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Drawing on years of expertise in guiding both diamond novices and engagement-ring seekers, this Peoples Jewellers Review aims to shield consumers from the pitfalls of overpriced and substandard jewelry. The goal is to avert the all-too-common tales of buyer's remorse and the perpetuation of diamond myths by highlighting the crucial aspects shoppers should be wary of.

This review serves as a critical narrative, shedding light on the challenges and disappointments that can arise when engaging with Peoples Jewellers. For those already acquainted with or contemplating a purchase from Peoples Jewellers, this guide is an indispensable resource. It's crafted to steer you clear of potential missteps in your journey to finding the perfect piece of jewelry, underscoring the importance of informed decision-making in the face of less-than-ideal practices observed at Peoples Jewellers.

The History 

The Peoples Jewellers story begins over a hundred years ago. After forging their own path for much of the century, Peoples Jewellers were acquired by the Zales Corporation. Following this, they became part of the Signet group in 2014, whose brands include Kay Jewelers, James Allen, Blue Nile, Zales and more.

If you’re in the US, the association with Kay Jewelers and Zales might be a giveaway for what to expect from Peoples Jewellers.

If you are in the UK, the Signet group also owns H. Samuel. The common trend here is a ‘rack them and stack them’ approach to jewelry, selling low cost, semi-precious jewelry alongside their ‘fine’ jewelry. Low quality diamonds, a lack of/inferior certification and unjustifiable prices plague these stores. Within jewelry groups, there are those brands that stand out as offering a higher level of service and quality – I do not tarnish every large chain with the same brush; I simply shine a light on those who let the side down.

The Diamonds 

Peoples Jewellers sell pre-set engagement rings. There are issues with this, namely that you cannot properly scrutinize the diamond when it’s in the setting; nevertheless, this is not always an indicator of a subpar brand – there are some beautiful pre-set engagement rings on the market.

However, when you try and delve into the details you will be hit with almost every red flag of buying a diamond engagement ring. First, let’s look at the basics:

  • Peoples Jewellers do not sell GIA or AGS certified diamonds. They sell Canadian ‘certified’ diamonds under a number of collections (Prestige®, Canadian Luxe™) – try as you might, you will not find specifications for these collections or what makes them ‘prestigious’. The approach to certification is very cloak and dagger.
  • Peoples Jewellers use GSI for their certification (not that you, the consumer, would learn this on their website). The GSI use entirely different standards to the leading labs resulting in looser grades, inconsistent grades and a low tier certification.
  • There is a lot of ‘estimating’; approximate carat weights, bracketed color and clarity grades – nothing to give customers the assurance that they know what they are buying.
  • The same goes for diamond specifications; cut quality, fluorescence, proportions and measurements, diamond clarity plots…all the crucial information is withheld making it impossible to truly understand the properties of your diamond.
  • Peoples Jewellers have around 150 bricks and mortar stores across Canada, however, they still sell engagement rings online! This means they must be held to the same transparency standards as the leading vendors. Peoples Jewellers do not provide diamond imaging, instead they use generic images for their products making it impossible for buyers to see the diamond before buying – a recipe for disaster.

Peoples Jewellers Lab Diamonds: A Closer Look

Peoples Jewellers' presentation of lab-created diamonds, particularly their 2.00 CT. Pear-Shaped Certified Lab-Created Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold, highlights concerning practices for discerning buyers. Notably, the product lacks actual images or videos, providing only generic descriptions without the essential visual details needed to evaluate the diamond's quality. This lack of specific imagery is a significant shortfall, depriving customers of the opportunity to thoroughly inspect their potential purchase.

Additionally, the diamonds are described as "independently verified" without specifying the certifying lab. This ambiguity is problematic, as the credibility and standards of gemological labs vary greatly. Reputable labs like IGI and GIA are known for their rigorous grading, offering buyers a reliable measure of quality. The absence of clear certification details suggests a potential compromise in transparency and, possibly, quality.

Given these issues—especially the absence of detailed visuals and the vague certification—it's wise to exercise caution with Peoples Jewellers' lab-created diamonds. For those seeking assurance in quality and full disclosure, vendors such as Whiteflash and Brilliant Earth, known for their detailed HD images, videos, and transparent IGI and GIA certifications, may offer a more trustworthy alternative.

When buying an engagement ring, it's crucial that beauty and trust go together. Whiteflash and James Allen have consistently shown themselves to be dependable and focused on their customers. Whiteflash's A CUT ABOVE® super-ideal cut diamonds exemplify the high standards achievable in online diamond shopping, with detailed specifications and clear images that reveal every aspect of their quality. James Allen also impresses with its wide selection of diamonds, all offered at competitive prices and accompanied by trustworthy certification. Both retailers ensure that every diamond is presented with clear, high-definition images and videos, making it easy for you to see the true beauty of each stone. This commitment to transparency and quality means you don't have to compromise on knowing exactly what you're buying, with Whiteflash and James Allen providing everything you need to make an informed choice.

Peoples Jewellers Engagement Ring Review 

This 1.00ct round brilliant engagement ring is set in a simple, 14K white gold 4-prong setting. It is listed as a J in color and I1 in clarity. I would not recommend I1 clarity diamonds for an engagement ring – they are visibly included. Even without the necessary high-res imaging, we know the diamond will be included.

This is the only available information for the diamond specifications. Nowhere near enough to make a reasonable decision.

But, perhaps the greatest disappointment is the price. Peoples Jewellers use one of my most hated marketing ploys; listing an ‘original price’ alongside a drastically discounted price. Beautiful diamonds do not go on sale, particularly not a sale with thousands of dollars difference.

In this case, the original price is listed $6,999 but has been generously ‘reduced’ to $5,999.

Anywhere around the $2,000 mark is the expected price for a 1.00CT J-I1 round brilliant (I found this diamond with these specs on James Allen for $2,090). Pair with a 14k prong setting like this one for $440 for a total cost of $2,530.

With a difference of $3,469, the Peoples Jewellers prices are unfathomable. Although I would not recommend this particular James Allen diamond for an engagement ring, it is at the very least GIA certified, with high-res imaging and all the necessary specifications are provided.

The Final Word

After a thorough examination of Peoples Jewellers' practices, offerings, and transparency, it's clear that they fall short of the standards set by leading online diamond retailers. The lack of reliable certification for their diamonds, reliance on generic images instead of actual high-resolution photos or videos, and their pricing strategies raise significant concerns. These issues, combined with the vague certification details and the absence of critical diamond specifications, underscore the challenges and potential disappointments customers may face.

Therefore I do not recommend People Jewellers for any of your diamond needs.

So, who do I recommend? Protect yourself from disappointment by going for the best of the best. Whiteflash offer an in-depth diamond education for all their customers, transparency and support. This support is crucial for ensuring a positive buying experience. Furthermore, their A CUT ABOVE® diamonds are world class with a level of precision and performance that is unrivalled. As we have seen, James Allen is another great option who offer competitive prices and a great collection of fancy cut diamonds. Another great option is Blue Nile who hold a huge inventory of loose diamonds. Here are three popular vendors who prove there is no need to settle for less.