Best Place to Buy Diamonds and Engagement Rings in 2021
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Updated March 2021
What’s the best place to buy engagement rings and diamond jewelry online?
Here’s our take on the top choices out there for 2021 and beyond.
The Top Online Diamond Stores
- James Allen Jewelers – Best Overall Diamond Retailer
- Brian Gavin – Best Diamond Cuts
- White Flash – Best Boutique Dealer
- Brillianteers – Best Affordability
We based our choices on several factors:
- Customer + After Sales Service
- Jewelry vs. loose stones
Read on to get a full breakdown of each one of our top picks!
Quick note: this guide is about retail purchases, not the best place to buy diamonds wholesale.
After our breakdown, we’ll share tips on purchasing diamonds, jewelry and engagement rings that will help you save money and make the right choice!
Quick Diamond Store Comparison Table
(Scroll The Table Below to See More Data)
When starting this site, we wanted to know one thing – what was the best place to buy diamonds in the world.
Here’s what our research found:
TOP PICK: The Best Place to Buy Engagement Rings and Diamonds:
James Allen Jewelers
Why It’s the Best:
- Selection of over 200,000 stones to choose from
- View products in a full 360-degree interactive HD image
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and 60 Days of Free Re-Sizing!
- Actual pictures of diamond inventory (no generic stock photos)
- Design your ultimate engagement ring from scratch
- Wide selection of rings in every style – from solitaire to vintage and everything in between
- Huge collection of designer jewelry pieces from acclaimed designers
- “Inspiration Gallery” to help you get started designing a beautiful diamond ring
- Virtual Ring Sizer
- Free Shipping To All Locations
- Certified Conflict-Free Stones
If you’re buying any type of jewelry there’s one spot you want to go first – JamesAllen.com.
The Full Rundown:
So why James Allen when choosing the best online jewelry store?
It’s simple – they’re one of the top diamond jewelry and engagement ring retailers in the entire industry and have the best shopping experience.
Look at forums and message boards online and you’ll find loads of positive reviews and experiences with the company. Many people think it’s the best place to buy engagement rings online (and regular jewelry too!).
Help and Insights
Even if you have no idea what you’re doing, they’ll help you through the entire process – from choosing the rock to finding the right setting.
James Allen is also the best choice to shop for an engagement ring or buy wedding bands for the following reason:
Their Online Custom Ring Designer
If you decide to design an engagement ring from scratch you can start with either the setting or the stone you’ll use and work your way to the end.
You get to choose the metal you want – gold, platinum, etc – and then choose from a brilliant colorless or fancy color centerpiece.
Their Selection and Price Point
And they’ve got a selection of over 200,000 diamonds to choose from so you’ll find the perfect match.
Don’t want to design your own ring? Then you can browse through their massive collections of solitaire, pave, channel set, side-stone, three stone, tension, halo, vintage and bridal sets.
And then there’s the brand name engagement rings from their designer collection.
These are some of the most beautiful certified diamond rings you’ll find online – from designers like Verragio, Danhov, Jeff Cooper and Martin Flyer.
Chances are, they’ll have the piece of your dreams in their wide selection.
Full 3D, 360-degree High Quality Imaging
They also show you 3-Dimensional pictures of the exact stone that you would be getting.
And this is extremely important when buying diamond jewelry.
Let’s get real – the purpose of all this is to display your jewel’s beauty and perfection. So you don’t want to inadvertently pick up something cloudy or colored – especially for an engagement ring.
Being able to see the actual diamond you’re about to purchase is essential.
And that’s why James Allen is the best jewelry store online.
Is James Allen Good for Loose Diamonds Online?
Yes, and no.
JamesAllen.com also sells loose diamonds and it’s a solid option to purchase them from online.
Again, you get to see the actual stone before purchasing.
But there are other considerations when you purchase as a commodity or store of value, rather than to display it’s beauty.
When you are getting something as a commodity/investment, like a loose stone, the main concerns can often be price and quantity.
Why Are You Doing This?
