Zales, Kay, and Jared are easily three of the most popular jewelry brands on the market today, and you may have walked into or past these stores in the past.
You may be considering jewelry offered by one of these three brands, but then they are as confusing as they are intriguing. So, how do you settle on one of these three companies? Where are you better off spending your money?
Having been in the same confused space you currently find yourself in, we took time to analyze what these three companies have to offer, and most importantly, which of the three would make an excellent option for you. Below, we share insights into these three brands to help you make the right decision.
Brief introduction of Zales Jewelry
Founded in 1924 by Morris and William Zales and Ben Lipshy in Wichita Falls, Texas, Zales is one of the leading jewelry brands on the market today. Zales offers some of the highest quality merchandise at impressively low prices. What stands out from this brand has to be the fact that a quarter a century after it was founded, the brand came up with a rather revolutionary marketing strategy involving the opening up of stores with some of the best indoor shopping malls, a strategy that made Zales more accessible to the rest of the public.
The store offers this unique/ revolutionary credit plan – the penny down and a dollar a week – a plan that they offer even on their higher-priced items. Paired with their robust and exceptional customer services and dedicated employees, the company was able to expand really fast, boasting at least 12 stores spread across both Texas and Oklahoma by 1941. Today, Zales boasts over 700 stores with a presence spread as far as Puerto Rico and North America.
One of the things that stands out from Zales has to be the fact that this brand boasts an exclusive diamond store that allows its customers the widest range of high-quality and high-value fine jewelry.
As a result, any Zales customer can access anything in terms of jewelry from the everyday basics to some of the most exquisite diamonds, both online and in their physical stores.
They also offer the best of bridal jewelry made of simple gold bands, as well as the most extravagant diamonds. Some of their diamond designs include exclusive diamond designs from some of the internationally-acclaimed brands like Neil Lane and Vera Wang.
Also, Zales’ selection of bridal diamond jewelry makes up the largest percentage of the brand, which has earned Zales the Moniker – The Diamond Store.
Brief introduction of Kay Jewelry
Boasting a history of over 100 years, Kay Jewelry, established in 1916 by Edmund and Sol Kaufmann in Reading, Pennsylvania, is one of the leading jewelry companies in the world. In fact, Kay Jewelers is ranked the 2nd most widespread jewelry retailer with a mall-based presence across the US.
Since its establishment, Kay has been a jewelry line intended to symbolize love and gratitude. Initially, Kay would sell music boxes, eyeglasses, silverware, razors, and even appliances, before they sold jewelry exclusively.
A lot has changed over the years, though, but the KAY love lives on. Today, the brand offers the best quality and the most affordable jewelry, as they are devoted to making sure that everyone looks beautiful. Their range of products includes classic must-haves and the latest in fashion and jewelry.
Interestingly, Kay Jewelry is also owned by Sterling Jewelers as well as the worldwide Signet Jewelers, just like Zales Jewelry.
Brief introduction of Jared jewelry
Also owned by Signet Jewelers Limited, Jared Jewelry is one of the largest specialty jewelry brands with retail stores in the UK, US, and Canada. Signet is a huge brand that operates about 3,600 stores, including Kay and Zales, among others like H. Samuel, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda, and Ernest Jones.
Jared, The Galleria Of Jewelry’s specialty jewelry, is focused on bridal jewelry. In the US alone, Jared Jewelry boasts at least 200 off-mall stores in about 40 states, with all their physical stores selling the widest collections of jewelry, from simple engagement rings to watches, charms, and also the best of fashion jewelry. Jared jewelry also boasts of having at least 5X the collection of jewelry found in other jewelry stores.
The other features that stand out from Jared Jewelry are as follows:
- Their diamonds are responsibly-sourced, and the lab-created varieties are made of the best quality stones. Their stones are GIA-certified.
- They offer personalized jewelry collections, and customers get to pick and customize their own pendants and rings.
- The brand offers go-to fashion-forward pieces, which offer that classic and timeless allure. They also offer traditional jewelry charms allowing you to express your style easily and effortlessly.
