Whiteflash Review: Is It Legit?
Do Whiteflash diamonds really sparkle more? Is Whiteflash worth the money? Read this in-depth review to learn the pros and cons of Whiteflash.
Pros and Cons
- A CUT ABOVE®
- Large selection of super ideal cut diamonds
- Actual photo, light performance imagery, and hearts & arrows imagery
- In-house inventory limited to round and princess cuts
Good online retailer for super ideal cut diamonds
Why Diamond Cut is Important
Do you want a diamond that sparkles on the finger? Who doesn't!
If so, the first thing to know when shopping for an engagement ring is that the diamond cut is the most important.
Out of the 4c's (cut, color, clarity, and carat), the cut has the biggest impact on the diamond's appearance. A well-cut diamond can hide flaws and tints of color, and can even make the diamond appear larger.
Unfortunately, a good cut is also the hardest to obtain as it requires extreme skill and precision. For a jewelry retailer that offers the best in cut, we recommend you have a browse at Whiteflash.
Whiteflash is known for their A CUT ABOVE® diamonds, which are considered world-class, super ideal cut diamonds. Each one has been skillfully cut to extremely high standards.
Whiteflash was co-founded by Brian Gavin in 2000. Brian, known as "Brian the Cutter", is internationally renowned for his hearts and arrows diamond (more on this later) research and grading system. He was the designer/creator of A CUT ABOVE® diamonds.
- Selection: Whiteflash has one of the world's largest inventory of super ideal cut diamonds. Their in-house stock includes round and princess cut AGS-certified diamonds. In addition to their in-house diamonds, Whiteflash also offers a huge virtual selection from their global network. You can find diamonds of all shapes in the virtual selection.
- Quality: Whiteflash has extremely strict quality requirements for cut. Their A CUT ABOVE® diamonds are considered among the best in the world. In addition to this, Whiteflash also offers two other in-house categories at great value.
In fact, Whiteflash is so confident in the quality of their diamonds that you get detailed light performance images and reports for every single diamond. This information proves the superior quality of their inventory.
- Exceptional quality control: Whiteflash is one of the few jewelers to be ISO 9000 certified, meaning it meets international industry standards for quality. Companies who are awarded this certification must follow strict quality control measures and show continual improvement. You can be confident in the quality of their service and products.
Keep reading to find out how Whiteflash stacks up against the competition.
5 Reasons Why Whiteflash is Good
At first glance, one online engagement ring retailer may look the same as any other, but they each have their individual advantages that set them apart.
Here is what makes Whiteflash stand out from the competition.
- Super ideal cut diamonds. Whiteflash houses one of the largest inventories of super ideal cut diamonds. Whiteflash prides itself on being the exclusive developer and sole distributor of A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideal diamonds. We'll explain how Whiteflash determines which diamonds meet that high standard in more detail below.
- Exceptional data provided. Whiteflash stocks their own diamonds (as opposed to other online retailers who only have a virtual inventory, such as Blue Nile). This means that every in-house diamond sold by Whiteflash is subject to light performance imaging, analysis, and visual inspection.
Buyers are presented with a full lab report detailing the results. You can actually view the same images that Whiteflash's trained gemologists saw before you commit to a ring. This is extremely rare for any diamond seller (whether in store or online).
Screenshot of Whiteflash Diamond
Every single in-house diamond comes with an Idealscope image, ASET image, and hearts and arrows image (explained more in detail later). All these images can be blown up so you can really examine them. These images show the light return of the diamond and its symmetry. You can also even see an HD video showing the fire and scintillation of the diamond (i.e.: how sparkly it is).
You will also receive the diamond certificate from America Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) and a Sarin grading report.
You are literally getting everything that trained gemologists saw (except for actually viewing the stone yourself). It is very rare to receive all this information, even when shopping at a brick-and-mortar store.Whiteflash does have a virtual inventory as well. If you choose a diamond from the virtual inventory, Whiteflash will bring it in for evaluation. You'll be presented with the full range of imaging data for your approval before it is shipped to you.
