Is It Safe to Buy Diamonds Online?

is it safe to buy a diamond engagement ring online
I get it. Buying a diamond ring can be a hard and stressful undertaking for a guy.

But if you are shopping for an engagement ring, should you buy online or from a physical retail store?

Contrary to what you may think, buying a diamond online is far safer and offer many more benefits than buying from a retail store.
In this comprehensive guide, we will answer frequently asked questions about online jewelry shopping and offer insights into why physical stores cannot compete with online retailers.

We will also reveal the things to look out for when buying an engagement ring and reveal the best places to shop for high quality diamond jewelry.

Let’s jump right in…

Is It Safe to Buy a Diamond Ring Online?

vatche felicity pave diamond engagement ring in 18k white gold 4000 dollars

This is a stunning engagement ring I recently purchased online. 

Absolutely! But only if you buy from a reputable vendor.

Now, the high cost of an engagement ring can make some people nervous about buying diamonds online and that’s perfectly normal.

Just as there are risks to buying a diamond ring in a physical store, there are also risks to shopping online. However, the biggest difference is that these risks can be completely negated with a reliable online vendor.

For example, White Flash and James Allen provide highly detailed videos to help you see exactly what you are buying. On top of that, they provide generous risk-free return policies to give you a safe shopping experience.

Don’t believe me? I challenge you to find a physical vendor who would be willing to stand behind their products with a 30 day money back guarantee and even pay for your return shipping (James Allen offers this).

If you are wondering how the shipping works after you place an order, the ring is shipped securely to your doorstep via UPS/Fedex. The shipping is also fully insured to protect both the retailer and you.

Over the years, I’ve helped thousands of people buy their dream engagement rings online and had even personally purchased a number of diamond rings. Here’s a box opening video of a recent purchase I made to show you what to expect.

 

 

Reputable online retailers like James Allen and White Flash offer high quality diamond engagement rings at competitive prices. More importantly, they go above and beyond to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.

5 Reasons Why It Is Better to Buy an Engagement Ring Online

#1 Better selections and quality – Due to the expensive costs of owning diamond inventory (e.g. buying diamonds, insurance and storage), most physical retailers can only hold a small number of diamonds at any one time. This severely limits your ability to find something that suits your needs and budget.

You don’t have to take me on my words. Try finding something specific like a 0.90 carat F VVS2 GIA certified diamond in a store and see if they have anything with an exact match for you.

By shopping online, there’s no need for you to compromise and you can easily cherry pick the best diamond from available options.

list of 1 carat size diamonds at james allen

James Allen offers more than 270,000 loose diamonds of different shapes, sizes and costs.


#2 Better business transparency & shopping experience – Ecommerce and improved Internet technology have revolutionized the diamond industry. In the past, local retailers could easily rip off customers because shoppers had no source and references to compare diamond prices reliably.

Now, you can easily compare prices with the click of a few mouse buttons to get a good idea of how much a diamond with certain specifications is worth. More importantly, there is far better transparency in business practices as good online retailers will provide tangible data to help you assess diamonds.

This is completely opposite of what you can expect from a physical retailer where the less you know, the better it is for them.

1 carat d color diamond super ideal cut online purchase

Where else can you get to scrutinize the tiniest details with ease?


#3 Better prices – Internet prices for diamond rings are significantly lower than those found in retail stores because of lower overheads. Without expensive business overheads (e.g. rents) or salespeople, the lower costs of operations are passed onto consumers. You can typically expect to see a 20-40% reduction in prices when shopping online.

In fact, I’ve performed a number of price comparisons of online retailers versus larger jewelry chain stores like Tiffany, Zales and even Costco.

#4 Lifetime warranty and upgrade policies – Whether your diamond ring requires servicing or repolishing, reliable vendors are committed to providing long term support for your purchase. For example, White Flash offers generous upgrade policies that allow you to trade up your diamond to another as long as the new diamond is equal or more in value.

