- It may sound strange to shop for an engagement ring online, but these days, there are a lot of great options.
- After much research, my fiancé and I bought my engagement ring online.
- Based on my personal experience, I’ve put together a guide to the best places to buy engagement rings online.
- Our top picks include Blue Nile, With Clarity, Mejuri, Vrai, and Ritani.
My fiancé and I bought my engagement ring online, and it was much more efficient and relaxing than visiting a brick-and-mortar store and dealing with pushy jewelers and salespeople. Shopping for a huge investment like this is always going to be stressful, but it’s a little less so when you can wear PJs and Google things you don’t understand at midnight.
According to a 2017 report from The Knot, about one-third of the 14,000 engaged or already married couples surveyed reported shopping for the engagement ring together and 14% of the grooms said they bought the ring online, citing better prices and convenience, among other reasons — my fiancé and I fall into those categories.
We decided to shop for our engagement ring after visiting several jewelry stores in Manhattan’s Diamond District and not feeling totally comfortable with the process. Once you’ve found "a guy" through a friend or family referral, you’d start by telling them your budget and diamond specs you’re looking for (the 4Cs), and then the jeweler will go and source a handful loose stones for you. Once they’re in, you can go into the store and check them out in person. I assume you can do this several times with your jeweler, but we wanted to see more options and didn’t want to feel pressured into buying the first sparkly thing we saw, so we went straight online.
Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely helpful to see diamonds in person but we wanted to make sure we were getting the best one within our given specs and only being able to see three stones just wasn’t enough.
There was so much more inventory at the online shops we looked at, and being able to view stones in magnified zoom without a salesperson hovering over you and encouraging you that it’s a great stone is an immense stress-reliever. That being said, there are a ton of sketchy sites that don’t have in-house photos, magnified zoom, 360-degree views, and more, so it’s not the online shopping experience is a sure bet either. Make sure it’s a reputable site with warranties, GIA certification, and at the very least, a return policy.
After shopping for my ring online and zooming in on stones until my eyes glazed over, you can’t go wrong at any of these five stores. Some have truly unique stones and free returns, while others have at-home try-on programs.
Here are the best engagement rings you can buy online:
- Best engagement rings overall: Blue Nile
- Best for at-home try-on experience: With Clarity
- Best for untraditional styles: Mejuri
- Best for lab-grown diamonds: Vrai
- Best for in-store preview experience: Ritani
The best overall
Blue Nile is one of the largest online retailers for engagement rings and wedding bands, and provides tons of educational resources and 24/7 assistance to help find you the perfect ring.
The search function for loose diamonds and settings are intuitive, and you can use the cursor to create a custom a range of filters. Choose the shape, cut, color, clarity, and carat weight you want, as well as budget, and then go through each result and inspect it until your eyes glaze over.
Images of each diamond are taken in-house with 30 to 50x zoom, and there’s a 360-viewing option. That’s both a blessing and a curse because you’ll see every tiny speck and will obsess over whether it’ll actually show up when you wear the ring in real life. What I’ve learned after making myself cross-eyed is that unless the blemish is black in the zoom view, it most likely won’t be visible to your eyes.
If you’re not convinced though, you’ll also have the stone report from the Gemological Institute of America and access to customer service with a handy 24/7 chat box. My fiancé and I used this religiously when looking at stones and settings, and when the customer service rep couldn’t answer a question, they would reach out to the in-house jeweler or gemologist.
But regardless of how confident you are that you chose the absolute best ring and how excited you might be after going through checkout, an engagement ring is still an investment. Blue Nile has your wallet covered with a 30-day free return policy in case the ring isn’t what you or your partner expect. It makes the online experience a little less stressful honestly, because you know that you’re not wasting a mortgage on something you haven’t even seen in real life.
The company, unfortunately, doesn’t have a showroom in which you can view the specific stones you want to purchase, so until you see the final ring on your hands, you don’t know what it’ll really look like.
Pros: Large selection of stones and settings, knowledgeable 24/7 customer service, 30 to 50x zoom view, 360-degree view, free shipping and returns, lifetime warranty, financing options, diamond upgrade, free ring resizing within 30 days
Cons: No physical showroom to view your specific stone, process can seem impersonal
The best for at-home try on
With Clarity gives you the opportunity to wear a replica of the ring you want for a few days before you commit.
After you create a ring from the large inventory of loose stones and settings, With Clarity will send you up to two replica rings to wear around for three days. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the rings, return the fake ones and get the real deal. You can contact customer service if you need a few extra days, otherwise, you’ll be charged $100 per unreturned ring.
This is a great try-on experience that I haven’t seen with other online shops and one that indecisive people like myself can definitely appreciate.
Founder and CMO Slisha Kankariya tells me that the stone and metal used in the replica ring mimic all the properties of the real stuff, and when I wore one for a few weeks in place of my real one, it truly didn’t look any different. The brilliance of the stones and shine of the metal could’ve passed for the real deal, and if I didn’t tell my fiancé, he seriously wouldn’t have realized any difference.
With Clarity has a smaller selection of stones and settings than Blue Nile, but I find them to be more curated, so it’s a good option for people who get overwhelmed by too many choices too. The settings, in particular, are really unique. There are the traditional plain and pavé bands, and halo settings, but there are also ones with halos on the accent stones or ones that twist and have an underhalo.
As for the stone-shopping experience, With Clarity’s search function is easy to use and has a 30x to 50x zoomed-in view.
Pros: Authentic at-home try-on experience, curated selection of stones and settings, free shipping and returns, lifetime warranty, financing options
Cons: Selection might be limiting for people who want all the options
The best for untraditional styles
For unique rings that don’t look like engagement rings at all, Mejuri is a great spot for the alternative couple.
If you’re looking for a really modern, unique ring that doesn’t look like an engagement ring at all, check out Mejuri.
There are 14 ring styles, but they’re all variations of the same overall design with different stones and metals. There are no solitaires or halos, but instead a hybrid design with a large center stone (a peach-colored morganite or a blue sapphire, and in yellow or white gold) and a cluster of small diamonds around it, and one style that’s just a cluster of small diamonds also available in yellow or white gold.
Shopping at Mejuri for an engagement ring feels more like your usual online shopping experience for clothing or shoes than one specifically for an engagement ring. You don’t need to choose your center stone, and there’s no zoomed-in view, 360-degree viewing, or lifetime warranty. That might be great for a chill couple who doesn’t want all the fuss and stress that comes with shopping for a big purchase.
And speaking of purchases, Mejuri’s prices are really reasonable for something you’d plan on wearing forever. Prices start at $650 and max out at $2,000, and since there’s no customization aspect where you can select your center stone, there are no surprises at checkout either.
Pros: Inexpensive for such a big purchase, curated selection is less overwhelming, modern styles for untraditional brides, inexpensive base prices, free expedited shipping and returns, 2-year warranty
Cons: Ultra-curated styles can feel limited to some, no lifetime warranty, no physical store to preview rings
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