Looking for the perfect place to buy round diamonds online but don't know where to start?
After spending countless hours researching and examining popular diamond retailers, I finally found the best places to buy round diamonds.
Whether you're searching for a diamond engagement ring that's budget-friendly or a showstopper, these retailers offer top-quality diamonds at a great value, making it easy to find the perfect diamond for your needs.
Top 5 Best Places to Buy Round Diamonds Online
If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for where to buy round diamonds from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops.
1. James Allen
There are a number of reasons why I've chosen James Allen as the number one pick for the best place to purchase round cut diamonds.
One of the best things about buying a diamond online with James Allen is the wide selection of round cut diamonds they offer. Most of their selection includes round cut diamonds, but at a variety of diamond grades and price ranges. I was able to browse and compare over 14,000 ideal cut 1 carat minimum loose round diamonds of various grades.
Having a large selection allows you to be really flexible while choosing a diamond that fits both your aesthetic tastes and your wallet. I found it much easier to select a diamond from their vast inventory than at physical retailers like Zales, where you don't usually get to pick from a pile of loose round diamonds mainly because of the security risks and the time-consuming process of comparing diamonds in person.
But if you're shopping online and have as many loose diamonds to pick through as James Allen offers, it becomes a simpler process and checkout. What sets them apart from other online stores is their 360˚ viewer, which I personally loved using.
A lot of online retailers have 360˚ viewers, but this setup is my favorite. The view is super clear and crisp and simple for people of all ages, and you don't have to be a technology wizard to figure it out.
I appreciated that I could control the viewer and drag it back and forth to examine each inclusion. This makes it so much easier for those of you trying to save money by purchasing an eye-clean diamond from a clarity grade that isn't normally eye-clean, like an SI diamond.
If you're looking for high-quality diamonds with the best clarity and color grades, they have plenty of options too. Some of their most expensive round diamonds also allow you to get a free ring setting. They have many colorless and even fancy colored diamonds under this category.
All of the round diamonds at James Allen are going to be GIA certified or IGI certified, though I recommend only buying GIA diamonds from them, as IGI isn't as reliable due to their looser grading.
In addition to over 250 ring settings for round diamonds to choose from, they added a new feature called the Ring Builder. I enjoyed using this tool, which allowed me to either go directly to the builder or further customize ring styles from their catalog with a rainbow ring emblem in the corner.
It allows you to really stylize the setting, like making a yellow gold prong basket on a rose gold ring shank.
I think the best thing that James Allen offers their customers is a free lifetime warranty. The warranty covers routine maintenance, but you do have to pay shipping for it. Still, the cost you will save over the years keeping your engagement rings and wedding rings in tip-top shape is immense. Most online retailers won't provide such a service.
- Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry
- Does not cover loss of stones in settings
2. Blue Nile
Blue Nile is one of the most popular online stores in the diamond industry. They were actually the very first ones to sell loose round diamonds and ring settings online. They have a few different physical locations in the US as well.
Blue Nile's long-standing reputation adds a lot of stability and comfort for new customers. I compared their round diamond prices with James Allen, and while they are in close proximity, James Allen usually comes out with the cheaper prices on average.
Of course, all of Blue Nile's round diamonds are GIA certified, so there's no worry that you're buying from a less valuable certifying lab like there is with James Allen. Not everyone knows that.
So, it's nice to know that even an unsuspecting customer is still getting the best. However, GIA certified diamonds are more expensive, so those round diamond prices should always be matched up with the same grades to see which is really cheaper.
They have a huge selection of round cut diamonds, with over 17,000 loose round diamonds (same minimum grades as above). The problem is, not all of them have a 360˚ view. I can advise you that it's very important to have the view when trying to identify blemishes from lower clarity grades to save money.
Fortunately, you can filter them, leaving us with about 13,000. That's more than enough to find the right one.
The 360˚ viewer is another great one, though I still prefer the one from James Allen. Blue Nile's is further away and not quite as smooth right off the bat when you initially go to drag it. But it's still controllable, which is better and more than I can say for other online stores.
In addition to their Excellent Cut round diamonds, they have an exclusive line called Astor Ideal. It's only for round, princess cut, and cushion cut diamonds. They are considered Blue Nile's most elite diamonds for light performance.
In addition to the normal GIA report, they have a GemEx report. GemEx reports don't really increase the value because they only provide light performance specifics, not diamond grades.
