in the USA, reaching a publicly traded value of $500 million in 2018 prior to privatization. They continue to dominate the online jewelry market.
Blue Nile’s strength and presence caused an industry-wide paradigm shift. By listing hundreds of thousands of loose diamonds online, educated consumers were provided with loose guidelines for judging diamond markups in their local stores. Over the past two decades many traditional retail jewelers have shifted to more modest pricing structures, improving diamond prices for consumers across the board.
Even now, Blue Nile continues rewriting the book, online and in-store. They have opened walk-in “webrooms” – physical retail locations – preserving the practices and philosophies which made them successful online. Blue Nile webrooms are already located in a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come.
Blue Nile has an impeccable reputation. With millions of customers served over two decades they are well-established and respected, to the degree that affluent shoppers do not hesitate to buy single pieces costing hundreds of thousands of dollars from them. They have established partnerships with the world’s largest and most influential diamond producers and wholesalers, giving them great range in both loose and finished diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry. Blue Nile’s diamond and jewelry consultants are salaried. They don’t work on commission, so they are focused on providing you with the best fits for your needs.
Loose natural diamonds Blue Nile sells are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
In addition to natural diamonds from 0.20 to 20.00+ carats and Lightbox lab-grown diamonds, Blue Nile offers a wide variety of bridal jewelry, including designer collections, and a wealth of ready-to-ship finished jewelry at all price points – from gifts under $100 to their Extraordinary Collection of luxury jewelry – all supported with high-resolution images.
Ease of Use
Blue Nile’s website is constantly evolving, adapting to today’s responsive needs across phone, tablet, and desktop devices. They answer calls and texts through a website chat feature 24/7. Users can also schedule an online virtual appointment with a Blue Nile expert. They also offer a Diamond Viewing Program, where a diamond from their branded Astor by Blue Nile™ collection can be sent for in-person viewing in one of their unique walk-in showrooms.
- 150,000+ Natural Diamonds, all shapes
- Featured Diamond Brand: Astor by Blue Nile™
- Extraordinary Collection
- Designer Jewelry
- Fancy Colored Diamonds and Colored Gemstone Jewelry
- Lightbox Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry
- Customer service available 24/7
- Free secure shipping worldwide
- 30-day inspection period with free return shipping, if needed
- Diamond Price Matching
- Order Status Lookup
- Lifetime Jewelry Warranty
- Lifetime upgrade: 100% credit for any replacement diamond at least 2X or greater value
- Lifetime jewelry warranty including prong tightening, re-polishing, re-plating, cleaning, and one-way shipping back to the customer
- Sell Your Diamond program
- Refer a Friend program
- Thousands of online reviews
Astor by Blue Nile™ is selected for a higher standard of diamond performance, with measurements and proportions falling in a range that is proven to produce positive optical qualities. Every Astor by Blue Nile™ is graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and further analyzed with GemEx® technology.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Other Fine Jewelry
- Extraordinary Collection
- Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings
- Designer Jewelry
- Colored Gemstone Jewelry
- Birthstone Jewelry
- Gift Ideas and Gifts by Occasion
- Gifts Under $100
Blue Nile offers a variety of client-centric features which aren’t common to all sellers.
LightBox Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds first appeared on Blue Nile’s website through an exclusive partnership with Lightbox lab grown diamonds, a subsidiary of DeBeers. Blue Nile’s collection comes in a higher gold quality and maintains Lightbox’s consistent price per carat, setting a new bar for lab grown diamond pricing across the industry at $800 per carat, per piece, regardless of overall carat weight. Lightbox lab grown diamonds don’t just come in white – they are also offered in fancy pink and fancy blue, guaranteed VS clarity or higher, created and mounted into finished jewelry.
Blue Nile’s Extraordinary Collection features one of a kind connoisseur pieces ranging from affordable everyday items, birthstone jewelry and gifts to ruby, sapphire or emerald rings, luxury diamond tennis bracelets and opera necklaces worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Various USA Showrooms
Blue Nile is establishing walk-in locations in retail spaces around the nation. No diamonds are sold in these outlets, although consumers can arrange to view diamonds in the Astor by Blue Nile™ collection in person there. Instead of sales, experts answer visitors’ questions, empowering them to complete purchases on the Blue Nile website. Their first showroom, also known as a webroom, was opened in Garden City, New York in 2015. A dozen locations were opened as of 2021, with plans to expand to between 50-100 locations over time.
Diamond Price Match Guarantee
If you find a comparable diamond, apples to apples, for a lower price than a diamond listed on the Blue Nile website they offer to match the lower price, subject to a set of reasonable guidelines listed on their website.
More Payment Methods
Blue Nile accepts more forms of payment than most other sellers, including WeChat Pay and AliPay.
Jewelry Trade-In for Cash or Credit
Blue Nile also offers a program where your pre-owned jewelry can be traded to their partner, CIRCA, for cash – or you can receive 110% of the proposed cash value as a Blue Nile gift card.
Blue Nile is like an Amazon.com for beautiful diamonds and jewelry. They started with that business model, efficiently listing hundreds of thousands of diamonds from a wide variety of reliable sources. They improved on Amazon’s model with robust quality control. Before an item is sold by Blue Nile it already been held to strict internal standards. Every item shipped has been inspected by no less than 6 people prior to being packed. The last person is a GIA trained gemologist who inspects the item under magnification, personally inspecting every loose diamond or piece of jewelry, which is precisely the kind of protection and reliability Blue Nile is known for.
Consider: Blue Nile was the pioneer of no hassle inspection periods, free returns and other confidence building guarantees which have now become common among online sellers. Blue Nile changed diamond pricing in the consuming public’s favor, industry wide. While growing, evolving and inspiring others they have continued to list diamonds and jewelry at some of the industry’s most competitive retail prices, dominating the online jewelry market.
Blue Nile ships your jewelry in a plain FedEx or UPS box, for purposes of security during the insured shipping process. Inside the outer box is a separate package containing your order.
The classic Blue Nile package is a simple rectangular carton with the Blue Nile logo embossed on its surface. Inside that box is a folder containing all the documents which accompany your purchase: The diamond grading report from GIA or AGS, an appraisal good for insurance purposes, the receipt of your transaction and instructions on getting jewelry insurance, should you choose to do so.
Underneath the document folder is an inset containing a ring box branded in the same manner as the carton. The ring box is small enough to fit inside a jacket pocket (should you wish to propose using it), and Blue Nile includes a soft-cloth pouch under the ring box, which can be used by the proposer to conceal the engagement ring securely in a pants pocket, and by the wearer, should the ring need to be taken off and stored in a purse or pocket while out and about.
Pro-tip: It’s a good idea to insure the ring against loss or theft, should you choose to use the box or pouch to carry it around, rather than keeping it on your finger.
The box holds the ring securely in a padded slot, oriented so that it’s face up and presented to best advantage when the box is opened.
The information in this review is current, to the best of our knowledge, as of June 1, 2021.
Blue Nile is one of PriceScope’s Featured Vendors.
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