Looking for the perfect engagement ring but overwhelmed by all the options?
You're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:
- What Are The Top Places To Buy An Engagement Ring Online?
- What Should You Look For In An Engagement Ring?
- How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal?
- What Are The Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying?
Becoming engaged is one of the events in our lives that most of us look forward to.
For years, engagement rings were only bought at physical jewelry store locations. But now, we have many online diamond retailers that have higher quality engagement rings at a cheaper price. High quality engagement rings ready to buy without the hassle of commissioned sales people coercing you to open your wallet when you're not ready.
You might ask yourself, how do I know I'm buying from a good place?
Never fear, Learning Jewelry is here. We'll go over all the ins and out of the Top 6 best online retailers to buy diamond engagement rings from.
Top 6 Best Online Stores to Buy Diamond Engagement Rings
If you need the list quick, here are my top 6 picks for finding quality diamond engagement rings from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops.
Buying An Engagement Ring At James Allen
James Allen is an excellent online retailer when it comes to choosing a new engagement ring or wedding ring set. In fact, they are said to be the best in online jewelry stores.
They features thousands of loose diamonds ready to customize in a variety of settings, from a classic Tiffany style solitaire to a halo pave diamond ring.
They have so many settings, it can almost be overwhelming.
Their options are sorted in a variety of categories such as halo, vintage, three stone, etc. The settings are listed as a setting only price, so you can personally select your diamond.
When you choose to build an engagement rings or future wedding band, you can make sure you are involved in 100% of the process, rather than picking a stock item out of a jewelry case.
James Allen has a healthy variation of prices within their loose diamond collections, making some as little as $500 with SI1 clarity or around $9,000 clarity grade of VS1.
When you're shopping online with James Allen, you know you are being taken care of by the best online diamond retailer. They give you a free lifetime warranty that covers routine care such as polishing, steam-cleaning, rhodium plating, and prong retipping.
Furthermore, if you're disappointed with your diamond or diamond engagement ring, they will offer you a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee.
- Wide selection
- 30 day return
- Affordable prices
- Lifetime warranty covers wear
- Can't see colored diamond in settings
Buying An Engagement Ring At Clean Origin
Clean Origin is the best choice for those who want to save money by buying a lab diamond engagement ring. All of the diamonds are lab-created. Lab-created diamonds are also called synthetic diamonds, but they are still real diamonds in every way. Instead of coming from the ground, they are made in a lab and carry the same physical and chemical properties.
Lab grown diamonds from Clean Origin are 100% conflict-free. Clean Origin is young to the market having opened online in 2017, but have over 100 years of combined industry experience.
When you buy lab diamonds at Clean Origin, you could be saving up to 50% more than you would buying a mined diamond with the same grades. You can customize your diamond filters. You can even filter your results to hearts and arrows diamonds. Clean Origin sells high quality loose lab diamonds, so you won't see any I clarity graded ones in their diamond inventory.
Clean Origin has 360 viewing on their lab diamonds, with a blown up controllable viewer that allows you to see any diamond characteristics. You can also view the grading report as well. After picking your diamond, you can choose a ring setting. All of Clean Origin's precious metals are recycled metals.
If for some reason you don't like your lab diamond engagement ring from Clean Origin, they offer a 100 day return policy, which is unheard of. This ensures that a customer is fully satisfied with the product which puts new customers at ease.
As far as warranties, they only give you a manufacturer's warranty, which really isn't a warranty at all. It covers design flaws, not routine maintenance. For things like retipping prongs, rhodium plating white gold and tightening stones, you'll have to find a jeweler and pay out of pocket.
While Clean Origin's diamonds are cheaper because they're lab grown, they don't offer any kind of upgrade or trade-in policy like most online retailers offer with lab diamonds. Lab diamonds don't make great investments or resale value.
Clean Origin is a great choice for people looking for an alternative to a mined diamond, while still getting a genuine diamond, but paying much less for it.
- Conflict-free lab diamonds
- Environmentally conscious
- Large 360 viewer
- Less expensive than mined diamonds
- Lab diamonds don't have trade-in or resale value
- No real warranty
Buying An Engagement Ring At Blue Nile
They too have an area where you're able to pick out your own diamond based on your desired diamond characteristics. Not only do they have ideal cut diamonds, but Blue Nile also brands their own diamond as Astor ideal.
You can customize your diamond engagement ring in a variety of metals including 14K or 18K, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and the ever-sturdy platinum. Blue Nile also has a large selection of loose stones.
Read Also: Does Blue Nile let you build your own ring?
They have fancy color diamonds that you can have put into a ring, but you can't visually see the two put together. But I like that they have that option for someone looking for a little more spice in their ring setting.
Blue Nile has a wide selection in modern and classic engagement ring settings such as three stones, pave, halo, and vintage.
If you're not wanting to pick out your own stone (though we highly recommend you do), they do have both pre-made engagement rings and gemstone engagement rings ready to ship.
Blue Nile offers a pretty decent discount for purchasing via bank wire versus paying with a credit card. James Allen doesn't give you that option, so that's something they have above them.
Unfortunately, Blue Nile does not do routine repairs and work for free. The only lifetime warranty they mention is one against factory defects.
