Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 2 a.m.
Growing the courage to propose is scary enough, but finding the right diamond engagement ring for your significant other? Now that's downright intimidating! It needs to be eye-catching, gorgeous, indicative of the relationship, and just as perfect as they are. When going on the hunt for the perfect diamond engagement ring, be sure to remember the unanimous winner of the diamond ring world: online retailers. As odd as it may sound, buying a diamond engagement online may be cheaper, easier, and may result in higher quality jewelry than purchasing a ring from a traditional method.
Digital store catalogs are immense and can be accessed during all times of the day with a lot more discretion than physical shopping. These online retailers are wholesale, so the products they sell are far cheaper than traditionally sold engagement rings without compromising diamond or metal quality. In fact, since people are generally less quick to trust an online retailer, companies will go above and beyond to support their customers and show the exquisite quality of their products. This being said, not all online diamond ring retailers are equal, and some may have poor policies or may even mislead customers. The companies listed here are all highly trusted and sell only the highest quality diamonds and settings. Their extensive range of options is vast, and many of them offer various forms of customization to add a personal flair to any engagement ring. Buying an engagement ring can be scary, but if you're shopping from one of these companies, you can shop fearlessly knowing that your ring will be crafted and delivered with the utmost quality and standards.
Top 4 Diamond Engagement Ring Sites of 2021
- James Allen - Our Top Pick
- Blue Nile - Best Selection of Ethically Sourced Engagement Rings
- ItsHot - Best Preset Diamond Engagement Rings
- WJD Exclusives - Excellent Options for Loyal Shoppers
Best Diamond Engagement Rings Online - Site Review
- Extensive Selection of GIA or AGS Certified Conflict-Free Diamonds
- Free Shipping
- Provides Lifetime Warranty and Upgrades
- Lab-grown diamond options
When it comes to online diamond engagement ring retailers, it's hard to beat James Allen. Originally founded in 2006, James Allen is the cumulative idea of Oded Edelman, James Schultz, Michele Sigler, and Dean Lederman: four strong individuals who all possess skills in either retail or diamond expertise. Years later, their efforts and talent can be seen with a quick scroll through their collection of over 200,000 gorgeous conflict-free diamonds.
On top of having the best selection of loose diamonds, James Allen also goes above and beyond when it comes to providing a quick and easy purchasing experience. When choosing a diamond, it is immensely important to check that it is eye clean, or, appears good to the naked eye, a task made easier with James Allen's unique 360° Diamond Display Technology: a feature that allows you to view these diamonds in great detail, allowing you to properly see and inspect your gemstone before even ordering it.
James Allen is also an extremely reputable brand, providing Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS) certificates with every diamond purchased. These two organizations are recognized around the world as the two biggest and most respected grading labs. Their certificates will of course prove the authenticity of a diamond, but will also give a buyer valuable info on the 4Cs, carat, clarity, cut, and color.
Even the highest quality diamonds and ring bands dull after prolonged usage, so all James Allen jewelry can get a free cleaning every six months. Along with this cleaning service, James Allen also gives customers the option to send their ring in for complimentary prong tightening, repolishing, and rhodium plating.
Lastly, the James Allen search filters also give an option to only search for lab-grown diamonds. This is a tremendous perk for some. While there is something fascinating about owning a stone that may be billions of years old, some people may not care for a traditional earth-grown diamond due to price or personal reasons.
Although they may possess the same sparkle and general appearance, naturally formed diamonds can cost up to 30% more than lab-grown diamonds of the same quality. By having lab-grown options, individuals can get seriously creative and bold with their engagement ring choices without having to break the bank.
- Free Quick Shipping Options
- Handcrafted Diamond Engagement Rings
- Conflict-Free GIA Certified Diamonds
- Free cleaning and servicing
If you're on the market for something that feels a bit more exclusive or artisan, look no further than Blue Nile: an online jewelry retailer founded back in 1999 that has a vast assortment of loose diamonds, bands, and preset rings. They allow a lot of freedom when it comes to customization, but one of their biggest head-turners has to be the fact that each ring is handmade despite the relatively large amount of units sold. There's something extremely special about knowing a piece of jewelry was made specifically for you, giving Blue Nile a distinctive flair.