- Diamonds for all budgets. WhiteFlash offers three tiers of diamonds:
- A CUT ABOVE®, which is their signature line of super ideal cut diamonds. These diamonds have been cut to the most ideal angles and proportions, which means perfect symmetry and light performance. As a result, this is the most expensive line, but you're pretty much guaranteed perfection. A CUT ABOVE® diamonds are available in round or princess cut.
- Expert Selection are diamonds that almost made it into A CUT ABOVE®. Expert Selection diamonds still have the highest grade for cut at either AGS or GIA, but fall short of Whiteflash's strict internal requirements for A CUT ABOVE®. The normal person, though, won't be able to tell the difference. This selection offers a good balance of price and quality.
- Premium Selection is great for those more on a budget. These are diamonds that may have less perfect polish or symmetry, more light leakage, or less defined hearts and arrows. It's not to say that these diamonds aren't good. Whiteflash's requirements are very strict, so even small (technical) reasons could put a diamond into this category. But the good news for you is that you'll get great value with this selection.
Here are Idealscope images showing the differences in the tiers:
Screenshot of Whiteflash Diamond Tiers Idealscope images for randomly selected Premium, Expert, and A Cut Above diamonds. You can see that the Premium diamond has a lot more white in the image, which means more light leakage. The A Cut Above diamond is almost perfect.
- Social responsibility. Not only does Whiteflash offer great quality and service, it also aims to make a positive impact on a globe scale. Whiteflash stands by its commitment to sell ethically sourced diamonds. Every stone is sourced in accordance with the Kimberley Process, a program developed to counteract the conflict diamond trade in South Africa.
In addition, Whiteflash is a member of the United Nations Global Compact and Diamond Development Initiative. Both support human rights and fair labor efforts. Whiteflash also supports the Gravity Light Initiative, which aims to improve the lives of families in the diamond mining areas of Africa.
- Highly trained staff. If you're worried about buying a ring from someone who's clueless about diamonds, have no fear. Whiteflash's entire staff is GIA trained (Gemological Institute of America), so they know their stuff. They also have 2 GIA Graduate Gemologists on staff, who can be arranged to speak with.
A CUT ABOVE® Diamonds: What Makes Them Super Ideal
When a diamond is called super ideal, it must have two things: 1) perfect proportions for maximum fire and brilliance, and 2) precise optical symmetry. Achieving this requires specialized skills and extreme precision.
Whiteflash's A CUT ABOVE® is their line of super ideal cut diamonds. The grading standard is extremely strict. Only diamonds that meet all the requirements make it into this line. Every diamond is analyzed at the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS). To be A CUT ABOVE®, it has to receive AGS Triple Ideal, which means a rating of AGS0 (the best grade possible) in each of the three areas of light performance, polish, and symmetry.
Features of A CUT ABOVE® diamond include:
- AGSL Triple Ideal rating, with a Platinum Certificate
- Precise hearts and arrows alignment for round diamonds
- No light leakage through the bottom
- No inclusions that pose a light performance or structural issue
- No cutting defects (such as an extra facet)
- Negligible fluorescence
- Laser inscription of AGS certificate number
- 100% Lifetime Trade Up Guarantee
- Evaluation under ISO9000 certification standards
Let's talk about "hearts and arrows" first. This means that the diamond has a perfectly lined up pattern of hearts and arrows (H&A) when viewed through an H&A viewer (you'll see arrows when viewing down from the top, and hearts when looking from the bottom).
|Screenshot from Whiteflash Website|
When you see a diamond with well-defined and completely symmetrical hearts and arrows, it means that each facet is perfectly aligned and the diamond has perfect optical symmetry. If a diamond has perfect hearts, it'll have perfect arrows too. Only about 1% of diamonds in the world can be called true "hearts and arrows" diamonds.
But just having perfect symmetry doesn't mean an ideal cut. When a diamond has perfect H&As combined with perfect light performance, this is called super ideal. All of Whiteflash's A CUT ABOVE® diamonds are super ideal.