You can decide to spend $1 or $1000 more to trade up your diamond to a larger carat diamond or change to a diamond with lower color/clarity if you like. For context, most retail stores would typically require you to spend at least twice of what you bought to be eligible for an upgrade.

#5 No sales pressure from commissioned staff – When shopping online, you can take your time to select and make comparisons in a stress-free environment. This means you don’t get pressured into a purchase by a salesperson and get to make decisions rationally.

Best Places to Buy a Diamond Online Safely

buying engagement rings on the internet

Overall, buying a diamond online will help you get better selections and quality instead of buying in a retail store. On top of that, you also get to enjoy better prices and sales policies.

Throughout my years of experience in the industry, I’ve personally reviewed and purchased from dozens of vendors around the world. So, I know which vendors you can trust and the ones you need to avoid.


James Allen is a vendor that revolutionized the online diamond industry with its 360° display technology. Not only do they offer a huge selection of GIA/AGS certified diamonds to choose from, they actually provide an HD video for each listing to help you see exactly what you are buying.

Couple this with the consumer orientated sales policies like risk-free money back guarantees and free return shipping, you know they are a company that fully stands behind their products.

Here’s a video of a ring I purchased online at James Allen and if you want to see full details of the review, click this link.

 

 


White Flash is a jeweler based in Houston, Texas. They are well known for their signature super ideal cut diamonds in both round and princess cut diamonds.

One of the best things about White Flash is that the cut quality of diamonds in their A Cut Above selections are consistently great. And this says a lot about the curation standards and in-house quality checks they have in place.

You can also find a big selection of beautiful designer rings and well-crafted in-house settings at affordable prices. And like any reputable online vendor, White Flash provides a 30 day money back guarantee and a completely risk-free environment to make a purchase.

Here’s an upclose video of a Vatche designer ring I purchased from White Flash and if you want to see more details, click this link to read the review I have written.

 

 

If you are looking for a high quality engagement ring with the best brilliance, I recommend buying your diamond ring online at James Allen or White Flash. They offer far superior products at lower costs compared to traditional retailers. More importantly, you will get to shop with a peace of mind.

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15 Comments

  1. Avatar
    John-
    April 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Hey there, I just saw your website describing your experience in purchasing that beautiful heart-cut diamond ring :) – it’s really beautiful! (especially when the diamond shows of a brilliant glimmer)

    I’m also shopping for a heart-shaped diamond, as I’m planning to propose to my girlfriend of 4 years.

    Just want to ask your opinion on whether online jewelers are really legit? – are they the real thing???????????

    I’m pretty worried at the moment as the diamond that I am looking for, would cost approximately $2800-$3500 – that’s a pretty big transaction! I’ve read on your website that most of these jewelers would prefer wire transfer, which adds up to my dilemma, since I’ll be transacting a lump sum of cash to someone which I have never met oversea (I’m from Malaysia actually).

    What if they run off with my money without giving me the goods? Or send me the wrong diamond, or they send it via fedex, but apparently, someone inside fedex stole the diamond and sealed the bag up nicely and deliver it as usual…

    So, your entire transaction with b2cjewels went great/smoothly without any hiccups?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    April 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for your email and congrats in making the decision to propose. : )

    Please see answers in below.

    The online jewelers are really legit. As you can see from my own personal experience, I also had the same dilemma as you when I was shopping for diamonds online. But after careful shopping and analyzing, yes, they are real and I saved about $3000 off instead of buying it in malls from Singapore.

    The good thing here is that diamond rings are always delivered in a fully insured shipping. A ring around $3k USD will cost about $100USD in shipping (with full insurance)! When the package is fully insured, the shippers don’t fool around. It’s the same for other stuff in real life business. A brick and mortar shop ships in goods like clothing, bags supplies and etc. A single shipment can have a goods value of more than $10k easily and they don’t get tampered with when they are insured.

