Top 11 Best Places to Buy Diamonds Online in 2024

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 
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This guide offers comprehensive insights on the best places for buying diamonds and engagement rings. We will also share insights on managing a constrained budget, highlight the seven critical factors that influence a diamond's price, and deliberate on the advantages and disadvantages of shopping locally.

Buying a diamond or an engagement ring can prove to be a daunting task, especially for those embarking on this journey for the first time. By highlighting the best places for ethically sourced diamonds and engagement rings, we aim to alleviate some of the stress associated with this process.

Best Places for Diamonds

Check these TRUE HEART and A CUT ABOVE diamonds for their brilliance, fire, and sparkle.

Best Places for Diamonds in 2024

In a nutshell, the top eleven best places to buy diamonds are:

James Allen

Watch Diamonds in Super HD

James Allen is a top choice when shopping for high-quality natural GIA graded diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and fine jewelry. The retailer owns a unique HD 360° high-resolution technology for viewing and inspecting diamonds and offers exceptional support over the long term. As the most prominent online retailer of fine jewelry and diamonds, James Allen has many options for buyers to consider while shopping for engagement rings. James Allen's product quality, customer service, price match policy, and other discounts are essential factors that qualify them as the top option for buying diamonds online. Also, remember to check their True Hearts diamonds.

Blue Nile

Exploring Blue Nile's exquisite designs and craftsmanship, especially their signature Astor Ideal Cut Diamonds, is highly recommended for fine diamond jewelry and gifts. The company is one of the first online fine jewelry retailers, significantly transforming the online diamond shopping experience. Blue Nile is also one of America's largest online diamond and fine jewelry companies. Signet Jewelers acquired Blue Nile for $360m.


Whiteflash is best known for its high-quality, precision-cut Hearts and Arrows diamonds. They cut higher-quality diamonds than Tiffany & Company. Whiteflash also has one of the largest selections of in-house diamonds compared to other online retailers. Due to its exceptional customer service, the jeweler has received the Better Business Bureau's Award for Excellence since 2004. They also offer designer engagement rings, making them a top contender for online diamond shopping. Furthermore, Whiteflash recently started selling high-precision ideal cut lab-grown diamonds.

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is an exceptional choice for purchasing lab-grown diamonds and designer jewelry. They offer a wide selection of designer engagement rings and fine jewelry collections. Like other top-rated retailers, the company is renowned for maintaining the highest standards of ethics and environmental sustainability. Brilliant Earth recently became a publicly traded New York Stock Exchange company. Moreover, Brilliant Earth is 1) a certified and audited member of the Responsible Jewelry Council, 2) one of the pioneering companies to provide blockchain-enabled diamonds, and 3) has established rigorous protocols for tracing the origins of diamonds.

Brian Gavin

Brian Gavin Diamonds is also a good jeweler for ideal cut diamonds. Brian is a leading diamond cutter and takes pride in his craft. Because Brian strives for excellence, diamond prices at Brian Gavin Diamonds are slightly higher than those at other online retailers.

Tiffany & Co.

For buyers looking for a luxury experience, Tiffany & Co. needs no introduction. Since its inception, the company has earned a reputation for exceptional designs. Tiffany diamonds are well-known for their quality and excellence. The company has also expanded its online presence, offering exceptional products on its digital platforms. On the flip side, because Tiffany is such a well-known brand, the company's diamonds and engagement rings come at a hefty price. James Allen and Whiteflash can easily rival their quality at a more reasonable price point.


For shoppers looking for a retail option, Costco has a vibrant fine jewelry section as part of its products and services. Diamonds sold by Costco come with a GIA grading report for stones weighing a carat or more. However, many of their products do not offer the exact description and are described in general terms as having "VS2" clarity and "I" color. We believe our top-rated jeweler is still the better choice.


Among the many retail jewelry brands owned by Signet Jewelers, such as Kay Jewelers, Zales, H. Samuel, and Peoples, among others, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry might be the best option for individuals who want to shop for an engagement ring locally. The company has many locations, carries relatively premium merchandise, and often receives positive feedback. Financing options might also be readily available to clients.

