While jewelry should never be purchased strictly as an investment vehicle, the typical engagement ring represents a sizeable capital expenditure and its purchase should be approached with the same due diligence and caution as any other significant investment. With the growing popularity of jewelry crafted from expensive metals such as platinum, even the traditional wedding band now represents a considerable expense.
We've put together this brief buying guide to recommend our favorite online jewelry retailers and to provide you with advice and points to consider as you make your retailer selection and as you select your individual items. This report is truly a living document and we intend to update it as we back hear from you, our readers, concerning your online experiences. So, please write us!
Advantages of Buying Jewelry Online
- Speed - Search, Browse, and Click!
- Convenience - Shop from home
- Selection - No brick and mortar store could possibly offer you the selection available from any of our recommended retailers
- Value - No inventory & less overhead allow online retailers to pass along savings to their customers
- Education - Each of our retailers provides comprehensive consumer education texts
What to Look for When Selecting an Online Store
For high expense items like jewelry, the online store should provide a customer service telephone number where you can speak directly to a representative concerning your order. Also, be sure to note their available business hours.
Read the site's Return Policy carefully. Some sites claim a 30-day return policy, but then attempt to charge a significant "re-stocking" fee on each returned item. Understand their policy and be sure it meets your needs..
Lost/Damaged Shipments Policy
Be sure to deal only with merchants who maintain a satisfactory policy for items lost or damaged in shipment. The store should use insured carriers and insure its shipments, and they should be willing to replace or refund any item lost or damaged in shipment.
Diamond certificates are issued from various labs and represent a type of diamond fingerprint that uniquely identifies your stone. We recommend buying from sites that provide either AGS or GIA (the most widely recognized labs) certificates.
But not every diamond purchased warrants its own individual certificate. Keep in mind that most preset diamonds do not come with AGS or GIA certification. A certificate speaks solely to the individual characteristics of the diamond. It doesn't change the quality of the diamond.
Verify that the merchant only requests your personal information from a secure link. Most web-browsers present a visual cue to indicate that the current page is secured via SSL encryption. Look for a lock on your browser's status bar or refer to your browser manual for further details.