Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Kay Jewelers

Kay Jewelers is a large chain of jewellery stores operating through the United States, and is almost a century old.

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In terms of engagement and bridal jewellery, they offer The Leo Diamond as well as the Neil Lane Bridal collection. They also have an impressive range of variations on the engagement ring theme including three-stone rings and men’s engagement rings.

For general jewellery they stock a large number of collections including Tolkowsky and Le Vian.

For consumer satisfaction the chain offers the “Kay Guarantee”, which involves a lifetime guarantee on diamonds and gemstones as long as inspections are performed every six months – which is about the frequency you could take your ring in to get cleaned. The guarantee also covers other aspects such as the mounting and an attractive trade in policy for future exchanges.

One of the attractions of Kay jewellers is that they have more than 900 stores (912 stores as of this writing) throughout the United States. Most of the stores are located in major shopping centres which makes access easy.

You can use their website, Kay.com, to quickly find a store located near you. Their website also has a wide range of information on the jewellery that they offer.