When it comes to buying engagement rings, more and more consumers are heading to online diamond retailers to make their purchase – and for good reasons.
Not only will you enjoy significantly lower prices and wider product selections, there’s also no need for you to deal with pushy sales people in traditional brick and mortar stores.
We’ve scoured the web to find the best diamond retailers who provide top notch customer service and intuitive websites where you can shop with a peace of mind. While compiling this list of the top online diamond vendors, we also took into account various aspects of their businesses; like sales policies, conflict free diamonds, customer support and range of setting designs offered.
JamesAllen.com is a dream come true for online diamond shoppers. Founded in 2006, James Allen has revolutionized the way diamonds are sold through their exclusive Diamond Display Technology.
Gone are the days where you need to learn how to use a 10X loupe correctly if you want to scrutinize a stone. At James Allen, every single diamond in their inventory is displayed in interactive 360° videos; making them one of the best online diamond store to shop at.
Examine thousands of loose diamonds under 20X magnification to find your perfect stone!
You could now inspect the smallest details easily in the comfort of your own home. If that’s not enough, the customer support offered by JamesAllen.com is first-class. They have diamond professionals who are on-site 24/7 to assist you with any queries you may have.
Click here to visit James Allen and experience their awesome website for yourself…
Based in Houston, White Flash is a bridal jewelry retailer who specializes in super ideal cut diamonds. If you are looking for the best of the best in cut quality and precision, White Flash’s signature A CUT ABOVE diamonds will knock your socks off.
WhiteFlash.com is a retailer that had won numerous prestigious awards and is trusted by thousands of customers around the world. Notably, they had been awarded the 2015 Pinnacle Award by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the tenth consecutive year.
Being in the jewelry industry for years, I can tell you this speaks volumes about their exemplary customer service standards and product quality.
One of White Flash’s unique selling prepositions is that they offer a variety of designer engagement rings such as Danhov, Verragio, Ritani and Tacori. Besides designer brands, they also offer a large selection of in-house ring designs for shoppers to choose from.
Click here to visit White Flash and get ready to be dazzled!
Brian Gavin is a 5th generation diamond cutter who has built up a massive reputation in the industry. His signature super ideal cut diamonds are some of the most beautiful diamonds I had ever come across.
And not surprisingly, the quality of his diamonds and engagement ring designs have earned him raving reviews from customers around the world.
Hearts and arrows diamonds are Brian Gavin’s signature products…
Besides an assortment of top tier hearts and arrows round diamonds graded by AGS, Brian Gavin also carries ideal cut princess and cushion shaped diamonds in their inventory.
As an online diamond retailer, Brian Gavin is uniquely positioned in the market. They also offer specialty diamonds with cool looking fluorescence and warm colored stones to target niche clientele.
Click here to visit Brian Gavin to browse their selections of ideal cut diamonds…
In 1999, Blue Nile made history by being the first company in the world to sell diamonds on the Internet. They had since grown into a multi-national company with offices and operations around the world.
Blue Nile’s signature Astor diamonds are specially selected and analyzed by 2 independent labs.
The floating halo 1 ct diamond engagement ring I recently purchased.
For consumers based in UK or Europe, Blue Nile offers an unparalleled level of service and the best regional reach compared to other vendors. In fact, they ship to almost every country in the EU (even to the small countries like Luxembourg).
If you are based in UK or EU and don’t want to deal with the hassle of paying VAT when buying from a US based vendor, Blue Nile would be ideal for you.
Click here to visit Blue Nile and find your dream ring today!
We have vetted hundreds of online jewelers and handpicked 4 of the best diamond retailers in the world. Not only do they offer better prices compared to traditional jewelry stores, they also offer larger selections for you to cherry pick diamonds from.
More importantly, our recommended online retailers provide more data about their diamonds than your average neighborhood jewelry store. To me, that’s one of the biggest plus point of going online.
You’ll have all the information required to select diamonds cut for the best light performance without a salesperson trying to pester you into a sale at every turn.
Here’s a quick recap:
James Allen: 360° videos coupled with free gemological evaluations for up to 3 diamonds make them the recommended place for fancy shaped diamonds.
White Flash: Best retailer for ideal cut round and princess shaped diamonds. Also offers a range of beautiful designer ring settings.
Brian Gavin: For people who expect the best of the best in diamond cut quality. BGD offers signature lines of ideal cut rounds, princess and cushion shaped diamonds.
Blue Nile: The largest diamond retailer on the Internet with a huge selection of loose diamonds and ring setting designs. The best retailer for consumers based in UK and Europe.
With that, I wish you all the best in your engagement ring shopping. Remember to have fun!
p.s.: If we’ve missed an awesome vendor, do let us know in the comments below.
Where’s the best place to shop for natural black diamonds for an engagement ring center?
