Best Place to Buy Engagement Rings

Deciding it is time to turn your special someone into your forever partner might be a difficult decision. Once that choice is made, finding a ring might even be harder! There are so many options for where to purchase a ring, but deciding on the best place to buy engagement rings can be a challenge. Here we will dive into five of the top places to buy engagement rings online.
 JAMES ALLENBLUE NILEWHITEFLASHRITANIBRIAN GAVIN
Overal Rank#1#2#3#4#5
Pricing★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Selection★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★1/2★★★★
Quality★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Customer Service★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Below is a breakdown on how we are deciding our Star Ratings:

  • Price: We aren’t looking just at a price comparison for similar diamonds and rings, but also at what kind of range they have. Do they have some budget options, do they have some middle of the road, or only higher price points?
  • Selection: How many diamonds do they have? How many settings do they carry? Some stores do preset options, while others don’t. What is this selection like?
  • Customer Service: Here we are looking to see what their warranty covers and for how long. How do they handle repairs, resizing and shipping?
  • Quality of Jewelry: As we haven’t physically seen items from all these stores, we are basing this on quality of imagery. Do they provide real images or videos? How are their on body renderings

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# 1 James Allen

Pricing: ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★★

Quality: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★★

  • Large selection of settings and diamonds
  • 360 view/20x magnification on diamonds
  • Lifetime warranty which includes prong work, polishing, rhodium plating and cleaning
  • 60 days for free resizing
  • Slightly low number of preset options
  • Only halo style for presets

James Allen is at the top of the list for the best place to buy engagement rings online. The best way to purchase a ring from them is by designing your own with their options presented. First, you can start with a setting. They showcase over 550 engagement ring settings on their site, which is one of the highest options you can find compared to other sites. You can view them by center diamond shape, setting style, shipping date, metal and pricing. They have all the usual suspects for shape and 9 different categories for style. They have channel set and tension as categories, which other sites don’t breakout. Currently their ship dates range from 6 days to 10 days from date of purchase. They have settings ranging from $180-$8,310, in 14K and 18K yellow and white gold, as well as platinum and rose gold.

One of their setting styles is a Designer section. It’s nice to see brands partnering with other designers, for it allows for a wider selection for their clientele. James Allen is currently partnering with Verragio, Danhov, Jeff Cooper and Martin Flyer. Once you have chosen a setting, you then can move onto a diamond or gemstone. James Allen will provide suggestions for you, or you can browse through their selection of approximately 130K diamonds. These stones are certified by GIA, AGSL, or IGI. If you don’t feel like designing your own ring, James Allen offers around 30 options for preset diamond rings. This is middle of the pack in terms of the number offered, but they really only offer 1 style, the halo. This is kind of surprising seeing as they offer 9 other styles in their design your own.    James Allen provides a lifetime warranty which includes free prong tightening, polishing, rhodium plating as well as cleaning. They allow 60 days for a free resize (only one resize) as well as a lifetime upgrade policy. They also offer free engraving, if your selected ring is compatible. This is one of the best warranties we’ve seen. Overall, James Allen proves to be one of the best options out there for engagement rings. Their accurate videos and imagery for both settings and diamonds is a huge plus. Seeing the exact stone you are potentially purchasing accounts for a slightly higher pricing, though they are still middle of the road. We wish they had more preset options, which is why they lose 1 star.

 

# 2 Blue Nile

Pricing: ★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★

Quality: ★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★

  • Huge selection of diamonds
  • Competitive pricing
  • Price match guarantee
  • 30 day return policy
  • 1 year resizing policy
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Low number of setting options
  • Body renderings for settings instead of real images
  • Mostly uses sample images for diamonds
  • Only goes to J color
  • Warranty does not cover rhodium plating nor prong work

Blue Nile is likely the most known online jeweler, not only on this list, but out of all sites. Like most of the online sites, here you are able to create your own engagement ring. They have around 300 setting options that range from $200-$6990. This is one of the lowest options out there for setting styles, but they make up for it with their diamonds. They have one of the most vast collections of diamonds, with around 190K. Their setting options are grouped into 6 different categories, with 4 designer options. One of their options is a Sapphire Sidestone category, which is a unique category that not all sites carry. Most of the settings come with 360 views, but with only on body renderings not real images. Their diamonds are certified GIA or AGSL. While they have one of the largest collections of diamonds, most of these diamonds only come with sample images. This can propose a challenge for people buying online, people who want to see an actual diamond before creating a full ring. Where Blue Nile makes up for this, is their cost. They have some of the most competitive diamond prices, as well as a Price Match Guarantee. One negative to their diamond selection though, is that they only go down to a J color. This could price out some customers, who could use a higher color stone to help with their budget.