Are you buying wholesale as a store of value or as a long term investment? Then it’s possible the diamond you want doesn’t need to be the same type of stone that one would prefer set in a piece of Jewelry.
Again, James Allen is a great choice for this, but you may have more luck somewhere else.
Read more about loose diamonds vs. diamond jewelry.
Our Runner Up:
What’s the Deal:
- Known for the Best Cuts in the World
- Wide Selection of TRUE Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
- All Stones Individually Approved By Brian Gavin
- 360-Degree Videos of Inventory
- Idealscope Images & ASET Images
- Lifetime Upgrade Policy (Just Pay the Difference)
Brian Gavin is a well-recognized name in the diamond industry and it’s no wonder why…
The Full Rundown:
Brian Gavin is a South African diamond cutter that’s got the business in his genes. He’s a fifth-generation cutter that personally inspects all the stones in the “signature line” on his website.
And that’s important. Why?
The name is known for having cuts that do not compromise on quality, featuring the best symmetry and proportions you’ll find. So whether you want a marquise cut or a princess cut, having Gavin inspect each diamond for quality means you’re going to get the perfect stone.
They also have some of the best ring brands in stock, much like James Allen.
It’s not just about symmetry with Brian Gavin, it’s also about how light reacts to and within the diamond. Gavin’s gemstones are known for their light performance in addition to their perfect cuts.
Brian Gavin is one of the best cheap jewelry websites online, but not cheap in the quality sense. We mean affordable. They offer the best affordable jewelry brands – cheap, good quality jewelry.
And if you’re looking for something special, check out the Brian Gavin Blue line of stones which offer a beautiful blue fluorescence.
Normally diamonds that offer fluorescence can be hazy, but not with Brian Gavin Blue – they are guaranteed not to exhibit negative effects associated with fluorescence.
Different Diamond Images
Although the site offers a 360-degree look at their stones, they also offer something called Idealscope and ASET images.
These images help you determine the light performance of different diamond cuts. The images show how much light is leaked.
Best Boutique Shop
What’s the Deal:
- Free Worldwide Shipping
- Amazing Selection of Designer Brands
- Idealscope Images & ASET Images
- All Diamonds are AGS Certified
- Lifetime Upgrade Policy (Just Pay the Difference)
- One Year Buy Back Guarantee
- Better Business Bureau A+ Rating
- Awarded BBB “Winner of Distinction” Award 6 Years Consecutively
The Full Rundown:
WhiteFlash is another well-known spot based in Houston and claim to be all about the ideal cut. They offer top quality hearts and arrows diamond and even have a line of super-ideal cuts called “A CUT ABOVE.”
If you’re looking for a high performing, ideal cut then White Flash is a great place to shop online. They offer Idealscope and ASET images but unfortunately not a 360-degree view. However, they make up for it with exceptional customer service. They’ll offer you the best advice for your specific situation.
As far as what you can purchase, WhiteFlash works with and offers jewelry pieces from a variety of high-end designers. Some of the brands they carry include Tacori, Verragio, Simon G, Ritani, Danhov, Vatche, and Benchmark.
After the Sale
One of the best things about WhiteFlash is their after-sales policies. Customer service is top notch, but they also offer a one-year buy back guarantee, a one year service plan and a money-back guarantee AND a customer loyalty program.
They’ll also give you a “lifetime trade-up” opportunity where you can upgrade your purchased diamond ring or jewelry at any time. You’ll only pay the difference in the ring prices between your upgrade and your old one.
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Other Top Diamond Companies
The Quick Rundown:
Specializing in Affordable Diamonds and Jewelry
- Over 30 Years In the Game
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Free Appraisals and Free Worldwide Shipping
- All Pieces Custom Designed and Hand Crafted In-House – Start to Finish
- No-Interest Financing and Layaway Plans on Purchases
If you’re looking for a beautiful hand-made piece of diamond jewelry and don’t want to break the bank, Brillianteers is probably your best bet.
That’s because they cut out any “middle-men” in the process by designing and crafting their products in-house. They can then pass those savings onto you.
