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Macy’s Diamond Engagement Ring: Our 2024 Review

A disappointing experience from an iconic retailer

By Mike Fried,
Overall Score:22 Rating2 Rating
Macy's
Price:33 Rating3 Rating Selection:22 Rating2 Rating Customer Service: 11 Rating1 Rating
Pros
  • Decent quality

Cons
  • Poor selection
  • Overpriced
  • Underwhelming customer service
Other Recommended Retailers

Are you thinking of purchasing a diamond ring from Macy’s? After all, you may have gotten your latest outfit, perfume, or tableware there. I have shopped there plenty of times. But are they the right place for diamond engagement rings?

Over the last ten years, I’ve secret shopped several Macy’s locations around the United States. From their flagship store in midtown Manhattan to a mall in Los Angeles and a suburb in St. Louis, I’ve done the research.

We’ll get into the details below, but I would not recommend Macy’s for an engagement ring. Their quality and value are just not there. You can get a better quality diamond and save money by shopping elsewhere.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

What we cover in this article:

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The History of Macy’s

I don’t think I could write everything there is to know about Macy’s Department Store without crashing our server. A company that has been around for more than 150 years, and has dominated the retail scene for so long, is bound to conjure up memories for most of us.

Their history is long and storied. Macy’s is ingrained in America’s culture in so many ways, most notably by sponsoring the Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC. As a native New Yorker, I still try to find it streaming online to celebrate Thanksgiving while living in Europe.

On a personal note, I’m a huge fan of shopping at Macy’s for clothing. I am a regular customer of theirs, both online and in person.

According to National Jeweler Magazine, Pandora will be opening a new “store in store” shopping experience within Macy’s in an effort to “…to expand our jewelry assortment and offer customers more exciting hand-finished jewelry.”

Macy’s Jewelry Quality and Selection

I am not a huge fan of Macy’s engagement ring jewelry. The quality, price and service were all lacking. When purchasing something so valuable, it is imperative that the experience and product live up to the number you see on your credit card bill at the end of the month. We did not find that to be the case at Macy’s.

This is where Macy’s really falls flat. Compared to a dedicated jeweler, their selection is severely limited.  There were only 3-4 rings on display that covered a range from $3,500 to $30,000. If you read our review of James Allen jewelry, you’ll see they have hundreds of options to choose from.

Yes, you can look on their website for more options, but their site is terribly cluttered and very difficult to navigate. They have very little in terms of preset options and their custom site is woefully inadequate compared to a real online retailer.

A diamond ring at Macy's store
A part of Macy’s engagement ring selection in a store

Macy’s Diamond Quality

Macy’s does not have higher-quality diamonds. They sometimes do, but generally speaking, Macy’s diamond quality falls to the bottom edge of what we recommend (or lower). While they’ll occasionally have an IGI certified Si clarity diamond, many of their pieces are way below that. Just a quick look at their website and they are offering a J+ color, I3+ clarity solitaire engagement ring. That is about as low quality as you can get.

While they do have some decent quality, I’d recommend purchasing a diamond from a place you can get a GIA certificate. Also, if you check any of our diamond buying guides you’ll see that we recommend I+ color and an eye-clean SI+ clarity diamond. Also, diamond cut is very important.

Are Macy’s Diamond Rings Well Priced?

With that out of the way, let’s see how the prices at Macy’s stack up with the competition. As you’ll see here, the $8,000 price tag is ludicrous. So we’ll be using the discounted price. Despite being IGI graded, we’ll compare the Macy’s diamond to ones with a better certificate. Here is a  far superior diamond from James Allen (better certificate, higher color, larger) for $1,850. If you add it to this similar halo setting, your total price comes out to $2,562. That is a savings of 30%.

Let’s compare that option with a ring from Blue Nile. Here is a stunning 0.63 G SI2 that is GIA certified from Blue Nile for $1,160. I have added this more elaborate halo setting for a total price $2,660. The Macy’s ring is priced about 30% higher.

Visiting Macy's jewelry department
Scoping out Macy’s jewelry case

Now let’s compare the diamond engagement ring we saw in Macy’s La Jolla. That was a 0.50ct I color, I1 clarity diamond in a white gold solitaire setting for $2,300. Here is a comparable 0.50ct I-I1 from James Allen along with this similar setting. Those come out to $900 for a similar ring to the one at Macy’s (60% less).

