Brilliance vs. Blue Nile: Which Is Better?

Purchasing a diamond online calls for a lot of research. And I’m sure you know how intimidating it gets when you go through a pile of reviews online that are poles apart. 

Anyway, I wanted an insight into these leading online diamond stores, so I did profound research about them. And what you’ll get over here is an unbiased Brilliance versus the Blue Nile contrast to see which one, out of the two veterans, is actually worth the money. 

So let’s not indulge in further talking and get straight to the review!

About

Blue Nile

The Blue Nile was founded in 1999, and ever since, it has been delivering quality diamonds and engagement rings to its customers. And it’s quite popular in the online diamond marketplace. The Blue Nile strives to give its customers extraordinary, high-quality diamonds at great value.

All of their diamonds hold a GIA certification. Moreover, Blue Nile has been leading the industry with its handcrafted engagement rings and fine jewelry for over 20 years.

Brilliance

Brilliance, on the other hand, has been serving the diamond industry for over 25 years now. They’ve built quite a decent reputation as an online retailer of diamonds as well as engagement rings. 

Other than that, I wasn’t able to find much about Brilliance. They chose not to reveal a lot about themselves as a company. But anyway, that’s not an issue of concern here. 

Website Navigation 

A hassle-free online shopping calls for an easy-to-browse website. 

And I must say Blue Nile’s website is a job well done. I cannot rave enough about how easy it is to browse all-around their website. The home page features collections specific to diamond cuts. 

Moreover, engagement rings, wedding rings, diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and diamond jewelry are some of the categories that you access directly from the home page. 

Besides that, the filtering and categorization have been done in a way that is convenient for an average user. You can target your search according to price, metal type, color, gemstone, stone shape, or material. 

Similarly, the website of Brilliance will not disappoint you as well. The website has been designed with a very basic theme. The home page consists of categories such as wedding rings, preset rings, and eternity bands. 

You can explore loose diamonds according to your desired cut. Brilliance.com also offers vintage rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces. 

When it comes to filtering engagement rings, you can target your search according to the specific metal, shape, or style of the ring. Furthermore, when browsing loose diamonds, you can filter them according to a carat, cut, clarity, price, color, and shape.

Overall, it’s a tie between the Blue Nile and Brilliance in terms of their website. Both are easy to browse and hence, render a smooth shopping experience. 

Store Location 

Both Blue Nile and Brilliance are e-commerce diamond stores. This means that all of your shopping will be done online. However, there is a pleasant exception at the Blue Nile that may help you shop with more clarity.

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is based in the USA and, gladly, has its showrooms across ten different states of the US. These states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. 

You can visit these stores for a one-on-one diamond inspection just to have a better and closer look at your potential buy. Find the exact showroom locations here. 

Brilliance

In contrast to that, Brilliance is also based in the USA. But it doesn’t have any showroom locations. This means that your shopping will be based entirely online. You cannot inspect the diamond on your own or get a first-hand review of the diamonds. 

You’ll only get the diamond in your hand once you purchase it, which kinda sounds risky. But anyway, buying diamonds online has become the new normal now, so you shouldn’t be worrying a lot, honestly!

The edge definitely goes to the Blue Nile due to the availability of a one-on-one diamond inspection service at their showrooms. This makes them a more trusted place, unlike Brilliance which offers no such service.

Pricing

Let’s compare a few loose diamonds from both Blue Nile and Brilliance with equal cut, clarity, and color grades, as well as caratage.

1 Carat Diamond – the Blue Nile vs. Brilliance

At the Blue Nile, I searched for a 1-carat diamond, a very good cut, H color, and VS1 clarity. This diamond retails for $5,676, to be precise, alright? Then I applied a similar filter at Brilliance to find a similar diamond. And I found a 1-carat diamond at Brilliance, very good cut, H color, and VS1 clarity for $3,870. I was surprised or rather shocked. A whopping difference of $1800, something’s fishy, I wondered.

Guess what? I was right. When I went through the GIA certification of the diamond from Brilliance, I was extremely disappointed to find out that what they mentioned as a very good cut was graded as a fair cut on the GIA report. 

Yes, that’s what the GIA report of this diamond says about its cut grade. Looks like Brilliance is just making a fool outta their customers. 

1.5 Carat Diamond – the Blue Nile vs. Brilliance

Next, I browsed through 1.5-carat diamonds at the Blue Nile and found this one 1.5 c. Diamond in VVS1 clarity, H color, and Excellent cut. This diamond retails for $14,641 with a GIA certification. Next, I searched for a similar diamond at Brilliance and found many options. 

And then again, I was disappointed at finding a similar diamond mentioned as an excellent cut for $8,000. But surprisingly, this time, Brilliance was honest in that the certification attached to this diamond was by EGL. And that is way below the standards of GIA grading, which means it wasn’t really an excellent cut but rather a fair cut at most.

But anyway, I found a 1.5 c with similar grading from GIA at Brilliance, and it retails for $15,677. 

2 Carat Diamond – the Blue Nile vs. Brilliance

A 2-carat diamond with VVS1 clarity, H color, and Ideal cut retails for $40,216 at the Blue Nile. An exactly identical diamond at Brilliance with similar grading but a slight difference in measurements will cost you around $40,442.

In conclusion, there’s not a consistent difference between the prices of Blue Nile and Brilliance. The 1.5-carat diamond at Brilliance was more expensive, while the 2-carat option from Brilliance is cheaper than the Blue Nile. 