What’s more is they offer free worldwide shipping and, if you’re tight on cash, a no-interest financing/layaway option.
Are People Still Even Buying Diamonds?
In the past there were a lot of headlines that claimed millennials and young people weren’t purchasing diamonds because they were too “old-school.”
And though there was some truth to it, it wasn’t the full story.
But in reality, millennials ARE buying diamonds. They’re just getting them for themselves to celebrate achievements in their life.
Is Online Shopping a Good Idea?
Shopping online is the way to go. Why?
Because competition online is fierce – so you’re going to get the best price, selection and research/viewing tools available.
However, a lot of people may think it makes no sense to get diamonds online.
When choosing jewelry, you need to see the product, right?
Right. But we’re in 2021 now and technology has brought us super-high-quality images and a full 360-degree view so you can view your potential purchase exactly like you were there in person.
And our picks above offer great customer service. So if you’re not happy with what you get after ordering, there’s always a way to make things right.
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What to Look For When Purchasing Online
Diamond jewelry and engagement rings are expensive – so you want to know you’re buying the right stone, from the right jewelers.
Aside from all the specific things you need to know about how to choose a diamond correctly, there’s general things you want to search for in a reputable establishment.
Some online diamond stores have less than desirable customer service or, worse yet, inferior quality. You can be sure that not all retailers are equal.
If you are planning on purchasing diamond jewelry online, here’s what the store MUST offer:
High Quality Images
A lot of options out there won’t give you high quality, real-life images of the inventory you’re selecting from.
Some offer stock images and others only offer one or two angles.
But the top diamond shops offer fully interactive, 360 degree high quality images of the actual rock you’re looking at picking up.
So, make sure whoever choose gives you the ability to fully examine your purchase before you purchase.
This market – like any other marketplace – is rife of scammers and unscrupulous vendors.
When you’re looking online, make sure you’re buying from someone that offers certification for all their inventory. The GIA and the AGS are the two most reliable and consistent labs in the world.
The last thing you want to do is find the perfect engagement ring and center stone, and later realize it’s a conflict diamond that has the blood of innocent people on it.
The best part about buying gemstones online is the insanely huge selection you get. Most regular diamond shops have a limited inventory of stones. What they have in front of you, is what they have.
On the other hand, online stores have a HUGE selection. For example, our #1 pick James Allen Jewelers has an inventory of over 200,000 diamonds.
What does that mean for you? You don’t have to settle for anything less than exactly what you want.
Customer Service and Policies
In the old world, diamonds and engagement rings were a pretentious endeavor.
But today, a lot of the players have realized the power really is in the hands of consumers.
The best online engagement ring stores have stellar customer services and return policies. Since you’re buying online, you want to be able to return an item that doesn’t meet your expectations in real life.
Unfortunately, this is an area some retailers fall short on, so be wary.
Getting Great Value
Aside from the things we described above, there’s another thing you want to look for when deciding on a jeweler to spend your hard earned money with.
That can mean a couple of things.
For example, you can get great value by opting for a genuine lab created diamond (which is still real, not a fake like some people think)
Value can also mean paying for what something is worth, and not a penny more.
You do have to account for retailer markup and the middle-industry that helps along the way.
So you’re going to have to pay more than the intrinsic value of whatever good you’re acquiring.
But you shouldn’t be getting taken advantage of, or worse, ripped off.
And the truth is, you can normally save between 30% – 70% by shopping online vs. in-store.
That’s because of the lower overhead costs involved in e-commerce as opposed to a brick and mortar location.
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A High Profile Value Test
A recent report on Good Morning America compared diamonds purchased from big-names Costco and Tiffany’s. We all know Tiffany’s is a luxury brand, like Cartier or Bulgari, with a huge name around the world and expensive diamond jewelry pieces like engagement rings.
Most people would expect to pay more for something because of the value of the brand (and sometimes the uniqueness of the diamond jewelry setting/design).
They purchased a diamond ring from Tiffany’s for over $16,000 and another for $6,000 from Costco. They wanted to see if they got their money’s worth.