Clear Origin

Clear Origin is a relative newcomer to the diamond industry. Founded by veterans of the diamond trade in 2017, the company exclusively focuses on lab-grown diamonds and offers unique diamond jewelry. Moreover, Clear Origin provides an easy and hassle-free shopping experience with free shipping and 100-day return policies. Customer service is average at Clear Origin.


Ritani was founded by a family of jewelers in 1999. The company is renowned for its exceptional handcrafted jewelry and customer service. Artisans in New York create Ritani's one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. In addition to extraordinary mountings and jewelry designs, Ritani provides complete pricing transparency, diamond market analysis, and a price match policy. Be sure to check Ritani's approach to calculating diamond prices based on wholesale prices, processing costs, and margins with full transparency.


Aurate offers unique fine jewelry made from durable and sustainable materials at transparent prices. As a newcomer to the fine jewelry industry, the brand was created by Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui in 2015 to offer elegant and classic jewelry designs with a dedication to affordability. Aurate is an exceptional choice for ethically sourced and sustainably crafted fine jewelry, engagement rings, and diamonds.

In-Depth Review of Best Retailers

Round Engagement Rings

Based on our experience and in-depth research, we have identified the following factors as crucial for shoppers to consider when buying a diamond online. Drawing from over a decade of experience in the industry, we firmly believe that opting for a reputable jewelry store when buying a diamond or engagement ring is in the buyer's best interest. This approach helps prevent potential scams and ensures long-term benefits.

Here are our most compelling reasons for why buying a diamond from a reputable retailer is the best approach, even if it comes at a slightly higher price:

Reliable Return Policies: Many unreliable online vendors may not honor their stated return policies due to the structure of their businesses. In some cases, they might lack the necessary cash reserves to process significant and timely returns. This could lead to lengthy delays before a buyer receives a refund.

Essential Repair Services: The option to repair a setting is critical, particularly as side stones can become dislodged from the mounting over time. Moreover, resizing requirements may arise in the long term. Numerous small online retailers lack in-house capacity for such services and might even be out of business when these services are needed. As a result, taking their "lifetime" warranty at face value might not be advisable.

Balancing Price and Quality: It is prudent to strive for a fair price while maintaining high quality. A price that seems too good to be true should raise concerns. Online diamond markups range between 15% and 25%, and offering a higher discount is practically impossible unless the diamond has a significant flaw.

Long-Term Customer Service and Warranties: The significance of long-term customer service and warranties should not be underestimated. The ability to trade a diamond and pursue an upgrade is also valuable. A reputable retailer should be willing to provide a fair deal when upgrading to a different diamond.

Trustworthy Diamond Grading: Many online sites and local brick-and-mortar stores offer diamonds graded by unknown labs or not graded at all. This emphasizes the necessity of acquiring a diamond graded by reputable institutions such as GIA or AGS.

Taking into account the factors above, we have pinpointed the following jewelers as the foremost and optimal destinations for purchasing diamonds and engagement rings:

James Allen

As one of the world's largest diamond companies, James Allen has garnered a reputation for transparency and adhering to best trade practices. Renowned for its exceptional 3D technology, the company offers a superior visual representation, showcasing every facet and angle of diamonds and engagement rings—surpassing any other entity in the industry. In addition, James Allen offers a lifetime warranty and a price match guarantee. This unique combination of competitive pricing, dedicated customer service, and unparalleled quality meets every buyer's expectations. For additional insight, read our James Allen review.

James Allen was established by Oded Edelman, James Schultz, Michelle Singler, and Dean Lederman as a background. Following its acquisition by Signet Jewelers, James Allen has become the world's largest privately held online diamond and bridal jewelry company.

Benefits of Buying at James Allen Include:

  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Financing options and lifetime warranty.
  • 1 Year free resizing and free engraving.
  • Free worldwide shipping and jewelry insurance.