They aren't essential to purchasing a round diamond and aren't a substitute for diamond certifications or grading reports. But many people like them. In fact, I have a GemEx report for my ring.
You don't need an Astor diamond unless you really want it, so you could definitely select a regular ideal round diamond. Just stay away from Good or Very Good round cut grades. And as for ring settings, they've got over 250 to choose from.
The worst thing about Blue Nile that I can come up with is the fact that they don't have a lifetime warranty. They have the manufacturer's warranty, but that's not going to cover rhodium plating white gold or retipping your prongs. I had to consider this factor when deciding where to buy my round diamond.
- Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry
- Does not cover loss of stones in settings
Ritani is most known for their designer ring settings, but after Blue Nile's ex CEO joined up, things changed. Now they sell loose diamonds and diamond jewelry for the masses. As a customer, you can browse and research their collection before making a purchase.
Their loose round diamond prices are comparable with top dogs like James Allen and Blue Nile. Like Blue Nile, they also carry GIA and AGS certified diamonds. I always recommend selecting a certified diamond to ensure its authenticity and quality.
Round diamonds make up the majority of the catalog, with over 4,000 1 carat loose diamonds (with our minimum grades) to choose from. They also offer lab-grown diamonds and yellow fancy colored diamonds. Colored gemstones and other diamonds colors don't really have a presence here.
Under all their diamonds, they offer a Diamond Market Analysis. This unique online report breaks down the round diamond prices. As I've experienced in the diamond industry, I find that price transparency is highly important in gaining customer trust. This is Ritani's way of showing that.
The report shows you the cost of the round diamond from the vendor. Then they show you customs and shipping fees and how much Ritani adds to the markup costs. How accurate it is, well, I guess there's no way of really knowing. Still, as their prices are comparable to bargain diamond finder James Allen, it's probably pretty accurate.
One of the things they transferred over from Blue Nile was not having 360˚ viewing on every diamond. In fact, it's much worse here because each diamond is different. Some have stock pictures, some have 360˚ video that's a video loop you can't control, and some have HD photos.
You can obtain HD photos of any diamond within 24hrs. But there's no way to narrow which ones have the video and don't. But their website will indicate what viewing options each stone has while you're scrolling.
Ritani's prices change when you're checking out their ring settings.
Remember, they're a brand name ring designer and those patented settings come with a premium. On average most of their ring settings will be more expensive than other jewelry stores, but still have excellent craftsmanship.
In my opinion, the best thing they've got is a free lifetime warranty. They are the only other retailer aside from James Allen that offer one that covers stone tightening, prong retipping, and rhodium plating.
- Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry
- Does not cover loss of stones in settings
Whiteflash is the place for those who consider buying round diamonds an art, or rather, a light show. Out of all the retailers I've researched, Whiteflash offers the best cut diamonds. The overall brilliance of your round diamond is because of the cut.
They offer around 3,100 1-carat round diamonds with our grades and more beyond that. When browsing their diamond inventory, be careful, as not all of the diamonds have a 360 view. Some can't be seen, and those are from the Virtual Selection.
There are filters to help you prioritize in-house options from virtual ones when selecting your diamond grades. Round diamonds from the Virtual Selection only have a 10-day return period, so make sure you know which type of diamond you get.
You get imaging reports when you explore loose round cut diamonds at Whiteflash. The ASET and Idealscope images help you understand where light enters and exits your diamond. All of their round diamonds are AGS certified, which is just as good and respected as the GIA.
They have an elite collection of super ideal cut diamonds called A Cut Above. Round cut diamonds and princess cut diamonds are both part of this collection. It meets strict requirements of higher-tier clarity grades and VVS to FL and colorless (color grades of DEF).
As I evaluate their offerings, I notice that the bigger the carat weight, the rarer the diamond is. The prices on this collection are high, but the light performance is gorgeous.
Whiteflash has improved their diamond viewing, though, for the round diamonds that have it. It used to only show you the diamond with a black background, making it hard to scrutinize inclusions from I clarity or SI clarity diamonds. But they call this the Sparkle video, and one with a regular background called the Brilliance video. That will show you inclusions, but I wish it had better zoom.
They offer you a 1-year service warranty that covers wear and tear. Most wear and tear issues don't start until after a year, so I find this warranty somewhat pointless and more for show.
