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 ready to buy without the hassle of commissioned sales people coercing you to buy when you're not ready.
You might ask yourself, how do I know I'm buying from a good place?
And that's the focus of this guide, to specifically look at the best online shops when buying engagement rings.
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 Blue Nile
If you're shopping at Blue Nile, you are looking at another great place to buy a diamond online.
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, just like Brian Gavin.
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 Brian Gavin
Brian Gavin has a large selection of signature diamonds and name brands.
They actually carry different name brands than Whiteflash, such as Sylvie, Parade, and Jeff Cooper. They have a medium size collection of brand name designers and you can choose your own diamond to set into the settings.
They also offer a large line of their own signature collection with their own specialties. The Hearts and Arrows Collection is especially popular, and they have them in round and cushion cuts.
Their most exclusive line dropped is the Black by Brian Gavin.
Black by Brian Gavin features the patented cut designed by Brian Gavin himself, called the Gavin Effect Cut.
The Gavin Effect Cut is meant to break all barrier with superior light performance by magnifying the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond. Only the best of the best diamonds become Black quality.
All Black diamonds up to 3 carats have color grades of DEF, clarity grades of IF-VS2, and hearts and arrows design. The details about the cut are hush-hush though as it is patent-pending.
They also have their own signature collection that features diamonds already in premade designs such as this pretty Athena ring from the Olympus collection.
These are great options for someone overwhelmed by choosing a diamond and setting or is looking for lower prices.
I don't like how a lot of their rings only show one picture. You can't get a feel for a lot of the designs because they only show it one way. I think the 360 views are very important to have when gaining a customer's trust.
Brian Gavin also offers to custom cut stones for you like Whiteflash, and they sell fancy color diamonds for an affordable price as well. You can get these loose fancy color diamonds in a unique setting to make your very own ring.
While customer diamond jewelry is not non-refundable, Brian Gavin also does 30-day returns for those who are unsatisfied with other products.
They only offer a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, but other than that, there is no type of warranty. Furthermore, only Brian Gavin Signature Collections are eligible for their Diamond Buyback Program and their Lifetime Upgrade program.
- Patented Gavin cut
- Many signature lines
- Name brands
- Custom cut diamonds
- Custom rings
- Bad pictures
- No real warranty
Buying An Engagement Ring At Abe Mor
Abe Mor is a tricky online diamond retailer because well, they're not a retailer. In fact, they actually sell diamonds to other retailers.
Some of your favorite stores could get their diamonds from Abe Mor. Individuals are still able to purchase from Abe More, but honestly it can be more work than it's worth.
Like our other competitors, you can click on their loose stone sections and search for your perfect diamond via filters of the 4Cs. However, it does not show you a price.
Instead, it tells you to sign in. So, I went ahead to sign up for it, and now I have to wait to be approved. If I were shopping for an engagement ring or loose diamond, I'd definitely choose one of the other guys on this list.
While there's not a whole lot of benefits to buying with Abe Mor, you should think about selling with Abe Mor. Abe Mor is the leading diamond reseller.
While it's no secret that diamonds lose at least 30% of their value by being resold, Abe Mor claims to get you more money for it than you would any place else.
The sell program is ideal for those jewelry fiends that have heaps of diamond jewelry they no longer wear. Maybe they've gone through a divorce and don't know what to do with the wedding ring.
Because they aren't an actual diamond retailer, Abe Mor doesn't warranty any of their jewelry out. However, they do accept 30 day returns.
- Excellent sell program
- Unique sourcing
- No warranties
- Can't see prices
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.