James Allen

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is a prominent figure in online diamond and fine jewelry, holding a leadership position in the industry. The company pioneered by introducing integrity to the diamond sector and spearheading a transformative shift in the online fine jewelry landscape during the late 1990s. Reflecting on our journey at Petra Gems, which initially focused on trading estate jewelry when venturing into online diamond sales, we were struck by the remarkable craftsmanship exhibited by Blue Nile. This impression grew stronger as we facilitated the sale of numerous pre-owned Blue Nile engagement rings. The company has consistently modernized its online platform and harnessed cutting-edge technology, enhancing the diamond purchasing experience and ensuring customer satisfaction. Refer to our Blue Nile review for additional insights.

Benefits of Buying at Blue Nile include:

  • Free returns and shipping.
  • Diamond price matching and upgrade program.
  • Free lifetime warranty and secure shipping.
  • Jewelry insurance and service and student discounts.


Whiteflash is a leading retailer specializing in precision cut Hearts and Arrows diamonds and designer engagement rings. Educated buyers have the company's A Cut Above® diamonds in high regard due to their exceptional quality and desirability. Whiteflash offers a diverse range of designer engagement ring brands at equitable prices. Whiteflash also holds ISO 9000 certification, affirming its commitment to quality and operational excellence. As a distinguished member of the American Gem Society, Whiteflash is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and extends its services to clients across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For more insights, refer to our Whiteflash review.

Benefits of Buying at Whiteflash Include:

  • Extensive Inventory: Whiteflash grants shoppers access to an extensive collection of in-house hearts and arrow diamonds graded by GIA, offering them a wide selection.
  • Authentic Designer Collections: The company proudly features authentic designer collections, including renowned names such as Tacori, Simon G, Verragio, A Jaffe, and Danhov, among others.
  • Lifetime Trade Benefits: Customers who purchase at Whiteflash enjoy lifetime trade benefits applicable to all diamonds.
  • BBB Accreditation and Recognition: Whiteflash holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has consistently clinched the prestigious BBB Pinnacle Award since 2004.

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is on a mission to make beautiful jewelry. Since 2015, they have strived to be transparent in their business and are trying to make the jewelry industry more compassionate. With its motto, "luxury with a conscience," the company designs unique jewelry pieces in San Francisco that are then brought to life by its expert artisans. In addition to its robust online presence, the company also has several showrooms. Brilliant Earth has also partnered with the Rainforest Alliance. For more details, explore our Brilliant Earth review.

Benefits of Buying at Brilliant Earth Include:

  • Free shipping both ways.
  • Flexible payment options.
  • Free lifetime warranty and diamond upgrade.

Brian Gavin

Brian Gavin Diamonds is ideal for enthusiasts searching for high-quality AGS-graded diamonds. Brian Gavin is a well-known name in the diamond industry and a pioneer in cutting diamonds. He is a fifth-generation diamond cutter who invented the heart and arrow cut. Given his contribution to the diamond industry, recognizing his brand is the least we can do. Refer to our Brian Gavin Diamonds review for more insights.

Benefits of Buying at Brain Gavin Diamonds Include:

  • The expertise of a master cutter.
  • Legacy name and 5th generation diamond cutter.
  • Standard shipping and return policies. 

Tiffany & Co.

Since its founding in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been regarded as the pinnacle of luxury for its unique jewelry designs and exceptional products. Tiffany diamonds are also highly regarded for their brilliance and quality. The company rose to fame in the early 20th century under Louis Comfort Tiffany, Charles Lewis Tiffany’s son.

The company operates 300 stores globally, with net sales of $4.44 billion in 2018. While Tiffany is a well-known brand cherished for its quality, we are convinced that our top-rated brands, like James Allen and Whiteflash, also offer superior quality and shopping experiences, such as Tiffany & Co. For further information, refer to Tiffany’s FAQ.

Benefits of Shopping at Tiffany & Co. Include:

  • A well-known brand known for its quality.
  • Given Tiffany's brand recognition, its products retain value, albeit at a premium price when bought.
  • Ability to visit one of the 300 Tiffany’s stores for an in-person shopping experience.
  • Returns are accepted within 30 days, and complimentary standard shipping ($20 for next-day shipping).


