By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Much like every other aspect in life, buying engagement or weddings rings online has become increasingly popular. With a variety of specialized jewelers being online, many couples are purchasing rings from online sources.
Couples may choose an online experience because the designer they adore is only available online, the jeweler is at too far away, there’s a large selection of rings at competitive prices, there’s less pressure to decide right away, or simply for the convenience of shopping at home.
Look for reviews of the company or companies you’re considering on social media, review sites including the company’s own website — or even better, a recommendation from someone you know. You can ask a company to send you personal reviews from past clients that they have received.
Examine the Site
A site can tell you a lot about the quality of their jewelry. If they have invested in the design of the site and the user experience, you will likely have the same result with the company and its products. The site should be aesthetically pleasing. There should be no spelling or grammar errors in the copy. All pages should be easy to navigate and user-friendly. Contact information should be readily available. Tons of ads and too-good-to-be-true deals are a red flag.
Yes, it’s online, so no, this doesn’t necessarily equate to meeting in person — but you should be able to communicate with a human in some way. An email address directly to the designer or customer support should be available. There should be a number that you can call to speak with a live person, or even better, they could meet you via a Zoom call or video meeting. When you have questions, which you should, you need to be able to directly receive answers from a human and in a timely manner.
Just because it’s not in person doesn’t mean you should lower your standards for customer service. Take note of how readily contact information is available and the manner in which they respond. You should never feel like you are asking too many questions, whether it’s by email or phone. If the vibe is off when you speak to someone, maybe this isn’t the company for you. You want a company that will take your investment seriously.
In many cases, jewelers have mockups of rings or past styles to view online. There are even virtual ring builders that allow you a glimpse of what the ring could look like. Ask to see photos and even videos of their rings in similar styles to what you want. Remember, if you go with a custom ring, most companies will not allow you to return or exchange it. If designing isn’t your style, most jewelers have pre-made rings available for purchase, you’ll just need to know your size.
It’s wise to have an idea of what size ring you or your significant other wears beforehand. Couples may want the engagement ring to be a surprise. Some ways of achieving this is borrowing one of their rings and taking it to a jeweler; enlist a family member or friend to ask their ring size and buy one as a gift for an occasion; or get them and their friends to try on rings for fun. Many couples nowadays are having the conversations about marriage beforehand. You can ask your future fiancé their ring size without revealing when and how you will propose. If they don’t know, go to a jewelry store together and both have your fingers sized. It’s important to be as close to your size as possible when ordering because many companies charge for a resize. Also, no one wants to part with their ring right after receiving it if they don’t have to.
Know Your Diamonds
Any diamond should come with an independent lab certificate confirming the quality. When seeking diamonds, you should look for a GIA or AGS certified diamond. Diamonds that are one carat or larger should be accompanied by a grading report issued by a gemological association, such as GIA or the American Gem Society. The four C’s — cut, color, clarity and carat — are what you should look for in a diamond.
Pricing and Budget
Some designers list their prices online, but many don’t because they often come with the option of customization. When talking with a designer, you should let them know the budget you want to maintain. When the designer knows your budget, they can point you towards materials and designs that fit within your financial needs. If you are considering multiple online jewelers, it’s wise to do a price comparison for similar styled rings. You can also do a price comparison with an in-person jeweler. Remember that the quality, materials and craftsmanship all compose the price of a ring.
Read the Fine Print
It’s pertinent that you read the terms and conditions or ask questions. You’ll want to know what their policy is for damages? How do you send back the ring if there are issues? What all is included in the price? Is there a warranty, and if so for how long? Special care instructions? Is insurance included? Do they do resizes and repairs? What happens if the ring is lost or stolen? How long will it take from order time to arrival?
Shipping and Handling
Most ring purchases are large sums, so shipping costs may be waived. It is key that you are able to sign for the ring and that insurance is included. If someone is unable to sign for the package, it should be sent to a USPS, UPS or FedEx location where you can go to pick it up. It is essential that under no circumstances is the package left at your door. You should ensure that the company packages the ring s