Best Online Engagement Rings: Ritani vs Blue Nile vs James Allen vs Jared vs Kay vs Zales & More

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Jewelry stores can be overpriced, and going into one can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. That’s why buying an engagement ring online may be the best solution. Diamonds are meant to be forever, and you want that ring to be perfect for your loved one. So, let’s get started on your ring search as we review 16 online engagement ring providers.

Article Overview

Should I Buy An Engagement Ring Online?

Buying an engagement ring online may sound scary. How do you know if the diamond is good, and what about seeing its size in person? Don’t let questions like this deter you from purchasing your ring online. Compared to bricks and mortar jewelry stores, buying an engagement ring online can be as low as half the cost.

Are you more of a tactile learner? No worries. Before purchasing an engagement ring online, we suggest going into an actual store and getting a feel for the rings. See them in person and hold some in your hand.

When you go into a jewelry store, no law states you have to buy something, especially at the high price associated with diamond rings. Figure out what color, clarity, cut, and carat weight you want. Did we lose you there? Don’t worry, we discuss the 4 C’s in our engagement rings 101 article.

What Are Diamond Certifications?

Diamonds are sometimes graded by different laboratories. This helps identify a diamond’s quality and value and helps standardize them. Below are some well-known diamond grading laboratories that we mention in this article.

Best Online Engagement Ring Websites

We chose our top three based on products offered, availability to view/visually inspect the rings and diamonds via photos, customization, inventory size, and customer service reputation. We feel that an online store should have a much larger offering than a physical store since they don’t have to pay for the storefront, and there are no limitations to storage space.

James Allen Review

#1

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James Allen is in a league of its own. They have been in the online ring market for many years and offer a robust service and interface. You have access to 360° views of each diamond and band, which is especially significant if you design your own ring. Their customer service reputation is outstanding, and they have a vast selection to choose from.

To top it off, they ship the ring in beautiful packaging, which may not be a big deal to some, but if you’re spending thousands of dollars, it should come in more than a cardboard box and packing peanuts. James Allen sets a high bar for success in this category.

Every diamond is certified by either GIA, AGS, or IGI. If you are looking for a more ethical option, they also offer lab-created diamonds (learn more about lab-created diamonds).

Lastly, James Allen has a selection of nearly perfect diamonds called TrueHearts, which are available on its website. These diamonds have perfect internal symmetry and proportions and the highest gem grading for cut and polish.

Author’s Experience

Fun fact, my husband purchased my engagement ring from James Allen after reading this article. We also bought our wedding bands from here. Each step of the way was smooth, and their customer service was very helpful.

We have also recommended them to friends because of our experience. All of our friends have been pleased. This personal experience helped reassure us that James Allen deserved the top spot again this year. – Kimberly A., Exploring Life’s Mysteries

Pros

Cons

  • Real pictures of each diamond allow you a 360-degree view of the diamond and magnified 20x
  • Less expensive than a brick and mortar jeweler
  • Narrow diamonds down by setting specifications
  • Excellent Design Your Own feature
  • Live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support
  • Free shipping
  • Fantastic customer service that is non-commissioned, so they do not practice aggressive sales tactics
  • 30-day returns
  • One complimentary ring sizing within 60 days
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Stunning shipping packaging
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Huge inventory, more than 200,000 loose diamonds to choose from
  • Lab-created diamonds offer an ethical, high-quality option
  • TrueHearts diamonds are “nearly perfect”
  • Price Match Guarantee
  • Resizing and cleaning can take 2-3 weeks

Coupon

James Allen is having a MLK Day sale with 25% off sitewide (some exclusions apply). Click here to take advantage of this offer (no promo code needed).

Read Our In-Depth Review Of James Allen

Whiteflash Review

#2

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Whiteflash takes our number two spot because of their outstanding service and the number of diamonds available. They offer service plans on all their rings, and have professional photographers to take photos of each diamond. After the 30-day money-back guarantee window, they offer a lifetime 100% trade-up guarantee.

Most of their diamonds are certified by AGS Laboratories. Whiteflash also offers a large selection of designer rings from Tacori, Verragio, Simon G, and others.

