You’ve heard it all. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, diamonds are forever, and angels are like diamonds. These quotes from people like Marilyn Monroe are everlasting because they’re true. When the time has come for you to start shopping for the perfect engagement ring, a lot will come to mind. You’ll wonder how much you should spend, what kind of diamond shape your beloved prefers, what metal styles best adhere to their overall style, and unless you’ve purchased diamonds before, you’ll need to know about their optimal appearance and carat weight. Though some purchases are easy, an engagement ring purchase may take you a couple of months to complete. It’s a process that needs to be perfected along the way and when you have jewelry experts to reach out to, you feel a sense of relief knowing you have a knowledgeable person on your side.
In the not so distant past, there were only a few simple options for engagement rings. Usually, you had only white gold or yellow gold to choose from and the more popular diamond cuts were princess and emerald cuts. However, now when you visit an online ring shop, you’re presented with more styles and designs than you can count. Though it is a benefit for the one wearing the diamond, it can be an overwhelming process for the one purchasing the diamond. It’s important that you tune into your loved one to figure out the style that best compliments their style and that you don’t just get caught up in the latest trend.
You’ll notice that diamond experts are all about the four “C’s:” color, cut, clarity, and carat. While certificate rating is a vital part of your ring package, keep in mind that you don’t need a completely flawless diamond to design a gorgeous ring your beloved will cherish. Also, don’t get caught up in the hype. The largest diamond isn’t always the best. That’s why connecting with a jewelry specialist is a good idea. You can let them know details about your beloved’s style preferences, you can state your budget right away, and you can get the guidance you need for buying something that fits for both of you.
Below, we share the top three websites for buying a diamond online, Green Living shares a little bit about each of their offerings, and we answer some of your most frequently asked questions toward the end of the article. This is a special time, and we hope our guidance brings you a little bit more peace of mind as you prepare for a bright (and sparkling!) future.
Diamond Engagement Rings: Finalist Summary
- James Allen – Our #1 Choice
- Blue Nile – Unbeatable Price Match Guarantee
- It’s Hot – Budget Friendly Engagement Ring Website
Criteria and Requirements That Were Taken Into Consideration
There are a few considerations we outline before putting this list together, including:
- Fair return policies. Even though you may feel like you’re completely committed to a certain style, there is always the possibility that you’ll change your mind and will need to process a return or an exchange. We make sure that we recommend websites that offer great return policies that provide you with that extra wiggle room to breathe easier.
- Vast cut and style selection. The more you have to choose from, the easier it is to zero in on a style that perfectly complements your soon to be fiancé. We expect you to take your time, looking through classic options, designer brands, and exclusive collections.
- Affordability. Not everyone has an unlimited budget for a ring – we look for websites with reasonable pricing and provide different options, so you can feel at ease knowing that your budget allows for a beautiful and timeless piece of jewelry for your partner.
- Positive past customer experiences. We love a good love story and they’re even more fun when photos accompany the tale. The websites below share their past customer’s custom designs, their love stories, and you get to enjoy the photos of their special days. This helps with providing insight on the customer experience while also demonstrating a happy, inspiring proposal story.
Full Breakdown & Reviews for our 3 Best Sites
1. James Allen – Our #1 Choice for the Perfect Engagement Ring
- Free resize within a year
- Free shipping worldwide
- Engrave a message at no cost
- Look through their inspiration gallery
- After initial resize, you are responsible for a small fee for additional corrections
On the James Allen website, you can begin the process of designing the ideal ring for your beloved. Start the process with either the setting or with a diamond. You can easily select from hundreds of breathtaking ring styles and then add a sparkling, colorless or eye-catching colored diamond. You can choose from a selection of over 200,000 loose diamonds and then match your stone with the most complementary ring setting in the precious metal that best suits your partner. Whether you’ve spent time doing your research on all the different types of styles or you’re visiting the website completely clueless, James Allen has a selection of styles that are sure to captivate your attention, inspire you, and help you get a yes.
