In 2005, Angara made the move from distributor to becoming their own independent brand. Stepping out into a competitive market, Angara offer diamond and gemstone jewelry including engagement rings. Angara are based in LA but they outsource much of their jewelry making to Thailand and India.
Angara have something unique to offer the market, but does this necessarily mean they are the best place to buy diamonds? This review will tell you everything you need to know.
About Angara Diamonds
Angara have a really beautiful collection of precious and semi-precious gemstones. Their website bursts with color, offering unusual stones and pearls in a myriad of hues. If you are considering something entirely different for your engagement ring, Angara might have something for you.
Like most diamond aficionados, my love of diamonds rests comfortably with a love of gemstones; they are an excellent way to accentuate the beauty of a diamond but are just as pretty in their own right. At this point though, I am urged to remind you why we choose diamonds to celebrate engagement; taken from the Latin ‘adamas’ (meaning invincible) they are the one of the most durable materials on the planet, scoring a 10 on the Mohs Scale. Many of the gemstones on this list would not be suitable for every day wear and are unlikely to survive long enough to become an heirloom.
We started with a positive, but now the bad news. When it comes to diamonds, Angara really fall down. I selected a halo style ring to demonstrate the flaws of the Angara process.
No actual diamond image, no option to select your own color/clarity combination or specific carat weight; but, worst of all, absolutely no mention of cut quality or certification. Read my summary of why diamond certification is crucial to understand more.
The diamond information is so limited you are essentially buying blind. I absolutely cannot recommend shopping for a diamond this way and it is astounding to me that Angara expect customers to part with thousands of dollars with zero knowledge of the quality of the diamond. Learn about Diamond Light Performance Imaging and HD Video here.
Buying online is a wonderful way to take your time shopping for a diamond – the smartest buyers will know that buying loose diamonds and partnering them with a stunning setting is the best way to ensure a reasonable spend, assign your budget accordingly and select a diamond that fits your needs perfectly.
Using the Angara categories, I can only select an I in color with an I1-I2 clarity. An I color round brilliant in a warm, luxurious yellow gold setting can still deliver a brilliant white sparkle, but an I1-I2 clarity is not worth considering. Angara limit the opportunity for customers to make real choices about their diamonds. For me there is a checklist outlining the minimum information online vendors must give buyers. Let’s see how Angara holds up against these criteria:
✘ Actual diamond imaging
✘ Options to select specific color, clarity, carat weight and cut grades
✘ Specific cut proportions
✘ Details of diamond certification
✘ Diamond performance details i.e. fluorescence, culet, symmetry and polish
I stress, these are the absolute basics. The best vendors go above and beyond to ensure you are completely confident in the quality of a diamond before you buy.
Comparing Angara diamonds to more established jewelers is extremely challenging – with so little information, Angara limit your chances of being able to make accurate comparisons.
Here is one Angara engagement ring example:
Shape: Round brilliant
Carat Weight: 7/8 carat (this could be anywhere between 0.83ct-0.94ct)
We have no further information about cut quality, certification, light performance or whether the diamond is eye clean. The setting is a basic 14k white gold halo.
The Price: $,2,379 - Angara list a ‘retail price’ ($3,960) followed by their price. Don’t fall for this very basic marketing ploy.
The Angara diamond is a weak SI2, meaning it will have visible and problematic inclusions. With no mention of who certified the diamond (or, indeed, if it is certified at all) I can reasonably assume it will be closer to an I-J in color. The cut quality will no doubt be disappointing.
The Final Word
Basic settings, subpar diamonds and a lack of education and information for the consumer let Angara down so dramatically, I cannot recommend them for your diamonds.
If you’re looking for a pretty Tanzanite ring to wear on the weekends, Angara might have something for you. If you are looking for a stunning, certified diamond – put your card away and steer well clear.