For shoppers looking for a retail option, Costco has a vibrant fine jewelry section as part of its products and services. Diamonds sold by Costco come with a GIA graded report for stones weighing a carat or more. However, many of their products do not offer the exact description and are described in general terms as having “VS2” clarity and “I” color. We believe our top-rated jeweler is still the better choice.

Costco is a renowned membership-only big-box warehouse club retail giant operating stores across the United States. The corporation is a renowned name when it comes to every household need. However, the retail giant also offers good-quality diamonds and jewelry. While our top-rated retailer is still the perfect choice for your diamond or engagement ring needs, Costco is also viable. The main drawback with Costco is that they often do not share full product details and only confirm that their diamonds would have at least a clarity grade of “VS2” and a color grade of “I” or better. To learn more about Costco, refer to their jewelry section.

Benefits of Shopping at Costco Include:

  • An ability to inspect items in person at one of their stores.
  • Costco provides a description written by a graduate gemologist.
  • Jewelry or gemological grading report.
  • A GIA grading report for diamonds 1 carat or larger.
  • Buyers might need to consult an appraiser elsewhere for insurance purposes.

Jared The Galleria of Jewelry

Jared The Galleria of Jewelry is a well-known jeweler with retail locations in many U.S. cities. They also have an online presence, though not as prominently as our other top-rated retailers. As one of Signet Jewelers' brands, they have the resources and connections to get the latest jewelry designs and products to market and keep up with the trend. However, James Allen is still the preferred choice when it comes to diamond and engagement ring shopping.

Benefits of Shopping at Jared Include:

  • Extended service plans along with related warranties and guarantees.
  • Safe shipping options for online shopping.
  • Returns and exchanges fine jewelry.
  • Financing options and free cleaning services.

Clear Origin

Established in 2017, Clear Origin has carved a distinct niche by concentrating solely on lab-grown diamonds, primarily enhancing the diamond purchasing process. The company's founders bring decades of invaluable expertise from their extensive involvement in the diamond industry. Beyond its specialization in lab-created diamonds, Clear Origin extends its offerings to encompass distinctive and exquisite fine jewelry collections. For additional insights, explore our Clear Origin review.

Benefits of Buying at Clear Origin include:

  • Free Shipping with 100 Days of Returns
  • Modern Website with a 360-Degree View of Diamonds
  • GIA and IGI Certified Diamonds
  • Hand-picked and inspected lab diamonds only.


Founded in 1999 by a family of jewelers, Ritani is renowned for its elegant and high-quality fine jewelry. Expert artisans in New York uniquely design Ritani's jewelry pieces, and while they offer reasonable pricing on loose diamonds, their settings and semi-mounts genuinely shine. In addition, Ritani's transparent diamond pricing, complimentary in-store preview, free returns, price matching policy, lifetime care package, and lifetime warranty are all valuable and advantageous features. For additional information, explore our Ritani review.

Benefits of Buying at Ritani include:

  • Transparent Pricing: Ritani provides a transparent breakdown of each diamond's wholesale price, operational costs (e.g., shipping, packaging, and processing), and the final margin earned by Ritani.
  • Market Analysis: Ritani's software analyzes over 200,000 diamonds and offers the best possible prices.
  • Price Matching: The company offers a comprehensive price matching policy.


Founded in 2015, Aurate offers exceptionally well-crafted fine jewelry at highly affordable prices. Aurate's designs are known for their contemporary style and elegance. The company also profoundly cares about environmental sustainability and maximizes the use of recycled gold. For your everyday fine jewelry needs, Aurate is an exceptional choice. For more insights, read our Aurate review.

What makes Aurate a good choice?

  • Highly quality fine jewelry at affordable prices
  • Contemporary, classic, elegant designs
  • Good customer service

Please also check our article on the best lab-grown diamonds for additional reference.

