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Swara Segal

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Published on: 07 Mar 2017 by swarasegal

5 Things to Know When Shopping Online for an Engagement Ring

What's not to love about diamond jewelry? It sparkles and shines when it catches sunlight, and remains gorgeous for generations. Also, on the more practical side, precious stones and metals continue to appreciate in value over time, making them fabulous investments as well.

Your engagement ring is probably the most expensive piece of jewelry you will ever own. It, therefore, makes sense that you buy it smart and safe. Your soon-to-be fiancée may have hinted on the kind of ring she wants, and it is now up to you to get it.

The concept of online jewelry shopping has been around for quite some time. But, it did take a while for customers to get used to the idea of buying a sparkler over a computer. However, buying diamond jewelry online comes with several advantages. One is that they turn out little less pricey because the cost of managing a brick-and-mortar jewelry shop or maintaining an inventory of diamonds is not factored into the selling price.

If you are considering purchasing the engagement ring online, here are a few things you must know.

1) Seller's Trust and Reputation Are Important

It is crucial that you buy the ring from a reputed and trustworthy online jeweler. Several reputed retailers, like Tiffany's, with physical stores in several parts of the country/globe have chosen to extend their services online. Checking online stores of established jewelers will help you appreciate the options that are on offer. You can also check the prices and decide on the options that suit you the best. If you find the perfect ring, you can consider buying it online or visiting the nearest physical outlet as well.

In addition to the old and familiar names, numerous jewelers operate primarily through online stores. They either do not have physical stores or have a few of them. Blue Nile, Whiteflash, JamesAllen, Ritani, BlueStone, DiamondWave and Brian Gavin Diamonds are a few of the names that come to mind when shopping for diamonds online.

It is possible to check reviews and user feedbacks on all reputed jewelers. You will also find ongoing conversations about shopping at these sites on several forums and communities like Quora and Reddit. If you cannot manage to catch any online chatter regarding the jeweler, then consider it a red flag. You should ideally shop with a jeweler who is popular and has a wide client base.

2) Know What to Consider

Buying a diamond is not similar to shopping for precious metals like gold. The untrained eye will find it hard to spot the difference between a well-cut diamond and a substandard one, or a high-clarity diamond and a low-clarity variant. In order to make a wise buying decision, it is necessary you shop from an online store that provides a hands-on and resource-rich experience.

Ensure the diamond you buy is certified by a reputed diamond grading lab like Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS) or International Gemological Institute (IGI). The GIA is old and the most reputed, and is a not-for-profit organization. AGS and IGI are reputed for their consistency, integrity, and clarity in certification.

Color, cut, clarity and carat weight are the 4Cs or attributes of a diamond you must know about. Decide on the qualities that are the most important to you and tailor your budget to accommodate your needs.

3) Ask for Grading Report

An independent grading certificate or report, such as one given by GIA is a must whether you buy the diamond in-store or online. The report gives an authentic and unbiased evaluation of the particular diamond on the basis of the 4 Cs. Remember that the value of a diamond is almost entirely dependent on its quality, so a third-party assessment is critical.

Most certificates carry a unique grading report number and it will be possible for you to visit the website of the grading authority and carry out a report check. Some diamonds also have a laser inscription of the certification stamp and a grading report number on them.

The more informed and educated you are about diamond buying, the easier your actual purchase will be. Do not fall for claims like ‘Independent Gemologist Certified' and look for authentic and globally accepted certifications.

4) Use What Technology Has to Offer

Good online stores strive to offer an unparalleled shopping experience to customers. They know that customers miss out on actually holding the diamond in their hands and inspecting its quality. To make up for this, online jewelers post HD-quality photographs of diamonds that are magnified several times.

Real and authentic pictures, and in some cases videos, will help you get a close look at the diamond.

5) Be Sure of the Return Policy

All reputed online jewelers offer a fair and consistent return policy. The no-questions-asked return policy is common on many sites, where you can return the product within a specified time period and get your money back.

Remember to check on the return and cash-refund policies, shipping terms and on whether there will be a valid transit insurance until the product reaches you. Some online sellers also offer buy-back option, should you ever wish to sell your diamond, though you are likely to keep your ring forever. But, if you are buying other baubles like diamond earrings or solitaires, do check on the buy-back policy as well.

Conclusion

A diamond engagement ring is special not only because it holds one of the most precious gems on the planet, but also because of the sentiment of love associated with it. Treasure your ring for its promise of commitment and new beginnings, and make sure you invest enough thought before buying one.

(Image source)

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