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Riddle’s Jewelry Reviews: Limited Selection, High Prices

By Mike Fried,
Overall Score:33 Rating3 Rating
Riddle's Jewelry
Price:2.52.5 Rating2.5 Rating Selection:2.52.5 Rating2.5 Rating Customer Service: 44 Rating4 Rating
Pros
  • Nice quality diamonds
  • GIA certified diamonds
  • Decent pricing

Cons
  • Somewhat limited selection
  • Online pricing is more competitive
Other Recommended Retailers

The History

Riddle’s Jewelry is a bit of an icon in the midwest United States. Riddle’s was founded in 1959 by Jesse Riddle in Rapid City, South Dakota. To this day it is still family owned and operated. They currently have 61 stores sprinkled around the midwest.

The Experience

This review was definitely the biggest investment for me to write. We’ve had a few readers ask us about Riddle’s but they don’t have any locations near any of my regular stops when I come back to the US for a visit. Well Jenny and I had the chance to take a mini-road trip in the heartland of America. It was only mid spring, so for the four hour drive to Davenport, IA we saw nothing but dark brown, freshly cultivated, fields. That was far better than the four hours of heavy rain we experienced on our trip back to the airport in Chicago..

We arrived at the Northpark Mall in Davenport and made our way to the Riddle’s store right in the middle. We arrived there on a weekday 20 minutes after the mall opened, so it was fairly quiet. The store was pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a mall jeweler; It was nice but a little dated.

The sale woman was friendly and ready to help. We took our time looking at all the styles while she offered opinions without being pushy. We settle on one to look at and were brought into a back room so we can take a proper look at the diamond.

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.

The Product

I don’t know if it was our luck of the draw, but the diamond we selected was a very nice choice. It was a 1.00ct J color SI2 clarity Excellent cut round diamond with a GIA certificate (rare for mall stores) set in a 14kt white gold solitaire setting for $5,999.

The cut on the diamond was fantastic. The table was just a tad bigger than we normally recommend, but it didn’t seem to lack in brilliance. The inclusion was barely noticeable to me (and I have eyes like a hawk with a lot of practice looking at diamonds) and we consider it eye-clean.

The Value

So the diamond we selected was very nice. Here is a comparable 1.03 J SI2 from James Allen for $3,720. You can pair that diamond with this simple and elegant solitaire setting and the total price is 30% cheaper than the ring from Riddle’s.

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Bottom Line Recommendation

For a mall store, Riddle’s seems to be pretty good. They are better than most (maybe even all) other mall store’s we’ve secret shopped. I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that the diamond was GIA certified and well cut. The price was not completely unreasonable.

That said, you can still save a significant amount of money ordering from one of the better online retailers like James Allen or Blue Nile. If you feel like you have a personal interest in going to Riddle’s specifically, they seem to be a fine company to work with.

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. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

Please enter your email address to receive your 25% off coupon code:

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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