Pros

Cons

  • Real pictures and videos of each diamond
  • Live chat, email, phone, and FAQs
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free shipping
  • 1-year service plan
  • 1-year buy-back guarantee
  • 100% Lifetime Trade-Up Guarantee
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Certified ISO 9000 Quality Control System
  • Large selection of “Ideal” diamonds
  • Exclusive provider of A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideal Diamonds
  • Majority of their inventory is round-cut diamonds

Coupon

Whiteflash occasionally has seasonal coupons, you can visit our dedicated Whiteflash coupon page to see and discuss current offers.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Whiteflash

Brilliant Earth Review

#3

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There are lots of rave reviews of Brilliant Earth. They have great customer service, and their rings are gorgeous. Of course, there is a review here and there with an unpleasant experience, but overall they are very well-liked.

Unfortunately, if you have already purchased the gemstone elsewhere and are only looking for a setting, they will not sell to you. You must buy a center stone with every setting.

If you happen to live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, or Denver, you are in luck as Brilliant Earth has showrooms in these cities so you can check out their inventory in person.

Pros

Cons

  • Live chat, email, FAQs, and phone support
  • Free 30-day returns
  • Free shipping
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Uses recycled precious metals in all jewelry
  • Free lifetime diamond upgrade
  • 7 showrooms across the U.S.
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Won’t sell settings without a center stone, so you will have to buy your diamond here if you prefer Brilliant Earth’s settings

Coupon

Brilliant Earth occasionally has seasonal coupons, you can visit our dedicated Brilliant Earth coupon page to see and discuss current offers.

Comparison Tables

Below are two tables comparing similar solitaire ring settings and round cut diamonds from the 10 engagement ring sites. Note that to be included in this table, companies must sell both individual diamonds and ring settings.

Also note that some websites did not have the specifics we were looking for, so we supplemented the closest option we could find.

Ring Settings Compared

 Blue NileBrilliant EarthDiamonds-USAGemvaraJames AllenJaredJewlrRaymond LeeRitaniWhiteflash
Ring NameSix-Prong Low Dome Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring2mm Comfort Fit RingClassic Solitaire Engagement Ring SettingsSimply Round Solitaire14K White Gold 2mm Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement RingSolitaire Ring Setting 14K White GoldClassic Solitaire Engagement Ring14k White Gold 4 Prong Solitaire 1.5dwt Engagement Ring MountingSolitaire Diamond Cathedral Tulip Engagement Ring14k White Gold Classic 4 Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Price$450$590$296$536$375$399.99$299$695$540$350
Metal Type14K White Gold18K White Gold14K White Gold-Rhodium Dipped14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold
Band Width2mm2mm1.5-2.5mm2mm2mm2.5mm1.7-2.5mm1.48mm2mm2.3mm
SKU60539BE101-18KW325475GVA-ENG-3103R-1P017043W14R555063700JLUX07-R3R1100OME1RZ72321022

Diamonds Compared

 Blue NileBrilliant EarthDiamonds-USAGemvaraJames AllenJaredJewlrRitaniWhiteflash
Price$2,520-$4,002$3,000-$3,490$3,338-$3,671$3,513$2,030-$3,860$2,610-$4,290$3,900$2,026-$3,887$3,098-$3,414
CutGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGood
ColorJJJJJJHJJ
Carat1.01.01.01.11.01.01.01.00.9
ClaritySI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2

13 More Engagement Ring Websites (Alphabetical)

Below are the websites that didn’t make our top three. Some are still great places to purchase engagement rings, while others we wouldn’t recommend due to price, inventory, or some other reason specified. Be sure to read all the reviews to see which one fits your needs best.

Blue NileDiamonds-USA | Gemvara | Jared | JewlrKay Jewelers | Kevin Jewelers | Raymond LeeReeds Jewelers | Ritani | SuperJeweler | Welry | Zales

Blue Nile Review

Blue Nile logoVisit Website

Blue Nile is one of the largest online jewelers. They have countless rings and GIA-graded diamonds available, but there are some things we think they could improve upon.

