So you want to ask the question, or maybe drop a big clue about the 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 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 are not limited by location, as most brands will ship internationally,” says Juliet Hutton-Squire, co-founder of Ornate Insight, a leading market intelligence agency for the jewelry industry. “However, its restrictions make it possible to choose the right size and not be 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 ? Calculate your partner’s ring size by measuring an existing ring of her (or hers) against a ring size guide, which most brands offer on their website. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the perfect fit, as any true jeweler will offer a resize service.
Is it Safe to Buy an Engagement Ring Online?
The answer is yes, as long as it is a legitimate brand and a certified diamond. “Research is the key – it is important to ensure the authenticity of the jeweler,” says Hutton-Squire. “Stick to brands you trust. They will provide the history of provenance and a globally recognized certification. If you don’t know the brand, check out customer reviews or investigate based on recommendations from friends and family.
There is a whole range of diamond certifications, but here are some of the biggest globally recognized organizations: Gemological Institute of America, International Institute of Gemology and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which prevents conflict diamonds from entering the supply chain.
Do engagement rings have to be a diamond?
While the majority of engagement rings are diamond, you might want to go for a colored gemstone like an emerald or sapphire, which tend to be more affordable. Many jewelry companies below offer a bespoke online design service that allows you to create the ring of your dreams.
If you firmly believe that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then there are still plenty of options to choose from to suit any budget. Engagement rings made from cultured – or lab-grown – diamonds are cheaper, 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 is something romantic about inheriting from a stone that comes with its own stories and adding yours as 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 get a top quality diamond. Jewelers such as Blue Nile sell loose diamonds online.
Whether you are looking for a new stone, a lab-grown diamond, or a decades-old heirloom, the same grading criteria apply to 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. Learn 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 might incur upon arrival.