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The Short Version: Picking out an engagement ring is a weighty task, but some cutting-edge resources can help consumers get it right the first time. Blue Nile, the world’s largest online retailer of diamond jewelry, has assisted in more than 500,000 marriage proposals since 1999. Their diamond collection and educational content cater to first-time shoppers looking to wow their significant others with sparkly pieces of jewelry. Blue Nile guarantees quality workmanship in their inventory of over 150,000 diamonds and other gemstones. You can build your own ring using their interactive tools to choose the cut, color, clarity, design, setting, and price you desire. Next time you’re contemplating proposing or giving a romantic gift to someone special, you can browse Blue Nile for dazzling jewelry at an affordable price.
In 1998, Mark Vadon was on a mission to find the perfect engagement ring for his girlfriend — the only problem was he didn’t know anything about diamonds. He went into a jewelry store and soon found himself feeling skeptical about the staff members and their blasé advice. He pointed out two rings that looked identical to him and asked why there was a $5,000 price difference between them.
The sales clerk smiled and said what mattered more than the price was how the ring made him feel. To Mark’s analytical mind, this was ludicrous. He walked out of the store empty-handed and exasperated, but he was also determined to learn more about engagement rings so he could understand exactly what he was paying for.
Mark, a Stanford-educated numbers cruncher, approached his ring-buying decision as he would a research project and went online to get all the facts. He came upon a site called Internet Diamonds, a retailer that offered informative descriptions and guided tutorials about diamonds to supplement their jewelry collection.
Thanks to this resource, Mark felt confident when buying an outstanding ring online — for thousands of dollars less than the rings he had seen at the store.
He was so taken by this consumer-friendly experience that he got in contact with the site’s owner, Doug Williams, to discuss buying the business. They drew up terms on a napkin over lunch. By spring of 1999, Mark had raised more than $6 million, enough to take over Internet Diamonds, which he renamed Blue Nile. Today, the website is the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, but they still prioritize customer education above all else.
“Education is the backbone of our company,” commented Josh Holland, Director of Brand Experience. “We have a customers-first mentality.”
If you like it and want to put a ring on it, you can trust Blue Nile to make the process much easier by providing clear information, expert advice, and thousands of independently-graded diamonds. The website’s ample resources walk customers through the important characteristics of a diamond and offer easy-to-use tools to narrow down your search for a stunning piece of jewelry.
“We try to guide people to make the best possible purchase that’s right for them,” Josh told us. “We help customers find the right combination of features to maximize their budget and get a beautiful diamond.”
Any impressive proposal starts with the diamond. You can’t get down on one knee with any old ring in your hand. With an inventory of more than 150,000 diamonds, Blue Nile gives customers no end of engaging choices. According to Josh, about 70% of Blue Nile’s revenue comes from engagement rings.
The website allows couples to create their own rings from selecting the diamond to deciding on the setting. First, you’ll use simple slider tools to select the ideal shape, price, carat, cut, color, and clarity of your diamond. Next, you’ll choose a setting, sorting by color, price, style, or designer, to offset the diamond. On Blue Nile, it takes a matter of minutes to put together a unique creation.
Whether you’re enamored by the sheen of yellow gold or drawn to platinum’s durability, Blue Nile can help you narrow down thousands of options into one custom-made ring.
Getting engaged is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event, so most people buying engagement rings are beginners, unsure of what they’re looking for and brand new to ring buying. Blue Nile’s team has the experience to teach first-timers how to find the diamond ring that fits just right.
Accessible, transparent, and helpful, this jewelry retailer doesn’t pressure customers into buying anything outside their means. Because Blue Nile operates as an online store, they have significantly less overhead and can offer quality diamonds at a fraction of the cost you’d find in a traditional jewelry store.
In addition to an independently-graded GIA report, plenty of product photos show online shoppers what their jewelry will look like from every possible angle. Plus, the site offers a 360-degree video view of any diamond via the Diamond Visualization Tool. Using advanced technology, Blue Nile magnifies the diamond and rotates the image so customers can see every detail.