Besides that, Blue Nile is honest about what they’re selling, while Brilliance seems to be tricking their customers with EGL certificates which is quite a turn-off. 

Quality 

Blue Nile

As a leading online diamond store, Blue Nile has held up a very good reputation over the years. They’ve formed a magnificent clientele in major countries of the world, and that’s because they produce high-quality diamonds. 

All the diamonds at the Blue Nile hold a certification and test report by GIA. This means all their diamonds are truly authentic, and you’d be spending your money at the right place. 

While I agree the diamonds are stellar in quality, and I’m sure you would too, I’d also like to mention that the Blue Nile lacks a bit in maintaining the quality of their jewelry. And I am saying this because I have seen quite a few customers complaining about poor settings or material in the jewelry. 

But one thing I know for sure is that the diamonds are worth a shot!

Brilliance

As for Brilliance, I was pleasantly surprised upon seeing outstanding reviews on the Internet. While I was put off by the lack of transparency in their certifications, I managed to gain a little hope as I went through reviews about Brilliance. 

Brilliance manufactures brilliant jewelry. The designs of their jewelry are eye-catching and unique. The GIA-graded diamonds are, of course, authentic and beautiful. While for the diamonds that are EGL certified, I can’t say much. 

You’ll just have to lower your expectations when buying an EGL-certified diamond from Brilliance because an excellent cut would actually look somewhat like a fair cut, and similar to that, the clarity and color grades would be far higher than they’d be on an authentic GIA report.

Overall, both Blue Nile and Brilliance are doing a good job in terms of manufacturing high-quality diamonds and jewelry. I won’t pick one over here because neither of them has a flawless reputation, in my opinion.

Shipping 

Locations

Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers shipping services all across the US. Worldwide shipping is not available, though. Besides shipping orders via FedEx across the US, Blue Nile also offers shipping to many countries, such as Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mexico, and many more countries in the European region.

Brilliance

Similarly, Brilliance is based in the USA and offers shipping across all the states of America. In addition, they also provide shipping to countries which include Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the UK, etc.

However, for international shipping, the order should be worth $500 at least. 

Charges

Blue Nile

The Blue Nile claims to offer free shipping on every order, but I’m afraid that’s not exactly the case. There are certain conditions. They offer free FedEx ground shipping for all orders under $500. 

If you want a two-day delivery, then your order will be eligible for free shipping only if it ranges from $500-$1000. Similarly, a priority overnight service is free only for orders above $1000.

International shipping to all these locations will include additional tax, customs, and duty charges. 

Brilliance

Likewise, Brilliance also claims free shipping on every. However, if your order is under $250, then you’ll get a UPS or FedEx Ground delivery. For orders worth $2000 and above, free UPS or FedEx Overnight shipping is offered.

And in case you want overnight delivery of your order that is below 2000 bucks, then you’ll have to pay an additional $25 as a shipping fee. 

In conclusion, the delivery of both Blue Nile and Brilliance is not completely free after all. There are certain conditions that will make your order eligible for free shipping.

Return Policy 

Blue Nile

The Blue Nile offers the typical return policy. You can return your order within 30 days in case you don’t find it up to the mark. The return shipping costs for all their customers in Australia, Canada, and the USA are covered by the Blue Nile themselves, which is a superb plus point for them. For international customers, the cost will be calculated according to their location.

Brilliance

Brilliance, on the other hand, also offers a 30-day return policy. However, I was disappointed when I found out that the 30-day period begins the very day your order is shipped. And that I believe pretty unfair to the customers, especially when a delivery is delayed. 

Quite frankly, Blue Nile is a winner over here because the return policy of Brilliance just didn’t sit right with me. 

Customer Support 

Blue Nile

At the Blue Nile, experienced and noncommissioned diamond experts are at your disposal 24/7 to guide you throughout your purchase. You can email them at [email protected] or [email protected] for your queries. 

Or you can ring them @ 00 353 1 899 1351, have a live chat on their website, or reach them out through SMS. All up to you. 

Brilliance

Similarly, Brilliance also offers plenty of options to help you reach them out easily. You can contact them Monday to Thursday 24/7 at: 

  • Toll-Free: 866-802-2807
  • Canada 855-976-2996
  • UK: +44 (800) 802-1384
  • Australia: +61-(2)-8294-7515
  • International: +1-561-369-5551
  • Fax: 866-465-5173

Have a live chat or send them a message on their website, whatever you like!

Brilliance vs. Blue Nile Customer Reviews

Well, that was all from my side. Let’s see what some of the customers have to say about these brands. I was really surprised at the stellar reputation of Brilliance on the internet. At the same time, opinions about the Blue Nile were both positive and negative. 

First, let’s see some reviews for the Blue Nile (source):

A customer extremely disappointed with the customer service:

This super satisfied and loyal customer from Brilliance (source):

Someone not satisfied with the customer’s representative:

Looks like both Blue Nile and Brilliance need to work on their customer service.

Final Verdict

The competition between the Blue Nile and Brilliance was a cutthroat one; I’ll have to admit. Both of them has a huge satisfied clientele all over the world. There’s not much of a difference between their prices as well. But for me, Brilliance lost points at the false description of their diamonds. Moreover, a few of their diamonds had hidden GIA reports which kind of adds more to skepticism about them. 

Conclusively, I’d give the edge to the Blue Nile. But Brilliance is a pretty decent option as well.

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