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Tips for buying your engagement ring online

Wednesday, January 19th

Tips for Buying Your Engagement Ring Online

While there may be several reputable jewelry stores located in your area, shopping online for an engagement ring has its perks. For example, you may be able to comparison shop more easily, and you could have access to a greater selection of beautiful styles. In addition, shopping online is generally a no-pressure experience, so it is a more comfortable and convenient option.

However, in order to make a smart ring selection that delivers pure delight for years to come, you need to focus your attention on a few important factors. What should you do as you prepare to purchase an engagement ring online?

Establish Your Shopping Budget

Many factors play into the cost of an engagement ring. For example, the diamond's cut, clarity, color and carat weight have a major impact on price. The type of metal band, the ring's style and even the jeweler's overhead and profit margin affect price. With this in mind, there may be an ample range of possibilities to choose from regardless of what your shopping budget is.

As you set your budget, decide if you will pay for the ring outright with money from your savings account or if you will set up monthly payments with ring financing. Regardless of your preferred option, be aware that a proposal is generally followed by a slew of wedding expenses and a honeymoon. These may be followed by expenses related to setting up your life as a married couple. Plan ahead for all expenses as you determine your budget for an engagement ring.

Decide on a Style

One of the many benefits associated with shopping online for an engagement ring is the ability to choose from a much wider range of styles than you may have access to in a traditional retail store. However, it is easy to get lost in the possibilities. With this in mind, it makes sense to have a very good idea about the style you are searching for before you look at a single ring.

Keep in mind that an engagement ring will be a staple accessory that your partner wears daily, so it should appeal to her unique sense of style perfectly. How can you select the right style without revealing your proposal plans? A great starting point is to pay attention to the style of jewelry she wears most frequently. Then, expand your insight by speaking to her closest friends and family members. These may be people who have been in her life for years or throughout her life and who have a deep understanding of her preferences.

The style considerations will include the diamond's shape. The options include round, emerald, oval, marquise, and many others. The band's style and metal type must also be considered. Does her jewelry collection mostly include white gold, platinum, yellow gold or rose gold? The setting should also be considered. A flush setting may be essential for a woman with an active lifestyle.

Focus on the Four C's

Both the cost and the beauty of a diamond are dependent on the four C's. The C's are carat, cut, color and clarity. All reputable online jewelers will provide full details about each of these factors for all of their rings. A carat is a unit of measurement that describes a diamond's weight. While it may be closely related to the physical dimensions of a diamond, there are times when a heavier diamond may look physically smaller than a lighter diamond. This is because factors like impurities, cut and more come into play.

While a diamond's shape refers to the upper, visible portion of the diamond and describes an aspect of style, the diamond cut refers to the dimensions and angles throughout the entire diamond. The cut impacts how light refracts in the diamond. The best cut will allow ample light to filter into the diamond and will have suitable lower dimensions to perfectly reflect the light. This affects its fire or brilliance.

Because diamonds are formed naturally in the earth, very few diamonds are pure with no blemishes or inclusions. Exterior blemishes and interior inclusions are produced by minerals and other elements that are present as the diamond forms. Diamond clarity refers to the size and number of these elements. A flawless diamond is rare, so it comes with the highest price tag. To have this rating, a diamond must have no inclusions or blemishes when looking at it with a 10-times magnification. Below this rating, you will find internally flawless diamonds and very, very slightly included diamonds. Diamonds with more flaws may be described as very slightly included and slightly included. Included diamonds are on the lowest end of the spectrum. The flaws in these diamonds may make the stones look relatively cloudy rather than brilliant.

The color rating for white diamonds ranges from D through J. Letter ratings beyond J indicate that the diamond is colored. D is a pristine, colorless diamond. These diamonds are very rare, so they are more expensive than diamonds with other ratings. White diamonds may be slightly tinged by elements and minerals in the ground. Diamonds rated E through J are progressively more tinged, but they are still considered to be white diamonds. It can be difficult to see the difference between these ratings from a general view. Be aware that the metal selection can impact the appearance of a diamond. Yellow gold or rose gold bands, for example, can make some cuts look more tinged.