Cut Guide for Each Shape

Among the 4Cs, diamond cut is the sole factor humans can directly influence. The other 3Cs and associated attributes are inherent to a diamond's natural formation. Cut is regarded as the most crucial C among the 4Cs, significantly impacting a diamond's overall beauty and visual appeal.

diamond shapes

Round cut diamonds are admired for their ideal proportions and brilliance --- roughly 60-70% of all polished diamonds sold worldwide are round shaped. Focusing on its cut quality is crucial when purchasing a round cut diamond. Opt for a round brilliant cut diamond with a 55-58% table and a 60-62.5% depth. The girdle should fall within the 2.5-4% range, the crown angle should be 34-35, and the pavilion depth should be 40-41. Moreover, the cut should have no cullet.

Oval cut diamonds are becoming increasingly popular due to their elegant appearance and a blend of brilliance from round and marquise cut diamonds. While purchasing an oval cut diamond, ensure it does not have a significant bow-tie effect. Look for a length-to-width ratio of 1.38-1.52, a depth of 57-62%, and a table of 53-60%.

Princess cut diamonds are among the most sought-after fancy-shaped diamonds. Before buying one, determine your preference for either a square or an elongated princess cut diamond. For a square princess cut, a length-to-width ratio (l/w) of 1-1.05 is ideal, while a ratio of 1.26-1.4 is preferred for a rectangular one. When evaluating cut quality, look for a table between 62-69%, a depth between 64-73%, and a crown height between 9-16. A princess cut with a very thin to slightly thick or thin to the thick girdle and no cullet is ideal.

Cushion cut diamonds, the preferred shape of the 20th century, come in square or rectangular options. A length-to-width ratio of 1-1.05 is recommended for a square cushion cut, while 1.18-1.28 is ideal for a rectangular one. There are three cushion cuts: cushion brilliant, cushion modified, and cushion hybrid, with the hybrid style being the most popular. Aim for a depth of 56-70% and a table of 57-68%.

Emerald cut diamonds, known for their elegance, are step cuts with 58 open facets. Opt for a high clarity grade to minimize visible inclusions. Look for a length-to-width ratio of 1.38-1.5, a depth of 58-69%, and a table of 57-71%.

Radiant cut diamonds have 70 facets and are known for their fire. These cut-cornered stones come in square and rectangular shapes. Aim for a length-to-width ratio of 1:1 for a square and 1.15-1.3 for an elongated one. A depth of 57-69% and a table of 56-68% are ideal for this shape.

Pear brilliant cut diamonds are gaining market share and look stunning in halo engagement rings surrounded by round diamonds. When buying this shape, consider a length-to-width ratio of 1.4-1.5, a table of 51-64%, and a depth of 55-68%.

Asscher cut diamonds are step cuts with open facets. Choose a high clarity grade for these square cut diamonds, and aim for a 60-66% depth and a 59-67% table. Appreciate the open facets as these step cuts differ from brilliant cut stones.

Marquise cut diamonds were popular a few decades ago and may make a comeback in popularity. For this shape, seek a length-to-width ratio of 1.75-2.0, a depth of 56-63%, and a 52-64% table.

Heart cut diamonds are brilliant cut stones cherished by those seeking unique options. Opt for a well-cut stone with a depth of 58-63% and a table of 53-62%. Avoid a length-to-width ratio greater than 1.05.

Best of 4Cs in Each Diamond

Based on our experience, buyers often embrace one of the following four scenarios as they prioritize the 4Cs:

Scenario 1: Individuals in this category seek the highest quality diamond within their budget. These stones are considered investment grade due to their rarity and scarcity. An example could be a 2 carat diamond with D-E color, FL (Flawless) or IF (Internally Flawless) clarity, VVS1 clarity, an ideal/excellent cut, and GIA/AGS grading with no fluorescence.

Scenario 2: Buyers in this group prioritize buying a large diamond without compromising its quality. This is a popular category, as these diamonds are of high quality and have good circulation, enhancing their resale value. A typical example might be a 1.5 carat diamond with G color, VS1/VS2 clarity, excellent with optimal proportions, and minimal to no fluorescence, graded by GIA or AGS.

