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Can I Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring Online?

You can buy a diamond engagement ring online.  There are a number of sites that offer the service.  Some of the advantages of doing this may make sense to you and some won’t.  For instance, the selection offered by the online stores is usually larger than what you can view in a retail store.  Since online stores don’t need to have a huge overhead tied up in inventory (because they order them from their suppliers when you place the order) the prices are usually a little less than in a conventional store.  You will be able to see a huge variety of rings online, and it is faster than going to a conventional store.

Because the web is universal, and you can choose from dozens of different stores to buy from, when buying diamonds online you can more easily comparison shop between a greater variety of options to get the best value available. The different web stores often list not only comparable stones, but the exact same stones, evidenced by their certification ID numbers, so you can really find the best price.

You will not be dealing with pushy salespeople who may or may not have your best interests in mind. (remember, they are salespeople – it’s their job to convince you to buy.) Diamonds have subjective value, and salespeople tend to try and romance buyers into believing a particular one has more than it really does. When buying diamonds online, there is no haggling over price, no discussion of what someone who needs to make a sale will have you believe–just a pressure-free, private, take-as-long-as-you’d-like-to-browse-and-think-about-it kind of environment.

The major disadvantage is that you don’t get to actually see the ring, touch it and turn it around, over and all those things that you may want to do with the ring in the conventional store.  All you see is the picture of the different rings.

 

You will also want to confirm the return policy of the online store. You should shop at sites that have a 30 day return policy instead of one with less time.  Also make sure they have a customer service department which you can talk to when you have questions.  Verify what hours and days the customer service department is available, taking into consideration the time zone they are in. 

 

Find out how the diamond will be shipped and what the policy is if the ring is lost or damaged in shipment.  You don’t want to pay for something you don’t receive or that arrives damaged.

 

Make sure the site you choose is a secure site.  You don’t want your information floating around the internet for someone to grab and use.  A secure site prevents this; all sites that are secure will show they are in the checkout information.

 

You may want to spend some time with a conventional jeweler prior to buying online to get educated on what you are actually looking for and what to avoid.  Ask questions, look at the different styles and cuts, and get a good idea of what it is you want to buy.  Yes, the store will want to sell you the ring, but if you want to buy online then just get educated at the store.  After all, many people shop at a number of stores before they actually buy a ring so you are not unusual.

When you ask Can I Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring Online the answer is of course, it’s really not that much different than buying in a store, you need to know the basic characteristics of a diamond and how they affect its price and value. Once you have done your homework you will have a good understanding of how to buy a diamond, either online or at the store.

The four Cs are carat, cut, color and clarity.  The better each of those four characteristics, the more expensive the diamond will be.  If you are on a limited budget (and there is nothing wrong with that!) then you will have to prioritize which of the 4 C’s are most important to you.  For instance, if you want to get a large stone, for example, but you can’t quite afford that 2-carat flawless, colorless diamond, you might have to buy one that’s lower on the color and clarity scale.  If you’re buying online, there’s more onus on the purchaser to know the four Cs and be able to make those decisions.  You will need to do your research.  As long as you stay above an SI 2, for clarity you’re going to be fine, the naked eye will not detect any issues with this rating, it will take a 10X microscope to see any imperfection.

A diamond’s characteristics are listed in a grading report, which is basically a certificate issued by industry groups like the GIA (All things considered a GIA certificate is probably the best) or the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL). Never buy a diamond online without a grading report, preferably one issued by one of these two bodies.

So you’ve been to a number of sites, checked them out to make sure they are reputable and you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few diamonds with similar Cs. Problem is, there are still significant differences in cost, despite the stones’ similarity on paper. How do you know which one to choose?

It’s time to delve into the details that make up the most important C: cut. "The most important thing about a diamond is its proportions — the cut — because the cut dictates whether the diamond will be brilliant or not.  A diamond with good color and clarity grades might still look like awful if its cut is off.  Although, the color is also critical since it is the first thing you see.  The color is affected by the cut, if the cut is off the color will be off too.

When you’re buying in person, it’s relatively easy to compare one diamond with another. But online, all you have to judge a stone’s brilliance are its table depth percentage, crown angle, pavilion depth percentage and other cryptic features.  An experienced jeweler will be able to give you a fairly good idea of a diamond’s cut just by looking at these numbers.

Chances are you won’t get the same ongoing customer service with an online retailer that you would with a high-end retail store. Yet a good online retailer will be more than willing to answer any diamond-related questions you have. But it won’t regularly clean your ring for free, like Tiffany and other big-name retailers do, you will have to go to a jewelry store to get your ring cleaned.  Some charge for the service but most don’t, depends on where you live and the store you go to.

Once you receive your diamond jewelry, have it re-appraised to see if you got what you paid for. That, of course, will cost you money. The GIA grades only loose diamonds, so you might have to go to a local retailer to have your stones dismounted by a professional jeweler.  A very important point is to pay by credit card, so if there’s a problem, you have a good chance of getting your money back.

A Quick-and-Dirty Diamond Guide

1. Buy shy. Diamond prices jump at the one- and half-carat marks, says John Baird, diamond and jewelry expert at BlueNile. You can save hundreds of dollars if you find a diamond that’s just shy of that mark — say 0.95 carat rather than a one-carat, or a 2.44 rather than a 2.5 — while the difference in size is imperceptible. (If you’re spending $10,000, you can save around $200 or $300, Baird says.)

2. Leave some color. Find a near-colorless diamond (G or H on the color scale) rather than a colorless (D, E or F on the color scale). Very few people are able to tell the difference in color — even though the price difference is significant.

3. Be clear about clarity. The rarest and most expensive diamonds — and those highest on the clarity scale, are "flawless" and "internally flawless." They’re followed by "very, very slightly included" (VVS1 and VVS2); "very slightly included" (VS1 and VS2); "slightly included" (SI1 to SI3) and finally, "included diamonds" (I1 to I3). (The term "included" means imperfections.) The best value is in VS2 stones, which have slight inclusions visible only under 10X magnification. Once you get in the SI range, you may be able to see those cracks, and with I1 and lower, you’ll likely see your ring’s inclusions every time you look at it, Benowitz says.

4. Avoid ranges. Some retailers, like Overstock.com, list a range for a particular stone’s measurements. For example, we recently pulled up a $3,599 diamond and were told it might range from 0.95 to 1.10 carats in size, have G-H color and I1-I2 clarity. Needless to say, getting the 0.95 H I2 stone will be a bummer compared to the 1.10 G I1, not to mention the difference in actual value.

The above chart information was obtained from SmartMoney.com.

The above information should assist you in resolving your question of Can I Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring Online.  If you are willing to do the homework and look at a very wide variety of rings you will enjoy your adventure and cost savings of buying online.

If you would like to learn more about diamond characteristics visit anthonysjewelry.com.

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