Rare Carat vs. Blue Nile

Blue Nile is a named and famed diamond retailer by now. On the other hand, Rare Carat seems to be fairly new in the market and is yet on the road of building a reputation. 

However, before we start out the comparison between the two, let’s get one thing straight. Rare Carat does not produce diamonds of their own rather the company acts as a middleman between you and hundreds of other diamond retailers. 

Rare Carat provides you with all the technical details regarding a diamond and gives you the privilege to compare many options at a single place. But is it worth spending a hefty chunk of your time comparing gazillions of diamonds when you can just find a great deal from a well reputed retailer like Blue Nile?

Well that’s a complicated question and I believe it’s not fair to put you on the spot like that. So don’t worry, we’ll carefully weigh the situation here and let you decide which one is a better place to shop for your diamonds.

About

Rare Carat

Rare Carat is considered as the number 1 diamond marketplace in America. The company aims at providing you with the best diamonds without getting ripped off. You can find and compare diamonds from a lot of retailers like Lab Glow, Daniel William, Dream Stone, Yadav, and many others. 

With each diamond comes a Rare Carat report that tells you if the price of the diamond is justified according to its properties. And the rest you’ll get to know as you proceed through the article.

Blue Nile

Blue Nile does not even need a lot of introduction at this point. It is definitely a leading online retailer for loose diamonds and diamond jewelry both, preferred by many people on their big days.

The company offers good value for money and most of all does not compromise on their quality. They manufacture handcrafted jewelry and top tier engagement rings that portray their excellent craftsmanship. 

Blue Nile has been around since 1999 and I must say they’ve held up a pretty good reputation so far.

Online Shopping Experience 

Given that Rare Carat is just a diamond aggregator and Blue Nile is a retailer itself, the shopping experience differs at both the online stores.

Rare Carat

As soon as you enter their online store, you’ll straight up see a ‘Find a Diamond’ option. 

Rare Carat offers both natural and lab created diamonds. However, you can only find loose diamonds and engagement rings at their website. Rare Carat is not the place for fine jewelry or coloured diamonds. 

But of course, diamonds from many retailers at one place means you’ll get a plethora of options. And the best part is the comparison that can be done amongst different diamonds from various retailers at one place.

Tonnes of filters like shape, price, cut, clarity, fluorescence, carat, color, certification, and retailer makes the search for a desired diamond quite hassle free.

Blue Nile

It is a one stop shop for all your jewelry needs which is why I give extra points to Blue Nile in terms of the shopping experience. 

They offer multiple options where you can build your own ring from scratch or buy pre-set rings or jewelry pieces. For creating a ring of your own, you can start by choosing a diamond out of 400k+ options or start with a setting of your choice.

You can shop for popular styles such as halo, solitaire, or side stone rings etc. Filters for choosing a diamond are also quite helpful; choose by shape, price, carat, cut, color, or clarity.

Blue Nile also offers an impressive collection of wedding rings, couple rings, gemstone jewelry, pearls, and precious metal jewelry. 

Overall, the edge clearly goes to Blue Nile because of the bigger inventory and better quality control. Of course, Rare Carat is a legit marketplace but buying from different rather unknown retailers often leaves you in two minds.

Pricing 

Since Rare Carat itself is not a diamond manufacturer, you cannot expect a stable or defined price range from them. 

The prices at Rare Carat depend on the retailer you’re referring to. You can easily find diamonds with a low price tag. And that I suppose is mostly because a considerable number of retailers at Rare Carat are not authorized.

You’ll not see big names like Blue Nile, James Allen, or Kay Jewelers on their website. Instead you can get diamonds from places like Yadav, Do Amore, Lab Glow, and Dream Stone etc.

Just for reference, a 1 Carat Round Diamond, VVS1 Clarity, G color, Ideal Cut at Rare Carat ranges from $7200 to $7500+ by different retailers.

Check the Rare Carat Collection Here

On the other hand, if we look at a similar diamond by Blue Nile, you can get better deals starting from $7000 and going up to $7900. For instance this 1 Carat Diamond by Blue Nile with a GIA report is priced at $7085 only. 

The edge goes to whom?

Well clearly, there’s not much of a price difference between the two. And of course my opinion is not based on one evaluation only. I compared diamonds with different caratage and specs, the bottom line remains the same.

The prices at both Blue Nile and Rare Carat do not vary largely. But one thing that I do appreciate about Rare Carat is the report that comes with each diamond. The report is based on an analysis of 18 quality checks and can be easily accessed right when you choose a diamond.

It really helps you decide if the diamond is worth the expense or not. Anyway, since there’s not a whopping difference between the prices, go with whatever makes more sense to you.

Quality 

Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers ethically sourced diamonds and they are well known for their hand crafted fine jewelry. They strictly believe in conflict free diamond policy.

The quality control at Blue Nile is excellent. Every jewelry piece is expertly crafted with great attention to detail. They offer beautiful designs at best prices.

Moreover, their jewelry and diamonds, everything is backed by warranty which makes them a trusted seller. If you’re sceptical about anything, you can book an appointment to have a first hand review of your desired jewelry. 

