Best Online Engagement Rings 2018: Ritani vs Blue Nile vs James Allen vs Jared vs Kay vs Zales & More

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Brilliant Earth logo

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.

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 the size of it 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 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.

No law states when you go into a jewelry store 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? That’s okay, 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, photos of rings and diamonds, 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 really in a league of its own. This company really knows how to sell online engagement rings and has been our winner for Best Online Engagement Rings since 2015. They have individual 360° views of each diamond and band, which is especially great if you are designing your own ring. Their customer service reputation is outstanding and they have a huge 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. James Allen also has many perfect diamonds called “TrueHearts,” which are available on its website. So if you’re looking to purchase a perfect diamond, look no further.

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

We have also recommended them to friends because of our experience. All of our friends have been pleased. This helped reassure us that James Allen deserved the #1 spot again this year.

Pros

Cons

  • Real pictures of each diamond allow you a 360 degree view of 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
  • 1 free ring sizing within 60 days
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Stunning shipping packaging
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Huge inventory, more than 200,000 loose diamonds to choose from
  • CanadaMark diamonds are ethical and high quality
  • TrueHearts Diamonds are perfect
  • Resizing and cleaning can take 2-3 weeks

Coupon

Holiday Promo (Extended): 25% off entire site through 12/12. click here to take advantage of this offer.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of James Allen

Whiteflash Review

#2

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Whiteflash takes our #2 spot because of their outstanding service and number of diamonds available. They have service plans on all their rings, and a staff of 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
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 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 purchase a center stone with every setting.

If you happen to live in L.A., San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Diego or Denver, you are in luck as Brilliant Earth has showrooms in these cities to check out their inventory in real life.

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
  • Seven showrooms across the U.S.
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 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.

Online Engagement Rings Comparison Tables

Below are two tables displaying examples of similar solitaire ring settings and round cut diamonds from each online engagement ring site. Unfortunately, some companies are not included in the comparison tables because they do not sell individual diamonds and ring settings.

Please know that some websites may not have had the specifics that we were looking for across the board so they may not be exact comparisons, but we tried to supplement the closest option we could find.

Ring Settings Compared

 Blue NileBrilliant EarthDiamonds-USAGemvaraJames AllenJaredJewlrRitaniWhiteflashZales
Ring NameLow Dome Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring2mm Comfort Fit RingTiffany Style Solitaire Engagement RingSimply Round Solitaire14K White Gold 2mm Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement RingSolitaire Ring Setting 14K White GoldClassic Solitaire Engagement RingSolitaire Diamond Cathedral Tulip Engagement Ring14k White Gold Classic 4 Prong Solitaire Engagement RingSolitaire Engagement Ring
Price$250$475$308N/A$330$369.99$279$635$350$502.23
Metal Type14K White Gold18K White Gold14K White Gold-Rhodium Dipped1White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold14K White Gold
Band Width2mm2mm1.5-2.5mm2.3mm2mm2.5mm1.7-2.5mm2mm2.5-1.3mm1.67-2.10mm
SKU49887BE101-18KW325475DIX-ENG-SE05-0517043W14R999555063609JLUX07-R31RZ7232-5339102264-S0819

Diamonds Compared

 Blue NileBrilliant EarthDiamonds-USAGemvaraJames AllenJaredJewlrRaymond LeeRitaniWhiteflashZales
Price$3,277-$3,479$3,730-$4,370$3,356$3,393$2,740-$3,890$3,860-$4,170$4,100$3,360$3,094-$3,204$2,822-$3,111$5,181
CutGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGood
ColorJJJJJJGJJJJ
Carat1.01.01.01.01.01.01.01.01.00.91.0
ClaritySI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2SI2

Other Places To Buy An Engagement Ring Online

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

Blue Nile | Diamond DelightDiamonds-USA | Gemvara | Jared | Jewelry.com | JewlrKay Jewelers | Kevin Jewelers | Raymond LeeReeds Jewelers | Ritani | SuperJeweler | World JewelsZales

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 previously 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
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Outsources gemstone setting to contractor
  • Majority of their diamonds are round

Diamond Delight Review

Diamond Delight logo

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Diamond Delight has some good prices but you cannot create a ring yourself. The website does not sell individual diamonds or settings and they only sell round or princess cut rings, so if you’re looking for a more unique shape this isn’t the company for you.

Pros

Cons

  • 30-day returns
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No loose diamonds or settings
  • No “large” carat rings, we couldn’t find rings with diamonds over 1 1/4 carat
  • No photos of exact ring or diamonds
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Fewer gemstone shapes

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 in a photo of a ring you want 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 has you design your ring differently from other online engagement ring sellers. First, you choose the ring you like. Then, you choose the diamond(s) you want to be included in the ring. Finally, 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 though, which is what 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
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Only a 1-year warranty
  • Smaller inventory of diamonds
  • Creating a ring isn’t as easy as others

Jared Review

Jared logoVisit Website

Don’t let your partner say, “He went to Jared!” Why you ask? Because you’ll most likely be paying wayyyy too much money and that’s no way to start a marriage (in our opinion).

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 for half the price. So please, save yourself some money and do not go to Jared.

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

Jewelry.com Review

Jewelry.com logoVisit Website

Jewelry.com has really increased its inventory. Previously, it only offered 12 rings, but it now offers more than 600 rings (which is still a rather small inventory).