    Online jewelers will NOT swap/send the wrong diamond. They have nothing to gain from it. A bad review or a complaint in BBB will cause a loss in reputation which incurs greater losses for them. You will get the diamond as mentioned in the cert. If you want a peace of mind, get a 2nd opinion about the diamond after receiving it ( I was a skeptic as well ). Bring the ring to a local gem appraiser and have him/her look at it.

    It will measure up. If you still don’t like what you see, send it back to them for a refund. They will honor it. But my advice for you is to do it once, do it well. If you did proper research before buying a heart shaped diamond ring, you won’t have to worry about sending it back.

    So, your entire transaction with b2cjewels went great/smoothly without any hiccups?

    No hiccups at all. In fact, I was really silly not to buy the wedding band together with the ring. I would assume you are a Chinese based on your surname. In my customary, we have to buy wedding bands and I didn’t think of it when I bought the proposal ring. So, a month later, I had to make another purchase from B2C Jewels for a matching band.

    I ended up paying for another round of Fedex shipment which cost me an additional $60 USD.

    So, I had 2 successful shipments with no hiccups so far.

    *Update (Jul 2018): After my proposal ring was purchased from an internet vendor, I had never looked back. I went on to buy several more rings for my wife. You can read through the experiences in the following links:

    https://beyond4cs.com/fancy-colored/cushion-cut-fancy-intense-yellow-diamond-engagement-ring/
    https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/brilliant-earth/
    https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/blue-nile/
    https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/whiteflash/a-cut-above/

  3. Avatar
    John-
    April 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Hi there Paul!

    Didn’t think you’d reply so fast! Really appreciate it, and your email is a real confidence booster – I’m also looking at some of the other links that you have included on your email.

    Sorry to bother you further, but I’m just curious on something – how long did it take to complete your first transaction (the one which you bought your proposal ring). Meaning from the first email inquiry, right up to paying for the transaction?

    Thank you in advance Paul! :)
    Regards,

  4. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    April 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Excluding the prior research on choosing diamonds (took me about 3-4 weeks of online research / books reading), it took me about 2 days after first contact with the retailer to make the purchase. Most online jewellers have a live chat system where you can check in with them with regards to any questions you have. Alternatively, you might want to give them a phone call. You will probably be able to get immediate answers to any inquiries.

    In my case, paying for the transaction was immediate as I have a paypal account and the online retailer to allow me to use it. Most jewelers understand that a customer might need more time to head down to the bank to make a transfer and would usually extend the hold on a diamond for you once you confirm your interest in it. Of course, if you have access to internet banking, that would be immediate as well.

    Before you make any money transfer, you want to double check again that the diamond is available. Online diamonds fly off the shelves very quickly, especially the better ones.

    Paul

  5. Avatar
    queen-
    August 20, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Diamonds are products where their beauty is based entirely on their visual performance. A diamond’s cut quality is actually defined by its capacity of reflecting light. The question here really is: “If I can’t see it, how do I know it sparkles well?”

  6. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    August 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

    There are businesses that operate both storefront as well as virtual operations. One example of such a vendor is Whiteflash.com. Not only do they run a credible online business, they had recently launched a showroom in Houston, Texas to enable customers to arrange walk in appointments.

    That said, unless you are staying in that particular part of the world, most headquarters of online diamond distributors are probably located at a distance from you. Also, not every online store has a physical location that allows walk-ins. This means you cannot take a look at the gemstone physically and put it behind a jeweler’s loupe.

    People who claim to make better decisions by seeing the diamond in person actually make worse decisions because of sales pressure and manipulated lighting.

    The REAL trick to shopping online is to utilize evaluation tools. Judging a diamond’s quality can be done objectively using magnified videos and cut performance data like ASET imagery.

    This will make your shopping even safer than buying one in store where you rely on the jeweler’s recommendation. For example, does the website provide real photographs of their products at high magnifications? Do they also provide light performance evaluations like ASET or Idealscope?

    Once you have these data on hand, it allows you to make rational decisions without the hassle of being pressured into a sale when dealing with in-store salespeople. In fact, I personally think that it is better to buy diamonds online rather than walking in store because you are less likely to make impulsive mistakes.

