We’ve all walked across a Kay Jewelers or a Zales store in a mall at some point in our life. You may have wondered which of the two stores would be the best place to get some wedding jewelry. In this post, I’ll be going over a detailed comparison between Kay Jewelers and Zales to help you decide where to buy your next engagement and wedding ring.
|Bottom Line Recommendation|
|Both Zales and Kay Jewelers are owned by the same parent company, Signet Jewelers. This makes them very much identical for many aspects including the shopping experience, selection, quality, and customer service. But from personal experience and reviews from Reddit forums, Kay Jewelers is the better option if we had to pick between the two. Although in a perfect world, we’d pick neither and instead shop at James Allen or Blue Nile instead for better customer service, shopping experience, selection, quality, and affordability.|
|Website||Straight-forward, easy to use||Straight-forward, easy to use|
|Customer Support||Live chat, virtual appointments, text, WhatsApp, walk-in visits||Live chat, virtual appointments, text, WhatsApp, walk-in visits|
|Selection||3,617 Engagement Rings on Website||6,118 Engagement Rings on Website|
|Price||More affordable||More expensive|
|Return Policy||30 days return or 60 days exchange||30 days return or 60 days exchange|
|Warranty Policy||Lifetime Extended Service Plan (one-time additional cost)||Forever Cherished Lifetime Protection Plan (one-time additional cost). Excludes repairs and replacement of diamonds and gemstones|
|Shipping Policy||Same day delivery for orders placed before 1:00pm local time||Same day delivery for orders placed before 1:00pm local time|
|Upgrade Policy||100% trade-in value. New piece must be 2x value of old piece to qualify||100% trade-in value. New piece must be 2x value of old piece to qualify|
|Jump To Site||Visit Kay Jewelers||Visit Zales|
|Table of Contents|
• Customer Service
• Shopping Experience
• Kay Jewelers on Reddit
• Zales on Reddit
• Return Policy
• Warranty Policy
• Shipping Policy
• Upgrade Policy
• Final Verdict
Kay Jewelers Overview
With a large selection of diamond jewelry, fashion jewelry, engagement rings, and wedding rings, Kay Jewelers is a well-known name.
As one of the largest jewelry brick and mortar stores in the United States, Kay Jewelers has pretty much everything you need to propose or if you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your wardrobe.
With history dating back to 1916 in Pennsylvania, Kay Jewelers is one of the most trusted jewelry brands in America.
Zales is another leading jewelry retailer in the United States, offering diamond rings at affordable prices.
Dating back to 1924 in Texas, Zales has been the go-to destination for engagement and wedding rings for decades.
With over 700 physical stores across North America, Zales is one of the most popular and convenient jewelry stores for customers looking to purchase quality jewelry and propose.
In this section, we’ll compare two nearly identical diamond engagement rings with the same diamond qualities from Zales vs Kay Jewelers to see which store offers the more affordable option.
The characteristics are the following:
Carat weight: 1.00 ct.
Type: Natural diamond
Setting: Four Prong Solitaire
Metal: 14K White Gold
This 14K White Gold Diamond Solitaire Ring from Kay Jewelers retails for $3,999.99 on their website.
Read also: Best Cartier Ring Alternatives Under $1000
On the other hand, this identical 14K White Gold Diamond Solitaire Ring from Zales retails on sale for $5,301.98 on their website.
That’s a whopping $1,301.99 difference between two very identical engagement rings!
In this section, we’ll take a look at how many engagement rings are available on each retailer’s website.
Keep in mind that both Kay Jewelers and Zales may have different selections of engagement rings in their physical stores.
Read also: Best Engagement Ring Trends
Currently, Kay Jewelers has 3,617 engagement rings available on their website.
On the other hand, Zales currently has 6,118 engagement rings available on their website.
When it comes to buying an engagement ring, both Kay Jewelers and Zales offer similar quality.
That’s because they both are owned by the same parent company, Signet Jewelers.
You can’t go wrong picking Zales over Kay Jewelers for their quality and vice versa.
Read also: Best Tiffany Engagement Rings Under $5000
Both Zales and Kay Jewelers have an identical customer service approach.
Both retailers offer customer service via an online chat, in-store and virtual appointments, phone, and email.
If you’re looking to shop in-person, most malls are open from 9am to 9pm.
The main thing to remember here is that their main income doesn’t come from people shopping online.
Many of the store associates have to meet a sales target, which is how retailers like Zales and Kay Jewelers make most of their income.