To evaluate light performance, we'd need to look at Idealscope and ASET images (below). In that same diamond above, you can see that it has perfect light performance as well.
|Idealscope Image. Screenshot from Whiteflash Website|
|ASET Image. Screenshot from Whiteflash Website|
These Idealscope and ASET images show no light leakage through the bottom of the diamond. In both images, you see all red in the center, with no white or dark spots (which indicate light leakage).
Because of the precise work involved and that more raw material is lost during the process than for the other diamonds, A CUT ABOVE® diamonds are more costly. But you can be sure that you're getting the best of the best, and there is absolutely no guesswork as to what you will receive.
A CUT ABOVE®
Returns, Buy Backs, and Other Things to Know
- Service guarantee: Diamonds are meant to last forever, but wear and tear can affect the metals that hold them in place. Luckily, Whiteflash includes a one-year service plan for each ring it sells, which covers refinishing and repairs for the metals and accent diamonds.
- 100% Lifetime trade-ups: If at some point your significant other decides they'd like a different diamond, you can simply swap out their existing stone for a new one that's worth the same amount or more. You can trade up at any time if you purchased one of Whiteflash's in-house diamonds or a designer engagement ring and have held onto the original diamond laboratory certificate. Lifetime trade up on all Whiteflash in-house diamonds is 100% of purchase price. For designer engagement rings, it's 50%.
- Designer engagement rings: Whiteflash is an authorized distributor for Tacori, Simon G, Verragio, Ritani, Danhov, and Benchmark.
- Money back guarantee: In the event you need to return the diamond, you have a complete satisfaction full money back guarantee to return the diamond for a full refund during the first 30 days.
- One-year buyback option: What happens after the 30 days are up? If you end up calling off your nuptials or you need to return your engagement ring for any reason, Whiteflash will buy it back within one year of the original purchase date. That benefit applies to in-house diamonds and you'll get back 70% of what you paid, as long as it's in its original condition.
- Extra rewards: If you're super satisfied with your Whiteflash purchase, be sure to tell as many friends as you can about it. Every time you refer a friend and they make a purchase, you'll get a check for $100. You'll also get a $100 loyalty discount for being a repeat customer every time you spend $2,000 or more on new jewelry purchases.
3 Reasons to Shop for a Ring Elsewhere
Whiteflash certainly has some benefits but, like other diamond retailers we've reviewed, it's not perfect. Here are some reasons why Whiteflash may not be the best fit for you.
- In-house inventory only has round or princess cuts
Whiteflash has one of the largest inventory of ideal cut diamonds of any retailer, but you'll only find round or princess cuts. This is because only round and princess shapes are given a cut grade. If this is what you're looking for, then you can't find anywhere better that provides such detailed information.
If you're looking for another shape, they do have an extensive virtual inventory that comes from third-party suppliers. While in-house diamonds have images posted upfront, for virtual diamonds, the detailed images are provided after Whiteflash had a chance to bring it in for evaluation.
- Shorter return window for virtual inventory
Another potential snag centers on the return policy for diamonds purchased from the virtual inventory. While you have up to 30 days to return an in-house diamond for a full refund, you only have 10 days to send back one from the virtual inventory. If you're buying your engagement ring well in advance of popping the question, that could be a complication if the proposal doesn't work out or your future spouse doesn't love the ring.
- No lifetime warranty
Whiteflash's one-year service plan is pretty generous, but it really limits you if something happens to the ring beyond that point. Other online diamond stores offer a lifetime warranty that covers things like refinishing, cleaning and prong tightening to help keep your ring in top-notch condition. But don't let Whiteflash's seemingly inferior warranty be the cause for your dismissal. Many of the "lifetime warranties" may not even prove to be that useful, as there are many strict restrictions and requirements to follow in order to qualify.