This is a vendor that specializes in fancy color goods: https://www.leibish.com/black-diamonds
Would be great if you’d also have european diamonds online store listed and rated.
The problem is that I can’t find European retailers who offer better pricing, better products and policies that can best these vendors listed here. So, if you are buying from Europe, these are still the best businesses to work with. Blue Nile would be the best diamond company to buy from (and easiest process) as they have physical operations in European countries.
Can you please recommend a reputable jeweller in NYC for natural pink diamonds?
Thank you….. Your blog is very helpful
https://beyond4cs.com/go/ja/ => They are one of the most reputable online jewelers that sell a good range of GIA graded diamonds. JA also has a showroom in NYC. Also, let me remind you that a GIA report is MANDATORY with pink stones.
Hi Paul, You provide great info on diamonds Appreciate it. What is your take on ‘Blue Nile’?. Blue Nile appears to be prominent and reputed among online diamond retailers and have GIA grading for all their diamonds. I’m considering to buy one from them. Do you recommend? Thanks.
Blue Nile is a reliable vendor as well. I did a recent purchase from them here: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/blue-nile/
What is your opinion of the diamond online retailer Brilliant Earth? I have a limited budget but am determined to have a rose gold ring and they seem to offer the largest selection so far in this regard.
Brilliant Earth is a reliable vendor for jewelry and they have good craftsmanship on their rings. That said, they are quite pricey compared to other vendors who offer similar items.
Would you trust Jarod’s or Kay’s Jewelry store to size your own diamond ring and solder it to two of their bands without switching your own diamond out?
Trusting them not to switch out your diamond would not be an issue. Trusting them to do a good job at it is a different story.
Hi Paul, great website. I wondered if you knew which are the best diamond dealers that ship to South Korea. White Flash appears to but I haven’t found any others that do. Thanks very much.
As far as I know, not many online vendors offer shipping to South Korea. In this case, stick with White Flash, they are a highly reliable vendor and offer really well cut diamonds.
Thank you for this very informative article but once again, it would be nice to have recommendations in Europe. When buying from the US, we have to pay 20% VAT plus customs fees and shipping so any savings is wiped out.
There is still significant savings to be made and there is a misconception on taxes in the UK. If you are buying in a physical store, you will need to pay taxes as well. Most people don’t “see” it because it is already factored into the price by the jeweler. I repeat, the price tag listed for a jewelry piece has VAT factored into it.
If you want to do a proper price comparison, you should be comparing the final cost (after taxes and custom duty) for a piece of jewelry purchased online against an identical jewelry sold by your local store. When you do this, you will realize that prices are still much much better online because of the steep overheads EU/UK jewelers have.
How about Switzerland? For example the towns of Lausanne and Montreux. Any trustworthy recommendations?
Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the local jewelry market in Switzerland and can’t offer constructive advice. From my experience in the EU, I can tell you that most jewelers have no idea about cut quality and light performance. As an alternative, you may want to consider the online stores as they do ship to Switzerland with good policies.
Hi paul, i am interested in a heart shaped diamond D VS2, with the GIA report saying “twinning wisp”, should I go for it or not? Would you reccomend buying from israel-diamonds.com?
It depends on a case by case basis. At lower carat sizes, twinning wisps aren’t an issue with VS2 clarity ratings. I would be more concerned about the cut quality of the heart diamond rather than clarity. Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/where-to-buy-fancy-cuts/
For heart shapes, James Allen and Blue Nile are the go-to vendors.
Hi Paul I am in the UK and wondered if you would recommend me the best online diamond store, an internet retailer or jeweller over here who can be trusted, the style we are looking at is a side stone, many thanks
Stick with the online stores above if you are shopping from UK if you want a diamond with the best sparkle and performance. There’s a reason why these 4 are the cream of the crop. On top of that, they offer competitive prices and better selections.
Where is the best place to shop for diamond rings with a reasonable price range in Canada, precisely montreal? would you know of anyone good to recommend?
I don’t have any Canadian based jewelers to recommend. I can tell you with confidence that it is very hard to find good selections in any brick and mortar stores in Montreal compared to the 4 retailers above. Just do your own comparisons and you’ll find out for yourself.
Hello. I have an old engagement ring from my grandmother that I want to use the stone for my engagement ring.
Should I have diamond appraised in the diamond district or prior to going ? Diamond may be to old to have any sort of tracking number on it but want to make sure no swapping occurs. Any places you recommend going to in diamond district?
Loupe the diamond and find out where the inclusions are or get the person who’s taking it out for you to do so on a mapping diagram.
Hi, I am new to online diamonds retailers, so I am reading and learning here. My question is, if I buy a loose diamond stone, how do I know if they send me the stone I paid for, since I don’t have a loupe to check and compare the serial number to the certificate. Do I need to take my diamond out to a brick mortar store for inspection or do I just assume they are reputable and trust them 100%? Also, there could be human error in sending the right stone, you think?