I do recommend collaborating with them to get your white gold engagement rings and wedding bands rhodium plated toward the end of the year, as well as getting stones and prongs checked and tightened.
Read Also: The full Whiteflash review
- Best cut quality
- Comes with ASET and IdealScope images
- Lifetime upgrade
- 1 year free service warranty
- More expensive
- Super ideal cut diamonds are gimmicky
Additional Stores to Consider
When it comes to buying round diamonds, there are numerous options available both online and in brick and mortar stores. While we have not personally vetted all of the retailers on this list, they are all considered to be among the best places to buy round diamonds.
For those looking to purchase diamonds online, Brian Gavin Diamonds is another top-rated brand to consider in addition to the stores reviewed above.
For those who prefer to shop in brick and mortar stores, Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, Graff Diamonds, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Boucheron, Chopard, Buccellati, and Mikimoto are among the top options to consider.
How We Selected The Best Stores To Buy Round Diamonds From
When I compared various diamond retailers, I focused on the range and variety of round diamonds available in their inventory. I browsed through their selections to ensure they offered a comprehensive collection of GIA-certified, conflict-free diamonds with a range of carat sizes, cuts, colors, and clarity grades to suit different preferences.
I meticulously researched the grading and certification process for each retailer, ensuring they offered high-quality, authenticated diamonds. I looked for round diamonds with excellent cut, color, and clarity, and prioritized those that were certified by reputable organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Settings and Jewelry Available
I explored the different setting styles and jewelry options offered by each retailer, including solitaire, halo, and pavé settings for engagement rings, as well as pendants, earrings, and bracelets featuring round diamonds. I paid special attention to the craftsmanship and quality of the settings and jewelry available.
I closely examined the pricing of round diamonds across different retailers, comparing carat weight, cut, color, and clarity to ensure they provide the best value for the money. I also took note of any discounts, sales, or promotions available.
While browsing each retailer's website, I assessed their user interface, ease of navigation, and the availability of detailed information on round diamonds. I focused on websites with clear, high-resolution images, 360-degree views, and filter options to help me select the perfect diamond.
I visited a few brick-and-mortar stores to examine their round diamonds and settings in person. I observed the store's ambiance, lighting, and presentation of their products. During my visit, I interacted with knowledgeable salespeople who could help me appraise and authenticate the diamonds I was interested in.
Throughout my search for the best place to buy round diamonds, I carefully documented my experiences with each retailer, including my interactions with customer service, the ease of purchase, and any post-purchase services like insuring the diamond or providing maintenance advice.
I evaluated the customer service provided by each retailer, both online and in-person, by asking questions about their round diamonds, policies, and services. I considered how promptly they responded to inquiries, their level of expertise, and their willingness to assist me in finding the perfect round diamond.
What to Look for When Buying Round Cut Diamonds
When searching for any diamond, you have to understand the 4Cs of diamond quality: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. We've got plenty of diamonds guides that go over each of these in-depth. Here are some tips when picking out round diamonds.
Diamond cut is the most important aspect of the 4Cs, if you haven't figured that out by now. This is especially true for round diamonds because of their ideal cut quality. I don't recommend choosing a round diamond cut grade other than ideal or excellent. There's just really no point, in my most humble opinion.
If you're going to buy the most expensive diamond shape, you might as well get to enjoy the best brilliance and that's an ideal cut diamond.
If you want to go for super ideal cut diamonds, Hearts and Arrows diamonds, or any other kind of specialty diamond, know you are paying for extra snazz, but not anything necessary to have the best diamond.
Color and Clarity
You shouldn't ever compromise diamond cut, but diamond clarity and diamond color are more expendable. Because round cut diamonds are brilliant cut with lots of short little facets. This style of cutting makes it harder to see some inclusions. If you have a big black spot, it might still be visible regardless.
That's why you should ever buy a round cut diamond online that you can't see. You probably won't need one if you're buying diamonds with VVS clarity grades, but there's no need to pay all that extra if you have a 360 viewer.
You can easily save yourself a couple thousand by choosing an SI clarity diamond that is eye clean if you take your time.
Brilliant cut diamonds also take away some of the color away from a round diamond because of all that white light. But people's perception of color is different. Personally, I don't go below an H color diamond because I'm very sensitive to it and it bothers me. But some people prefer their diamonds on the warmer side.
