So you want to pop the question, or maybe leave a heavy hint about what type of engagement ring you have in mind.
Well, with many jewelers offering services online, you can enjoy a whole world of options from the comfort of your couch. With just the click of a mouse, you have access to a wider range of customization options, while browsing at your leisure (more time to find a better deal, too).
“The possibilities are endless and not limited by location, as most brands ship internationally,” says Juliet Hutton-Squire, co-founder of Ornate Insight, a leading business information agency for the jewelery industry. “However, her restrictions are getting the sizing right and not being able to see what the ring would look like on your partner’s hand.”
To reassure customers, most online jewelers have a virtual concierge service that helps identify the perfect piece for the special occasion. You do not know where to start ? Determine your partner’s ring size by measuring an existing ring of his (or hers) against a ring size guide, which most brands have on their website. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the perfect fit, as any jeweler worth their salt will offer a resizing service.
Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online?
The answer is yes, as long as it is a legitimate brand and it is a certified diamond. “Research is key – ensuring the authenticity of the jeweler is important,” says Hutton-Squire. “Stay loyal to the brands you trust. They will provide the provenance story and a globally recognized certification. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, check out customer reviews or investigate recommendations from friends and family.
There is a range of diamond certifications, but here are some of the top globally recognized organizations: Gemological Institute of America, International Institute of Gemmology and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which prevents conflict diamonds from entering the supply chain.
Do engagement rings have to be diamond?
Although the majority of engagement rings are diamond, you may want to opt for a colored gemstone such as an emerald or sapphire, which tend to be more affordable. Many of the jewelry companies below offer a bespoke online design service that allows you to create the ring of your dreams.
If you’re a firm believer that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, there are still plenty of options to choose from to suit any budget. Engagement rings made from cultured or lab-grown diamonds are less expensive, arguably more environmentally friendly, and chemically identical to natural diamonds.
For those who prefer a more vintage look, you can choose to recycle an old stone which can be recut to fit a more modern shape or setting. “There’s something romantic about inheriting a stone that has its own stories and adding yours in a new chapter,” says Hutton-Squire.
Finally, there is the option of buying a diamond online and having it set by a jeweler, which is probably the most cost effective way to obtain a top quality diamond. Jewelers such as Blue Nile sell loose diamonds online.
Whether you’re looking for a new stone, a lab-grown diamond, or a decades-old heirloom, the same grading criteria apply when determining a diamond’s value: the 4 Cs:
- Carat (i.e. weight)
- To cut
It is also important to check off the practicalities of buying rings online. Find out about a brand’s return and order cancellation policies before you buy. Check that your delivery will be secure and fully insured. If you’re buying from an international retailer, you’ll also want to check for any additional taxes or duties your package may incur upon arrival.