While Blue Nile does give their consumers a wide range of beautiful diamond engagement rings and high quality loose stones, the lack of a decent lifetime warranty is a downside.
- Large selection of loose diamonds
- 360 HD views
- Fancy color diamond option
- Bank wire discount
- Only manufacturer warranty
- Can't see fancy diamond actually set into setting
Buying An Engagement Ring At Whiteflash
If you are looking for a name brand engagement ring, Whiteflash is definitely a great online choice. In fact, brand designers are pretty much all Whiteflash carries in their inventory.
Some of the bridal jewelry carried by Whiteflash include popular designers such as Ritani, Tacori, Verragio, and Simond G.
They might not carry much of a line of their own engagement rings, but they carry a wide selection of loose diamonds in order to create your perfect engagement ring.
Whiteflash builds with you from the ground up by letting you customize your diamond grade specifics to tailor both your desires and budget needs.
You can easily scroll over each of the narrowed options and eliminate further by comparison.
What Whiteflash lacks in premade engagement rings, they definitely make up for in loose diamonds. They carry an in-house collection of loose stones as well as a virtual collection.
This collection comes from different manufacturers and sources. Then they are pre-screened by staff gemologists to ensure that they are top-notch standard.
One really cool bonus is that Whiteflash is one of the few retailers that can actually cut a diamond for you. You can come in with a rough diamond crystal and have their lapidaries cut a beautiful stone.
White Flash offers free returns within 30 days, but if you order from the virtual selection, it is only 10 days. You do get a free 1 year warranty that covers routine repairs like polishing, rhodium, prong retipping, and tightening of stones.
You do have the option to purchase two types of care plans.
- Largest selection of loose diamonds
- Option to purchase care plans
- Virtual collection
- Brand names
- 1 year free warranty
- Not many designs from within
- Website runs slow
Buying An Engagement Ring At Leibish & Co.
When you buy a diamond engagement ring at Leibish & Co, I can assume that you are the type of person who wants to stand out.
If normal ring styles bores you Leibish & Co is the place to shop. They carry an exquisite collection of fine jewelry containing vivid fancy colored diamonds.
Leibish & Co is by far the best online retailer in fancy diamonds. Their engagement rings are fun and unique featuring high quality fancy color diamonds.
But, the cost is high. Because they're the best, you'll definitely pay for the best. This company is not in everybody's price range.
Leibish & Co carries 14 different color fancy diamonds including the ultra rare, red diamond. You can purchase them loose or place them in a set.
They do offer a 360 view that allows you to survey the diamond, but at a certain angle, the light fades out the stone and you can't even see anything on it. It's really a bad view.
They do allow you to see it in person at a specific place, but they charge you to do so. If they'd put better views on their diamonds, that wouldn't be necessary.
They offer a really cool Loyalty Program that lets you earn points when you purchase from them. Each item will say how many points you earn for purchasing.
Points can be redeemed and used for money off purchases. The more you buy, the more you earn. I like this because you don't see it with many jewelers.
If that wasn't enough. Leibish and Co. gives all purchasers a lifetime warranty with their jewelry. This warranty covers routine care like prongs, rhodium, polish, and steam cleaning.
Not all stones are GIA certified in their collection, but some are in-house certified by their GIA certified employees. If you'd like to send it out for certification, they'll charge you around $150.
Leibish & Co has a 30 day return policy and will give you a free resizing within the first 60 days.
- High quality fancy colored diamonds
- Loyalty program
- Lifetime warranty
- Temporary resizing
- Pictures with glare
Buying An Engagement Ring At Ritani
You might think you know Ritani because they're one of the oldest brands in diamonds, but they aren't the same ring designer we know and love. Ritani started out as a ring designer with unique and elegant settings sold at diamond retailers like Whiteflash.
But now Ritani offers both loose diamonds and one-of-a-kind ring settings. You can choose from mined or lab grown diamonds. Keep in mind, all ring designers charge a premium for brand name. Because of that, you'll find ring settings from Ritani more expensive than your unbranded ring setting.
Ritani is a very transparent company that shows a market analysis with each loose diamond they carry. They'll show you the breakdown of the cost of your diamond including what they pay, the markup cost, and what you pay.
I wish Ritani was a little more consistent with their diamond viewing. Some of their diamonds have 360 video while others only have HD photos. Some even have both video and photos, and others don't have anything at all. However, Ritani has HD photos available on request for each diamond within 48 hours.
Ritani's pricing on diamonds is comparable with our top retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile. They are also one of the few online retailers that will let you see a diamond in-store at one of their many participating partners. However, due to COVID 19 and the closures of many partners, this feature is being updated.
The last thing I want to tell you about Ritani is about their awesome lifetime warranty. They're also one of the few online retailers that give you a free lifetime warranty that covers routine maintenance for your rings like stone and prong tightening and rhodium plating white gold rings. They want you to sign up online to "activate" your warranty within 45 days, but you can still do it after then.