Blue Nile carries around 50 preset options, a decent amount. They have a nice variety of styles, such as halos, solitaires, sidestones and three ring. They have a 30 day return policy as well as free shipping on all orders. The Lifetime manufacturer warranty includes free ring cleaning and inspections (though you pay for the shipping there). They do not cover re-rhodium plating nor rebuilding of prongs, which others do cover. Blue Nile also is able to provide a ring sizing tool, free of charge, as well as free ring sizing for a year. They do not mention how many you can get in that year, though. Blue Nile has a fair amount of pros as well as some cons. Their selection of settings is quite low, but their diamonds and presets do make up for this. Customer service has their positives, especially with the ring sizing tool and 1 year option, though their lack of rhodium and rebuilding of prongs decreases them a star. Their biggest downfall is the quantity of real imagery. Though they provide videos for their settings, their on hand renderings and lack of real diamond images really hurts their score.  

 

 

# 3 Whiteflash

Pricing: ★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★

Quality: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

  • Real diamond imagery
  • 8 Designer Partners
  • High cut grades
  • Light imaging
  • Retailer brick and mortar store
  • 30 day return policy
  • Lower quantity of setting and diamond selection
  • No Preset Rings
  • Slightly higher pricing due to higher cut grades
  • Setting imagery isn’t real

Whiteflash is known for their high quality cut of diamonds, but let’s see how their settings help with the overall package. They showcase around 475 styles from $440-$7890. This is low to middle of the road, again with a somewhat higher lower end price. They only have 4 categories, solitaire, halo, pave and three stone, but make up for this with 8 designers. These designers provide a much needed variety in terms of design of the settings. They also make up for their lack of selection by including some Palladium options in their settings. One negative to their settings is the lack of real imagery. Whiteflash provides videos and on hand images, but both seem to be superimposed, created videos, rather than showcasing the actual setting.

Whiteflash carries a small number of diamonds compared to the other sites, at around 39K. The reason for this could be that they carry mostly in house diamonds (as opposed to most sites that list diamonds that are not in their facility) as well as their strict guidelines for cut. Whiteflash carries GIA and AGS stones, both mostly only Ideal or Super Ideal cut diamonds. They are known for their A Cut Above diamonds which are Super Ideal and Hearts and Arrows. These diamonds must have perfect proportions and pass light performance image testing. Whiteflash provides these images for most diamonds, as well as videos of the actual diamond. They also carry the lowest color and clarity compared to other sites, going to Z color and I3 clarity.   They have a 30 day return policy as well as free shipping on all purchases. Their 1 year warranty does not include shipping to them, but they do ship back to you for free. Their warranty covers refinishing and repair of normal wear, as well as 1 free resize.   Whiteflash’s lower selection of settings and diamonds is made up for by their quality of diamond options. These top notch, high cut diamonds can be worth the price to some customers, but others may not care as much. Though their diamonds have real images as well as extra light images, we do wish their settings had more real life images.  

 

 

 

# 4 Ritani

Pricing: ★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★1/2

Quality: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

  • Real diamond imagery
  • Similar Diamond Section
  • Vast Preset Selection
  • Retailer brick and mortar partners
  • 30 day return policy
  • Poor image quality
  • Slightly less budget friendly options for diamonds and settings

