perfect engagement ring for me
Buying engagement rings online when I was growing up in the 70’s? Back then, that may have sounded like something I’d have expected to see on the Jetsons – the futuristic cartoon series.
My earliest memory of “jewelry shopping” in those days was of me as a kid hanging on to my grandma’s frock tail as she entered the local jewelry store. She knew the owner by name (probably they went to the same church) and she seemed quite content to spend a long time trying on various pieces.
I wondered then why grandma had interest in those shiny objects which to me looked more like toys than accessories for grown-ups.
The Retail Landscape Has Changed
Today, shopping online is widely accepted. In China where I live, I once had to buy a box of Kellogg Cornflakes from Taobao – one of the largest e-commerce sites here. This was because I was jonesing for cereal and couldn’t find it in the local supermarkets.
Similarly, buying engagement rings online is easy and convenient. Online jewelry shops are all over the net, showing off their full-color and high-resolution images of their diamonds.
All you need to do is choose the carat, color, clarity and cut, enter your financial information and shipping address and voila. Sometime later you receive a nicely packaged ring. However:
Watch Out For Scams
Buying engagement rings online is a potential minefield. For one thing, just about anyone can get a credit card merchant account, put up an online jewelry store and be in business. I’ve read of fraud sites passing off cubic zirconia as diamonds and costing customers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Some other notable scams include selling you treated diamonds. These diamonds are susceptible to breakage. Or a seller may duplicated a genuine diamond lab grading report or fabricate one from scratch.
Tips For Buying Diamonds Online
So as a potential customer, you need to deal only with trustworthy online jewellery stores. Many of these online stores offer free prong tightening, re-polishing, rhodium plating and cleaning for the life of your jewelry.
But and this is a big BUT, on average, the best place to a diamond engagement ring is not online because online retailers typically don’t sell fully-bonded diamonds. These are diamonds with a lifetime breakage and return policies. So whereas online retailers may provide convenience and larger choices, they typically offer only 30-60 return policy.
Secondly, learn the basics by reading my engagement rings guides. Heck, your lady must be worth at least 30 minutes of reading time – right? With the knowledge you acquire, you’ll get a better idea of the type of diamond cut and clarity that you want; a better idea of what your special lady wants and an idea of what you can afford.
Thirdly, set your budget as it will help you decide what matters to you most and least when buying a diamond engagement ring. Ideally, you’d want to go for the highest diamond cut within your price range. But if you go for the highest cut within your budget, you may have to compromise on the other Cs, clarity, color and carat.
Reputable online jewelers typically offer free consultations, where they’ll help you piece together a classy engagement ring for the price you are looking at.
When you are ready to buy, use your credit card as that would give you some buyer protection. With large online jewelers, you are safe using another form of payment such as a wire transfer.
Finally, one of the primary ways of buying engagement rings online (or offline) with confidence is getting an authentic diamond grading lab report with your purchase. This is a must.
Buying engagement rings online is really ‘”blind purchasing”. Having a report allows you to compare the diamond you are thinking about with others on the market. All diamond grading reports are not equal so you want to ensure that you only buy diamond engagement rings “certified” by the big 3 – GIA, AGS, and GCAL.