Pros and Cons of Zales Jewelry
When it comes to jewelry stores and choosing the best jewelry from one brand over the other, the first and the most important consideration that you need to keep in mind is the quality of what they sell. Zales, like the rest of the brands above, are run under one umbrella company, Signet Jewelers Limited. Even so, there are some differences worth noting, hence this section.
One of the important considerations to keep in mind is the quality of their diamonds. The color, cut, clarity, and carat weight determine the value of the diamonds. For the best quality, the gems would have to be certified by renowned bodies like the AGS (American Gem Society) and the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Other labs include the IGI (International Gemological Institute), but it isn’t at the same level as the AGS or the GIA.
So, should you buy from Zales?
- Great price range
- Options available to most price groups thanks to the use of semi-precious stones set on gold and silver
- Great variety of jewelry
- They offer more of the fashion-forward and trendy pieces of jewelry
- Credit payment options offered to customers
- Free shipping offered for the online purchases
- 60-Day return policy
- Doorstep deliveries made through UPS
- Free shipping to the nearest Zales’ outlets
- The website is easy to navigate, and there is a huge collection for you to choose from
- Their diamonds are certified by the IGI and not the AGS or GIA, which might be an issue for some people.
- Traditional website design
Pros and Cons of Kay Jewelry
- Great jewelry variety
- Their jewelry offers a great return on investments, and they last longer
- Katy offers more classic, memorable, and commemorative jewelry meant to carry more meaning and last longer
- Best jewelry for celebrating life and expressing love
- Great selection of wedding and engagement jewelry, including charms, personalized jewelry, and watches
- 60-day return policy
- Credit options offered
- Free shipping to Kay’s outlets
- UPS deliveries to your doorstep
- Modern website design, and more neatly organized for easy searching
- Diamonds certified by the IGI rather than the GIA or AGS
Pros and Cons of Jared jewelry
Jared Jewelry offers the widest range of earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets, and the best part is that their jewelry is designed to pass the test of time. They offer the best of natural and lab-created diamonds, and to guarantee the quality of their products, Jared offers a lifetime guarantee on their jewelry. Also, they will replace the gemstones and diamonds that get damaged from normal wear.
- The jewelry is made of the best quality sterling silver, platinum, gold, as well as rhodium-plated jewelry, and alternative metals like titanium, tungsten, ceramic, and stainless steel.
- They use lab-created and natural diamonds
- You can shop online or from their physical stores
- Great quality diamonds that are GIA-certified
- Competitive prices
- Wide range of the best designer brands
- Great after-sale policies, including returns, maintenance, and returns
- Low-pressure tactics and excellent customer support
- Their prices are still higher than what’s charged by other sellers like James Allen.
- The prices are not negotiable
Zales vs. Kay vs. Jared (Which one is Better)?
While these three companies are run by Signet Jewelers, they offer different products and experiences, as well as varied price points. Out of the three, Zales seems to offer the most competitive prices and a good range while also being the go-to brand if you are looking for fashion-forward pieces of jewelry.
Kay, on the other hand, offers jewelry in the medium-price range with a great variety of jewelry to celebrate love and life, meaning you will access more sentimental pieces for weddings and engagements, among other occasions. Their products are also long-lasting.
Though Zales and Kay offer gemstones, it’s interesting to note that their products aren’t certified by the GIA or the AGA, which raises eyebrows to some buyers.
Then you have Jared Jewelers, which not only offers the best quality, GIA-certified gemstones but also provides elaborate after-sale services and policies. They make use of the best quality materials, including platinum, gold, sterling silver, titanium, natural, and lab-grown diamonds, and though their products cost more than what the two other brands offer, they are a better brand if you are looking for a brand offering guaranteed product satisfaction thanks to their lifetime guarantees.
To choose one of these brands, your budget and needs come into question, but overall, Jared Jewelry would be a preferred brand if you don’t mind spending more than what these other brands offer.
Unsure about these three brands? We hope that the information provided before gives you the best guide and ensures that you get your money’s worth.
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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.