Charm Diamond Centre’s diamond and ring selection
Charm has a wide range of ring setting styles and types of diamonds available, with the whole range of setting style available to choose from – solitaire, halo, side stones etc.
And when looking within individual styles of settings there’s also excellent choice and variety – with 98 halo setting styles alone:
The majority of ring settings are 10k or 14k gold, with the najority of those being white gold:
10k and 14k white gold are good options for an engagement ring that is going to be worn every day as it has a higher proportion of metals other than gold in the ring setting. While this may sound strange, hold is actually a soft metal which is pretty easy to scratch, so including other metals means that the ring will hold up better to day to day wear.
The relatively slim selection of 18k gold settings, and the total lack of any platinum settings, does show that Charm is aiming its products at the less premium end of the market. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s worth noting.
Charm Diamond Centre halo ring
Next we’ll take a quick look at a halo ring that Charm have on offer at C$5,299. One thing to point out from the outset is that this ring is named ‘Glacier Fire 14K White Gold 1.00CTW Bridal Ring’:
At first glance, many ring shoppers may think means that the ring’s centre stone is 1 carat.
However, CTW actually stands for ‘Carat Total Weight’, which means that the combined weight of all of the diamonds in ring add up to 1 carat when combined together.
The centre stone for this ring is actually just 0.7 carats.
Charm is very open about this and lists the centre diamond separately from the smaller ‘melee’ diamonds that are used in the halo:
However, it’s something that many ring buyers may miss when examining this as it is tucked away further down the page.
Overall, Charm do offer a wide selection of ring settings styles, and their wide selection of cluster and halo settings can mean that ring buyers can get ring that looks impressive on the finger, with a reasonable outlay.
Charm diamond quality
Engagement rings are all about the diamond, and being able to choose a diamond that will sparkle brilliantly will make the difference between a truly stunning engagement ring and one that looks dull and unimpressive.
In this section, we’ll examine the quality of diamonds Charm offers, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
Due to the large number of diamonds Charm have on their site, there’s a range of diamond qualities available. To make it easy, we’ll look at a 0.5 carat weight solitaire setting listed on their site, priced at $3,499:
It has a 14k gold claw setting, which is a classic style to allow the centre stone itself to sparkle brilliantly. But will this stone sparkle?
When we look at the specifications of the diamond, the Charm website lists the stats below:
We’re told that the ring has
- Carat: 0.5 ctw
- Clarity: SI2
- Colour: I+
- Cut: ’round’
Looking at the picture on the website, the diamond shown looks lovely and white and clear:
However, it’s also listed as a SI2 clarity stone. Here’s what two typical SI2 clarity stones look like:
The stone on the left has significant inclusions which will definitely be visible with the naked eye.
The stone on the right has a large number of smaller inclusions which may be less easy to see at first glance but which are likely to reduce the amount of light that is transferred and therefore reduce the sparkle of the diamond. Not great.
For this reason, I don’t recommend SI2 clarity diamonds – it’s too much of a compromise. Knowing what an SI2 diamond actually looks like, rather than the image on the Charm website, I wouldn’t recommend this diamond.
Here’s why diamond cut information is so important.
Diamond is too shallow:
Light passes through the diamond and is lost, meaning the diamond looks dull and sparkles less than it should.
Diamond is too deep:
Light is bounced off the bottom facets at the wrong angle and is lost out of the side of the diamond, reducing sparkle.
Excellent / Ideal cut:
Light is reflected off the bottom facets and back through the table to your eye, meaning the diamond sparkles beautifully.
As Charm Diamond Centres doesn’t supply any diamond cut information, you could therefore be buying a diamond that doesn’t sparkle – defeating the object of buying a diamond in the first place!
Charm Diamond Centres Diamond Certification
Diamonds are graded on four key factors – carat, colour, clarity and cut – and a host of smaller factors too.
An independent testing lab doesn’t have any incentive to say that a diamond is higher quality than it is, as they don’t make any more money if they do. In fact, if they bump up diamond quality grades, it may mean people trust them less, which might mean that people use their service less and the make less money. Being able to rely on the grading scores from independent labs is a key part of comparing diamonds across retailers – you know that you are comparing like-for-like.
On the other hand, retailers DO have an incentive to increase diamond quality scores, as it will mean that they can sell a diamond for a higher price.
For this reason, I recommend that you always look for a diamond which has been graded by an independent authority – my usually recommendation is the GIA, although there are other good diamonds labs too.