Scenario 3: Shoppers in this category prioritize size and are willing to make slight concessions in color and clarity for a larger diamond with impressive fire and brilliance. An ideal choice could be a 2 carat diamond with SI1/SI2 clarity (preferably eye-clean), H-J color, an ideal for very good cut, GIA grading, and faint to very strong blue fluorescence.

Scenario 4: Buyers in this group embrace compromise on one of the 4Cs to attain the largest possible diamond within their budget. In this scenario, prioritize clarity and cut over color. For instance, a 3 carat diamond with M color, VVS clarity, medium to strong blue fluorescence, and excellent fire and scintillation could fit this category. Additionally, buyers consider stones graded by IGI or HRD in this category, as these labs are consistent when grading higher color grade diamonds.

By clarifying which category best aligns with your preferences, you can make an informed decision based on your budget.

Diamond Quality Factors

Below, we have highlighted the seven most important factors that influence the price of a diamond.

diamond factors

Factor 1: Carat weight of the diamond

Understanding diamond carat weight is relatively straightforward: heavier diamonds typically command a higher price. However, assuming that a 0.5 carat diamond would be precisely 50% of the cost of a 1 carat diamond (when all other factors remain equal) or that a 1 carat diamond would equate to half the price of a 2-carat diamond is inaccurate. As a diamond's size increases, its rarity increases, leading to a multiplied price range that can exceed 10-fold, depending on the specific stone. In reality, the difference in price between a 0.5 carat and a 1 carat diamond is generally more nuanced. The cost variation could often be approximately three times higher, for example, with a 0.5-carat diamond priced at around $1500 and a 1-carat diamond of the same quality ranging between $4500 and $5000. This example underscores how the relationship between carat weight and price is influenced by multiple factors beyond a simple linear progression.

Factor 2: Diamond Cut

A diamond's cut is pivotal in determining its overall brilliance, fire, and scintillation. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) employs a cut grading system ranging from poor to excellent. Meanwhile, the American Gem Society (AGS) uses a similar system ranging from poor to ideal, particularly for round brilliant cut diamonds. AGS also assigns cut grades for other fancy shapes, whereas GIA does not. Nevertheless, it is possible to evaluate the cut quality of fancy shaped diamonds by carefully considering aspects such as polish, symmetry, depth, table, and width-to-length ratios, among other relevant factors. For instance, our guide on princess cut diamonds offers valuable insights into identifying the ideal proportions specific to that particular shape. This enables you to make informed assessments regarding the cut quality of fancy shaped diamonds.

Factor 3: Diamond Color

For white diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) employs a color grade to assess the presence of any tint or yellow hue within the diamond. A lower degree of visible coloration corresponds to a higher-quality diamond. Diamonds with minimal coloration are classified as colorless, falling within the D to F range, while near colorless diamonds span from G to J. Beyond these categories, there are also diamonds with discernible tints found in various other color ranges.

Factor 4: Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity is assessed on a scale ranging from flawless to I3, reflecting the presence of imperfections or inclusions. Higher clarity grades indicate fewer flaws within the diamond. Typically, diamonds measuring 1 carat or smaller, graded by GIA and falling above SI2, tend to be visually clean to the naked eye. Diamonds graded at VS2 are usually clean when examined under a jeweler's loupe, while VS1 diamonds are also loupe clean. Generally, diamonds in the 1 carat or smaller category, with a clarity grade of SI1 or higher, offer competitive pricing. For diamonds exceeding 1.5 carats, opting for a slightly elevated clarity grade, such as VS2, is advisable to ensure optimal visual appeal.

Factor 5: Diamond Shape

The choice of diamond shape holds paramount importance as it substantially influences the price. Round and oval cut diamonds command higher prices than fancy cut diamonds due to the increased loss of rough diamond material during their intricate shaping process. The larger surface area inherent to round and oval diamonds necessitates the utilization of larger rough stones in contrast to various other shapes. Consequently, this substantial discrepancy in rough material size gives rise to a noteworthy price differential.