Choose from styles like the solitaire, which is a classic, timeless option made up of a single stone and a plain setting. With this design, the finishing touches tell of simplicity and elegance. If your partner appreciates more of a statement piece, you can design a side stone ring which includes side diamonds on the band – this design beautifully highlights the center diamond. When classic and statement pieces don’t cut it for the impression you want to make, you can go for a halo design, which incorporates many tiny diamonds surrounding a center stone or infuse a touch of romance with an antique style ring that’ll make your beloved feel like she’s in an old movie.
The metal types you have to choose from include white gold, yellow gold, platinum, and rose gold. When you’re ready to splurge, you can select a ring designed by a true artist. With James Allen, you can set yourself up to purchase the perfect ring from designer brands like Verragio, Danhov, and Martin Flyer. Get a good look at loose diamonds using their 360° HD super zoom. Every single one of their 200,000+ diamonds are certified by the top three grading laboratories: GIA, AGS, and IGI. Though they come with a certificate, when you see a loose diamond in 40X super zoom, you have the experience of appreciating the true diamond with your own eyes, all from the comfort of your own home.
When you purchase the perfect engagement ring from James Allen, you can connect with a jewelry consultant 24 hours a day and you always have the option to inspect diamonds in real time. With your purchase, you also are provided with a lifetime warranty and shipping is always free worldwide. If you make a purchase and realize that it’s just not the right ring for your beloved, they offer hassle free returns with 100% money back. Your purchase is for a lifetime, and they work with you to make sure that you are completely satisfied as you move forward toward asking the biggest question of your life.
When you need a little bit of inspiration to design the perfect engagement ring, you can browse through their gallery of their customers’ recently purchased engagement rings. They are categorized by different styles like princess cut rings and cushion cut rings. You can peruse through the entire collection of proposal stories from different James Allen customers and view the diamonds they chose to make those moments unforgettable. Read through the stories, not only for inspiration on designing your own ring, but also for inspiration on creating the ideal proposal.
You can protect your purchase by choosing Jeweler’s Mutual jewelry insurance; get your free quote from this James Allen partner and feel the relief that comes with insuring the timeless piece of jewelry you purchase. When you invest in a gorgeous engagement ring, you not only invest financially, but you also invest emotionally. Learn more about the jewelry insurance advantages and obtain a free quote.
The James Allen guarantee, aside from including 24/7 customer service and free shipping worldwide, also includes one year free of resizing. Within the first year of your purchase, they will resize your own ring for free – they also offer free return shipping within the United States and Canada for the first resize. Should you require an additional resize after the first year, you’ll only need to pay a $25 fee for white, yellow, and rose gold rings. There is a $50 fee for platinum rings. If you’d like to add a special touch to your purchase, you can engrave a message that impacts the love of your life right on the inside of the ring. This additional feature is offered for free on most of their engagement ring selection. So long as engraving is available for the engagement ring you choose, it will be presented as an option during checkout.
2. Blue Nile – Unbeatable Price Match Guarantee
- Price match guarantee
- Always conflict-free diamonds
- Returns are free (free shipping with insurance coverage)
- 24/7 expert advice available
When you first visit Blue Nile, you are offered a chance to win $20,000 in jewelry simply by entering your email address; you’re then entered to win their giveaway, you can receive up to $50 off your next purchase, and you can stay up-to-date with all of their best and newest offers. They have just celebrated their 22nd anniversary and are offering unbeatable sales for celebrating life. Explore their ring selection and revel in the beautiful diamond shapes like princess cut diamond, emerald cut diamonds, heart shaped diamonds, and marquis shaped diamonds. Every one of their rings is handcrafted and quadruple checked as they are made to order for the ideal fit.
You can browse through their selection of custom engagement rings to find a design all your own or you could start by designing your own ring. Begin by selecting a setting or begin with a diamond – either way, when you choose to design your own ring, you add a unique touch that is reflective of your life story. When you need the help of a jewelry consultant, you can reach out to their team via phone, email, or live chat.
You can also look at engagement rings by style to gain inspiration. Their massive collection includes anything from timeless styles to the latest trends, including halo rings, vintage rings, and solitaire rings. They also present you with photos of their customers’ recent ring creations to help open your mind to all the different possibilities you can create with Blue Nile. When you purchase from Blue Nile, you can relax knowing that you’re only buying ethically sourced diamonds from some of the largest and most respected suppliers in the business. They offer industry-leading diamond certification, secure delivery, 30-day returns, and lifetime guarantees. You’ll find that Blue Nile often has the lowest prices available and when you find a ring that beats Blue Nile’s offer, they will make it right with a price match guarantee. It’s no wonder that 90% of their 162,000 reviews are rated four stars or higher. As they work toward 100% satisfaction, they continue offering a dazzling array of designs that are sure to make your love blush, smile, and even shed a tear or several.