Blue Nile claims lower markup prices — up to 20% to 40% less than traditional jewelers, similar to other online jewelers in our top three. They want you to purchase your ring in the right size the first time, so they’ll send you a free ring sizer in the mail — although if you want the engagement to be a surprise, it may be difficult to sneak this on to your fiance-to-be’s ring finger.

The downside is that only a portion of its diamonds have custom photos, the rest have stock photos. So, you may purchase a gemstone with an imperfection or make unnecessary upgrades since it’s hard to know what you are getting without seeing it first.

One thing we like about Blue Nile is that it listens to its customers. There were previous complaints about the standard packaging, but Blue Nile has upped its game and ships its jewelry in better packaging now.

Pros

Cons

  • Live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee
  • Free gift packaging
  • More unique gemstone shapes than competitors
  • Free shipping
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Outsources gemstone setting to contractor
  • Majority of their diamonds are round

Diamonds-USA Review

Diamonds-USA logo

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Diamonds-USA offers loose diamonds for you to create your own engagement ring. Its pricing is comparable to our top picks, and it offers a lifetime upgrade plan.

However, it doesn’t have as many loose diamonds as competitors, and it can be confusing to design your own ring. Additionally, you must email the company for actual photos of the diamonds. Other companies offer the photos without any additional work.

One cool feature is that you can send a photo of a ring you want to be made, and Diamonds-USA will make it at no extra charge.

Overall, Diamonds-USA comes off a little less professional with its website’s appearance. There are misspellings across the site, inconsistent capitalization, and unequal spacing.

Pros

Cons

  • Live chat, email, FAQs, and phone support
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Free shipping
  • Only a 10-day return policy
  • Lifetime warranty for clarity enhanced diamonds only
  • Confusing to design your own ring
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Must email for the actual photo

Gemvara Review

Gemvara logo

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Gemvara lets you design your ring differently from other online engagement ring sellers:

  1. You choose the ring you like.
  2. You choose the diamond(s) you want to be included in the ring.
  3. You select the metal you’d like.

It’s the same type of choices, just in a different order. All diamonds are either GIA or AGS graded. You don’t have the same number of options as our top three picks, which kept them out of the top three.

Pros

Cons

  • Email, phone, and FAQs support
  • 101-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy
  • Free shipping
  • One free resizing within 101 days
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Only a 1-year warranty
  • Smaller inventory of diamonds

Jared Review

Jared logoVisit Website

Online reviews and consumers alike say that Jared has crazy high markups. Some of their diamonds and rings are reported to be nearly double the price of competitors.

All diamonds are GIA or GSI certified, however, you’re better off going to James Allen or Whiteflash where you’ll find diamonds at a much lesser cost.

Pros

Cons

  • Live chat, phone, FAQs, and email support
  • 30-day returns
  • Bricks and mortar stores
  • 360° view of rings
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Helpful Design-A-Ring feature
  • Some terrible customer service reviews online
  • Significantly higher prices than competitors
  • Shipping to your home is not free
  • Not BBB accredited

Jewlr Review

Jewlr logo

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Jewlr’s website isn’t as fancy as some of its competitors, but it gets the job done. There just aren’t as many customization options for pairing your diamond with the setting you prefer.

If seeing a photo of the diamond you select is a must, you’ll want to go with another company. However, if you trust the 4C details it lists, you can get a diamond you’ll be happy with. All diamonds are certified by the GIA or IGI.

Pros

Cons

  • Lower prices
  • 1-year warranty
  • Free resizing
  • Free shipping
  • 90-day returns
  • Phone, email, FAQs, and live chat support
  • BBB rating: A+
  • No photos of exact rings or diamonds
  • No “large” carat rings, we couldn’t find rings with diamonds over 1 carat
  • Designing a ring isn’t as detailed as competitor websites
  • No loose diamond or settings

Kay Jewelers Review

Kay Jewelers logoVisit Website

Kay Jewelers is owned by Sterling Jewelers, the same company that owns Jared. We’re sure you’ve now concluded that since Jared was not the place to ring shop, neither is Kay Jewelers.