Blue Nile's collection of gorgeous conflict-free diamond engagement rings are all GIA certified so you always know you're getting a quality product, however, like any diamond ring, they need to be properly cleaned every 6 months in order to keep shining bright. Luckily, Blue Nile provides complimentary cleaning services to keep your ring sparkly and clean and, at a price, will also carry out repairs to the mounting of your ring.
The people at Blue Nile also pride themselves on the ethical nature of their diamonds. Each one of Blue Niles diamonds is guaranteed conflict-free, with the company completely disregarding any stones from places that are notoriously problematic with their diamond practices like Zimbabwe.
The brand is a huge supporter of the Kimberley Process; they take part in an internationally monitored practice of tracking and certifying diamonds every step of their journey from the mines that they're harvested from. These standards even apply to their metals, and they work hard to ensure that their metals are purchased exclusively from suppliers that meet strict human rights, social, and environmental standards.
Blue Nile also offers impeccable shipping deals, allowing customers fast, cheap, and most importantly, safe shipping with each order. Every purchase gets free shipping, and for any individual making a spontaneous proposal, Blue Nile allows for some of their products to be quickly shipped. The brand insures all of their packages and gives the option to securely pick up the package to avoid unwanted theft, going the extra mile to also send all their rings in discreet packaging so your significant other won't be picking up any hints before the big day.
- Over 2,000 Preset Diamond Engagement Rings
- Creates Custom Rings from Sketches or References
- Certified Naturally Mined Diamonds
- Dozens of New Designs Every Week
If you're looking to get your partner an elegantly showy wedding ring, ItsHot may be the perfect retailer for you. Unlike the two previous sites, ItsHot doesn't give any "build your own engagement ring" options; instead, they have an enormous catalog of over 1,500 preset diamond engagement rings to choose from with dozens of new designs added every week. Because of the sheer amount of rings they have, there is generally something for everyone, and since they are pre-set, they often feature more intricate and meticulous designs.
ItsHot is known for having many high-profile customers like celebrities, and for good reason too! Every diamond purchase comes with the gem's certificate (usually from GIA or from other Gemological Laboratories) so you know what you're getting is as premium in quality as it is breathtaking in appearance.
Perhaps one of the site's most unique functions is that it gives the customer the chance to design a truly custom ring. To clarify, this isn't to be confused with the "build-a-ring" functions of other sites; ItsHot allows customers to submit totally original designs, giving even the most casual individual the chance to create a ring from the imagination.
It begins in the "custom ring" tab of their site, where one can submit their name, contact info, budget, metal of choice, and a sketch of the intended design. The people at ItsHot will work to create a 3D mockup that would be sent to the designer/customer. If the customer has any changes or tweaks in mind, that can be communicated to the team and when the final design is approved, ItsHot sets to work on bringing the ring to life! Once production on the ring begins, it can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to make the ring of your dreams a reality!
ItsHot offers worldwide shipping with free shipping to customers in the US. They even allow rush orders for a higher price. An engagement ring is an investment. You'll want to make sure that it gets to you safely. Every package from ItsHot requires a signature at delivery so you'll never have to worry about your ring arriving early and sitting on your doorstep while you're out running errands.
- Customer Loyalty Program
- 1 Year Buy Back Policy
- Large Collection of Designer Engagement Rings
- Creates Custom Rings from Sketches or References
WJD Exclusives is well known for their array of featured ethically sourced designer engagement rings. The collection includes rings from around 10 designers at any given time, and as such, they carry a variety of different preset diamond engagement ring options. Even with all their many options, customers may sometimes want a certain designer's ring that may not be featured on the WJD Exclusives site; this is not a problem, and customers can contact support to get a quote or to order it through WJD Exclusives instead.