They know that once you’re ready to buy a ring for an engagement, it’s a huge deal. Not only are you shelling out a significant amount of money for the purchase, but this financial choice is also backed by a major life decision that means you have to get it right. How the ring catches the light and sparkles, its style, and the carat weight all have meaning and matter. It may take you a few months before you decide on the ideal ring and although they can’t help you accelerate that process, they do work hard toward making it easier for you. They provide you with 12 tips for getting the ideal ring – it’s basically a guide and cheat sheet that keeps you aligned with your budget while helping you create the perfect ring.
Sizing is another important part of creating the engagement ring that changes your life and you can easily download their printable size guide to get the perfect ring fit. If you’re ready to explore their designer engagement rings, you can look through their different collections, including Bella Vaughan and Zac Posen. Even after you’ve chosen your favorite ring, you’re allowed to change your mind. They allow you to return or exchange your item within 30 days; you are provided with a free shipping label sent directly to your email, and that label provides insurance coverage for your item as it travels back to their headquarters. They also offer a lifetime manufacturer warranty because they stand behind every single one of their products and confirm that each item is free from manufacturing defects for the life of the product. You can expect complementary cleaning and inspection services on diamonds, which you can take advantage of every six months. And when you purchase a ring through Blue Nile, they help you make your proposal memorable and provide you with a lovely presentation box that’s ready to give.
3. It’s Hot – Most Budget-Friendly Engagement Ring Website
- Best price guarantee
- Free shipping in the United States
- Over 20,000 products to choose from
- Custom designs available by request
- Custom orders must be submitted via email with details
On It’s Hot, you can look through some of the hottest items at some of the lowest prices guaranteed since 2004. You’ll easily be able to find something that expresses the love and appreciation you feel for your beloved on this website, while also helping you save with daily deals. Check out their style shop and discover the newest trends in engagement rings, like a 3.5 carat princess and round diamond engagement ring that sits within a 14K gold setting. Find modern styles like a cushion cut halo engagement ring with custom platinum or choose a unique 4 carat princess and emerald cut diamond ring with 14K gold. From their metal shop, you have several different metals to choose from, including platinum, 18K gold, 14K gold, 10K gold, and sterling silver. You can also easily search by diamond quality, approximate carat weight, width, and price. Their style shop includes round cut diamonds, princess cut engagement rings, cushion cut engagement rings, and even black diamond rings.
You’re sure to find something that fits your budget and your vision from over 20,000 available products. They guarantee they have the best price, they offer free shipping within the United States, and you can return your purchase within 30 days should you change your mind. It’s Hot has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, and Financial Times because of its amazing service, incredible ring selection, and budget friendly exclusive offers. You can check the ring size chart to be sure you’re ordering the correct size, you can look through their current coupons and promotions to save extra, and you can read through their customer reviews and testimonials to help you get a glimpse of what that special day will be like for you. Request jewelry appraisals and create custom jewelry by connecting with their customer service team based out of New York, NY.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying an Engagement Ring Online
When buying an engagement ring online, there are several precautions you should take to make sure that you’re purchasing a real diamond with a guarantee and that you’re also receiving quality service to help you before, during, and after your purchase.
The most important choice you can make is to start with a vendor you can trust like the three favorite sites we listed above. Purchasing from a reliable online retailer means that they have a return policy, they often offer free shipping both for your order and possible return, and they can help orient you as you look through their website with a fantastic customer service team that’s available around the clock. A trustworthy vendor also provides you with extremely detailed product descriptions and HD quality photographs, so you can appreciate the type of diamond and setting you’re purchasing as if you were in person. Reputable websites also share their previous customers’ experiences and sometimes even their custom created rings so you can get a feel for what their experience was like, as well as get some inspiration for yourself.