And if you look around the internet, you’ll find great reviews by customers such as this one:

Rare Carat

Since Rare Carat is just a middleman between you and your perfect diamond retailer, most people think that they do not stand behind any of their items. Well that is surprisingly false.

They offer a 100% money back guarantee without asking any questions, in case you do not receive a product as shown on the website.

They also do claim to have strict quality check process for every retailer. As per their claims, only 1 out 20 retailers get a chance to be listed on their website due to their policies.

So you can expect good quality diamonds at Rare Carat as well. Almost every customer who has bought from Rare Carat seems to be quite satisfied. In fact, I was quite surprised by seeing 5 star reviews by most buyers.

Like this person who cannot rave enough about her purchase from Rare Carat:

Anyway, the credit or discredit solely goes to the retailer you’re purchasing from. Despite that, any good or bad review affects the reputation of Rare Carat.

So far Rare Carat has managed to build a spotless reputation and it seems that they do have a credible quality check process.

Shipping 

Location 

Rare Carat is only meant to connect you and a certain retailer listed on their website. Therefore, they do not have a shipping service of their own. The shipping locations vary according to each retailer.  

However, Rare Carat ensures a free insured shipping service by all its retailers. Your package will arrive fully insured via FedEx or UPS no matter what retailer you choose.

Blue Nile, on the other hand, offers shipping within the US as well as to a few international locations. They offer international shipping to Canada, New Zealand, many parts of Europe, and you can check rest of the details right here

Blue Nile ships via FedEx and offers overnight, 2 day, or ground delivery service. 

Charges

In case of shipping charges as well, Rare Carat does not have any standard rates for it is just a marketplace itself. Your package arrives directly from the retailer instead of Rare Carat. 

So the shipping fee varies from retailer to retailer and you’ll have to check that when you’re making a purchase via Rare Carat. 

As opposed to that, Blue Nile has a standardized shipping process. They offer free FedEx ground shipping for orders below $500. FedEx 2 day service is free for orders $500-$1500. 

While the overnight shipping is free for orders above $1500. In case of international shipping, the charges vary according to the destination country taxes, custom, and duty charges. 

You can find all information related to international shipping here

Return Policy 

Rare Carat

Rare Carat does not have a return policy of its own, however, they make sure to only work with retailers that offer a 30 day return policy. 

Additionally, they also ensure that none of their retailers demand a return shipping fee or a restocking fee in case of a return. These policies really add to the comfort of a customer and make them confident whilst spending a hefty amount of money online.

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is also quite committed to customer satisfaction. They offer a 30 day return or exchange policy in case your package does not meet your expectations on arrival. 

Like Rare Carat, Blue Nile also offers a free return process to make your shopping experience as pleasant as possible. However, free return only apply to customers within US, Australia, and Canada. 

Overall, it looks like a tie between Rare Carat and Blue Nile because both of them offer customer friendly return policies.

Customer Support

Rare Carat

Rare Carat has set up a team of expert and non commissioned gemologists who offer a free guidance in case you have any concerns or queries regarding your potential purchase. 

But I seriously believe that they need to improve their customer support services. They lack in providing a timely response to the complaints. Almost all the negative reviews about Rare Carat have a complaint against their customer support so I guess that’s the only area they’re lacking in.

Anyway, you can find all the contact details on their website to get in touch with Rare Carat representatives.

Blue Nile

On the contrary, Blue Nile gets brownie points for their very responsive 24/7 customer service. A poor customer service always brings bad name to the company and Blue Nile sure does understand that. 

They also offer guidance from a team of experts and unbiased gemologists. And they’re quite active on all forums and respond to most complaints on time.

To get in touch with Blue Nile in case of any concern, you can reach out by using the contact details on their website. 

Store Location 

Rare Carat is an online marketplace based in Seattle and Blue Nile too, is predominantly an e-store only.

If you’re interested in purchasing from Rare Carat, all you need to do is visit their website. 

In contrast to that, Blue Nile can offer you a visit to their showrooms located in Florida, Washington, Virginia, and many other US states, to clear out any of your concerns.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are surely the way to go when you’re planning to purchase from a certain e store. So here’s a collection of a few customer responses that’ll help you know what people think about these two companies.  

Rare Carat on Reddit

Since everybody out here is interested in saving money, Rare Carat seems to be star in helping people with that. 

A user friendly website and hassle free shopping experience, yup I cannot agree more with this person:

Blue Nile on Reddit

“Smooth shopping process and knowledgeable representatives” says this customer on Reddit

Another super satisfied customer:

A comparison with Tiffany & co. now that’s something really huge. 

Final Verdict

Well at this point, I think of both Blue Nile and Rare Carat as companies delivering a stellar performance in what they do. Both tend to serve their customers really well. Rare Carat is great in that it can connect you to several retailers at one place while Blue Nile, the name itself is enough. And I say that because they’ve built a pretty solid reputation over the past 20 years. However, if you’re okay with buying from the sellers listed at Rare Carat then you should go for it too!

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