Are Zale's Diamonds worth the money?

When it comes to diamonds, the Zale's name is famous. Zale's Diamonds are thought to be very fine diamonds.

Zale's has a diamond that has an eight sided Octillion cut. This cut allows the diamond to have 82 facets compared to the normal 58 facets of a brilliant cut round diamond. More facets equal more sparkle usually. At a glance it looks a lot like a normal round cut diamond.

Is this diamond a huge leap in diamond cutting technology? I would say "No". Large jewelry stores often like to have their own signature style or cut of diamond. This is often what jewelry companies due to try and increase their advertising.

Let's look at the Zale's diamond technically. When you buy a Zale's diamond you must buy it in one of their settings. You are also not buying a specific diamond as you would if you bought from a more reputable online jewelry store. Zale's gives you a range of specifications that your diamond will fall in.

For color it will range from H-I

For Clarity it will range from SI1-SI2

If you need a reminder of what this means take a look at Diamond Sparkle. If you have already done your research you will know that this means the diamond will have a noticeable yellow color and you will be able to see inclusions in the diamond with your naked eye.

As for the Octillion cut, they choose that shape because it allows them to get more cut stone out of a rough diamond. A rough stone that might produce a .4 carat round cut will produce a .5 carat octillion cut. Ideally this would make it cheaper per carat than a round stone. That is what happens with princess cut diamonds. See diamond shape for more info. It doesn't happen with Zale's diamonds. They still cost the same as a comparatively sized round diamond or more.

Another thing an octagon cut allows them to do is place the diamond in a four prong setting with the prongs at the corners. When the stop sign shaped diamond has the prongs in the corners it tends to look like a round diamond of a greater carat weight. Not a bad idea - don't pay for the diamond that is normally hidden by the prongs in a round cut diamond.

If you are in one of their stores ask to see the certificate for the diamond also. Many times the cut quality of the diamond is quite low. This was pointed out to me by the salesman himself. He mentioned that he thought their Signature Series Diamonds were better quality and value. The signature Series might be worth a comparison with Blue Nile diamonds. Let's take a look.

Zale's Signature: .5 carat, color I, clarity SI2, shape round, cut ?, ring 18k gold solitaire = $1,999

Blue Nile: .5 carat, color I, clarity SI2, shape round, cut ideal, ring 18k gold solitaire=$1,250

Wow, not even close. The Zale's diamond does not give its cut grade so I couldn't make an exact comparison. For the Blue Nile diamond I chose an ideal cut even though I don't think that the Zale's diamond would fall under ideal. For another comparison I looked at what size diamond you could upgrade to for $1,999. Everything pretty much the same you could get a .71 carat diamond and ring.

Customer service at Zales can also be lacking. Click here to read a few customer reports.

Overall between the low quality of diamond and the limit of settings to choose from I would steer clear of the Zale's Octillion diamond. If you are still interested I would go to one of their stores and compare the diamond with a brilliant round cut and see what your eye and your wallet say.