Every diamond will have a certificate which is certified by a reliable grading system. That means that every diamond ring you look at should come with an independent lab certificate that confirms the quality of the diamond as the jeweler describes it. Look for GIA or AGS certified diamonds when shopping online.
Always make sure that before your purchase, you read through the website’s return policy. Even when you fall in love with a certain style, it could end up being something that needs to be returned or exchanged. Plan ahead for possible scenarios and figure out how long you have to make a return or an exchange, if their return process is free for you, and if when you return a ring, you get store credit or you actually get money back into your account. It’s also important to know whether they offer free resizing, as sometimes after you purchase the ring, you may realize that it doesn’t fit quite right on your beloved’s finger. So long as you equip yourself with the knowledge for all possible outcomes, you set yourself up for a successful purchase.
You’ll notice that the websites above offer free shipping – when purchasing online, make sure you know what their shipping process is like. When you’re spending money on a beautiful diamond ring, you’ll want to make sure that you can track the order and that it arrives safely in your mailbox or on your doorstep. For presentation purposes, you can double check to be sure that you are provided with a presentation box and/or a gift card.
A good website also helps to guide you when it comes to selecting the right size. You can call their jewelry expert teams to help you decide not just on the ring size, but on the style and setting as well. You can request a printable chart that helps you figure out your loved one’s ring size.
You also need to decide on the carat weight for your diamond. With each carat size increase, you’ll notice that the price tag goes up to match. Be sure that you select a well cut diamond to start with, check that it is colorless without any glaring blemishes or inclusions, and then focus on your carat weight to be sure the price tag matches up with everything you’ve selected.
Most importantly, take your time and reach out for advice. Buying online gives you the benefit of being able to complete tons of research, including current location lookup, you can compare different diamond cuts and styles, and you also get the convenience of doing this all from home or wherever you are if you’re on the go. Plus, depending on your browser settings, you can easily return to your favorites with a simple click. Don’t hesitate to reach out to their jewelry experts to get a well-informed perspective on the diamond engagement ring you’re looking at. This is not a time to be shy about a purchase. Ask all the questions you want, keep your jewelry expert on the phone until you’re satisfied, and don’t be afraid to let them know you need to sleep on it once you feel you’ve made the right choice.
What Does a Diamond Engagement Ring Mean?
Diamond rings epitomize marriage and symbolize love that is eternal. Diamond engagement rings alongside wedding bands have long represented devotion between two people who are committed to loving and cherishing each other for the rest of their lives. The circular shape of wedding rings symbolizes that there is no beginning and no end to infinite love. While certainly the shape is ideal for placing on the finger, there’s more to the shape than the obvious practicality. A circle represents an everlasting love that is shared between two people who are committed to evolving together. Diamonds are forever and it’s why they are the chosen stone for engagement rings. Diamonds represent strength and longevity, which makes them ideal for presenting to your beloved as you embark on an enduring journey and bond with them.
Is It Safe to Buy Engagement Rings Online?
Yes, it’s safe to buy a diamond engagement ring online so long as you purchase from a reputable retailer like the ones we listed above. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping online and that’s not the only benefit you get when you use websites like James Allen, Blue Nile, or It’s Hot. The diamonds that you get online are of the same quality that you find in stores, except that when you purchase online, you end up paying up to 40% less than if you were to purchase a diamond in-store.
So many people tend to be skeptical about such big purchases being completed online, but the fact is that reputable jewelers offer a variety of different perks that help to bring ease into your buying decision. Refer back to the different points we outlined for buying a ring online to make sure that you are covering all possible scenarios and are protecting yourself and your purchase.
No matter what ring you end up choosing, what most matters is your overall satisfaction and the look of awe, love, and excitement in your beloved’s eyes as you open the presentation box and reveal a symbol of your everlasting love. Each of the jewelers we listed above understands all the emotions you’re going through, and they are there to help alleviate your nerves as you make one of the most important purchases of your adult life. Stick with a reputable website during your search, follow the guidelines we presented to make deciding on a ring a little easier, and let your intuition lead you toward the perfect ring. What you choose is a representation of how you feel toward your partner and when you infuse this process with love and appreciation, you will be easily led toward the most picture-perfect diamond engagement ring.
This article has been supplied by a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.