How It Compares Against Other Online Retailers
Whiteflash vs James Allen:
Benefits and Features
|Selection||In-house inventory of round and princess cut diamonds. One of the largest inventories of super ideal cut diamonds. Large virtual inventory from partner vendors||Inventory sourced from local diamond suppliers|
|Data||Grading report, actual photo, light performance imagery, hearts & arrows imagery||Grading report, 360-degree HD video|
|Return Policy||All in-stock diamonds (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection and Premium Select) and regular catalogue items are covered by a full 30 day money back guarantee. Diamonds from our Virtual Selection category as well as diamonds and jewelry that may be sourced for you from outside vendors are covered by a 10 day money back guarantee.||If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you may return it in its original, unworn condition within 30 days for a full refund or exchange. Free return shipping only applies to U.S customers and is limited to three per customer.|
|Warranty||1 year service policy. This benefit covers refinishing and repairs to the metals and accent diamonds in your jewelry, that are the result of normal wear or manufacturing defects, for a period of one year from ship date.||James Allen warrant that all items will be free from any manufacturing defects at time of delivery. James Allen will repair and maintain your jewelry for a lifetime. Lifetime warranty offers free prong tightening, re-polishing, rhodium plating and cleaning services.|
|Buyback||1 year buy back guarantee on the purchase of any Whiteflash in-house certified diamond for 70% of the diamond's purchase price. This includes A CUT ABOVE® , Expert Selection, and Premium Select categories.|
|Resizing||Rings may be resized once for free within the first year of purchase. Ring designs are limited in their range of sizeability. Eternity rings with diamonds all around are not sizeable.||All engagement rings and wedding bands, excluding eternity bands and alternative metals, may be resized once for free within the first 60 days of purchase.|
|Upgrade Policy||Lifetime Trade Up Guarantee on all diamonds in Whiteflash three in-house categories: A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select. You may trade your qualifying Whiteflash diamond at any time for any other single in-house diamond of equal or greater value. Diamonds must be returned in undamaged condition accompanied by original diamond laboratory certificate.||Any loose diamond purchased from James Allen can be exchanged at 100% credit for any replacement diamond of at least 2X or greater value. The diamond that is being upgraded must be in original condition and accompanied by the original laboratory grading document.|
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James Allen is one of our favorite online retailers. They have an unmatched "Diamond Display Technology," which offers a 360-degree, high-definition view of every diamond in their collection. However, it doesn't provide the Idealscope, ASET, or H&A imagery, so you're only looking at the diamond's appearance. But you can request up to 3 free Idealscope images.
|View each diamond from every angle. Screenshot from James Allen Website|
James Allen also has their line of super ideal cut round diamonds – called True Hearts. These diamonds all come with Idealscope and H&A images so you can feel confident in their quality.
Selection-wise, if you're after a more unique shape, you may like that James Allen has a wide inventory of all diamond shapes. You can browse through them and view the videos without having to wait for an evaluation.
Another area where James Allen shines is their financing options. A ring can easily run several thousand dollars but if you don't have the cash, you can finance it interest-free for six months. Or they have a a two-year payment plan with a low interest rate. Whiteflash only offers six-month 0% APR financing for in-store purchases. If you're buying online, you'll only have 90 days to pay it off.
Whiteflash vs Blue Nile:
Benefits and Features
|Selection||In-house inventory of round and princess cut diamonds. One of the largest inventories of super ideal cut diamonds. Large virtual inventory from partner vendors||Largest selection of online diamonds, sourced from suppliers around the world|
|Data||Grading report, actual photo, light performance imagery, hearts & arrows imagery|
|Return Policy||All in-stock diamonds (A CUT ABOVE, Expert Selection and Premium Select) and regular catalogue items are covered by a full 30 day money back guarantee. Diamonds from our Virtual Selection category as well as diamonds and jewelry that may be sourced for you from outside vendors are covered by a 10 day money back guarantee.||30-day money back guarantee. You will pay for shipping and insurance fees. Items must be in their original purchase condition, including all product documentation.|
|Warranty||1 year service policy. This benefit covers refinishing and repairs to the metals and accent diamonds in your jewelry, that are the result of normal wear or manufacturing defects, for a period of one year from ship date.||Lifetime manufacturer warranty. Terms and exclusions apply.|
|Buyback||1 year buy back guarantee on the purchase of any Whiteflash in-house certified diamond for 70% of the diamond's purchase price. This includes A CUT ABOVE® , Expert Selection, and Premium Select categories.||Diamond buyback program through Mondiamo based on market value.|
|Resizing||Rings may be resized once for free within the first year of purchase. Ring designs are limited in their range of sizeability. Eternity rings with diamonds all around are not sizeable.||Blue Nile provides complimentary resizing for Build Your Own Rings®, and Diamond Bands when within the manufacturer's recommended sizing range, during the first year.|
|Upgrade Policy||Lifetime Trade Up Guarantee on all diamonds in Whiteflash three in-house categories: A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select. You may trade your qualifying Whiteflash diamond at any time for any other single in-house diamond of equal or greater value. Diamonds must be returned in undamaged condition accompanied by original diamond laboratory certificate.||Lifetime diamond upgrade program on all GIA and AGSL graded diamonds. You will receive credit equal to 100% of the original price toward the purchase of a new diamond. The price of your new diamond must be at least twice the price of your original diamond. Your diamond must be in its original condition with the original diamond grading report.|
Blue Nile offers the largest collection of diamonds online, but it doesn't include an actual image of individual stones on its website. However, because of its vast selection, if you have a very specific budget, you will have more options on Blue Nile.
