Is It Safe to Buy a Diamond Ring Online?
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You buy your clothing online and even your groceries off the internet nowadays, so why not buy a diamond ring online? It may seem crazy, but diamond companies are popping up all over the internet and you probably have a friend or two who has bought a ring online. But is it really safe? How can you be sure that what you are purchasing is exactly what you think it is?
One of the first things to do when shopping online for a diamond is to check is the company's return policy. When purchasing a diamond that you have not seen in person, it is important that you have the option to return it if you don't love it. For example, James Allen offers a 30 day return policy if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, including on engagement rings where you picked out the diamond and ring separately. Most companies should allow you to return or at least be able to exchange your purchase. Videos and images have come a long way when shopping for items on the internet, but make sure to look over the ring when you receive it to make sure it is what you envisioned. You may realize that you actually want to put a little more of your money into the color, rather than the clarity of the diamond or go for a bigger diamond halo on the ring; all of those options should be accessible to you within a reasonable amount of time. If the Return Policy seems too strict, or is nonexistent, you will have more peace of mind purchasing from someone you know is willing to work with you if the ring is not perfect the first time around.
One feature that many companies have begun to install on their website is the option to see the diamond either on a 360 degree view or in a video. James Allen and Blue Nile are known for this feature. Trying to pick the right diamond by just evaluating the 4 C's (Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat) is not always the best way to determine a diamond's beauty. Seeing a diamond up close is very important and can really help to decide which diamond is the best one for you. The 4 C's may help depict the diamond's rarity and price, but the video will bring out the true beauty of it.
Check the color and clarity grading and then click on the video to see the diamond in action. Diamonds are given their clarity grade from under a microscope under 10x zoom. Some of the companies that offer videos give the consumer a chance to look at their diamond zoomed in much higher than that. This gives the opportunity to really get to know the diamond, and maybe even pick out some of the clarity characteristics that make that diamond unique. But, it is important to remember just how zoomed in the video of the diamond is. Most inclusions that can be seen under 20, 30, or even 40x zoomed will not be noticeable to the naked eye. So, when choosing a diamond by just going off of the grading and video, weigh all of your factors to help you make an informed decision.
Use the Chat Feature or Help Section
Most of us click the exit mark right away any time those pesky chat boxes pop up asking if we need anything while shopping. While it can seem annoying when shopping for clothing, or shoes, that chat box may be your friend while shopping for a diamond ring. Most diamond and ring companies online employ either gemologists or other individuals experienced in the field. They not only are there to help with the merchandise on the site, they are there to be a guide to anyone who wants it. Anyone can look up diamond specifics on the internet, and get a good sense of the lingo, but it can be very beneficial to actually speak with a real person who deals with diamonds and rings all day. This particular chat or "concierge" option that many companies offer can give the experience of being guided along like you would be in a brick and mortar store. The help is there to answer questions, offer suggestions, and guide you to make an informed purchase you can feel confident about. Shopping for a diamond ring can be daunting, but it does not have to be; a helping hand and some expert advice never hurts when making an important purchase!
Do Some Background
Lastly, one of the most important tasks to do if you are considering buying a diamond ring online is to do some due diligence about the company you would like to purchase from. If it is a legitimate and trustworthy business, they will have reviews just like any other jewelry company. Also take a look at the website to see if they have any accreditations. Those associated with jewelry and diamonds could have anything like being a part of the Better Business Bureau, the American Gem Society, the Responsible Jewellery Council, or others like that. Also, check to see if the diamond you are purchasing is independently graded by a trusted laboratory. The most popular grading laboratories out there for diamonds include GIA, IGS, GCAL, and AGS. The diamond you purchase should come with a full report of its carat weight, color, clarity, and cut grading. A grading report is important because you can be confident that what you are purchasing is exactly what was advertised on the site.
Buying a diamond ring is exciting and it is important to make big purchases from a business you trust. Online diamond and jewelry companies are growing and it can be a great option to purchase an item you would not ordinarily have access to. Take some time to explore both the company, their policies, and the item you intended to purchase. It will leave you with not only more peace of mind, but a beautiful new piece of jewelry as well!
Katy Tezak is a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institute of America and a diamond and engagement specialist. She loves educating the consumer about all things diamond and helps them create anything from their dream engagement ring to everyday one of a kind jewelry.
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