“You get a holistic sense of what the diamond looks like, and the visual is stunning,” Josh told us. “Because it’s so magnified it’s actually even better than holding it in your hand.”
The Education section on Blue Nile’s website encourages you to become an expert in diamonds. Their in-depth jewelry guides cover everything from finding your (or your partner’s) ring size to choosing the diamond characteristics most important to you. You can learn more about metals, gemstones, pearls, wedding rings, and other jewelry as well.
“Even just a little bit of research can go a long way,” Josh said. By understanding what makes a diamond more or less expensive, shoppers can prioritize what they want in their jewelry and save money through smarter shopping.
“My fiancé and I did a lot of research, and it all paid off when we saw the ring. Blue Nile is really great!” — Manjari, a satisfied customer from Irving, Texas
Blue Nile provides thorough resources so first-timers can make informed decisions about their diamond’s carat, clarity, color, and other aspects. The consultant team doesn’t work on commission and genuinely seeks to help with free buying tips. In regards to diamond carat weight, for instance, their experts suggest “to maximize your budget, consider buying a diamond that is slightly below your ideal carat weight.”
Team members at all levels of the company often take a personal interest in customers. “One of my favorite stories,” Josh told us, “is our jewelers write down the name of the customer of the ring they’re working on so it’s not just a ring to them.”
Oftentimes, purchasing a diamond means making a lifelong commitment, so it’s important to choose a trustworthy retailer to ensure the right fit. Blue Nile promises satisfaction through many customer-first policies. For example, the company makes a 30-day money-back guarantee on returns for all their jewelry.
“Quality and workmanship is paramount to us,” Josh said. “We ensure that the ring is exactly perfect before it goes out the door, and we stand behind that work with a no-questions-asked return policy.”
Blue Nile provides complimentary resizings and cleanings during the first year after purchasing a customized engagement ring. Plus, customers enjoy a lifetime diamond upgrade program should they ever want to replace their diamond with a newer, more expensive diamond.
If you want to actually see Blue Nile’s jewelry for yourself, you can find a webroom location near you. In stores across the country, shoppers can consult with knowledgeable jewelers and actually handle Blue Nile’s jewelry. The webroom’s jewelry is for display only, but you can use their iPad to place an order, if you like. Blue Nile’s physical locations are a no-pressure environment where browsers are welcome to look at and feel their jewelry.
“There’s very little risk,” Josh explained. “We know the intrinsic value of what our jewelry can mean to somebody, and that is a responsibility we take extremely seriously.”
Unlike most jewelry sellers, Blue Nile encourages comparison shopping. In fact, they recommend accessing their site on your mobile device while in a jewelry store so you can do a side-by-side comparison of prices in real time. This empowers you to get the best deal in-store and online.
According to Blue Nile’s Price Match Guarantee, “if you find a comparable GIA-graded diamond at a lower price,” they’ll match the price. Just call 1-888-565-7641 to make your claim for free. With uncompromising craftsmanship and unbeatable pricing, Blue Nile guarantees satisfaction on every sale.
We’ve all heard diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but, for all you fellas out there, diamonds could be your friend, too, if you take the time to understand what makes them sparkle. Blue Nile Founder Mark Vadon found out firsthand how intimidating it can be to pick out an engagement ring. So, he established a simpler way to educate consumer about diamond pricing, and now you can buy your chosen ring online for a fraction of the cost.
Made to last, Blue Nile offers reasonably priced and strikingly beautiful diamonds in a variety of colors, cuts, and styles. From one-of-a-kind engagement rings to elegant Valentine’s Day pendants, their extensive collection of jewelry adds value to your special moments.
Blue Nile backs the quality of their diamonds with customer-first policies and advanced custom tools. If you want to show the person you love how much he or she means to you, buying a diamond, pearl, or gemstone can certainly do the trick. Using Blue Nile’s buying tips, engaged couples can figure out how to save money on their engagement or wedding rings so they have more to spend on the honeymoon!
“You can get a diamond ring in a more modern way through Blue Nile. You don’t have to do it the old way anymore,” Josh said. “We want to teach people to buy like experts, using our guidelines to get the price they want without compromising quality.”