The downside to this is that often times, you’ll find that the store associates can be very pushy and less likely to form any meaningful relationships with customers
This leads to poor shopping experience which we’ll talk about more in the next section.
Both Kay Jewelers and Zales are owned by Signet Jewelers, which means that both of these stores are going to be quite similar in their shopping experience, both online and in-person.
Zales (also known as The Diamond Store) relies mainly on its in-store offerings which can make it pretty annoying to have to listen to each sales associate gives you a sales pitch on everything you browse.
The best way to get around this is by shopping online.
There’s tons of preset diamond engagement rings to check out on their website, but these diamonds don’t come with a diamond grading report unless it’s specifically mentioned.
This means you won’t be able to find any verified information on the clarity, color, and cut of the diamonds.
Zales offers the ability for shoppers to create their own engagement rings via their interactive design suite.
You can choose different center stones like tanzanite, various sapphire colors, emeralds, and more. And the stone you end up picking will determine your diamond or gemstone shape options.
Read also: When Does James Allen Have Sales?
The only clarity options on Zales are SI2 or VS2. There also aren’t any color options so I’d assume the minimum color option is I-grade.
The rare thing is that Zales offers 10K gold for your ring, but we don’t recommend this. It’s cheaper and very rigid, plus it doesn’t help if you have sensitive skin.
Read also: 14K vs 18K Gold: Which One Is Better?
Zales also offers a Vera Wang Design Suite to help design your engagement ring. Personally, I found it to be not that great since it lacks a lot of design options and you don’t get to actually pick your diamond.
Not to mention that Vera Wang is a wedding dress designer and not much a diamond expert.
The shopping experience at Kay is basically identical to Zales.
But instead of the Vera Wang Design Suite, you get the Neil Lane Engagement Ring Designs. I’d say this is a bit better since Neil Lane is well-known in Hollywood for designing diamond engagement rings for The Bachelor.
When it comes to shopping on Kay’s website, you get a choice of 5 different diamond shapes: princess, round, oval, pear cut, and cushion.
You also get a lot more clarity grade choices compared to Zales: I1, SI2, or VS2.
Kay also takes it a step further and offers five different ring settings, choices of three setting variations, and three different ring heads.
Kay Jewelers on Reddit
There’s a pretty split opinions for Kay Jewelers on Reddit.
But majority of users have expressed positive experiences and reviews towards Kay Jewelers.
As always, there will always be a few users that haven’t had a good experience but I wouldn’t quite say that’s the majority.
For the people that haven’t had a good experience shopping at Kay Jewelers, almost all of their complaints would be prevented by instead shopping at an online jewelry store like James Allen or Blue Nile.
Zales on Reddit
The general sentiment towards Zales on Reddit seems to be very poor.
Many folks express having a bad experience in terms of the quality on their personalized jewelry.
Of course there are a few good reviews for Zales but the majority of them were very negative.
Kay Jewelers has a 30 day return policy and a 60 day exchange policy.
Zales has a 30 day return policy and a 60 day exchange policy.
Kay Jewelers offers a Lifetime Extended Service Plan is available for shoppers (at an additional one time payment) to make sure your jewelry stays beautiful and strong as the day you received it.
Zales offers a Forever Cherished Lifetime Protection Plan (at an additional one time payment) to keep the metal of your ring clean and worry-free. This protection plan excludes repairs and replacement of diamonds and gemstones.
When shopping online, Kay Jewelers can have your order delivered in the same day if you place the order by 1:00 pm local time. This is good for any last-minute shoppers.
Zales also offers same day shipping if orders are placed online by 1:00 pm local time. For your safety, orders of $1,000 or more require a signature upon delivery.
Kay Jewelers guarantees 100% trade-in value of your diamond jewelry, but the upgrade piece must be at least double the trade-in value.
For example, if your diamond ring was purchased for $2000, your new purchase must be priced at $4000.
Zales also guarantees 100% trade-in value of your diamond jewelry. To be eligible for this upgrade, the new piece must be priced at least double the purchase price of the original jewelry.
For example, if your diamond ring was purchased for $2000, your new purchase must be priced at $4000.
Both Zales and Kay Jewelers are owned by the same parent company, Signet Jewelers. This makes them very much identical for many aspects including the shopping experience, selection, quality, and customer service. But from personal experience and reviews from Reddit forums, Kay Jewelers is the better option if we had to pick between the two. Although in a perfect world, we’d pick neither and instead shop at James Allen or Blue Nile instead for better customer service, shopping experience, selection, quality, and affordability.