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Guide to Buying a Diamond Ring on the Internet

How to Buy an Engagement Ring Online

Online shopping can be daunting, especially if the item in question is something you want to ensure the authenticity of, like a Wii, a designer handbag, and yes. . . an engagement ring.

I know some of you are groaning about who or why someone would shop online for something so important, but the practice is rising in popularity as shops are becoming more trustworthy and offering better deals, not to mention the fact that the Internet promises something more rare than the cheesy jewelry store at your local mall.

Buying and browsing online for rings is great whether you're the proposer or the proposee — say you're waiting for a proposal but don't want to march in to your local jewelry stores — it's totally ok (and incognito) to check out rings and styles to find what you like. For the tips,

My personal favorite kinds of engagement rings are antiques, which can be hard to come by at brick-and-mortar stores, depending on where you live. A good friend of mine proposed last year with a gorgeous and one of a kind antique ring he'd found online, and then had it resized for his fiancee.

Or maybe there's a large, specific retailer (Tiffany's comes to mind, and goosebumps come to arms) that you want a ring from but can't make it to a location.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Like any ring shopping, do your research first on the four C's: Cut, clarity, carats, and color. Blue Nile has a great, comprehensive guide for you to bone up on your ring knowledge.
  • The website Pricescope reviews and compares diamond prices of Internet stores and physical stores — a great second stop after you've gotten your four C's class.
  • Look for GIA certification for any diamond — it's a gemologist's grade of the quality of the diamond.
    Now, for a site rundown:

  • Tiffany & Co.: It's Tiffany, so prices and standards are going to be higher, but like I said, if you can't get to an actual store, online is a great source, especially because you don't have to worry about the quality.
  • Antique Rings: Swoon! I love the idea of an engagement ring with history, and it's also a socially conscious choice. Some sites are: the Antique Jewelry Mall, Art Deco Diamonds (my fave for the photography), and don't count out eBay — just be smart about the seller.
  • Brilliant Earth: This awesome site specializes in conflict-free diamonds and if you don't necessarily want one of their rings, you can buy the loose conflict-free diamond and shop for a setting elsewhere. If you don't use Brilliant Earth, at least read the buying guide so you can learn to avoid "blood diamonds." Green Karat is another conscious online retailer — they use recycled gold.
  • Blue Nile: A reputable seller that boasts personal proposal stories from buyers (awww) and uses PayPal!
  • James Allen: Here, you can design your own ring (including a 3-D video of what you design) and use a virtual loupe (the thingie you use to inspect diamonds closely). Bonus: download diamond screen savers (for Windows only)!
  • Diamond Ideals: features a no-questions-asked return policy and a lifetime upgrade policy.
  • White Flash: offers free verification and free shipping.

And of course, do a lot of research on the piece and any retailer you might use prior to clicking "add to cart"! Oh, and, congratulations!


Join The Conversation
candytrees candytrees 4 years
This is a great article. I never thought I'd get an engagement ring online. But I did! My engagement ring is from the online jeweler James Allen, who was mentioned in the article. Money was a big factor for us, in this economy. My husband wanted to get the best he could for me, within his budget, and I think that buying online is probably the only real way today to get a high quality ring for a reasonable cost. Maybe you can get something good at a pawnshop or antique shop...but you don't always get a diamond certificate or a warranty with that. I am definitely buying jewelry online from now on.
judyk judyk 5 years
This article is correct in that shopping for engagement rings online does seems daunting at first. But, if you find the right site, it's easy, convenient and saves a lot of money! I looked into a few jewelry sites and with the help of a close friend, eventually chose James Allen. They are extremely professional and have very helpful customer service reps. More importantly, the site has excellent 3D images of the diamonds. The images are so realistic that you feel as if the diamonds are right in front of you. You should definitely check out James Allen. I’m a huge fan!
haroldiverson haroldiverson 6 years
I bought an engagement ring on without hesitation. I buy almost everything online except for food.
gresch gresch 7 years
Love the post.... great information. i bought my antique engagement rings from
justinkaisse justinkaisse 8 years
hallo! i'm in NYC, and going to bangkok and VN w/ my GF. its time. any good places? plan is to go past ring places, get an idea, and i'll buy... where? thanks for help, and wellwishes. =todd ps no sour grapes, please! why p!ss on someone else' parade?
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
I actully think the way you get your ring depends totally on the MAN! If your guy is strong and confident in HIS taste he won't ask you for input...he'll KNOW what he wants because he knows what you want or has a good idea...if your guys is trying to 100% please you he will feel a lot better to ask you what you want....and for men who can't even find their shoes in the morning...a woman ring shopping for her own ring is the best thing ever! A woman can ring shop all she wants...but is up to the guy to surprise or not to surprise!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
Ahhh, I pretty much wanted EVERY SINGLE ring on the Art Deco Diamonds site. SO gorgeous!!! Too bad I'm not planning on getting engaged any time soon ;-)
LolaMD LolaMD 9 years
My fiance bought my engagement ring from It is a gorgeous ring...
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I bought my husband's ring online. It was a pretty simple titanium band though.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I would never suggest to my friends to buy one online. I think viewing them in person and at different places is alot better for them. Buying online is a big no no for this one.
natali3nguyen natali3nguyen 9 years
i wouldn't feel comfortable shopping for a ring online
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 9 years
We got my engagement ring online. After my fiance asked me to marry him, we went shopping at local jewelers and nothing they had suited us. We wanted something unusual - we didn't want something that looked like what everyone else has. So we went online. I don't recall the name of the merchant, but they were located in New York state. They were great, and custom made the ring to my specifications. This was more costly than buying a ring from the local mall, and because we did it this way we couldn't get a very large rock, but my ring is AWESOME.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I'm kind of put off about all this ring shopping by women. My fiance didn't tell me anything (together 6 years) and it was a complete suprise. It meant so much more. It bothers me when my friends tell me about the rings they want like its a requirement.
stephsharer stephsharer 9 years
this is getting depressing. i come on geeksugar to see geeky stuff, not be reminded that i am a geek who is not married.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 9 years
Also, if you're planning on buying in-person at an independent jeweler, you might be able to use the pricing info on Blue Nile to negotiate too.
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