Whether you’re looking to put a ring on it or daydreaming about your future engagement ring, you may be considering shopping online. Long before COVID-19 curbed lovebirds instincts to pop into their favorite jewelry store, couples began researching engagement rings online. They asked themselves questions including: Is it possible to buy a quality engagement ring online? What questions should we ask when shopping for a ring online? Can you design a ring online? We reached out to a few ring experts to get the answers.
Is it possible to buy a quality engagement ring online?
“It’s certainly possible and safe to buy a beautiful, quality engagement ring online. One of the first steps toward making the right purchase is to do plenty of research to ensure you are buying from a reputable retailer. Shopping online allows you to choose from a vast array of options, making it even more likely that you will be able to find the ring of your dreams. Another benefit to purchasing an engagement ring online is that many retailers have an abundance of information and resources on their websites, allowing you to educate yourself on your purchase rather than relying on a salesperson, “ says Kim Kanary, Certified Diamontologist and Vice President of Community Development & Engagement at JTV. Kanary notes that the primary downside of purchasing online is, of course, that you don’t get to see or try on the ring in person before purchasing. “However, most retailers have return policies that should allow you to purchase the ring, inspect it for yourself, and return it if it’s not exactly what you want. Be wary of any retailer that does not have a standard return policy, as you don’t want to be stuck with a ring that does not meet your standards or preferences,” cautions Kanary.
What are some tips to keep top of mind when looking for a ring online?
“It’s important to set a budget before your ring-shopping experience begins,” notes Marti Greathouse, Director of Corporate Communications at Helzberg Diamonds. She recommends that you:
Familiarize yourself with the Four C’s of diamonds to ensure you understand this universal method for measuring the quality of diamonds (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight). To learn more about the Four C’s, visit the What Are the Four C’s of a Diamond page on Helzberg.com.
Understand the return policy. Helzberg Diamonds allows online and in-store returns 30 days from date of purchase and offers customers an opportunity to return items without a visit to the store by calling for a free shipping return label.
Review shipping policies to ensure the safe delivery of your online order. For example, as safeguards, Helzberg Diamonds ships orders in unmarked packages and requires a signature for all deliveries valued at over $1,000. Additionally, Helzberg Diamonds offers customers the ability to order online and pick up in-store. No-contact, curbside pickup is
What are some key questions to consider when purchasing a ring online?
Scott Friedman, IGI Master Gemologist Appraiser, says these three questions are key to ask when considering buying a ring online:
- Does the diamond come with a grading report from a reputable gemological lab?
- What is the online store’s return policy?
- Do I need to purchase jewelry insurance for the ring once I receive it?
Kanary adds that before you start your engagement ring journey, it’s important to determine your non-negotiables, as well as preferences. She recommends that you ask:
What is my absolute maximum budget?
If looking for a diamond engagement, which of the four C’s is most important to me?
Do I have a minimum clarity or color grading in mind or is carat size
the most important factor for me?
What cut/shape do I favor?
Am I looking for a diamond, diamond simulant, or color gemstone?
What metal color do I prefer – yellow, white, or rose?
Once you’ve given yourself more defined parameters, you can think about more subtle details Kanary says that you ask:
Do I care if the gemstones are treated or untreated?
Do I want any side accent stones?
Would I like to add any engraving?
“While it’s good to know what you are generally looking for, be open to
the possibility that you may like a stone or style more than you
previously thought says Kanary.
What are some other considerations to think about when buying a ring online?
“Know your partners’ ring size,” says Trisha Spillane, Senior Director, Public Relations & Marketing at Hearts on Fire. A quick tip she offers is to check your partner’s jewelry box for other rings and document their size. This will help you determine the correct size before you purchase. Spillane also advises checking the lead time to establish if the ring needs to be produced or is readily available. “Make sure that you can get it for when you plan to pop the question,” she says. Also, be sure to make sure you understand the shipping times. “We don’t want someone finding their surprise and spoiling your plans,” cautions Spillane.
Helzberg Diamonds offers a placeholder engagement ring that is perfect for couples who are looking to get engaged now, but prefer to shop for their ring in stores.
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle writer, publicist and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Boston magazine, Boston Common, Bride & Groom Magazine, Destination I Do, Modern Luxury Weddings Boston and Chicago, Ocean Home and playboy.com among others. A former senior editor at New England Bride Magazine, Stacey is also a publicist for non-profit organizations and small businesses. She is the author of a children’s book, A Bed for Every Bear: Tuck’s Tale. Stacey enjoys writing about travel, trends, and romance.