In short, they did. They got the shiny rocks appraised and found that they paid exactly what they should have at Tiffany’s, but they got a pretty damn good deal at Costco.
The Problem With the Test
The problem with the above test in answering the question of where to buy diamond rings is the spectrum of the test.
They chose one of the highest end diamonds retailers on earth and compared it to a bargain shop that sells everything and not just diamonds.
But what if you don’t want the G5 and won’t settle for the bottom of the barrel either? You don’t have to choose from Tiffany’s, Cartier or Bulgari for a great diamond. And you don’t have to get a Costco diamond or shop at Walmart for a great price.
That’s where we come in. We took the middle road and compared the best online diamond stores (no cubic zirconia rings here) that are middle-of-the-road. Thank God for the Internet…
Why Buying Diamonds Online is Actually the Best Idea
You can purchase really fancy diamond bracelets and diamond earrings from a Cartier or you can go the more modest route and get a diamond necklace or diamond ring that’s just as good at either James Allen or Blue Nile.
And all the other great points we mentioned in the diamond store reviews above make them the ideal choice when deciding where to buy diamonds.
We highly recommend checking out their diamond inventory and we’re sure you’ll find some really great diamond jewelry products that you’ll want to purchase right away!
What’s more is that online diamond shops are the best to shop at because they have much lower expenses than big box retailers you have to physically visit.
This makes the jewelry like engagement rings, promise rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other diamonds you buy at these online stores much more affordable than walking into a spot and choosing the same product.
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Pros and Cons
Is it safe to buy diamonds online? To ensure minimal risk, knowledge and due diligence is necessary.
As with any purchases, there are advantages and disadvantages to shopping online. Here are some pros and cons of buying diamonds online.
- Wide Selection
If you walk into your typical jeweler and ask to look for a specific loose diamond, chances are they don’t have any and say that they have to bring some in. Online jewelry stores seem to have endless inventories. They are able to show all of their wholesaler stocks, giving customers a large selection. Buying diamonds online means you have access to a wide selection of diamonds from larger and well-known companies.
- Great Deals
Online jewelry stores have lower operation costs and save on overhead cost. They can pass on the savings to consumers. Generally, you will find lower prices from an online store than in your local jeweler. Since there are hundreds of online stores to choose from, competition arises. Consequently, they are lowering their prices to attract customers.
You can shop for a diamond at your convenience and without having to deal with traffic, other shoppers, and pushy salespersons. You don’t have to feel pressured into buying a larger gem, especially if you already know exactly what you are looking for in a diamond.
- Sales Tax Savings
Buying a diamond online from an out-of-state vendor can save a lot of money. In some places like Texas where the sales tax is 8.25%, buying diamond jewelry online worth $10,000 will save you $825. Just ensure that the credit card charges, handling fees and shipping charges will not eat up this legitimate cost saving feature.
How can you be sure that you are actually getting what you are paying for? Some people are not even sure if they will get the right product at the right time. This uncertainty is one of the reasons why people don’t take the risk of online shopping.
- Inability To Compare Diamonds Physically
Online jewelry stores use different types of photo editing software and lighting on the diamond themselves. What you will see are full-color, high resolution images of diamonds. It is similar to ordering a red shirt online only to see that it looks pink or orange when it arrives. It can be very frustrating and disappointing. How much more disappointed would you be when you receive a diamond that’s not what you ordered?
The internet is a vast unregulated marketplace with good and bad merchants selling good and bad diamonds. There is the possibility that you get a diamond that is worth less than you paid for or worse, if you get a fake diamond.
- After Sale Services
Most online jewelry stores don’t offer a longer-term relationship for extremely important after sale services like cleaning, sizing, tightening, and upgrading.
Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry Purchase Tips
Here are some final tips that will help make your buying experience the best it can be.
How can we be sure that we are getting our money’s worth and not fall victim to fraud? Here are some ways to buy diamonds online safely and securely.