Factor 6: Diamond Certification or Report

Given the multitude of diamond grading laboratories, discerning which ones are reliable is paramount. While appraisals serve well for verification, they prove less dependable when it comes to diamond grading. Investing exclusively in diamonds accompanied by grading reports from reputable and authoritative laboratories is advisable. Notably, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) stand out as well-established and trusted options for consideration.

Factor 7: Diamond Fluorescence

Fluorescence in a diamond often goes unnoticed and is commonly disregarded as a factor. However, its significance should not be underestimated, as it plays a pivotal role in determining a diamond's price. Overlooking fluorescence can be a costly oversight. The range of fluorescence typically spans from none to a very strong blue. While the absence of fluorescence is optimal, a faint to medium blue level is generally considered acceptable.

On the other hand, a strong to very strong blue fluorescence could impact the diamond's visual appeal. When purchasing a diamond with fluorescence, it is imperative to ensure the availability of a robust return policy. This precaution becomes particularly important if the fluorescence adversely affects the diamond's appearance.

Budget: Diamond vs. Setting

Designers frequently market their mountings or settings at $5,000 to $7,000, even though their retail value should be around $2,000. An alternative avenue to explore is Whiteflash's designer collection, renowned for its competitive pricing on various designer rings. Another option is opting for a custom-designed ring and/or purchasing a meticulously crafted mounting from one of the best jewelers highlighted in the above section. Mountings offered by these retailers can rival the appeal and quality of any designer collection.

As a pro tip, we recommend that when buying an engagement ring as a discerning buyer, adhere to a budget ratio of 80% to 20%. Allocate 80% of your budget towards acquiring a high-quality diamond while reserving a maximum of 20% for the setting or mounting.

Verragio Designer Rings

Buying Diamonds Locally

Prominent brand names in local malls tend to have elevated prices and only showcase their top-tier products to buyers with a substantial budget. Furthermore, diamonds graded by labs with inconsistent grading reports constitute a majority of their inventory.

While brick-and-mortar stores struggle to match the prices offered by online retailers for fine jewelry and diamonds, some shoppers might still choose this option. Under such scenarios, buyers should conduct thorough research locally and identify a reputable, privately owned local jewelry store for a pleasant shopping experience.

After identifying a trustworthy jeweler to collaborate with, take the time to develop a comprehensive understanding of online diamond prices and how they compare to local options. For valuable insights, refer to our guidelines on recognizing and evading local jewelers' unethical tactics.

Diamond Buying Rule of Thumb

As a rule of thumb, try to answer the following questions before buying a diamond:

  • Is the diamond GIA or AGS graded?
  • Does the diamond have the right proportions?
  • Is it within a competitive price range? Use these diamond prices for reference.
  • Does the diamond company offer a lifetime warranty?
  • Does the retailer provide free repairs and maintenance plans? Small diamonds tend to fall off mountings all the time.
  • Will the vendor offer a reliable diamond upgrade program in the future? Many couples would start with a small diamond and upgrade to a larger stone later.
  • At the very least, does the website accept returns within 30 days, offering a full refund?
  • How convenient is their return policy? Read reviews about their return process to avoid any surprises.
  • Is the company reliable enough to honor and process timely returns? Some vendors might not have the cash reserves to issue a timely refund.
  • Do they offer financing options, and how competitive are their financing terms? Just because they offer a financing plan does not mean one should take the deal. It might be better to open a new credit card with a year of free APR and not take the jeweler’s financing with a highly inflated price.

Final Thoughts

Retailers would naturally prefer buyers who are more interested in the physical appearance of a diamond rather than so much in its quality or price. To avoid purchasing a low-quality diamond that might seem appealing to the naked eye, a buyer needs to be well-informed about the critical quality factors of a diamond and the consistency of the various grading labs that assign quality grades to a given diamond.

As this guide outlines, the best approach is to familiarize yourself with the above seven quality factors and select a diamond that effectively balances these qualities within a specified budget. Ultimately, purchasing diamonds online from one of our top-rated retailers will save you money and ensure long-term support and assurance.