One thing that does set it apart, though, is the fact that Blue Nile sells colored diamonds. If you want to present your sweetheart with a yellow or pink diamond instead of something more traditional, you won't be able to find that at Whiteflash.
Finally, there's the buyback program. Blue Nile partners with Mondiamo to sponsor the program and the amount you'll get back is based on the ring's value, not what you paid. If your Blue Nile ring depreciates in value, it could shortchange the amount you'd get from a buyback. Whiteflash, on the other hand, guarantees to give you at least 70% of the purchase price.
How It Compares Against High End Retailers
Because of the superior quality of Whiteflash diamonds, we firmly place them in the high-end diamond category. But without the high-end prices.
Famed branded jewelers (such as Hearts on Fire and Tiffany) can charge a premium because of their prestigious name.
In our opinion, Whiteflash offers diamonds at a fraction of the price as high-end jewelers. But buying a diamond is a very personal choice and we understand that you may want the branding. As long as you can afford the premium, there's nothing wrong with that.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do Whiteflash diamonds sparkle so much?
Cut makes the largest impact on how sparkly a diamond appears. Whiteflash specializes in super ideal cut diamonds, which means that the diamond has been cut to the best proportions to give off the most brilliance and fire.
- What is fire and scintillation?
Fire is the rainbow sparkles you see as light is reflected on the diamond (while brilliance refers to the colorless sparkles). Scintillation is simply how sparkly the diamond is as it moves. As it moves, each facet will show flashes of light, which is the sparkle you see. The cut greatly affects the fire and scintillation of a diamond.
- What do the Idealscope and ASET images show?
Both show the light performance of a diamond. They show where there is light leakage and how light is reflected back. You want a diamond that reflects a lot of light back. Idealscope uses a red reflector. You want there to be as little areas of white or faded red as possible (those mean light leakage). ASET is similar, but it shows the angles that light is entering the diamond. But all you basically need to know is that you want as little white areas as possible.
- What's so special about A CUT ABOVE® diamonds?
A true ideal cut diamond is extremely hard to achieve because of the strict requirements and extreme precision of work involved. To be branded as a Whiteflash A CUT ABOVE® diamond, it first has to achieve a Triple Ideal rating by AGS Laboratory and also pass a series of further evaluations by Whiteflash's own experts. They are among the most elite diamonds in the world.
- AGS vs GIA: What's the difference?
AGS and GIA are the two most important gem labs in the world. GIA is more well-known but AGS performs more comprehensive and deeper analysis for cut grading. This is why all of Whiteflash's A CUT ABOVE® super ideal cut diamonds are certified by AGS.
- I want a sparkly diamond, but my budget isn't that big. Is Triple Excellent good?
Triple Ex is the highest cut grade given by GIA laboratories. Remember, GIA's criteria for cut is not as stringent as that of AGS, so GIA Triple Ex diamonds are not considered for A CUT ABOVE®. But they are included in Whiteflash's Expert Selection. Whiteflash personally reviews each diamond certified as GIA Triple Ex and filters out the ones they find unsatisfactory, keeping only the best. This is a good place to buy a high quality diamond at a good price.
