Step by Step Guide on How to Buy an Engagement Ring Online

I will admit it.

I have a sparkler on my finger.  It’s not huge like 2 carats or anything, but it is over one carat, and I do feel a bit excessive…especially since I would not consider myself to be a materialistic individual.  When I tell people that my fiancée purchased my engagement ring online, people usually give me a bewildered look.

“What? He bought that online?”

Yes, he did…and I did the research, haha (a little bit of a cop out on his part if you ask me, but he knows how Type A I can be and knew I would do the research).

There are numerous online retailers, all of which are in the United States.  Even with the bad exchange rate, it works out to be better than buying it in a brick and mortar shop in Canada.  In a previous post, I talked about online diamond engagement ring options available.

How to Buy a Round Brilliant Engagement Ring Online

Understandably buying an engagement ring online can be a daunting task.  You don’t know where to start.  What if it looks terrible in person? That is a valid concern for obvious reasons.  There are a few guidelines/ tips to allay these fears.  The main way is to screen, screen, and screen.

Each diamond is unique and there is a high possibility that you will be paying thousands more for something that isn’t necessary (e.g. an “Internally Flawless” diamond when you can get a VS1 (very slight inclusion) that looks the same.  Here's how to make that task less stressful:

  • First go to the online engagement ring website. For example, we can use the James Allen website.  It is very visually appealing and is easy to use and filter.
  • Click CHOOSE A DIAMOND
  • Choose your SHAPE (round brilliants tend to show off the most light, but you can pick whichever shape you like). For simplicity the following guidelines will be for a round brilliant diamond.
  • Then choose your CLARITY.  SI1 (Slight Inclusion 1) gives you a lower price, you can instant chat with the representative and ask if it is “eye clean”, meaning that to the naked eye you do not see any inclusions (usually black spots). With the James Allen website they own all of their diamond inventory so you can take a look at the individual diamond under zoom and super zoom conditions (similar to if you were looking at it under a loupe).

James Allen Zoom

  • Then choose COLOUR.  They go from D (pretty much white and also very expensive) all the way to yellow-y.  An H diamond has a slight tinge of yellow but only if compared side by side to a D.  So pretty much you can’t tell that an H is yellowish. D is much more expensive than an H.
  • Then click on CUT.  Ideal cut usually screens the diamonds that have better cuts.  Cut is KING.  You can have a diamond that is a high carat size but is cut poorly and will end up looking smaller than a diamond with less carat size.
  • Then choose your CARAT.  Again as mentioned in a prior post you can buy ‘shy’ e.g. 0.97 carat instead of 1.01 carat and will save a lot for something that is not discernable to the eye.
  • Now, for the good stuff for a Round Brilliant.  Click on ADVANCED OPTIONS in the James Allen site and look for TABLE (53-58% input will weed out the badly cut diamonds and give you optimal table width)

Advanced Options

  • Finally click on DEPTH (60.2-62.7% are ideal depth values)
  • Now if you can find the parameters in this chart by Hearts and Arrows and if they hit the green squares and if it’s bolded in Hearts and Arrows then you have a very well cut diamond.  This of course only applies for round brilliant diamonds.
  • Then click purchase if that’s the one you want and set it with a setting of your choice! If you’re worried there is 30 day return policy, however there is no free shipping to return it if outside of the United States.

Hopefully that made buying an engagement ring online a little less stressful. Probably less stressful than talking to a pushy sales person in a jewelry store, but to each their own!

For more tips go to a previous post on tips on buying an engagement ring online.

2 Comments

  1. ConsEn on July 24, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I usually like the stuff on Y&T. But this is very misleading, people could pour in thousands of their hard earned money into something that’s actually man-made or synthetic diamonds. TO MAKE IT WORSE, NO INSURANCE COMPANY WILL INSURE LAB created diamonds.



  2. Young on July 25, 2016 at 1:00 am

    @ConsEn- They’re not man made or synthetic, you get a GIA certificate with the diamond. For my Canadian diamond I got the certificate from the Canadian mine with the authenticity number. Basically cutting out the middle man that’s why it’s less expensive.



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