Do you know what James Allen’s lifetime upgrade is? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
James Allen is a well known supplier of quality jewelry, primarily diamonds, from both natural sources and artificial laboratory sources. As part of their services, James Allen offers warranties and lifetime trade or upgrade guarantees to their customers.
Along with Lifetime Warranties, Resizing and Returns, James Allen offers a Lifetime Upgrade option in which diamonds in their original condition can be exchanged with other diamonds of a higher value, as long as certain conditions are met.
This article looks at the details and frequently asked questions concerning the Lifetime Upgrade policy.
Table of Contents
What Is the James Allen Lifetime Upgrade Policy?
The James Allen Lifetime Upgrade Policy states that any loose diamond – whether mined or lab created – can be returned for full credit, to be exchanged for a stone of twice the value or more, under the following conditions:
– The stone must be in the same condition as it was originally purchased.
– The stone must be accompanied by the original laboratory grading document.
Say you had a Lab Created Diamond that was worth $1300, and you wanted to upgrade it.
– You’d need to provide the stone in its original condition.
– You’d need to provide the Lab Grading Certificate: The original, not a copy, electronic or otherwise.
With both those items, you can return it for $1300 credit, against a Lab Created Diamond with a value of $2600 or more.
You can’t use the Upgrade Policy in this instance to purchase a Lab Created Diamond with a value less than $2600.
Read also >> Where Does James Allen Ship From? (Complete Guide)
Could I Upgrade a Lab Created Diamond to an Earth Created One?
In terms of price comparison, the exchange would be valid. However, the terms of the Upgrade Policy specify that the exchange must be:
– An Earth Created Diamond for an Earth Created Diamond
– A Lab Created Diamond for a Lab Created Diamond
The specification suggests that it isn’t possible to trade lab created diamonds for earth created ones.
Why Wouldn’t I Be Able to Upgrade a Lab Created Diamond to An Earth Created One?
There is an inherent difference in value between earth created diamonds and lab created ones, based primarily on rarity and the effort and expense to obtain them.
Earth created diamonds take much longer to form, and longer still to be found and mined. Between this and the fact that diamonds have been considered valuable for centuries, they are much rarer than lab created diamonds.
Are Lab Created Diamonds Different From Earth Created Diamonds?
In terms of composition and appearance, lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds are identical.
The components are the same, and they are subject to the same grading and cutting procedures.
Even under expert examination, a lab created diamond cannot be differentiated from an earth created diamond.
How Are Lab Created Diamonds Made?
A ‘diamond seed’ – a sliver of core chemical components – is placed under conditions of high temperature and pressure, similar to the conditions earth created diamonds encounter underground.
A carbon coating encourages further growth and crystallization during the process.
Are Earth Created Diamonds Superior to Lab Created Diamonds?
Earth created diamonds are not notably superior to lab created diamonds. The compositions are the same, and both types of diamonds are equally likely to have inclusions.
Earth created and lab created diamonds can possess the same color and clarity as each other.
The differences in individual diamond quality have no relationship to whether they are lab created or earth created.
Does the Lifetime Upgrade Apply to Gems Other Than Diamonds?
There is no specific mention of gemstones other than diamonds for the upgrade policy, so the best option is to ask a James Allen Representative if you want to be certain.
If the Lifetime Upgrade Policy applies, it will probably have the same conditions.
– Stone in original condition.
– Original certification
– Exchange must be for a stone of 2x the value of the original.
What About the Fact that Other Gemstones Don’t Have Lab Grading Documentation?
This may impact the trade and lifetime upgrade policy.
These gems do still have an official certificate provided by James Allen. However, this is not an official evaluation or appraisal of value, which could influence whether or not it can be used as documentation for a trade or an upgrade.
Why Don’t Other Gemstones Sold By James Allen Have Lab Grading Certifications?
There is no official reason given, but James Allen does state that many of their sapphires, emeralds, and rubies are treated to increase their color and luster.
Such treatments would affect the grading criteria, which is partially based on color and clarity.