Thank you so much for your service!!!
Out of the thousands of readers I’ve personally helped, NOT a single one had ever come across receiving a diamond that they didn’t buy. There are multiple layers of checks during processing and the package is fully insured during shipping.
I repeat there has NEVER been a case (and that applies everything I’ve seen in the industry) that a wrong diamond had been sent or received by anyone with these vendors. That’s how reliable they are. If you need your peace of mind, spend $30-$50 to get the purchase appraised after you receive it. If you don’t like what you see, send it back for a refund.
Hi there! Thanks for all this great info! My husband recently bought me a pair of diamond studs online from Century Diamonds. The came with a GGS appraisal report rather than a GIA or AGS certification. Also I don’t see any form of grading of the cut on their website, DO you have any thoughts on this or at all familiar with this retailer? Thanks!
Well you can be sure that the grading accuracy is going to be off. There’s a reason why an appraisal is used instead of sending it for proper grading and I can tell you any jeweler who does this show ain’t having your interests at heart. https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/
Hi Paul, I am from the Czech republic and a problem here is, that if you buy anything from USA, which is more than USD 150 value, than you have to pay approx 25% additional fee (internal VAT and custom fees). You recommended BlueNile for EU citizens. Are they the best online diamond seller for Czech republic? Is there any way how to buy a diamond from them, but have it physically shipped from another EU country and not from USA? Thanks
Blue Nile has operations in Dublin, Ireland and all diamonds purchased in Europe are sent from that headquarters. So, there’s no custom fees involved when you buy there. Now, for VAT, there’s a misconception there as well. You pay VAT regardless of where you shop. At Blue Nile, at a local retailer or from a US based vendor. It’s a matter of how VAT is collected that differs.
Make sure you read this: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/diamond-engagement-rings-eu/
At the point of sale, Blue Nile collects the VAT and pays the government. For US based vendors, the courier pays the government the VAT and in turn, collects it from you prior to making the delivery to your doorstep.
I’m in the market for a 5 carot emerald diamond. who is best at Emerald cut? also, should I try searching for private sellers of diamonds if I can get the GIA certificate and stone to an appraiser? Any good websites for those individual resellers? Can you name a reputable appraiser only in New York City?
thank you, james
With large sized fancy shape diamonds above 2ct, James Allen is the best place to get them. They have a great selection of diamonds in large carat sizes and fancy shapes.
For appraisers, I have no one to recommend in NYC in good faith. Most of those I came across are scumbags that work with unethical retailers to jack up prices. And more importantly, you don’t need one if you are buying a GIA graded report. It’s just a waste of money and time. If you are planning to insure the jewelry, just get the appraisal document from James Allen.
I am looking at 2.3 Carat J diamond in a yellow gold setting. I am considering choosing between b2cjewels and James Allen. B2C is cheaper by $1500 for an almost identical diamond. Are they one of the reputable online jewelers in your list? The details are below.
B2C: 2.31 Carat J-VS2 EX CUT ROUND DIAMOND IGI Certificate
JA: 2.20 CARAT J-VS1 EX CUT ROUND DIAMOND GIA Certificate
I have done fair bit of research in how to choose a diamond. Now I am mostly concerned with craftsmanship of the setting, cut quality across sellers, IGI vs GIA etc.
Also let me know what you think of b2cjewels. I have purchased from them in the past with no issues.
Simply by the fact that you are saying a diamond with IGI grading report is identical to a GIA certificate tells me one thing. You most definitely didn’t do “a fair bit of research”. IGI is not as reliable as GIA when grading clarity/color. Also, how is it that you are saying these diamonds are identical when one is clearly bigger in carat size than the other and there’s a difference in clarity? It’s worrying because you don’t know what you are doing.
B2CJewels is not a vendor I would recommend because of my past experiences with them and lousy feedback from readers as well. If you want to take the risk and shop with a mediocre vendor, you should probably think hard why you would want to do that when there are better vendors in the market.
Paul, I purchased a loose diamond from James Allen to replace my center diamond in my engagement ring/wedding band set. How do I find a local reputable jeweler to replace the head and set the stone? We just moved to a new area a few months ago so I’m not familiar with any local jewelers. Thank you, Jenn
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to do it. You will just have to vet the jewelers in your area one by one. Start with the vendors that are able to produce the designs you like and then examine the existing settings that they made with a loupe. In general, there are a number of things I look out for when reviewing setting craftsmanship. I look at consistency, symmetry and finishing. If you’ve read some of my reviews, you will be able to see what I look out for in real life and I’ve some pictures there as well.
Hope this helps!
