Whether it's a gift to yourself, a friend, relative, or spouse, or the much coveted engagement ring, a diamond ring is a timeless piece of jewelry. Receiving one can send you over the moon. Buying one, however, is another story altogether. Not only because of the variety available, but also because of the amount of time and judgment that goes into buying one. Add the option of buying it online at the click of a button, and you've got yourself in a real dilemma. Let Buzzle guide you on how you can safely take full advantage of buying a diamond ring online.
There have to be some very logical arguments in favor of buying diamonds online. It is, after all, an investment that will make your wallet considerably lighter. So, what are its advantages over going to your trusted and probably really experienced local jeweler?
- Lower Cost: One of the most important advantages is that web-purchased diamond rings are likely to be less expensive than their store-bought counterparts. This is because they have comparatively lower operational costs.
- More Discounts: Buying anything online almost always enables you to avail great discounts by way of coupons, vendor discounts, festive offers, free shipping, etc. Diamond rings are no exception.
- More Variety: Imagine having the best of all worlds at one place. This is what online shopping makes a reality. Because there are inventories of multiple vendors listed on a single website, you have so many styles and designs to choose from. Plus, you can easily customize your search, and you'll get options for only what you're looking for and what's within your budget.
While it is very (very) easy to shop for diamonds online, there will always be some doubts and paranoia that surround the purchase. What if ...
- ... I'm sold a fake ring?
- ... I'm not satisfied with what I buy?
- ... I get a ring that is nothing like what I ordered? Will I get my money back?
♦♦ You study diamonds in detail
It is imperative that you get as much knowledge as you can about diamonds and diamond jewelry. The 4Cs of any diamond: cut, clarity, carat, and color, the different shapes available, the kind of settings that are most favorable for your choice of ring; thoroughly study all of this before you log on to a shopping website. Learning about diamonds and its intricacies will help you analyze your options better and will enable you to make an informed decision.
♦♦ You research the vendor thoroughly
Once you're online, it's very easy to get lost in the world of glitzy, glamorous jewelry. But don't let the shimmer of it all fool you. Once you see something you like and it fits all your personal criteria, begin researching the vendor.
- Does he give exact technical figures of the piece or does he offer just approximations? If it is the latter, it would be ill-advised to purchase from him.
- Study his own website. Does it seem genuine? Does it have customer testimonials?
- If the merchant does not have his own website, look to other sources to verify his credentials.
- Check for customer reviews on the website that you're using to shop.
- Check if he is associated with bodies, like Jewelers Board of Trade, Internet Diamond Exchange, etc. These are reliable organizations in the diamond business, and any genuine diamond vendor will be associated with them.
- Check for references made to the merchant on other websites. Are they positive?
♦♦ The diamond has the requisite grading reports
Once you're convinced of the vendor's credibility, it's time to study the piece you wish to purchase. Diamonds that you buy should have a grading report that has been submitted by any of the following laboratories.
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- American Gem Society (AGS)
- European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
♦♦ The vendor offers a return and/or refund policy
What happens if suppose you open the ring, and you see that it isn't anything like what you saw online? What if it's smaller? What if you ordered white gold, but the piece that arrives is yellow gold? What if, for some reason, you wish to return the ring? Does the vendor offer a return and exchange in case of perhaps a wrong size? Is he willing to give you a full refund in case you are not satisfied with what you receive? If yes, then he can be trusted. If no, then you need to make a judgment call about his credibility and also figure what you'll do in case you're sold a substandard or possibly fake ring.
♦♦ The vendor covers insurance
A genuine diamond vendor will always insure his diamonds. In case of online shopping, this becomes even more important to both parties involved because of the logistics involved. From the time you purchase the ring until it is handed over to you, the vendor is responsible for the piece, and it is in his and your best interests to ensure that nothing goes wrong. And if it does, there should be appropriate indemnity measures in place so that no/minimal loss is suffered by either of you. If the vendor does not insure the piece, ask yourself this: if the vendor does not even wish to insure it, is it really as valuable as he says it is?
In addition to these, you may also want to ensure that the ring you buy has conflict-free diamonds. You can ask the vendor for a written guarantee from the company that has purchased the diamonds. After all these criteria have been met and your precious ring arrives at your doorstep, there is yet another step you need to take to verify the gem's authenticity. Get it appraised by your local jeweler or a renowned appraising house. Once they give it a stamp of approval, you can rest assured that you have made a genuine purchase and finally put it on.