Zales Review: These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope.
The first Zales Jewelers store was opened in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1924 by Morris (M.B.) Zale, William Zale and Ben Lipshy.
Zales was acquired by Signet Jewelers Inc in 2014. Signet is the largest specialty retailer of jewelry in the world, combined with Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelers and other brands such as Diamonds Direct, James Allen and others.
Today, Zales.com offers products and services in a plethora of areas. In the online diamond trade, they can be considered a disruptor of contemporary ideas and modernizing diamond ownership.
Zales, naming themselves “The Diamond Store”, combines the world of professional jewelry with the world of budget-conscious consumers. Although Zales may seem like the obvious choice for many bargain shoppers, they may not be the right fit for everyone.
The first Zales store opened in Wichita, Texas in 1924 by brothers Morris and Willian Zale. By offering credit plans, the average American consumer was able to afford the home appliances, cameras, and jewelry sold at the store. It set the foundation for what Zales would become.
The brothers opened their first store inside a mall in 1957. With the ultimate goal of selling as much jewelry as possible for the lowest price, mass marketing of their jewelry began within the US. As far back as the company’s history goes, the company has used clever marketing and advertising to draw customers in.
Gordon’s Jewelers, Peoples Jewelers, Mappins Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda are all other major brands that come under the Zales umbrella. While each branch of Zales has a slightly different focus (for example, Piercing Pagoda is an affordable jewelry kiosk), Zales is focused on diamonds and diamond engagement rings.
A major disappointment of Zales is that there is absolutely no indication of their diamonds being certified. If you do manage to find a certified diamond at Zales, the grading body will most likely be the IGI.
A budget diamond cannot exist, so keep this in mind when shopping. It is important to be cautious of any company that claims to be selling ‘clearance’ or ‘bargain’ diamonds – they may be selling poor-quality diamonds with high markups.
With Zales, we haven’t come across any other site that offers as many designer and exclusive collections as they do.
In reality, they are more expensive than they make us believe. There is a serious lack of information regarding the actual quality standards of the products, and you have to search really deep to find the IGI accreditation.
With that said, Zales’ reputation is not built by selling low-quality items. Their collection is quite impressive and any discerning shopper with their wits about them can enjoy something from their offering.
Ease of Use
The Zales site certainly feels flat in comparison to some other retailers we’ve reviewed. The minimalism is definitely a welcomed change from a previous iteration of their site which featured a cluttered homepage and a confusing navigation menu.
You can browse by shape, setting type, and metal type, but there’s no way to filter by diamond quality – another red flag for a brand that claims to be committed to diamonds.
One thing to note is that Zales includes a significant caveat underneath their images of jewelry; “Merchandise enlarged to show detail and may not always be exactly as pictured”.
This might mean you take a trip to visit in-store instead of purchasing online, just so you’re not met with disappointment when seeing your diamond ring for the first time. As already mentioned, you might be planning that anyway with the lack of certification.
In the event that you do find a ring you like, you can place it in your bag and either buy it online or reserve it for pickup from a store near you. Paying through PayPal is a convenient and secure option, making the checkout process smooth and easy.
It’s not until you enter your delivery address that you discover they only deliver within the US.
A bonus is that Zales’ website also has a well-designed and usable mobile version.
Overall, the site feels more like a place to reference than a shopping site, as we got the impression it was more designed to appeal to search engines and social media followers than actual buyers.
Zales offers an impressive range of services. A number of fine jewelry pieces are available for men and women, including diamond engagement rings and branded watches.
Despite the apparent emphasis on diamonds, Zales only offers pre-set rings; loose diamonds are not available.
Although it is not uncommon for online retailers to offer only pre-set options, savvy shoppers do not prefer this method of shopping nor would they recommend it.
Loose diamonds give you the freedom to specify quality and budget details. You can allocate your finances as you see fit across the Four C’s and the setting using this approach, which offers the most transparency when shopping for an engagement ring.
As mentioned, the website just feels a little bare to us. They improved on their previous one, so we’ll give them credit for that – but with such a wide offering range we can’t help but feel like more could have been utilized.
When it comes to customer services, they provide a number of methods in which you can get in touch with them for support. This is great – we can’t fault them for that.
You can reach them 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, using their toll-free number. Alternatively, you can write to them via e-mail or click the bottom right to open a chatbot that will communicate relevant information to you.
Or you can leave a comment on their blog or contact them via their Facebook or Twitter profiles. Definitely appealing to their marketing-first approach.
So although their website doesn’t wow us, maybe their toned-down approach is a branding choice? Reflective of their diamond offering? I will add, however, that their Jewelry Inspiration page is a nice touch.
We’ve gone over our gripes with Zales’ lack of diamond certifications. So, instead, we’re going to focus on Zales unparalleled selection of jewelry in addition to its wide choice of engagement rings.
Their collections include:
Lifetime Diamond Commitment: Lose your diamond? Zales will replace it at no extra charge. Of course, there are some caveats to this, and only applies to diamonds in their original settings that have been inspected and repaired by Zales.
Great Policies: Zales makes returns free and easy if you aren’t completely in love with your purchase. You have 30 days to return your purchase for a full refund and you’re able to carry this out either in-store or by mail.
Convenient Shopping: With over 600 stores nationwide, there is probably a Zales near you if you crave that in-store experience.
Source: I Do Now I Don’t
Okay so the packaging for Zales isn’t exactly Tiffany’s. But, as we learned, when shopping with Zales you might not necessarily be doing so for high-end products – more for the convenience and great policies.
The ring box is pleasant enough with raised, tactile silver lines and their brand name printed on the top and inside. Much like the website, it feels lackluster and a little budget.
There’s nothing elitist about Zales.com. They have a modern edge that makes it obvious they are targeting users of social media networks. It is also clear from the fact that they are offering massive discounts on several of the items that they are not looking for the attention of diamond enthusiasts.
They do, however, offer some extravagant designs in addition to their large selection of pieces at a lower price point. Zales is a great choice for budget-minded shoppers who don’t demand the highest quality diamonds and prefer the convenience of buying from a chain store.
While we can’t feel confident in building a diamond engagement ring at Zales, they are worth checking out for affordable personalized jewelry.
With PriceScope, diamond-lovers are given access to layers of diamond-related information, including certification, you are encouraged to conduct comprehensive research before making their diamond buying decision.