  7. Avatar
    kelly-
    November 6, 2015 at 2:47 am

    I feel that buying diamond jewelry in a store is more comforting than buying in store as I can see the sparkle, carat size and feel it myself. Do you have any recommendations for buying a diamond in Texas?

  8. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Well, buying diamond on the Internet is safe when you shop at a reliable vendor. In fact, it is much safer than buying in a physical store because you get risk-free sales policies like money back guarantee. More importantly, you get better selections to choose from and lower prices.

    White Flash is a vendor based in Texas that has a stellar reputation with their super ideal cut diamonds. While they are largely an online vendor, they also have a showroom where you can head down and physically see diamonds in person. That’s the best of both worlds for people based in Houston.

  9. Avatar
    Nathan Johnson-
    March 31, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    My anniversary is coming up and I know that my wife would like to get a real diamond ring. I would like to buy online because of the wide selection and convenience but I’m still nervous about it. I appreciate you talking about how to do it safely. It seems like it can still be done as long as you do your homework. Thanks for the info!

  10. Avatar
    DJ Jones-
    November 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

    I stay near downtown Dallas (The Big D) and had visited some of the jewelry stores in the area. However, prices all seem really expensive and I am having difficulty in finding a 1.5ct princess cut diamond engagement ring. The biggest sizes that the stores have range up to 1.2ct only. Would you have any idea of where to shop and if you know of someone in the city, I would gladly love a referral.

  11. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    If you are looking for well cut princess diamonds, there are 2 vendors that specialize in them in Houston city. It’s a short drive away from Dallas and you can get more details here: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/engagement-rings-dallas-texas/

  12. Avatar
    Alan-
    March 6, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I do like the idea and convenience of shopping online. However, as a layperson, how can I be sure that I’ll get what I’m paying for?

  13. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    March 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    First of all, do your own research. Make sure that the company you had chosen has some positive reviews. If they have negative feedback being posted, find out why and how the company deals with responding to such reviews.

    I personally think how a company handles complaints is even more important than reading testimonials of previous customers. Good businesses take care of customers in the event of problems. Bad ones? Well, they don’t and won’t even bother trying to address issues.

    Secondly, you should only buy a GIA or AGS certified diamond. With a reliable retailer, you can be SURE that the right diamond gets sent to you ALWAYS. If issues like this has ever happened before, would you think that JA or WF would still be in business? That said, if you really need the peace of mind, you can always bring the purchase to a 3rd party appraiser to get them to check out the diamond for you with the matching documentations. It’s really simple.

    Finally, you should make sure that the vendor offers a money back guarantee on your purchase. This is really to safeguard yourself and removes risks in the transaction. In the event that you are not satisfied with the diamond bought, you can still to send it back and have your money returned.

    All in all, applying some common sense and doing a little legwork in research will go a long way to ensuring a successful purchase.

  14. Avatar
    Mike-
    November 6, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Buying diamonds online is unsafe. I got ripped off by an eBay seller and was charged a ridiculous restocking fee when the product received was of poor quality. I’m still considered lucky. I’ve even heard of cases where the seller runs off with the money and closes shop after payment was made.

  15. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 6, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Why do you want to jump the gun and automatically assume that buying a diamond online isn’t safe and that purchasing an engagement ring in a physical store will be? The same exact scenarios you described can happen (in fact it happens more frequently) at a retail store.

    The fact is, it’s completely the opposite when you buy from a reliable vendor. eBay is notoriously a bad place to buy diamonds or fine jewelry and that’s why I keep stressing the importance of buying from a reliable vendor.

    Stores like James Allen or White Flash didn’t get their stellar reputation and thriving business if they weren’t safe for consumers. To your point, Signet (owners of Jareds and Zales) bought over the company of James Allen to gain a better foothold on the ecommerce aspect of the jewelry business. If James Allen were a problematic vendor, why would such a big listed company even buy them out and why would consumers keep raving about them?

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