Jewelry.com does have really low prices though. So, you could start your search at Jewelry.com 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. Either way, it’s not like you’ve wasted your time.

If you are a student, this is the best first stop for you since they also offer a student discount.

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

Pros

Cons

  • Cheap prices
  • Site is aimed toward students, so they get an extra discount
  • Email and phone support
  • Free shipping
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Very limited selection
  • No design-a-ring option
  • Refunds can take four weeks
  • Not BBB accredited

Jewlr Review

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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

  • Cheap prices
  • 1-year warranty
  • Free resizing
  • Free shipping
  • 90-day returns
  • Phone, email, FAQs and live chat support
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 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 come to the conclusion that since Jared was not the place to ring shop, then neither is Kay Jewelers. You’re right. Kay Jewelers is wrong, every kiss doesn’t have to begin with Kay. Your soon to be fiancé will give you plenty of kisses even if the ring isn’t from Kay. 😉

Kay Jewelers had some bad press 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.

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 difficult 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
  • 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

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

They do have decent 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 35 retail stores you can visit if you live in southern California.

Pros

Cons

  • Specialize in composite rings
  • Decent 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 loose diamonds or a pre-made ring. You cannot customize a ring by choosing your preferred setting and diamond because Raymond Lee does not sell settings.

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 settings
  • No photos of diamonds
  • Small inventory (just over 400 diamonds)
  • 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 ok prices. They also have bricks and mortar stores, so prices aren’t as cheap as their competitors, but they’re still better than some others. Shipping materials could be better, the jewelry ships in an envelope and the item is loose, according to some reviews.

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
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 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 logoVisit Website

Ritani has partnerships with authorized dealers, so you can see your ring in person before you buy it. This is great especially if you’re creating your own ring. All diamonds are either AGS or GIA certified.

They have great customer service reviews and seem to focus on the customer. Where they can improve on is the way they let you see the diamond online. Not all the diamonds have videos, which means you aren’t able to see the diamond’s flaws as easily.

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
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Free shipping
  • 75,000 diamonds to choose from
  • Not all diamonds have video, some only have photos

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, whereas 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 site that feels more professional 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

World Jewels Review

World Jewels logo

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We DO NOT recommend purchasing from World Jewels. All of the other engagement ring websites in this article offer a warranty of some type. However, World Jewels states the following on its website:

World Of Jewels, worldjewels.com/net specifically disclaims warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties of title or implied warranties of merchantability. No oral advice or written information given by World Of Jewels, worldjewels.com/net or its Associates shall create a warranty. You expressly agree that the use of the Site is at your sole risk.

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

  • Email and phone support
  • 60-day returns
  • Free shipping
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 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. Tips include financial budgeting, managing expectations and more.

Tired Of Talking About Diamonds Yet?

Diamond searching is exhausting, but well worth it since you’ll have a fiancé and lifetime partner in the end (we hope). If you plan on designing an engagement ring yourself, be sure to check out this article for some help.

Also, did you know there’s a better time to purchase an engagement ring in terms of cost? Find out when you should buy an engagement ring and we even have a guide for engagement rings for men.

Finally, don’t forget to check out this article when you pick out your wedding rings.

Got a creative proposal or diamond search story to share? We’d love to hear it in our comment section below!

Kimberly is always up for an adventure. She’s used to living out of a suitcase and travels consistently. Her first time out of the country was to Thailand, where she spent 4 1/2 months traveling throughout southeast Asia. Kimberly enjoys exploring new places and diving into new cultures. While Kimberly isn’t traveling you can find her trying a new recipe in the kitchen, spending time outside or just lounging at home.

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Smitha902
Maintain the excellent job mate. This web blog publish shows how well you comprehend and know this subject.
James
Wow, I’ve just spent the entire past 90 minutes researching engagement rings. I’m hoping to propose to my girlfriend this winter. I’ve got an idea in mind, but need a ring. Honestly, I’m a little worried about buying a ring online. Can you really trust these companies? It’s hard for me to make this big of a purchase without seeing the ring first. Am I being irrational? I read the James Allen review and saw that one of your writers got her ring from there. That’s a bit comforting. Has the ring held up ok for you? Does it look as nice as any other engagement ring? Any other information is appreciated, thanks!
Kevin
I could not login to the James Allen website today. Is anyone else having trouble? I want to check on the status of my ring’s delivery!
Henry8Ball
My girlfriend is pretty anti-diamond because of the abuse and corruption in the diamond industry (watch the movie Blood Diamond to learn more..) but I feel an engagement ring should be a diamond, right? Does anyone have any alternate recommendations before I go down a path she may not like? Do any of these websites offer alternatives?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Morganite is trending right now and is a classic stone that strongly resembles a rose-colored diamond yet comes from the emerald family. Sapphiresare also very popular diamond-alternatives because they come in many different colors (blue, yellow, pink, teal). Lastly, there are some manufactured “diamonds” that are not mined but created in a lab.
figuere2
Was wondering where you’d rate the following in the above list: Brilliance, Rare Carat, and Adiamor? Thanks!
Lary71
I bought my fiance an engagement ring from James Allen and was super impressed. Honestly I don’t know that much about jewelry but their process was very easy and their prices can’t be beat! I plan on using them for our wedding bands too.