Years ago, the thought of buying an engagement ring online seemed far-fetched. After all, it’s not everyday you get engaged, and diamonds are an investment. Yet nowadays, you can buy just about anything online with the simple click of a button — and engagement rings are no exception. But is shopping online a smart way to make such an important purchase?
While there’s no denying that online shopping has its conveniences, buying an engagement ring without seeing it in person comes with substantial risks. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of buying an engagement ring online vs. in-store.
Buying an engagement ring in-store
People have been buying engagement rings in-person for centuries. There’s nothing quite like finding the perfect diamond and seeing it sparkle right before your eyes. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of shopping in-store:
- Seeing a ring in person is invaluable. The information you get online about a diamond’s cut, color, carat, and clarity can only tell you so much, and pictures don’t give you the full story either. Being able to pick up a ring, hold it up to the light, and examine it at different angles is the only way to truly experience it (and decide if you really like it). At Malka Diamonds, we’ll present you with multiple diamonds to look at, so you can see how exactly it compares to similar stones.
- You can try it on. Ring sizing can vary from jeweler to jeweler, and different ring styles, band sizes, and cuts are suited to different fingers and hands. In some cases, rings can be resized, but not all styles and materials lend themselves to this option. That’s why it’s always a good idea to try a ring on before you buy it.
- You’ll get expert advice. Diamonds are complex, and it takes an expert to truly evaluate the quality and clarity of a diamond. While it is, of course, your opinion of the ring that ultimately matters, it’s certainly helpful to have an expert jeweler/gemologist working alongside you to examine each diamond and find the right one for you and your future spouse.
- You sometimes pay more. Because brick-and-mortar jewelers generally have more overhead costs, you sometimes pay slightly higher prices in-store (though that’s not the case at Malka Diamonds). That being said, shopping in person also comes with additional benefits, including perks like free cleanings and ongoing maintenance, which can save you a lot of money over time. While you may save a bit right now by purchasing online, the long-term savings (and peace of mind) are much better when you shop in-person from a local jeweler you trust.
Did you know: Malka Diamonds was named one of the coolest jewelry stores in America! Learn more about what to expect from an in-store shopping experience at our Portland store.
While most rings are still sold in brick-and-mortar stores, online purchases have become more common in recent years. Here are some of the pros and cons of shopping online for an engagement ring:
- You have a lot of options. While most local, boutique jewelers have extensive inventory and can show you rings to fit just about any taste and budget, it’s hard to compete with the vastness of the internet. That being said, having too many options can quickly become overwhelming, especially given that it’s difficult to assess quality online. When you shop at Malka Diamonds’ online store, you can trust that you’re looking at real live rings that are currently available in our shop — no photoshop work! Plus, we offer a diverse selection of vintage, custom, alternative, and designer rings!
- Reputable online stores will have good return policies. You’re much more likely to return a ring you bought online than one you bought in-store. Most local jewelers have accommodating return policies and will work hard to ensure you’re satisfied with your final purchase. Any good online retailer should offer an even more generous return policy, since you’re buying a pricey item without seeing it in person. Make sure to check the warranty policy, too. Most national and chain online stores only offer a 3-month warranty. At Malka Diamonds, we’ll ask to see your ring every 6-12 months and take care of any issues from there.
- You might be disappointed. It’s very difficult to evaluate the quality of a diamond online, even for an expert. While a good retailer will provide detailed information about each ring they offer, the truth is that specifications and grading can only tell you so much. Without seeing the diamond in person, you can’t really experience it, and you may find yourself disappointed upon receiving a diamond that seemed good on paper.
- It may not fit. Ring sizing is not universally consistent. You may be a size 6 at one jeweler and a size 6.5 or 7 at another. Band thickness can also affect how well a ring slides on and off your finger and impact what size you need. When you buy online, you simply have to guess. Some rings can be resized, but not all, so it’s especially important to check the store’s return and exchange policies when ordering online.
How to shop safely online
If shopping online is a better fit for you and your partner, there are safe and successful ways to do it. You just need to know how. Here are our best tips:
- Avoid national or chain jewelers
- Choose a local, boutique jewelry store with online shopping options
- Read the website thoroughly to get a feel for who you’ll be working with, how the process works, their warranty, and return policy
- Even if you plan on purchasing the ring online, the jeweler should offer a phone or virtual consultation to help guide you through the process of finding the right ring
Did you know: Malka Diamonds offers safe online purchasing!
Browse our collection of one-of-a-kind alternative and vintage rings from the comfort of your home — limited selections available! Contact us to schedule a virtual appointment. We’re happy to help you choose the perfect ring — in store or from our online selection.
Shop for the perfect ring at Portland’s finest boutique jeweler
At Malka Diamonds, your happiness is our mission. Our team of expert jewelers and GIA-certified gemologists is dedicated to helping you find or design the perfect jewelry to symbolize your love and commitment to one another.
Our exquisite inventory, genuine passion for what we do, and personalized, no-pressure approach allow you to truly enjoy your shopping experience from start to finish.