Kay Jewelers had some bad press back in May of 2016. Women were coming forward with their nightmare stories from Kay’s, saying their diamonds had been replaced with lesser quality jewels when they turned their rings in for repairs. This story might be worth researching before you buy from this company.

Pros

Cons

  • 360° view of rings
  • View your diamond in store before you buy (with a small fee)
  • Phone, email, FAQs, and live chat support
  • Bricks and mortar stores
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Free shipping (if you spend more than $50)
  • Great Design-A-Ring feature
  • Design-A-Ring can be challenging to get to (website tries to route you to finding a store near you)
  • Their promotions can mislead people into signing up for credit cards
  • Poor customer service reputation
  • Extremely high prices (more than double)
  • Some customers say their diamonds have been replaced with lesser quality diamonds
  • Not BBB accredited
  • No loose diamonds to choose from

Kevin Jewelers Review

Kevin Jewelers logo

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Kevin Jewelers offers many composite engagement rings, which are rings made up of multiple smaller diamonds to appear like one larger stone.

They do have reasonable prices, so if this is the style ring you are looking for, feel free to check them out. We do think there are better options available since their site is not as detailed as competitors. For instance, it doesn’t tell you some of the 4C’s for diamonds. There are 37 retail stores you can visit if you live in southern California.

Pros

Cons

  • Specialize in composite rings
  • Reasonable prices
  • Email and phone support
  • Free shipping (if you spend more than $99.99)
  • 30-day refund
  • Few options to choose from
  • Website is not very explanatory
  • Not BBB accredited

Raymond Lee Review

Raymond Lee logo

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Raymond Lee is a good option if you’re looking to buy a setting or a pre-made ring. You cannot customize a ring by choosing your preferred setting and diamond because Raymond Lee does not sell loose diamonds.

You can create a custom design, but you’ll have to speak with a consultant, unlike the competitors where you can design a ring online. Diamonds may be certified by AGS, CGL, GIA, HRD, IGI, or no one.

You can sell any of your old jewelry to Raymond Lee Jewelers as well. So, if you have jewelry from a previous relationship or just don’t wear a piece any longer, you can sell it for cash.

Pros

Cons

  • 30-day returns
  • Free shipping
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Doesn’t sell loose diamonds
  • Website isn’t user-friendly, difficult to sort through the items
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Special orders can only be returned for store credit or an exchange

Reeds Jewelers Review

Reeds Jeweler logoVisit Website

Reeds Jewelers doesn’t have a lot of rings to choose from, but they do have okay prices. They also have bricks and mortar stores, so prices aren’t as low as their competitors, but they’re still better than some others. According to some reviews, shipping materials could be better, the jewelry ships in an envelope, and the items are loose.

Pros

Cons

  • Email, phone, and live chat
  • Free shipping (if you spend more than $30)
  • Bricks and mortar stores
  • Does a great job responding to customer reviews online
  • 30-day returns and exchanges
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Not the nicest packaging for shipping
  • Small inventory of engagement rings (less than 500)
  • No loose diamonds or design-a-ring option

Ritani Review

Ritani logo

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Ritani works with authorized retailers nationwide, so you can see your ring in person before you buy. It also launched a showroom program where its gemologists are available to help customers learn about diamonds, select their diamond, and pick up their order. Gemologists are not paid on commission, ensuring the customers’ interests are put first.

All 80,000+ diamonds offered are either AGS, IGI, or GIA certified. You can also opt for a Lab-Created Diamond, which is a more ethical option. Most diamonds have photos and 360º views.

If you wonder why that ring has that price tag, you will appreciate the transparency that Ritani offers when it provides the breakdown of the wholesale diamond cost, company margins, and the cost for shipping.

Ritani also has a Ring Recommender, which can help give you a straightforward answer to what type of ring you could get in your budget.

We like that Ritani has great customer service reviews. It can improve by offering 360º views and photos for all diamonds since some are missing these visuals.

