Jewelry Exchange Diamonds & Engagement Rings Review

A subsidiary of Goldenwest Diamond Corporation, Jewelry Exchange now operates 13 stores around the country. WIth some of their stores using the name Jewelry Exchange while others use Jewelry Factory, what initially set this brand apart from the competition came down to matters of price.

Over time, though, as more people became aware of the importance of diamond quality, the Jewelry Exchange began to lose popularity. Although Jewelry Exchange emphasizes customer service and store presence, its diamond and jewelry offering falls short of expectations. Let’s take a closer look. 

Jewelry Exchange at a Glance

Jump to:

  1. What is the Jewelry Exchange’s story?
  2. What is most appealing about Jewelry Exchange?
  3. What diamond and jewelry products does Jewelry Exchange offer?
  4. What sets Jewelry Exchange apart from others?
  5. What does Jewelry Exchange packaging look like?
  6. Are you the ideal Jewelry Exchange customer?

1. What is Jewelry Exchange’s story?

Jewelry Exchange and Factory Direct homepage, with a woman showing off her diamond engagement ring. Multiple offers of different high quality diamond studs next to her are shown


From humble beginnings, the Jewelry Exchange and Jewelry Factory has grown into a successful business. As the founder and CEO of the company, Bill Doddridge first cut his teeth in his stepfather’s pawn shop.

His time there led him to design jewelry, and he decided to close his pawnshop and open up a more traditional jewelry store in the early 1990s. 

It could be said that Bill was a visionary of his time, taking advantage of globalization in many ways. Besides the huge retail chains, Bill was the first retailer to contract directly with the manufacturers overseas, thereby undercutting them by 30%.

Jewelry Exchange’s major selling point is that it’s a physical store dedicated to jewelry sales. Here, customers can see the engagement ring for themselves. But, do the benefits of in-person shopping justify the higher price? What is the value of having a store these days? Do you still consider it a competitive advantage?

2. What is most appealing about Jewelry Exchange?

Grading Authority

The good news is that The Jewelry Exchange does sell GIA-certified diamonds. While some items only have an EGL certification and some do not have any certification at all, GIA certifications are still available upon request.

Unlike GIA, AGS or IGI certification, EGL certification provides inaccurate and inflated grades solely for profit maximization. 

Successful online sellers like Whiteflash, Blue Nile and James Allen offer diamond certification from top-tier laboratories with competitive pricing, whether you’re examining it in-person or purchasing online. They offer both a liberal inspection period and free returns, so you can shop with complete confidence.


Jewelry Exchange carries both natural and lab-grown diamonds. In contrast to natural diamonds, whose value has historically appreciated over time, lab-grown diamonds tend to depreciate in price, despite legitimate markets for both. Check out our advice on buying lab-grown diamonds here.

Quality is the main issue with buying an engagement ring from The Jewelry Exchange. There is more than likely a better option for your diamonds at reputable online retailers, which will also more than likely be of higher quality.

A cheaper diamond of a lower quality is fine in the market for more affordable purchases, but it is unacceptable when they are misrepresented as higher quality diamonds.

Ease of Use

Jewelry Exchange's easily navigable website, showing filters and options for an easy to use experience


As a website for a relatively old store, Jewelry Exchange does quite well. Although the content initially appears cluttered, there are easy navigation options – just not many options for filtering.

Despite being decent images, the rings online are stock photos. Almost all of the information needed to evaluate a diamond, like its clarity, color, shape, setting, and carat, is easily accessible and readily available. While not as large as other leading online jewelry retailers, this retailer has a reasonably large inventory online.

You will be able to switch between pieces with relative ease, but the images will not be of a high enough quality that you will feel comfortable buying online. 

It is impossible to know what the diamond really looks like without high-resolution images and videos. Although the diamond certificate can be viewed, you cannot get any further information about light performance, such as ASET imaging or Hearts and Arrows view. 

As a result, you are essentially making a blind purchase. In the world of diamonds, this is a dangerous game.

A quick glance at Whiteflash, Blue Nile or James Allen will show you the difference in image caliber. Their outstanding imaging is complemented by 360-degree views, videos, and filtering to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

You might conclude this is Jewelry Exchange’s approach since they have locations across the country, so you should be able to visit. Clearly, this does not meet the needs of today’s more informed shoppers. 

Whiteflash, Blue Nile and James Allen offer an array of quality diamonds, equipped with high-res imaging and videos and diamond certificates. As well as their commitment to consumer education, they also maintain transparent business practices.

The Selection

According to their website, the Jewelry Exchange offers a wide variety of specially designed jewelry and one-of-a-kind items that can suit almost any taste, so customized items are not offered.

In this case, customers with a certain ring in mind that they need to have custom made are left with no choice but to head to Blue Nile and James Allen.