Charm Diamond Centres doesn’t show information about diamond grading lab on their website. When I asked about this over email, I was told that “We use independent laboratories to grade and certify our diamonds such as IGI, Gemscan, Amsterdam and GSI.”
IGI has an OK reputation within the industry, although the others less so. However, none of these labs are as rigorous as GIA, which means that a diamond that is graded as an F colour, may actually be a G, H or I instead. Not ideal.
Charm Diamond Centres Service Quality
Buying an engagement ring is a special purchase, and you want to have confidence that Charm Diamond Centres will not only treat you well during buying your ring, but also that they will stand behind their product after the purchase too.
As with many large jewellers, Charm has a good return policy, with the ability to return merchandise in its original condition and packaging within 30 days.
This size is a big advantage of buying from a larger jeweller – smaller jewellers like Ann Louise are often only able to offer a 10 or 14 day return window, with some requiring a restocking fee.
As a big chain, each Charm Diamond Centre will deliver its own level of service, and looking at Google reviews, the scores tend to be between 3 and 4. Charm Diamond Centres at West Edmonton Mall scores a 3.2:
3.2 isn’t a great score, which indicates that while some customers may be very. happy with the service received from this Charm Diamond Centre, the overall level of service is only OK.
Charm Diamond Centres Value For Money
Buying a diamond ring is a big commitment – both financially and emotionally. So it’s important that you ensure sure that you are getting good value for money and aren’t spending more than you need to.
After all, if you’re buying an engagement ring, it’s likely that you will have a wedding to pay for soon.
To see how Charm Diamond Centres value for money compares, we’ll compare it to one of my recommended retailers for the best place to buy a diamond engagement ring from – James Allen, a company that I’ve helped hundreds of people buy fro.
When comparing, we’ll keep the ring style, diamond clarity, metal, colour, carat as similar as possible. A good way to compare is to look at solitaire diamond rings as they are simple and timeless, without ornate settings to make the comparison more complicated.
Looking at Charm, they offer a 0.5 carat Canadian ‘Glacier Fire’ diamond in in a 14K White Gold setting for $3,499 plus tax.
We’re told that the ring has
- Carat: 0.5 ctw
- Clarity: SI2
- Colour: I+
- Cut: ’round’
Looking at an alternative jeweller, a 0.5 carat, J colour, SI2 clarity diamond can be purchased for just $800:
If we add a 14k white gold solitaire setting to this ring, the total comes to just $1,328
This is obviously significantly lower than the $3,499 that Charmed is asking for a comparable ring:
In fact, Charm is over double the price of James Allen!
For C$2,726, you could get a 0.7 carat, H colour, VS1 clarity ‘excellent’ cut diamond:
This diamond is bigger, has no visible inclusions and will look sparkle beautifully.
In other words, it’s better in every single way.
With the ring setting, the total is $3,253 – still $246 less expensive than the Charmed ring:
Of course, you will also need to pay your province’s sales taxes on top of this, but under the USMCA regulations, any diamond ring that is manufactured in the US does not have any duty applied to it, so there will be no other taxes due.
If you want to know more, read our full article on importing a jewellery into Canada.
Compared to the Charm Diamond Centre, this ring has the following specs:
- H colour – while the Charm was “I+”
- VS1 clarity – higher than the Charm ring’s SI2
- ‘Excellent’ cut quality, while we aren’t told the Charm Diamond Centre’s quality
- GIA graded, while we aren’t told the Crescent diamond’s certifying authority
So as well as the lower price, you are also getting a better diamond!
The prices at James Allen may be different on the day you look – maybe higher, maybe lower – it’s worth clicking through to see today’s prices for exactly what you’re looking for
Charm Diamond Centres Review
Value for money
User Review( votes)
Do we recommend Charm Diamond Centres?
While Charm may be an established Canadian brand and position themselves as a local, family-owned business, we wouldn’t recommend them for your engagement ring.
While they do offer Canadian origin diamonds, the majority of the diamonds they offer are so low quality that their beauty will be negatively impacted, with obvious flaws.
In addition, their prices are just too high for what they are offering. You can get a significantly higher quality diamond for a lower price by buying from one of my recommended retailers like James Allen.
- Offers a wide variety of rings
- Good service with 30 day return policy
- Canadian-origin diamonds available
- Offers low clarity grade diamonds
- No cut and certification information on their website
- High price for low quality clarity