- Find a Reputable Vendor
Do your homework and research on the company first to ensure they have an astounding reputation. Don’t just settle for a few online reviews. Search for unpaid customer testimonials. You can also post questions about the company on forums and through social media. Also, check their credentials and services. Do not hesitate to ask about a vendor’s credentials if you cannot find them on their website.
- Check Their Policies
Make sure you understand the store’s policies on returns, guarantees, and terms and conditions. Have the store email you copies of their policies before buying. Take pictures or screenshots of all relevant information such as the diamond you are purchasing, the vendor’s contact information and policies to serve as proof in case something goes wrong.
- Educate Yourself
Before you buy diamonds, whether online or a physical store, take time to educate yourself about diamonds. What makes one more valuable than another? Learn about the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) and get a better understanding of how to buy diamonds.
- GIA Report
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most well-know institute who do diamond grading. They are considered as the most consistent and reliable in their grading. As you are shopping for diamonds, the grading report for each diamond should be visible. If it is not, ask to see a copy of it. Make sure that the GIA report comes with the diamond you purchase.
- Get Independent Appraising
Take the diamond you purchased to a independent appraiser within the timeframe the vendor allows for returns. They will ensure that the diamond matches the independent grading lab’s report. They can also check for structural problems within the stone and evaluate the diamond’s beauty and value.
Buying diamonds online can be a pleasant experience. If you don’t feel comfortable in making your purchase online, you can use diamond sites as a way to educate yourself about diamonds. If you decide to buy your diamonds online, practice your due diligence to avoid risks and problems. There are several reputable companies out there; waiting to make your diamond dreams come true.
Take Your Time
Buying diamond jewelry and gemstones online (even when shopping at the best online diamond retailer you can find) is a big deal. Take your time when shopping and read up on different tips. There shouldn’t be any rush.
Make sure the diamond is the right size, color and shape. If you have questions, no matter how basic (like “can diamonds scratch”), don’t be afraid to ask a customer service rep.
Only Get Certified Gemstones
There are a lot of shady diamond stores on the internet and you want to avoid their scams. Make sure you’re buying certified diamonds and ones that are not from conflict zones.
Make it easy on yourself and purchase from James Allen or Blue Nile – they both offer GIA certified stones. (The GIA is the Gemological Institute of America – a leading diamond grading body in the USA).
Secure Your Purchase
Wherever you choose to get your diamonds from, make sure they have great customer service and a solid refund/return policy. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill for multiple thousands of dollars and a product you absolutely hate.
Again, James Allen and Blue Nile both offer great 30-day return policies on all of their diamond products. Not satisfied with the diamond you got? No problem. And a lifetime warranty would be nice.
Learn About What You’re Getting
This tip has to do with educating yourself a bit about what you’re buying. Remember, you’re spending a lot of money on a diamond.
You’re on the right track by being here right now looking for the best places online to get diamonds.
Make Sure You Made The Right Choice
Did you know that you don’t necessarily have to hire a diamond appraiser to have your new jewelry tested? You can do it yourself!
There’s a device called a Presidium Multi Tester that you can use to test the products you buy online. (Diamonds conduct heat really well so when pressed up against the tester it should cool the tip immediately. If it doesn’t, it might be a fake!)
What About Jewelry Trends?
Make sure you’re staying on top of fashion and jewelry trends. Follow our blog on ExecutiveIce.com and check out the video below for some great tips from last year:
That’s All Folks
There you have it – some awesome online diamond jewelry stores (in our opinion). Which of them you choose really depends on what your purpose is. But regardless of who you choose to get diamonds from – if you stick to our top two picks above, you likely won’t go wrong. No chipped stones here!
Definitely visit James Allen to buy your jewelry (at the very least and check out their awesome 3D images of the actual diamonds they have for sale online). Their site is pretty great, navigation wise and definitely our fave. If you need help with other aspects of the process – like finding chipped or cracked diamond repair, we’ll try to put something together for you.
What about you – what is your idea of the best place to buy diamonds? Do you have any favorites on the internet? Have you had good experiences, bad experiences, or mediocre experiences? Let us know in the comments below.