Riddle’s Jewelry Reviews: Limited Selection, High Prices

By Michael Fried

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Riddle's Jewelry
Overall Score:3
Price:2.5Selection:2.5Customer Service:4
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.

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 $3,740. 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.

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.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
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  • Provide insurance appraisal
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  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
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James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. Take advantage of their ongoing 25% Off Holiday Sale.
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
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  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
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