Additionally, secondary treatments can be applied, which might further change the values, and some stones will also fade over time or in extreme light exposure.
What Kind of Treatments are Stones Given?
They can be heat treated to increase clarity and color.
They can also be oil-treated to improve their luster.
How Would Being Treated Affect The Possibility of a Lifetime Upgrade?
Since being heat or oil-treated changes the clarity, luster, and color of the stones, determining the grade and the value can be difficult.
Issuing a lifetime upgrade guarantee might not be feasible in light of these circumstances, as there is no way to guarantee the condition of the gemstone.
The specifics would likely be a matter for a James Allen associate to determine.
Does The Lifetime Upgrade Policy Apply to Jewelry?
The wording of the policy indicates that ‘loose diamonds’, which implies that the stones are permitted to be upgraded outside of the jewelry used as their settings.
However, jewelry upgrades usually involve the upgrade of the stones within the piece. So in that case, the Lifetime Upgrade Policy might apply.
Under What Conditions Could I Apply a ‘Lifetime Upgrade’ Policy to A Bracelet or Ring?
The policy might apply to replacing a diamond in a bracelet or ring with a diamond that fulfills the requirements for a loose diamond Lifetime Upgrade.
It probably wouldn’t apply under the following conditions:
– Changing the metal or setting to a more ornate one.
– Adding more stones to the original ring.
– Changing the gemstones used from one kind of stone to another, like sapphires to emeralds or emeralds to diamonds.
Does Taking a Stone From A Setting Count Against Its ‘Original Condition’, For a Lifetime Upgrade?
The Lifetime Upgrade policy covers ‘loose stones’, but it also specifies that any diamond being upgraded be in its original condition.
James Allen allows for both premade pieces and custom made jewelry designed from the loose stones to the engraving.
With that in mind, it’s possible that the stone is considered still in its original state whether it is in a setting or not.
What Should I Do If I Want to Upgrade a Diamond In a Piece of Jewelry?
Contact James Allen to see what the options are. It may qualify for a Lifetime Upgrade.
If not, it may be possible to apply for an upgrade to the ring itself, or an exchange of some kind. Options will likely vary based on what kind of changes you want to make, and how long it’s been since your purchase.
The best decision is to talk to a Customer Service Representative for James Allen, and see what recommendations they have for you.
What Should I Do If I Want to Upgrade, But Don’t Have the Original Grading Document?
James Allen does permit items to be mailed in for evaluation. James Allen employs multiple professional gemologists who are certified to offer GIA grading and certification for diamonds.
James Allen also has both gem experts and customer service representatives available 24/7.
If you’re considering applying for an upgrade using the Lifetime Upgrade Policy, but don’t have or can’t find the original documentation, you should contact their experts before doing anything else.
What Are My Options If I Can’t Find My Original Lab Grading Documentation?
You can still return the diamond, especially if it’s within 30 days of the purchase, and get a refund.
James Allen also offers partial credit for stones submitted for upgrade without their paperwork.
You wouldn’t get the 100% credit for your stone, but you might get something like $300 or so in credit, which is better than nothing.
What Should I Do If My Stone is Damaged?
Submit the piece for Lifetime Warranty evaluation and inspection. Cleaning and refinishing are part of the basic warranty and may be all your stone needs.
If you’re worried about possible damage, you can apply for a Lifetime Upgraded Protection Plan, which includes several different types of repairs.
If you think your diamond – or any other gem – has been damaged due to other party negligence or mishandling, you can submit information to that effect, which will be taken into account.
If you supply your stone for evaluation and it is damaged, a customer service representative or other expert will contact you about potential services, requirements, and costs before any further steps are taken.
The James Allen Lifetime Upgrade Policy may only apply to loose diamonds, and may seem a bit restrictive, but it’s still a good option to keep in mind for future adjustments to special, sentimental pieces.
James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THEM:
- No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Free International Shipping
- Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
- Provide insurance appraisals
- One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
- Free ring inscriptions
- Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Best-in-class packaging
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