Ritani has one of the highest selections of settings out there, with over 600 options available on their site. These are organized into 8 different categories, one of which is a Bridal Set. This selection isn’t available on all sites, a nice added touch. Their settings range from $440-$8220, which is one of the higher lower ends out there. They could be losing some customers who would prefer to be in the $200s or $300s for a setting. While they have 360 views and on real hand images for their settings, the rings seem to be highly photoshopped. It is hard to tell if the rings are real or not. Similar to the setting images, Ritani’s approximately 62K diamonds seem to have real imagery, but unfortunately, they are not all top quality images. Some of the zoom features are blurry or pixilated, but at least they are not stock images. Ritani uses AGS and GIA certificates for all their diamonds. They are willing to a bit lower than Blue Nile in color, going down to an L.  Once you are ready to choose a diamond, Ritani has an excellent Similar Diamond layout. While many sites have this, Ritani breaks it down into more categories and in simpler layman terms such as, More Sparkle and Fewer Flaws. This is a great way to compare and see other options that might look good in your setting. One of their best features is their selection of preset rings. They have over 132 styles, which encompasses halos, solitaires, three stones, and some fancier masterwork selections. Almost all shapes of diamonds are offered, something that most sites do not carry.

Similarly to other sites, they have a 30 day return policy, but they also schedule a free FedEx pick up, which is a bonus touch. They don’t mention anything about free prong work and rhodium work, but they do offer free cleaning for a lifetime. Ritani is also unique in that they have retail partners around the country. These partners can help size you, clean and repair items for you, as well as allows you to preview a custom ring close by to your home. If you don’t like the custom ring, there is a simple, free walk away policy. Ritani’s lower selection of diamonds leads them to having less budget options compared to some of the larger online jewelry stores. Their diamond pricing isn’t necessarily higher, but their lack of options allows for customers to find cheaper items on other sites. The selection score is kept high with their number of settings as well as presets. While their imagery isn’t the best out there, at least they have real images for everything which allows them 4 stars in quality. Their partnerships with retailers helps with their customer service score, as this allows customers to talk to someone in person for help and guidance.  

 

 

# 5 Brian Gavin

Pricing: ★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Selection: ★★★★

Quality: ★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

  • Designer Partners
  • Metal Types
  • Top Cut Grades
  • Lower quantity of setting and diamond selection
  • No videos or on hand images for settings
  • Very Few Presets
  • Price point
  • Only a 15 day return policy
  • Limited Shipping policy

Brian Gavin is very similar to Whiteflash (they have the same co-founder) in that they are known for their high quality diamonds. Again, we’d like to see if their settings are as top of the line. Brian Gavin offers a middle of the road quantity of settings, at 490 from $325-$5740. Here, they are possibly losing out on some customers with their lower high end price points. They have 4 categories to choose from solitaire, pave, three stone and halo as well as 6 designers to choose from. Similar to Whiteflash, they have palladium rings, but they also showcase Damascus Steel, Gibeon and Mokume Gane. These extra metal types as well as designers help to make up for their lack of setting selection. Their settings don’t have any videos nor on hand images, which can make the choice a harder one.

 

The site showcases 36K diamonds that are certified by AGS and GIA. These diamonds are all of top quality for cut, showcasing Ideal and Hearts and Arrows diamonds. This is great for people looking for the top of the top in terms of cut, but could also price out some that aren’t. If price is a factor, Brian Gavin does have their Blue Diamond selection. Here you find diamonds that all have fluorescence, which helps with the price. People are often scared of fluorescence, which in truth, it is good to be cautious of it. What sets these stones apart is that Brian Gavin gives a guarantee that they have been carefully inspected and that the fluorescence does not have a negative impact on the look of the stone. All of these diamonds come with real life imagery and some videos as well as some with extra light images. Their selection of preset diamond rings is very low, at around 10, but they are of varying designs. They have solitaires, sidestones and halo settings for you to choose from. Brian Gavin’s warranty isn’t the best out there, with only a 15 day return policy. They also only ship as a Hold For Pickup at a Fedex location, meaning nothing will be shipped to your house. Their resizing policy only extends to one size up or down, if it is more than that, the customer has to pay. Finally, their lifetime warranty only extends to manufacturing defects. While Brian Gavin has a some of the top cut stones out there, their selection of settings and diamonds is lacking. Their Blue Diamond options and varying metals help both their selection and pricing, though again these high cut grades might price out some customers. The warranty offered by Brian Gavin’s is one of the worst, giving them the lowest star rating out of any category we’ve discussed.  

 

PHD Conclusion

When starting your hunt for the perfect engagement ring, finding the best engagement ring stores can be a challenge. There are many options out there, and some of them seem so identical. Breaking it down into categories such as pricing, selection, customer service and quality of jewelry can be a good way to see what store fits your needs best.