Or you can see what you can get for the same price. Here is a stunning 0.70ct I color, SI1 clarity diamond from Blue Nile that is vastly superior (40% larger, better clarity, GIA certification, etc) to the diamond from Macy’s. If you add it to this setting, the total price is $1,670. So you are getting a larger, better engagement ring and still saving more than 20%. Blue Nile quality when it comes to engagement rings is top-shelf.

Macy’s Deceptive Sale’s Tactic

When one of our readers contacts us about diamonds from Macy’s, we always end up having the same conversation. “But the ring is 60/65/70% off. How could it not be a good deal?” Well, it’s not a good deal. It’s never a good deal. It’s nothing more than marketing.

Macy’s has repeatedly come under fire for this tactic. The reality is that no one should ever pay full price for anything when shopping at Macy’s. Essentially, you should completely ignore the regular prices that are listed on their jewelry as they are meaningless. You should be looking at the sale price and comparing that to the market.

As I mentioned above, I do like shopping at Macy’s. I regularly buy clothing there and get all of my luggage there. If there were a Macy’s in Europe, I’m guessing I would have my house accessorized by Macy’s. It kills me whenever I’m in America and some of the staples I buy from Macy’s don’t happen to be on sale that particular week.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find value when it comes to Macy’s sales. Some of their items are fantastically priced (not jewelry as you will see below). The point I’m trying to make is that you need to break down any illusion you have that a “sale” is added value for you. You need to look at their products strictly by the final number.

Macy’s Secret Shopping Reaction Video – May 2023

So my latest secret shopping trip took me to St. Louis. I checked out the Macy’s location at the St. Louis Galleria. I’m going to level with you, I didn’t even bother to inspect the jewelry there. They had almost no engagement jewelry and what they had was very depressing looking.

The salesperson pushed me to a trunk show from some designer, but the trunk show had no engagement jewelry worth looking at. I wasn’t able to get any information on the pieces of jewelry I was looking at from the salespeople there, so I just gave up. But what I could see was unimpressive.

Secret Shopping Macy’s a Second Time

We decided to check Macy’s out while visiting southern California. We went into their store in La Jolla. It was incredibly difficult to find the diamond jewelry section. When we did find it, there was no one working there. We had to walk around the store to find someone who then located an employee that can open the jewelry cases. It was a truly bizarre experience.

Once again, the diamond was underwhelming. The only engagement ring Macy’s had on hand was 0.50ct “I color, I1 clarity” diamond in a white gold solitaire setting for $2,300. I put the quality in quotation marks because the salesperson didn’t even know if the diamond was certified, let alone what certificate it had. The inclusions were very noticeable and the diamond had a strong yellowish tint, so I think those grades were very charitable.

A solitaire ring from Macy's
The Macy’s Solitaire

The Original Macy’s Secret Shopping Experience

Annie and I started our most recent secret-shopping trip in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, a Macy’s store in downtown Seattle was right around the corner from our hotel.

We darted through the overwhelming perfume section and made our way to the discount-festooned jewelry counter. A saleswoman joined us fairly quickly and she was quite friendly. Unfortunately, other than to tell us that she needed the approval to show us anything over $5,000, she wasn’t able to provide us with any help.

We looked at one diamond ring while we were there.  There weren’t that many options and it seemed too cumbersome to ask about multiple diamonds. The ring we looked at was a 1 ctw round halo ring in 18kt white gold. The ring was priced at $8,000 but, surprise surprise, it was on sale for $3,499. We’ll talk about the whole charade of Macy’s sale prices in a bit. Let’s first talk about the ring.

The saleswoman was unable to give us any details about the diamond. She didn’t know how big the center diamond was, or any of its qualities. She knew it was certified, but didn’t know which certificate it had. We asked her to find the certificate, which she said would take about 10 minutes. We wandered around the store a bit and came back.

The ring came with an IGI certificate. The center diamond itself was a 0.65ct H SI2 (as graded by IGI). The diamond seemed well cut, and the grades were at least in the ballpark of what they should be. Overall the ring was not bad. The question is, was the ring worth the price?

Us visiting a Macy's store
Annie at a Macy’s store

Bottom Line Recommendation

We would not recommend purchasing your engagement ring (or other diamond jewelry) from Macy’s. Their selection is poor, the jewelry underwhelming and the price is too high to consider getting something from them.

You are better off purchasing from one of the best online jewelry stores like James Allen or Blue Nile. As you will see below, they offer better bang for your buck.

James Allen 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. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
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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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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