Research Her Ring Size

An engagement ring that fits perfectly is snug. It is not so tight that it is uncomfortable, and it is not loose enough to slide off unintentionally. As couples grow closer and the prospect of engagement looms, a woman may casually hint about her ring size. If this does not happen, however, you can learn about her ring size by taking one of her ring-finger rings to a jewelry store for sizing. You may also ask her to go shopping with you for a birthday ring or a ring for another occasion. In some cases, close friends may know each other's ring sizes. Keep in mind that many, but not all, styles of engagement rings can be resized. Because the resizing process may take up to several weeks and because your fiancee may be eager to wear her ring immediately after the proposal, doing your homework in this area is advisable.

Plan Ahead for the Wedding Band

Often, wedding bands and engagement rings are purchased as a set. These are rings that are worn next to each other, so it makes sense that they would have corresponding styles and fit perfectly together. Because of the unique nature of some engagement ring styles, it may be impossible to find a band that fits snugly against it unless you consider a custom-made option. You can use these same tips to ensure that you make a smart wedding band selection.

Pay Attention to Diamond Certification

As you shop around for an engagement ring, you may notice that many diamonds are certified, but not all certifications are equal. Some labs that produce certifications may have different guidelines, and these guidelines may inflate a rating. This means that a shopper may think he is buying a high-quality diamond at a steal when this is not actually the case. The top accredited laboratory is the American Gem Society of the Gemological Institute of America. By looking for this certification, you can make an apples-to-apples comparison of diamond quality.

Look for a Deal

You may not want to bargain shopping when it comes to something as special as an engagement ring, but you also should not pay more than necessary. Jewelers that are selling similar styles with the same diamond certification may still have a difference in price. One of the reasons for this is overhead. With this in mind, ensure that you look at rings from several reputable online jewelers before you finalize your selection.

Read Reviews

It is easy to be enamored by sparkly diamonds and to lose yourself in the thought of proposing to your loved one. However, before you walk through the checkout process and order an engagement ring, open up a new search engine window. Type the name of the jeweler, and read through the reviews that pop up. After you check out several reviews, you may identify a trend in the comments. This gives you a great indication of what you may expect from your own purchase.

Shopping for an engagement ring online is a low-stress option. Your online search may reveal a much wider range of styles to choose from. More than that, you can take your time researching and comparing the options fully so that you make the best decision. However, factors like cost, quality, style and more require your full attention as you shop around. By applying these tips to your efforts, you can feel more confident about your engagement ring selection.

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Engagement Ring FAQ

...because you want the world's best selection and pricing, not just the limited options at your local brick-and-mortar jewelry store! Whether you buy a ring that's ready-to-ship or you design the ring of your (or your fiancee's) dreams, you won't find more possibilities than what's offered online.
That varies widely by retailer and by ring. If you choose an engagement ring that's in stock and pay for expedited shipping, some online jewelers can have it to you the next day! On the other hand, if your perfect proposal involves a one-of-a-kind, customized ring that costs tens of thousands of dollars, it could take a month or more before it's ready. The best jewelers provide an estimated shipping timeframe right on each ring's description page.
Most jewelers ship engagement rings with ample insurance, making it risk-free even for the most high-end items. However, if you're concerned about "porch pirates" taking your ring from your doorstep or mailbox, you've got options: either opt for "signature required" delivery during checkout, or choose a jeweler that also has a retail location near you and have your order shipped to the store for in-person pickup.
Fear not. Engagement ring retailers usually include at least one free resizing, plus exchanges are almost always accepted within 30-60 days of purchase.
If you're considering a custom-designed engagement ring, you'll want to read the retailer's return policy very carefully before making your purchase. Some may allow for returns and exchanges while others may not. On the other hand, in-stock rings usually have a return policy ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase, and some online jewelers extend that timeframe during the winter holiday season.
More often than not, yes. Many jewelers automatically cover the diamond(s)or other gemstones, but you may need to add on a protection plan if you want coverage for loose prongs, resizing, or damage due to wear and tear (as opposed to manufacturer defects).
Usually, the financing options will be displayed near the price in the engagement ring's description or through a link at the bottom of the site. You may be offered a store credit card, an installment loan, or financing through a third-party partner.
That's a wise question to ask, because when it comes to engagement rings and online jewelers, "not all that glitters is gold" . Customer feedback is essential to determining where to buy this piece of jewelry that could very well become a family heirloom: look for a retailer with plenty of positive reviews, where shoppers say that the engagement rings were exactly as advertised (or better!) and that the customer service team handled any issues with professionalism and prompt attention. This is - hopefully! - a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, so choose a jeweler that will give you an unparalleled shopping experience.

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