You can, however, select a setting and a diamond from their site and they will craft them together and ship them to you.

The freedom to choose a setting and diamond separately allows you to prioritize what’s truly important to you, while keeping your budget in mind. Loose diamonds enable you to define quality specifications and budget constraints.

By choosing an engagement ring this way, you are able to allocate your funds between the Four C’s and the setting as you see fit.

With our fantastic diamond search tool, you can find the optimal cut quality diamond for your perfect ring. The choice of over a million loose diamonds allows you to focus on what's most important to you.

The Experience

Jewelry Exchange brick and mortar store


Firstly, if you’re looking for a deluxe shopping experience (as many buyers are), you won’t find it at The Jewelry Exchange. 

The Jewelry Exchange experience is laced with nods to its heritage. As such, their low-cost business model translates to a slightly low-cost experience, and their pawnshop roots are evident in everything from their branding to the ticket dispensers in-store.

Interestingly, The Jewelry Exchange requires ID before you can look at engagement rings.

It seems that their representatives lack a basic understanding of diamonds. In light of their staff’s inexperience, we were concerned about the risk for novice diamond shoppers and how easy it would be to leave with a stone with eye-visible inclusions, discovering only after the fact.

This site leaves plenty to the imagination due to the imagery, as mentioned previously. It’s difficult to judge the quality of the pieces even in stores since the pieces aren’t displayed well.

Jewelry Exchange should follow the trend of many online jewelers by improving the quality of its online imagery over the last few years – instead of putting all of its eggs in its brick-and-mortar basket. 

In some ways, it may seem as the case that a company with a budget-style branding and a lost-cost business model should have a transparent approach to all aspects of its operation; unfortunately, this is not the case.

3. What diamond and jewelry products does Jewelry Exchange offer?

Earlier, we voiced our concerns about Jewelry Exchange’s lack of reputable diamond certifications. As an alternative, we will discuss Jewelry Exchange’s broad selection of jewelry.

Their collections include:

Prior to being tempted by Jewelry Exchange's alleged good deals, check out our reviews of some of our vetted vendors, including Blue Nile™, Whiteflash and James Allen. These vendors will provide you with the best diamond shopping experience online.

4. What sets Jewelry Exchange apart from others?

Manufactures Own Jewelry: Jewelry Exchange is an interesting company since they manufacture jewelry. The Jewelry Exchange sells a variety of jewelry items, including rings, bracelets, pendants, and earrings, presumably eliminating manufacturer markups.

Expansive inventory: As The Jewelry Exchange has 15 stores across the country, it has a relatively large selection of jewelry. There is a good selection of engagement rings, diamonds, and other jewelry pieces available in the stores.

5. What does Jewelry Exchange packaging look like?

Unfortunately, we were unable to find any traces of the Jewelry Exchange packaging online. This tells us one thing – it’s not very impressive. 

To match its budget-friendly nature, we can speculate on its lightweight cardboard outer packaging and plain ring box but regrettably, no details are available.

6. Are you the ideal Jewelry Exchange customer?

When buying a diamond ring, you make a considerable financial and emotional commitment. You need to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money

There is no doubt that the Jewelry Exchange has an interesting, even inspiring history.

While The Jewelry Exchange’s roots reflect the American dream admirably, the cares of the modern consumer are largely driven by information, quality and price. 

Despite the nostalgic nature of The Jewelry Exchange, the company offers subpar diamonds, inferior diamond grading reports, and a general lack of information for customers.

Jewelry Exchange falls short in this instance, as only quality and value matter in a market with fierce competition.

Online jewelry retailers that offer a wide variety of certified diamonds and engagement rings at competitive prices are rapidly replacing brick-and-mortar jewelry stores.

Certainly Jewelry Exchange offers convenience and inspiration, but their overhead costs reflect the fact that they have stores.

It may be unfair to compare The Jewelry Exchange to the global giants and their collections such as Astor by Blue Nile, Whiteflash A CUT ABOVE, and James Allen True Hearts‘, the pinnacle of diamond quality and the standard diamonds should be held to. With a greater experience and better prices, you will not be disappointed. And that really makes it challenging to recommend Jewelry Exchange in this context.

Along with diamond-related education, including reviews of well-known vendors, PriceScope encourages consumers to perform comprehensive research before they make a diamond purchase.

Not satisfied with Jewelry Exchange’s poor images and pricing? We recommend browsing our huge inventory of loose diamonds, allowing you to choose the features that are non-negotiable to you in a diamond.

Get fast answers to any question: Ask our community of unbiased independent helpers or use our diamond search to find your ideal diamond.

The information in this review is current, to the best of our knowledge, as of September, 2022. 

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