Each of WJD Exclusives’ gorgeously set diamonds come with the proper certificates to detail the quality and authenticity of every gemstone. WJD Exclusives' entire staff is GIA trained and even consists of multiple Diamond Graduates and Graduate Gemologists. This team knows their diamonds, so you can shop easy knowing that each stone has been carefully picked for good reason: their products are high quality, and they operate at full efficiency to keep that reputation.
The company also offers a unique customer loyalty program, which encourages established customers to both buy again and find new customers. Existing customers can use a code to refer a friend (or more) to place an order through WJD Exclusives. If the new customer's purchase exceeds $2000, WJD Exclusives will send a $100 check to the original customer.
Existing customers are also eligible to receive their very own discount of $100 on purchases over $2000.
Many couples will sell or upgrade their original engagement ring for a more grand milestone diamond ring, however, the price of a ring plummets dramatically right after initial purchase.
WJD Exclusives offers a superb Lifetime Trade-Up guarantee, that takes the burden out of upgrading. Any diamonds purchased from their A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select categories are covered by this deal, and allow the buyer to trade their diamond in at full cost at any point in time. The original cost of the first diamond will be subtracted from the new one even if the price of the first diamond has changed since the time of purchase.
What to look for when buying a Diamond Ring Online?
For many, buying a diamond ring can seem like a risky and uncertain experience especially when it comes to buying one online. Before making your purchase, be sure to check these factors:
- The site or brand's reputation
- Whether or not they provide a GIA or AGS certificate (other certifications may be good as well, but you would need to research the laboratory's standards)
- The diamonds appear regal in their photos (they are eye clean)
- They have decent shipping practices
- They have a reasonable return policy
- They may have extra perks
When it comes to looking into a brand's reputation, you can gather a lot of info from doing background research through a few good web searches and a handful of customer reviews.
Each will be telling in their own way about how the brand or company generally operates and will give a more realistic idea of what to expect. A reputable brand would ideally have great articles written about it discussing their quality of service and premium products and similar sentiments would be echoed in any of the company's customer reviews. On the other hand, a less reliable brand may have little to no coverage and would have an excess of negative customer reviews.
Proper diamond certification is also extremely important. To the naked eye, most people would struggle to tell a real diamond from a fake, especially if the latter has been produced for the sole purpose of deceit. It is for this reason that it is imperative to purchase from a brand that provides proper documentation when buying a diamond ring.
The GIA and AGS are the world's two biggest and most trusted gem grading institutions, and their certificates will assure not only the authenticity of a diamond, but also information on the grading of their color, clarity, and, in some cases, their cut.
Before one even considers purchasing from a site, however, they will most likely see images of the diamonds of interest. These photos are used to show off a brand or company's goods, but they can also be used as a helpful tool for any potential buyer. If a diamond ring shows any blemishes or imperfections even in the photos, take this as an immediate red flag. A good quality diamond should be eye clean, meaning that without any visual aid, the gem remains void of any tinting and is free of nasty blemishes.
Shipping is also an extremely important factor when it comes to buying a diamond engagement ring online.
The cost of shipping usually won't be too offensive considering the size and weight of the object, but one should still check the shipping and handling practices used when delivering such an expensive meaningful item.
The last thing you want is to drop some major dough on a ring only to have it stolen or lost in shipping. Check to see if a site offers package insurance and an option to sign at delivery to avoid any expensive heartbreak.
It may be good to see if the brand has a reasonable return policy as well. There are many reasons an individual may want to return a ring.
No one wants to be stuck with an unflattering ring or an expensive fix. Always be sure to check a company's return policies before purchasing.
Maybe the band didn't fit as expected and it's too drastic of a change to be resized? Maybe your partner wanted a different cut or band metal? Whatever the case, it may be good to have some flexibility or some backup options.
Another thing to consider when researching a retailer is the extra perks, deals, or services provided with an order. Diamond engagement rings are a big purchase, and because of this, most retailers will provide extra services for their customers. This can range anywhere from a free proposal box to free ring cleaning or repair services and even extends to lifetime upgrade or trade-up guarantees.
These services or extras can be incredible and may even work to save you and your partner money in the long run. These may be side factors when finding a diamond ring retailer, but they are important things to consider nonetheless.
