One factor that we will always consider when purchasing our favorite jewelry items is the price range. Beautiful and exquisite jewelry, whether fine or costume, is an integral part of our lives. Simply put- elegant jewelry items make us feel better and look good at all times. Just for this reason alone, we have become hunters of fine jewelry pieces, and sometimes we find ourselves on the most intense shopping spree trying to pick out great pieces.
However, when shopping, you may notice that some jewelry pieces cost a lot more than the others while others cost less. When this happens, you will question the quality of the item and try to understand why it is so cheap or expensive in the first place. If you have come across Zales jewelry items, the odds are that you have been in this situation before.
To understand why Zales diamonds are so cheap, and what you are getting from that specific price tag, we need to understand a few things further. Read on to understand the history of Zales jewelry and its sales.
Zales diamonds history
Zales jewelry uses the rack them and stacks them approach business. They are identified as the pioneers of this business model in the US jewelry market. They were the first jewelry chain to open indoor shops in a mall.
In 1924, two brothers, Willian and Morris Zale opened the first-ever Zales store in Texas, in a town known as Wichita. They launched a credit plan where the average American customer could afford any appliances, jewelry items, and jewelry electronics that they sold in their store. This approach to business set the standard to which items sold at Zales stores would be.
When they slowly began creating a customer chain, they thought of opening another store. In 1957, they opened a Zales store inside a shopping mall. Their intention at the time was to sell as much jewelry as they can as they could for the lowest price. They felt that the mall was a great place to start considering the massive foot-traffic that every mall had. As they did this, they popularized mass marketing of jewelry within the United States, and other jewelers began to follow suit.
Ever since the Zales company started, they always looked for ways to ensure that smart marketing and advertising appealed to diverse consumers and used the same model to create a clientele for any other store that they would open in the future. Every branch of the Zales tree has a different focus. The Piercing Pagoda branch is more of a low market jewelry kiosk, whereas Zales, the main branch, focuses on diamond sales and diamond engagement rings. Despite the fact that they mainly sell diamonds, they do not offer any loose diamonds. You can only find pre-set engagement rings in their stores.
You have the option to shop for your favorite diamond rings by shape, metal type, and setting type, but you will never find an option to filter the rings in their collection by the diamond quality.
Why are Zales diamonds so cheap?
Reason 1- They do not offer options to filter your search for a diamond ring by quality
Generally, most online vendors or jewelry stores offer options to filter by the diamond quality. However, this isn’t the case with Zales jewelry, which indeed is a red flag for any brand that focuses on diamond sales. Generally, buying a loose diamond allows you to specify the exact qualities you want in your ring and work around your anticipated budget. However, this isn’t the case with Zales diamonds.
Reason 2- They do not clarify the 4C’s that determine the diamond quality
Something else is that you wouldn’t be too sure about the 4 C’s of diamonds when shopping on Zales online store. Zales does not specify the clarity or the color of the diamond in each of their rings. Also, they do not mention the cut of their diamonds, so we can assume that their diamonds may not have the best cut or may be of poor quality. Sometimes they post an image of the ring you would like to buy, but the image does not always represent the ring in question.
Reason 3- Their diamonds are certified by the IGI lab, whereas some of their diamonds do not have any certification
Another red flag is that there is no mention of diamond grading or certification anywhere on their product description. And if there is any certification on their diamonds, it is done by the IGI and not the GIA. Unfortunately, the IGI has been called out multiple times for inflated and inconsistent diamond grading. Most vendors that use the IGI to certify their diamonds often choose them because they are the cheapest in the industry. At the same time, the inflated grades allow for a bigger markup. Because of all these loopholes, Zales jewelry tends to be cheap.
Are Zales diamonds of good quality?
Unfortunately, Zales diamonds are of a lower quality than those certified by the GIA. Also, they capitalize on the Popularity of their name and the naivety of their clientele. Before most vendors started selling diamonds online, there were limited options when it came to choosing the best diamonds for your jewelry items. At the same time, there was very little information, so you wouldn’t carry out much research before your purchase.
You would enter a Zales store, and the salesperson would give you information about the diamond you would want to buy. The majority of the time, the salesperson would not give you accurate information about the diamond, simply because he or she wants to make a quick sale. So most of the time, after getting your Zales ring, you will notice that it begins to fade after some time or the diamond is slightly questionable.
Zales Diamonds Review
Just like every other jewelry store that exists, salespersons at Zales give bias education on their diamonds. For this reason, the best customer for Zales’ retail chain is the uneducated one. Sincerely speaking, if you walk into a Zales store with the knowledge that you have after completely understanding diamond qualities, you may never decide to purchase from that store. Unfortunately, most people do not carry out enough research so they may end up purchasing poor quality Zales Diamonds.
It’s not all negative with the company. Zales Jewelry has a few perks such as;
- A large selection of diamond engagement rings and settings
In as much as Zales jewelry tends to offer poor value for the buck, it has a wide array of diamonds and settings that you can choose from. So, if you want to browse through a delightful collection of diamonds and settings, you can always go through their selection. This would give you an idea of what to look for when you walk into a jewelry store.
- They feature Bride Style Categories in their collection
Zales jewelry has a wide array of online bride style categories, such as The Fashionable Bride and The Classic Bride. The two collections can be very useful when you want to compare options if your fiancée- to-be has a specific design in mind. Remember that engagement rings are lifetime investments. Doing this is, in fact, very helpful and would save you from purchasing a ring that doesn’t match your partner’s sense of style because if it doesn’t you would have to pay a hefty price to redesign it.
- It is convenient to shop at Zales jewelry stores
Zales jewelry has multiple retail shops in most parts of the country. For this reason, it is very convenient to shop from them if you would want to view different engagement rings and diamonds in person. The good thing is engagement rings from Zales jewelry come in a variety of types, cuts, and styles that you can choose from. Online, you can view the company’s range of diamonds by popular cuts, such as marquise, Asscher, cushion, and oval, as well as by the setting style of the ring. Even better, you get the chance to ask any further questions you have from a salesperson before you make your purchase.
With this said, all these perks including the convenience factor don’t make up for the cheap price tag and the poor quality of their diamonds.
Now, you may be asking whether the fact that Zales jewelry has a diverse collection makes it a good place to shop for an engagement ring. Unfortunately, it is not the best option. You can look into other jewelry stores to find high-end jewelry items.
However, if you are a fan of costume jewelry and are looking for a temporary option, Zales jewelry may be the best place for you to shop.
You can always find yourself a few colorful pieces from their collection or could land yourself a dazzling ‘diamond’ ring. Lastly, you should note that their cheap price tag is in line with their business model.
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Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.