- In-store and Online
- Free lifetime warranty
- Inconsistent viewing
- Expensive ring settings
FAQ When Buying Diamonds Online
There are so many questions when it comes to buying an engagement ring. Should you get one that's all diamonds or a mix of gemstones and diamonds? What will you set it in? Rose gold? White gold? Maybe yellow gold? The possibilities are endless. Check out the most asked questions about buying engagement rings online.
Is It Cheaper To Buy A Diamond Engagement Ring Online?
Well, that is a completely loaded question. While most people think in terms of cheap and expensive, diamonds are much more complex than a simple blanket term.
While a cheap diamond might be good for your wallet, it won't have a great lifespan. Cheaper diamonds tend to have worse cuts and more inclusions. This isn't true for all of course, but for many.
But then again, if you go to a physical jewelry store to look for the best diamond, you're either not going to find it in stores, or you're going to pay way more for way less than you would shopping online. Commercial brick and mortar stores will charge their customers double for the same quality of a ring you could find online.
You get get a same size, lower quality diamond engagement ring for the same price of an even better diamond grade at one of our prized online retailers.
Red Flags When Buying Diamond Rings Online?
When you buy an engagement ring online, it can be pretty daunting. Watching out for scams can be hard on the web. Thankfully, we have a much safer online buying experience nowadays than we used to.
1. Legitimate Companies
You should still be careful. All of the online diamond retailers on our list are 100% legitimate and trusted.
Do your homework if you are interested in another smaller online retailer. Perhaps they have a more affordable prices, or better designs and you find yourself leaning toward them.
It's very possible that they are completely legitimate, but it may take some extra checking. Before ever purchasing from an online retailer, not only in fine jewelry but in any kind of product, you should do research on the company.
Check out reviews, reports from the Better Business Bureau, and Facebook business pages to read all about different experiences. Take advantage of these tools.
2. Conflict-free Diamonds
If conflict-free diamonds are a concern for you, it might make you feel good to know that most diamond retailers both online and physical stores participate in the Kimberley Process.
The Kimberley Process is a program that was invented in 2003 to ensure that all diamond market channels were providing ethically sourced diamonds and had no chance of supporting civil wars and terrorism in Africa.
All diamond retailers will state (either in the showroom or online) their policy regarding conflict diamonds. All of the retailers on our list today deal in conflict-free diamonds.
When you're looking at a loose stone from any retailer, make sure you're considering what you're wanting in terms of clarity.
Before you purchase any diamond, you should really learn about the 4Cs, which are diamond quality factors put forth by the Gemological Institute of America, the leading educator and research company for all jewelry.
Clarity should be a big factor when buying loose stones to be set into a ring setting. With other fine jewelry, you might not need to rely on clarity grades. But because a ring is viewed from the top view, you'll want to make sure there aren't any inclusions, or any unflattering diamond characteristics.
If a online store does not give a definite clarity grade for at least the center diamond, you're probably not making the best purchase. You can find a lot of these types of lower quality rings on Amazon.
How To Get The Best Deal When Buying Diamonds Online?
When it comes to diamond jewelry, getting a great deal on an engagement ring isn't about numbers. Most people who don't know a whole lot about diamonds assume if they get a big diamond for a lower price, they're getting a good deal. This is not necessarily the case.
All genuine diamonds go by the grading scale of the 4Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat.
It's possible to get a 2 carat diamond engagement ring with a good cut, lower color grade & clarity grade, but you you'll sacrifice the overall beauty of the diamond. For some, that's important.
It's not to say that all beautiful diamonds cost more, but you might find quality factors you don't want to sacrifice when piecing together your engagement ring.
Cut- The cut of your diamond affects the durability and brilliance of the diamond. Cut quality is determined by the proportions, polish, and symmetry of the diamond. A bad cut will "leak" light and not produce the same level of fire. That said, I don't recommend ever sacrificing cut quality.
Clarity- How eye-clean your diamond is (see the Red Flags section.)
Color- All diamonds are measured on a color grade scale generally from D-K. K is faint yellow, which is considered the lowest color grade before it is considered a fancy yellow diamond. Some places will assign a lower letter grade, but most stop at K.
Carat- Most people think carat is the size of the diamond, but it's actually the weight. This is how much your stone weighs and how big it looks.
Clearer, colorless larger diamonds are harder to find, which is why the prices dramatically increase from 1 carat to 2 carats.
Read Also: How to shop for 1 carat diamond rings?
You can go for a lower clarity grade and save lots of money, but make sure you look at the stone first. Any of the online stores that offer a 360 view on their loose diamonds will help you identify characteristics or inclusions and where they are located.
If you have an SI1 grade diamond and its inclusions are on the edge where a prong will be placed, you won't even see it. And you pay less.
Similarly, if you look at diamond color grades, you really can't always tell the difference between a D and E color grade, but the cost of the difference is large.
The rule is two color grades away is a difference. You'll notice the color difference between a D & G. But a G & H? They'll look the same and it saves you money to buy a lower color grade.
Carat weight of diamonds is measured by points. There are 100 points in 1 carat. When searching in loose stone libraries, you should consider the price difference between a .90 carat point diamond and a 1 carat.
The difference is hundreds. But if you look at the two side by side, the size difference is minimal. Going for carat points rather than whole carat sizes will save you a ton in the end.