OK, it’s time to say it out loud: Shopping for engagement rings online is no longer a trend – it’s a reality and a habit everyone should adopt. If there’s something we learned from the restrictions and lockdowns that came hand in hand with COVID-19, it is that almost everything is possible through the virtual world – and shopping for custom jewelry is no exception.
But even before the virus, the jewelry trade was making a shift from shops and stores to the World Wide Web, mainly because it is easier to compare prices that way.
However, buying an engagement ring is not like grocery shopping online, and there are a few factors to consider when doing so. We’ve gathered them for you, and we advise you to give it a read before pulling your credit card out and making a purchase you could regret.
1. Budget first, style afterward
This is a key rule you should adopt even before looking at different rings. You must first set your budget. Otherwise, you will find yourself spending much more than you had originally planned. It is not to say, however, that you shouldn’t look around first – you definitely should check out some online stores and get a taste of what prices are like. However, before focusing on anything specific, you need a cost limit.
Don’t be afraid to seek out help before deciding how much you’re going to spend on the ring. Consult with friends who have recently proposed; they can give you a taste of how much you’re about to shell out. Check your bank account to see what you can afford – and keep in mind that an engagement ring is only a small portion of the overall cost of getting married.
Also, you must remember that there are different types of diamonds for different budgets. Lab-grown diamonds, for example, have become a very trendy alternative to diamond mining and, while preserving the traits of ground mined diamonds, they are a whole lot cheaper. Another alternative is buying a clarity enhanced diamond, meaning a diamond treated to clear it from blemishes and inclusions without changing its properties – but more on that later.
2. Size does matter
One of the biggest deterrents from buying custom rings online is the question of ring size. If you can’t physically see and feel the ring, you probably can’t make sure it’s the appropriate size for your lady, right? Wrong. Online stores now offer kits that help you find the ring size you’re looking for, and they personally deliver them to you free of charge. There are also websites and apps that can help you find the answer you’re looking for, and they do a pretty good job. The tricky part is getting your girlfriend to cooperate without spoiling the surprise, but we’ll leave the creative side to you.
3. The human touch
Just because you’re buying a diamond ring on the internet, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect a living, breathing human to assist you in the process (and, preferably, one that knows a thing or two about diamonds). Trustworthy websites will offer contact information: a phone number, and email, a chat button, and so on. Do not hesitate to contact them with any question or doubt you have – that’s what they’re there for, and it won’t cost you more.
Take a look at Best Brilliance online store, for example. As you can see, all three options mentioned above exist there. A quick look at the reviews posted on it shows that they are fast to reply and provide thorough assistance. All in all, seems like a trustworthy source and a standard that you shouldn’t compromise on.
4. Do your homework
Are you aware of the different levels of clarity? Can you tell me if a diamond ring’s price suits its carat? If you don’t know the basic terms, don’t even start shopping before you do some reading. No, you do not have to become an expert and know the GIA’s contact details by heart (the Gemological Institute of America). You should, however, know the basic terminology and glossary – don’t count on a salesperson walking you through every small detail.
The basic thing you need to comprehend is the 4 C’s (clarity, color, cut, and carat). These determine the quality of the diamond and hence its expected price. Other than that, knowing the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown one is also important, and having an understanding of different shapes of rings won’t do any harm.
Let’s go back to the matter of clarity enhanced diamonds we discussed before. These come at a lower clarity level, but laser cleansing makes them seem clearer and more sparkling. That way, you get a more expensive-looking diamond for a lower price. The process does not harm the formation or structure of the diamond, so it would be a good option for people with a tighter budget (but not as tight, for example, as buying a lab-grown diamond which is much cheaper).
5. Make a smart purchase
The same rules that apply to any serious purchase are valid here. It is OK to ask for a warranty, and anyone who refuses to give you one (with all sorts of excuses) should not be trusted. Shipping and handling should be discussed prior to purchase, usually the online stores such as
This is true in the case of any purchase you make, but it’s especially true on the internet. It’s much easier to forget how important these things are when a purchase is made up of a few clicks and not a physical process with a human vendor. You must not underestimate its importance, though, for it can be the difference between a good and a terrible online shopping experience.