Shane Company or Shane Co. Review

Shane Co sit comfortably in the diamond jewelry industry as an established, family-run company. With catchy radio ads, sleek branding and an altogether ‘luxury’ feel, they have successfully continued to update their business model with the changing of eras. Does this traditional approach still have a place in the ever-competitive diamond market, or have Shane Co and their pricey diamonds finally run their course?

The History

Shane Co was established in the 1920’s and over the decades has continued to develop and grow. Despite having over 20 stores across the United States, Shane Co seem keen to retain their image as a family-run business, with soft focus photos of their CEO, and a promise to treat their customers as if they were family.  In some areas of their business, they are successful in perpetuating this ethos; they offer good aftercare and my experiences of their customer service has always been pleasant. However, they are many other areas which let Shane Co down, which I will be taking a look at now.

The Jewelry

Shane Co offer a good selection of settings and styles, although I fear they tend to veer heavily towards the ‘safe zone’. They are well made, but you are hard pressed to find something that is truly stand out. Nevertheless, traditional brides are certain to find a well finished, classic ring amongst the Shane Co collections. The standard and styles are basically what you would expect from an established jeweler, although the price is not, which I will explore a little later on.

If creativity and imagination are some of the driving forces behind your diamond decisions, you will find a better selection of innovative designer rings at Whiteflash or James Allen.

The Quality

So, with a long history and good designs, Shane Co are certain to be ticking some boxes up until this point. Sadly, things deteriorate from here. Perhaps the greatest flaw in the Shane Co set up, is their diamonds. The crowning glory in your jewelry, the quality of a diamond will make or break an engagement ring, and Shane Co diamonds simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

Shane Co sell uncertified diamonds alongside certified ones. This causes confusion to the buyer and, in my experience of this company, there will be no effort to guide you towards a properly certified stone. Shane Co pride themselves in ‘offering customers a unique educational opportunity’ yet I find it to be completely lacking when it comes to a proper diamond education. Should you visit a Shane Co store, you are just as likely to be pushed towards a ‘Shane Co Lab’ certified diamond. Why? These diamonds carry inflated gradings that do not truly represent the quality of the stone, meaning Shane Co can charge more and take a greater profit. Essentially, you will pay more for a lower quality stone that does not carry a respected, recognised certificate.

This use of uncertified stones brings the Shane Co image crashing down in my opinion. You cannot promise an educational opportunity without making the buyer aware of the importance of certification. The point of certification is quietly skimmed over across the Shane Co educational pages, with the emphasis instead being placed upon The Four C’s. As savvy buyers will know, GIA and AGS set the benchmark for The Four C’s, and a grading from an inferior lab has little bearing on quality and value.

The small selection of GIA certified stones that I looked at from Shane Co were of average quality, and it was clear that cut was of little importance. All of these factors are a huge red flag for shopping with Shane Co. With other online companies offering honest, crystal clear information regarding diamond buying, the lax approach of Shane Co fails to meet the needs of the clued-up customers.

The Shopping Experience

Shane Co is in every sense a traditional jewelry store. I fi nd their stores to be well presented and their website to be well conceived and user friendly. This traditional approach also comes with all of the pitfalls, the most significant being over ambitious salespeople. Shane Co are not alone in this flaw, for it is simply part of the package with jewelry stores, but with issues arising from the uncertified diamonds, you cannot count on a Shane Co representative to give you an honest answer. This lack of clarity could lead to a huge mistake, a lot of money lost and an overall negative experience. Tread very cautiously.

Shane Co offer imaging for some of the loose diamonds on their website however there are no additional light performance reports to support the image, meaning you really are only getting half of the story. To learn about the importance of HD Video and Diamond Imaging read this article.

Below is a chart of the diamond imaging that the major online vendors provide:

 WhiteflashBlue NileJames AllenHearts on FireTiffany & Co.
360 HD Video Imaging

Diamond Image

Ideal Scope

Hearts & Arrows

(only on select diamonds)

ASET Map

SARINE Report

The Value

There is no delicate way to put it; Shane Co diamonds are overpriced. Whether buying online, or in one of their stores you are likely to pay a huge premium for an average to low quality diamond. I made several comparisons with James Allen, and each time the Shane Co diamond came out at least $200 more expensive. Here is just one of the case studies, to show you the huge premium on Shane Co diamonds.

Both diamonds are GIA certified and have been issued the following grades:

Carat – 1.00ct
Color – I
Clarity – SI1
Cut – Very Good

The James Allen diamond is priced at $3,910

The Shane Co diamond is priced at $4,715

That is a difference of $805

The James Allen diamond is by no means a perfect diamond, but with their imaging and HD video I can make a more informed decision before buying. The price is fair, and reflects the quality of the diamond.

I cannot make such an analysis of the Shane Co diamond as there is no image available. I can, however, look at the proportions and make a judgement that there is absolutely no reason this diamond should cost such a great deal more than the James Allen diamond.

This theme is continued throughout all Shane Co diamonds. There is absolutely nothing about this company that justifies the huge price hike. If you are happy to swallow a premium like this, you are better off spending your money at Tiffany & Co.

The Final Word

Shane Co do not operate with the openness that they claim to. Buyers are left in the dark on matters of certification and diamond quality, and with so many companies genuinely committed to giving the buyer as much information as possible, I cannot recommend Shane Co for your diamond needs. There is a mediocrity running through the whole experience which is rounded off with overpriced, poor quality diamonds.

So where would I recommend?

If you're looking for fancy color diamonds then head to Leibish & Co, for fancy shaped diamonds I would head to James Allen, and if you're looking for round or princess cut diamonds then head to Whiteflash and purchase their  A CUT ABOVE® diamonds.