Paul, do you believe that it makes sense to buy a loose diamond from an online retailer and then purchase a ring from a local jeweller and have it mounted? How much more can I expect to pay for the ring itself rather than also purchasing it online? Will the jeweller charge an extra fée for assembling the diamond on the ring? Thanks
It really depends. In general, I recommend buying the ring and setting from the same place as it makes one jeweler completely responsible for the entire piece and this saves you a lot of hassle and worry. You shouldn’t be expected to “pay more” per se for the ring setting and even if a jeweler charges a fee for mounting a diamond that isn’t purchased from them, it would be in the region around $100-$200. Unless there’s a specific design that an online jeweler can’t create, then it makes sense to go the route you are thinking about.
If you buy from an online retailer (I really like White Flash out of all of them) what do you do if you need repairs or annual prong check ups? Sending it in the mail to White Flash makes me nervous. What if it gets lost? But then your warranty is void if you get it repaired somewhere else.
Repairs aren’t usually needed for most consumers but if you do need them, sending them by mail is perfectly secure. Just follow the instructions given by White Flash and get the parcel picked up by FedEx. This is insured mail that protects you and White Flash from any monetary losses. And let me assure you that when parcels are insured, couriers don’t mess around with them. Now, you can always bring your ring to a jeweler to get the prongs checked for tightness. This doesn’t cost any money and can be done in 1 or 2 minutes. If you still think it is too much of a hassle, you can do a DIY examination with a loupe to check the ring yourself. And if you find all these to be too big of a hassle, getting any repairs done by another jeweler doesn’t cost that much and if that does happen, the warranty is voided which itself isn’t too big of an issue especially if it is past the service plan that WF offers.
My advice here is to get used to being nervous sending an item by mail. You don’t have to be. E-commerce and logistics have come a long way since 2000s.
Thanks a lot for such a useful website, got a lot of information here and now (i hope) ready to choose a good diamond.
I live in the Netherlands, between Amsterdam and Antwerp that are considered as sort of diamond centres, and surprisingly I couldn’t find any great retailers for my location except Blue Niel. Unfortunately, I found a lot of bad reviews of them during recent time. Those who have been successfully buying from them for years, now complain about awful customer services in case of any problems during last 1-2 years. I also found quite a lot of reviews about wrong sizing of their rings, that run large and therefore afraid of buying the wrong size of the ring (that will lead to the need to contact them – face their custom service and deal with shipping back and waiting). Do you know something about it? Are they still trustworthy or something has changed?
Another option for me is to buy just a diamond from Blue Niel and to make a ring locally here. Previously I was thinking just to buy the ring here in Antwerp or Amsterdam, but after reading your website understood it wasn’t a good idea.
What would you recommend in my case?
Thanks a lot!
In my own mystery shopping tests as well as feedback from readers, I haven’t seen issues that you mentioned surface on a scale that warrants any alarm. ALL jewelry companies will face issues and screw up. This goes the same for big brands like Tiffany or Cartier or Blue Nile. It’s how they manage the situation and what they do to rectify problems when they surface. Bear in mind that it is the voice of a vocal few that drowns out the vast majority of other satisfied customers and Blue Nile is absolutely cool with handling returns. Most other big brands don’t offer a risk-free shopping policy like online retailers do. And you are unlikely to find truly well cut diamonds in a local store because of inventory constraints. Buying a ring locally exposes you to more risk in this sense and it is not a smart thing to be buying the ring and loose diamond separately. It simply increases hassle and doesn’t make one jeweler completely responsible for the ring. I recommend buying the ring and diamond at a single place and Blue Nile is the best place for you.
Researching emerald cuts to be set in a 14k gold pave engagement band. I’ve done a lot of research and know what my ideal parameters are (F-D; VVS1 or higher; 1.40-1.50 ratio; Ideal cut; low to no fluor; cut of 59-65; table 59-70), but my budget says otherwise. Where cut I change the parameters down a bit but still come away a beautiful diamond. This will need to be around 1 carat and hopefully less than $5000.
My second question is if I do find a diamond online, what then? Where do I take it to get it set? Do I search for a local jeweler and how does one decide who to go to? Do they just take a diamond?
Thank you so much for any guidance!
For emerald-cut diamonds, the proportions are just a guideline and there’s no magical formula that will dictate the light performance of a diamond. Proportions just help increase the probability of finding a well cut diamond and at the end of the day, what is most important is a properly taken video of the diamond in neutral conditions and tangible data. That is what helps you select a great looking diamond and NOT relying on proportions alone.
James Allen and Blue Nile are the 2 best places to shop for emerald cut diamonds because of the range of selections they offer and the HD videos they provide. For settings, I highly recommend that you buy the setting from where you get the diamond from. This reduces hassle, stress and makes one party completely responsible for the entire ring. Local jewelers are poor places to buy from because of the limited inventory and terrible knowledge jewelers have. I can tell you upfront that 99% of these local jewelers will sell and market whatever mediocre inventory they have to offload their goods onto you without consideration of what you actually need or want.