I Tested James Allen’s Ring Studio; Here’s What I Made

EditorsMar 31, 2022

I Tested James Allen’s Ring Studio; Here’s What I Made

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow used the retailer’s online customization tools to craft her dream ring.

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow tested out James Allen’s online engagement ring customization tool. Find out how she arrived at the final product below.
Seeing how retailers have been able to adapt and innovate throughout two years of turmoil has been a bright spot on the sometimes depressing retail beat.

From billion-dollar companies to independent jewelers, I love to see what retailers have in the works.

So, when someone from the James Allen team reached out to ask if I’d like to walk through the process of creating a ring using The Ring Studio, its online engagement ring customizer, I jumped at the chance.

The ring I created would be a reproduction, set with cubic zirconia stones rather than diamonds, but I was still excited.

This past fall, I tested out the new Vera Wang engagement ring try-on kit from Zales, which lets customers create a ring online and receive a kit of prototypes to take for a test run. I even channeled my inner influencer and filmed an unboxing video!

It was such a fun experience that I filmed another when I received this James Allen ring.

It was an enjoyable process from start to finish, so let me give you the rundown on how it works.

Signet Jewelers-owned James Allen introduced The Ring Studio in August 2021.

You choose from hundreds of setting styles and more than 200,000 diamonds. 

In the online ring creator, you can pick the setting, the metal, and the style for the head and the shank. 

For an added personal touch, you can add a hidden diamond or gemstone to the ring or engrave something special on the band.

If that sounds like a ton of options, you would be correct. For me, it was a bit overwhelming to see all the choices, but I found a way forward. 

I started by picking a setting but filtered it to show me only settings that work with a marquise-cut diamond, my favorite diamond shape.

You can also filter by style of setting, like solitaire or vintage, and/or by metal choice, including 14-karat and 18-karat white or yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.

It’s great to have a lot of options, but I would recommend making use of the available filters or you’ll be scrolling for a while, not that it’s necessarily a bad way to spend a day!

I knew I wanted a marquise-cut diamond and a white gold band, but I wasn’t set on one specific setting style.

Even when I made use of all of the filters, I still had a long list to choose from but managed to whittle it down to seven options.

All the settings and diamonds can be viewed in 360-degree high definition, which is an added bonus for a customer who may be wary of choosing based on a two-dimensional image, or for someone who can’t decide among the final seven choices.

To choose the perfect setting, I had to determine which style elements I wanted in my ring.

I find metal-only bands to be a little boring, but I didn’t want anything too elaborate either. I also didn’t want a halo as I prefer to let a beautiful stone speak for itself.

I decided on a cathedral-style setting with a pavé crown. The pavé added a little extra sparkle without detracting from the center stone.

I didn’t need to pick a diamond, since I was just doing a test run and the ring I ultimately received was only a cubic zirconia reproduction, but I took a look anyway.

 Related stories will be right here … 

You can choose between a natural or a lab-grown diamond, or another gemstone, like ruby, emerald, or various colors of sapphire.

Considering I was choosing a less common shape, James Allen had a lot of options available.

For the size, I decided on a reasonable 1-carat diamond, though there was the chance to go as big as 5-plus carats.

I settled on a 1.01-carat, F color, IF clarity marquise diamond. I am a quality over quantity kind of woman, after all.

On the site, there is information about the diamond underneath its image, everything from its color and clarity to its symmetry and fluorescence.

The diamond I chose was GIA-graded, and you can call James Allen customer service if you would like to see a copy of the grading report.

One feature of The Ring Studio I particularly liked allows you to view diamond size on a person’s hand to get a better idea of what it looks like at scale, helping you to visualize the difference between 1 carat and 1 1/2 carats, between 1 carat and 2 carat, etc.

Engagement rings come with a sentimental attachment, unmatched by other jewelry purchases.

For that reason, someone may prefer to choose their ring in person. However, in terms of options and information available, the James Allen Ring Studio has everything someone would need to make an educated choice online.

The ring creator is especially good for someone who doesn’t have a jewelry vocabulary and may not know how to explain the look they want, as James Allen offers visual aids every step of the way.

Overall, it was a fun experience, and I would encourage everyone, whether in the market for a ring or not, to play pretend in the studio and take a look at what customers have created to get an idea of the next big thing in bridal.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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