Diamonds with a yellow tint from a lower color grade like JKL will be more obvious in halo settings than a solitaire. Smaller diamonds tend to have better diamond grades. Colorless halo diamonds will make a tinted center stone even more obvious.
Red Flags When Buying Round Diamonds Online
There isn't a lot of red flags with diamond shapes, but there are some things to be aware of.
Hearts and Arrow Diamonds
One of the big trends in the jewelry industry is the Hearts and Arrows effect. This is where you can see a pattern of hearts and arrows when looking at the diamond through a special tool. If it's well-cut, you won't need this special tool.
So if they tell you that it's only viewable under the tool, you know that diamond probably isn't well cut.
The exact symmetry of a round cut diamond makes this effect. You should also know that not all Hearts and Arrow branded diamonds are ideal cut and not all ideal cut diamonds present the hearts and arrows pattern. An ideal cut diamond without this pattern is still exact proportions. It's about the way the diamond was cut.
Some jewelry stores may advertise their diamonds as hearts and arrows, but won't have exact symmetry. You should choose the standard 57/58 facets (some diamonds include the culet as a facet and some don't) when buying round diamonds.
Round Diamonds FAQ
Are Round Diamonds Good For An Engagement Ring?
Round cut diamonds are the preferred choice for diamond engagement rings. They're the most popular diamond shape due to the ability to be capable of perfect symmetry and ultimate brilliance.
Round diamonds are incomparable to any other diamond shape.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Round Cut Diamonds Online?
When you buy diamonds online instead of a physical retailer like Kay Jewelers, you could be saving over 40% on a diamond of the same grades, but most likely will have better grades.
Ideal round cut diamonds at Kay's are way more expensive than online. I know, I have one. My Tolkowsky ideal cut is a F color and SI2 clarity grade with inclusions that I can visibly see. It also has a GSI grading report (which is trash FYI) and GemEx report. The engagement ring went for $3,999. Oh and it's 3/4 carat center halo setting with pave diamonds.
A diamond with the same grades at James Allen with a GIA certificate would cost me around $2,130. With a similar ring setting, it still comes out to $1000 less. While they're not direct comparisons, and there are other variables, this is a common occurrence.
Your best bet is too compare apples to apples to be sure, but you'll more than likely find they are cheaper online and the process is much less pushy because no one's trying to make a sales goal online.
Are Round Cut Diamonds More Expensive?
Not only are round cut diamonds the most popular diamond shape, they're also the most expensive.
Surprise, surprise, right? But it's not for the reasons you think.
There's a lot of things that dictate diamond prices and a lot of it is unique to each diamond. Round diamonds are the most expensive because gem cutters cut away a lot of diamond rough when creating the shape.
On average, a round diamond only utilizes about 45% of the diamond rough. Most fancy shapes utilize a large portion of the rough. Princess cut diamonds use about 70% of the rough, which is why it's cheaper.
You gotta think about how much it costs to excavate diamonds. How much equipment, manpower, and labor is done to get it. Then it has to be gem quality. Most diamond rough isn't.
The way the crystal is formed also dictates what shape it must become. They can't just make any diamond rough a round shape. Then they trash most of it to cut the round shape.
The other reason why it's more expensive is because round diamonds are the only true ideal cut diamonds. They're the only shape that can be formed with perfect symmetry.
Read Also: Round vs princess cut: which is better?
How to Get The Best Deal When Buying Round Cut Diamonds Online
- Always choose Ideal Cut or Excellent Cut grades
- Choose a retailer with a 360 view that allows you to see blemishes
- Only buy GIA or AGS certified round diamonds or GIA, IGI, or GCAL lab grown diamonds
- Choose a ring setting that protects the culet (tip of the diamond)
- Diamonds with lower color grades look more white in yellow gold ring settings
- Choosing diamonds with fluorescence can save you money
- Choose a retailer that offers a lifetime warranty
Get Your Round Diamonds At...
After much consideration, I found James Allen to be the best place to buy round diamonds for a variety of reasons. Their wide selection of round cut diamonds at various price points and diamond grades, combined with their easy-to-use 360˚ viewer, makes it simple to find the perfect diamond for your needs.
Additionally, the new Ring Builder tool and over 250 ring settings to choose from allows for even more customization over the competition. James Allen only sells GIA or IGI certified diamonds, and their lifetime warranty provides added peace of mind.
Overall, the combination of selection, quality, and customer service makes James Allen the top choice for anyone in the market for a round diamond.