- Is the Hearts and Arrows patterning worth the extra money?
H&A round diamonds are those with perfect (or almost perfect) three-dimensional symmetry. This affects the diamond's brilliance, especially in softer light conditions, such as a cloudy day or candlelight. A Hearts and Arrow diamond will also have improved face-up color.
- What clarity grading will provide the most value?
Since cut is the most important, you can get away with going with a lesser clarity if you have an ideal cut diamond. We find that VS2 is a sweet spot to save a bit of money. These diamonds have minor inclusions that's difficult to see with the naked eye.
- What's the big deal about being ISO 9000 certified?
This is a noteworthy achievement. ISO 9000 is an international standard for quality management. Companies with this honor have shown best business practices, continual improvement, and must go through an audit each year. Whiteflash is the first retail jewelry company in the world to achieve this prestigious certification.
- Does Whiteflash use blood diamonds?
No. All Whiteflash diamonds have been procured from legitimate sources operating in strict compliance. Whiteflash only works with partner vendors that subscribe to the Kimberly Process (an international method that ensures the procurement of diamonds is conflict-free).
- Are virtual inventory diamonds inspected?
Yes. Whiteflash never operates on the “drop-ship” model. If you decide to purchase a diamond from their virtual inventory, it will be brought in for evaluation by Whiteflash in-house experts. You will receive the full range of photos, gemological data, and light performance imagery. Diamonds from Whiteflash's Virtual Selection category come with a complete satisfaction 10-day inspection and return policy.
- What is fluorescence?
Fluorescence is a glow when the diamond is exposed to ultraviolet light. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs is about 30% of all diamonds. While diamonds may glow in different colors, the vast majority glow in blue. Normally, fluorescence has no visible effect (unless of course you walk around all day with a black light). However, there is a market value difference. Diamonds in the D-F range (colorless) are discounted if they have strong fluorescence. All Whiteflash A CUT ABOVE® diamonds have negligible fluorescence.
- Does Whiteflash do custom designs?
Yes, Whiteflash can custom design your perfect ring through your sketches or verbal descriptions. But please note that Whiteflash will not copy a designer setting from somewhere else. And a custom design can only be done with a Whiteflash diamond (i.e. you cannot use your own diamond).
- What if I accidentally bought the wrong ring size?
Whiteflash offers one free ring resizing within the first year of purchase. But not all rings can be resized. Please carefully note the sizing range information on the ring detail page.
- White gold vs platinum: which is better?
These two look very similar, but platinum is more expensive. White gold is not naturally white and gets its color by rhodium electroplating, and it may wear off if the wearer is very active. The color of platinum, on the other hand, is natural so you wouldn't need to worry about that. Many people also like the heavier, more substantial feel of platinum.
- Does Whiteflash have a store?
Yes, Whiteflash has a local shop in Sugar Land, Texas. Their showroom is located at Sugar Land Town Square Plaza, 2150 Town Square Pl #330, Sugar Land, Texas.
- Does Whiteflash collect sales tax?
Whiteflash collects sales tax on all orders shipped within Texas or picked up at their showroom.
- Does Whiteflash offer discounts?
If you pay by wire transfer, you will receive a 3% discount. But note that some designer settings are not eligible for this discount.
The Bottom Line
If you are willing and able to pony up for the ideal super cut of Whiteflash's best diamonds, you will be hard-pressed to find a more perfect rock than their A CUT ABOVE® diamonds.
But even if not, you can be confident in Whiteflash's stringent quality standards. The normal eye would not be able to differentiate between their A CUT ABOVE® and their Expert Selection diamonds. You can even find some real gems for a good value in the Premium Selection.
The bottom line is that Whiteflash is a top-quality site and you can find a superlative diamond here, no matter how large or small your budget is. Just make sure you've got the cash to buy the ring outright or a credit card with an introductory 0% APR on purchases to cover the cost since Whiteflash's 90-day online financing option leaves something to be desired.
(Additional Writing by Anna)
Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and financial education website. Write to Rebecca Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped young adults make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.