What are the benefits of buying a Diamond Ring Online?
When it comes to buying diamond engagement rings online, there are a few major perks: price, options, customization, and quality!
Diamonds themselves are expensive enough already, but buying a diamond ring from a physical store can cost anywhere between 40-50% more than purchasing one from an online retailer.
Why is that? In order to run and operate a physical store, you need workers, a space to rent, security to protect the diamonds during closing hours. In short, when you're buying a diamond in-store, you're paying for more than just the diamond.
Online retailers don't have to worry about the upkeep of physical locations and all the expenses that go into keeping them running. This means that online retailers are essentially wholesalers, cutting out the middleman and getting their customers their products without all the extra fuss and expenses. The wide range of options is also a huge benefit of shopping online.
When shopping for engagement rings at a store, there will of course be options, but the range of styles is limited to the store's size. One place can only hold so many diamond rings. Online stores have warehouses of space, giving customers a much wider array of styles, cuts, sizes, and even colors.
Most online brands also give customers the option to customize their rings. This level of customization is phenomenal as it gives individuals the power to craft special pieces of jewelry that feel more meaningful and personalized. It lets the buyer feel like they're giving something unique to the person they love.
Online retailers also give customers the chance to customize and personalize engagement rings with ease. Helpful descriptions, useful filters, and high-quality images make the process a breeze for anyone and allow for some truly unique and meaningful ring creations.
Many sites put customers in the driver's seat, granting them the power to choose the exact diamond they want (down to the cut, color, carat, and clarity) and pair it with the perfect setting.
In some cases, the companies even allow an option to work with the customer to completely create new ring designs based on sketches and references. The possibilities are really endless!
It may sound unexpected, but online retailers allow the buyer to have ultimate control when it comes to choosing exactly what diamond they want and give them options to make sure it's up to quality. Many sites offer detailed video or photos of the products that allow potential buyers to see exactly the diamonds they're looking at or, in some cases, the company will even ship the loose diamonds to be personally inspected. This allows customers to physically see the diamond before ever committing to a purchase.
Take your time to put in the research
From fit to cut and even to color, it's important to do some research on what you and your partner want.
The last thing you want is to hear "yes," only to find the ring doesn't fit quite right. It's embarrassing and can be an extremely pricy fix. Take your time to find out your partner's ring size before going in for the big purchase. This can be accomplished through looking at or sizing existing rings or through having them try on a few finger size gauges.
Cut and color are far more subjective and will require either top-notch listening/remembering skills or introspective reflection. If your partner has mentioned liking a certain cut or color, definitely go for what you know they'll like! If it's more of a shot of the dark, maybe take some time to think about yourself, your significant other, and your relationship.
What do you want to say about this ring? What type of feelings will this color or cut convey? Take the time to pick the best ring for you and your partner.
While it is estimated that engagement rings have been around since the times of Ancient Rome, their diamond counterparts are recognized for being somewhat newer. In the year 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria had a diamond engagement ring crafted for his soon to be wife, Mary of Burgundy, creating the first recorded instance of a diamond engagement ring and forever tying the phenomenon to European aristocracy.
The diamond engagement ring trend continued to push further into popularity with the 1947 campaign "A Diamond is Forever," a clever advertising slogan that compared a relationship's strength to that of a diamond. This rich history is what makes diamonds so special. They are gorgeous impeccable gemstones that carry connotations of nobility and timelessness all while expressing one's eternal love and commitment.
Finding a ring for that special someone is a big deal, and it can be a stressful and scary experience.
The market is saturated with tons of retailers, all boasting that they have the "best diamonds" or the "most stylish bands," and, in many cases, it's easy to get lost in the marketing jargon and fantastical promises. The brands and sites shown here in our top 4 list were chosen due to their quality products, reputable business practices, fair prices, and exemplary standards.
Each has their own unique benefits, but they all have breathtaking premium collections of diamond engagement rings that will show your love exactly how you feel. By shopping with one of these top-rated online engagement ring retailers, you can save money without having to compromise on quality.