Pros

Cons

  • Free in-store preview
  • 30-day returns
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Phone, email, live chat, and FAQs
  • Great Create Your Own Ring feature
  • Will send a free ring sizer
  • Price transparency explains the actual costs of the diamond, shipping, and company margin
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Free shipping
  • 80,000 diamonds to choose from
  • Not all diamonds offer video, some only have photos

Coupon Code

Ritani is offering 20% Off Wedding Rings: Use Code WEDDING20 now through February 6, 2020. Use this link to get started.

SuperJeweler Review

Super Jeweler logo

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Compared to our top three, SuperJeweler has a bit of a tacky feel to it. Other websites do a great job of feeling professional. In contrast, SuperJeweler comes off a bit spammy with all of its scrolling banners, red font, and use of capitalization.

However, we haven’t found anything that points to this website spamming potential customers. We’d just prefer to go with a more professional site and has a cleaner look to it. Diamonds from SuperJeweler are WGL certified.

Pros

Cons

  • 60-day returns
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Ships out within five business days typically
  • Free shipping
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Does not sell loose diamonds or settings
  • Not the best photos
  • No design a ring feature
  • Website is tacky looking

Welry Review

Welry logo

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Welry (once known as Jewelry.com) has really increased its inventory. Previously, it only offered 12 rings, but it now offers more than 700 (which is still a relatively small inventory).

Welry does have competitive pricing, however. So, you could start your search here and glance through the rings. If you see one you like, boom, you’re done. If you aren’t pleased with what you see, move on to the next site.

Be cautious, if you’re looking for a diamond ring, you’ll want to read carefully. Some of their engagement rings are made out of cubic zirconia.

Pros

Cons

  • Low prices
  • Email and phone support
  • Free shipping
  • 60-day zero-hassle return policy
  • Very limited selection
  • No design-a-ring option
  • Refunds can take 4 weeks
  • Not BBB accredited

Zales Review

Zales logo

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Zales was founded in 1924 and has many brick and mortar stores. You can also purchase a ring online, including designing your own ring. All diamonds from Zales are either GIA, IGI, GSL, or AGS certified.

One of the biggest cons we found for Zales was the way they display their diamonds online. They do not show true images of each diamond — they use stock photos. You could be purchasing a diamond that is not as flawless as you would like for it to be, but the photo may mislead you.

However, Zales is upfront about this, stating on its website, “Merchandise…may not always be exactly as pictured.

Pros

Cons

  • No real photos of diamonds
  • Not the easiest design-a-ring function
  • Smaller diamond inventory (28,000)
  • Limited diamond cuts for customizing a ring

4 Tips For Buying An Engagement Ring

Rachel Cruz has some tips for you while you’re engagement ring shopping; from financial budgeting to managing expectations and more.

Want To Design Your Own Ring?

Diamond ontable: How to Design Your Own Engagement Ring OnlineDiamond searching is exhausting but can be well worth it if you spend the time. And you always have the option of designing an engagement ring yourself.

Timing to get the best deal can be key. Find out when the best time is to buy an engagement ring.

Our experts have also written a guide for engagement rings for men.

When you’re ready, we also have a guide to help you pick out your wedding ring and titanium wedding band.

What are you planning to do when you propose? We’d love to hear it in our comment section below (anonymously of course)!

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She is one of Exploring Life's Mysteries most experienced researchers. When reviewing products and services her natural curiosity helps her dig deep and unearth the truth behind the marketing. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly grew up camping at the nearby lake with her family when she was a young girl. It wasn't until she met her husband that she rediscovered her love for the outdoors and began taking regular vacations to the national parks. Some of Kimberly's favorite memories include camping in a tent, hiking beautiful terrains, sitting around a campfire eating s'mores and sipping on a cold craft beer.

After three years of dating and exploring different regions of the U.S., Kimberly's husband proposed to her with the help of Exploring Life's Mysteries' online engagement content that she had researched and written. Not only was he able to design her ring himself, he was able to do so at great cost savings.

Kimberly likes starting her days with a warm cup of Nespresso, and she enjoys going for walks with her family and hound mix, Sally. In the evenings, she likes indulging in a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate while cozying up by the fire pit in her backyard.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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