Best Places to Buy Online – The Engagement Ring Buying Guide

The Quick And Dirty - There are many reputable online engagement ring retailers, including James Allen, Jared, Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Diamond Nexus. From our experiences, James Allen has the widest range of choices at the most affordable prices. 

Shopping for an engagement ring is thrilling, but it can also be overwhelming. An engagement ring is a significant investment that you should thoroughly research prior to purchasing. Although visiting a brick and mortar jewelry store is the “traditional” approach to purchasing an engagement ring, more people are opting to purchase rings from online jewelers. 

The shift to e-commerce was accelerated by Covid and it’s hard to imagine a world in which more guys don’t do their research and buying or rings online. Buying online is almost always cheaper, provides greater options, and comes with the ease of buying from home. 

It is worth restating: internet based jewelry stores provide a much larger range of rings from which to choose, you get great value, and you’ll have a better shopping experience. Engagement rings should only be bought from reputable stores, retailers, and companies. A trustworthy website would typically provide comprehensive FAQs, product descriptions for each ring, a clearly defined delivery and return policy, and contact details for customer service purposes.

Since looking at an engagement ring online differs from looking at one in person, it is necessary to learn about the various types of stone options, metals, ring styles as well as the Four C’s of diamond quality as you pursue webpages. Understanding the color, cut, carat weight, and clarity aspects of a ring will give you a better idea of what your ring will look like. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best places you can buy a ring online. The ring collection, ordering procedure, customer feedback, and ring prices of each company were all taken into consideration.

James Allen

James Allen is the company we recommended most passionately when buying an engagement ring online. With over 200,000 diamonds that are certified and photographed in high-resolution 360° HD, James Allen has been the fastest-growing privately owned diamond retailer in the world that operates online. James Allen provides the highest quality cut diamonds as well as the broadest range of rings at the most competitive prices. Because they document all of their rings with high-res photos and full money back guarantees, you will know what you are buying and can shop with confidence.

James Allen has several options available for both wedding rings and engagement rings. If you want to customize your own fantasy ring, you can design it exactly as you want it. If you’re looking for some ideas, James Allen has a lot of high-resolution images of diamond and gemstone engagement rings from previous customers. The American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grade highly the vast majority of James Allen’s diamonds, ensuring that their items are both reliable and accredited.

The best thing about James Allen is that you can spin real diamond images in 360° HD using up to 40x magnification to zoom in on details on their website, giving you access to the world’s largest diamond collection right at the comfort of your home. If either you or your partner are unhappy with the ring you get, they offer a return policy and a 30-day money back guarantee. Similarly, each high-quality diamond purchased from James Allen comes with a lifetime warranty.

To summarize the benefits of James Allen:

  1. Huge selection
  2. Very high quality products and affordable prices
  3. Incredible resolution photos so you can zoom in and out to see rings
  4. 30 day return policy
  5. Easy site to navitage


Jared is a company that operates both online and in-store, with over 274 physical stores throughout the country. One of the factors that set Jared apart is the use of high-quality natural diamonds or lab-grown stones in their ring pieces. They use environmentally friendly methods to obtain their natural diamonds. Their diamonds come with GIA certificates which demonstrates they are of high quality. You can personalize your ring from Jared with symbols, engravings, and initials.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jared products come with some free services as well as a lifetime guarantee. They provide a wide selection of jewelry pieces at affordable prices, ensuring that you get good value for your money. They are so confident in their goods that they deliver a price match guarantee on diamonds. What this means is that they’ll match the cost on a similar or comparable certified natural or lab-created diamond with the same characteristics and quality.

In addition, Jared’s rings come with a lifetime guarantee, ensuring that your jewelry can last a lifetime. They have a 30 day return policy. On the website, there are photos for each ring to give you an idea of what you’ll get when you make a purchase. The shopping experience is very pleasant and their website has a helpful FAQ section as well as an educational site with additional details about the jewelry they offer.

To summarize the benefits of Jared:

  1. Price matching
  2. 30 day return policy
  3. Environmentally friendly diamonds
  4. Mix of online and off-line stores

Kay Jewelers 

Kay Jewelers is another company that we would recommend for your online ring purchases. They have a large selection of engagement rings and wedding bands, many of which are set with beautiful diamonds and precious stones. This company offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their sapphire, emerald, ruby and diamond jewelry. Only when the ring is inspected every six months is the guarantee valid. 

They also offer a stone replacement guarantee, which means that if a diamond, emerald, sapphire, or ruby breaks, chips or gets lost due to being loose in its original setting, they can replace it. This is only if the damage is due to normal wear, and not if you have caused the damage through activity. They have a 30-day return policy, which allows you to return a ring within 30 days of purchase if you are not happy with what you got. You can also swap it for a new item if you deliver it to any Kay location in 60 days of receiving the ring. 

Kay Jewelers also provides a diamond trade-in policy that allows you to exchange your diamond for one that is at least double the trade-in value. The policy only relates to natural diamonds, and not diamonds made in a lab. You can bring your diamond or gemstone jewelry to any Kay Jewelers location for a free cleaning and lifetime inspection.

To summarize the benefits of Kay Jewelers:

  1. Diamond trade-in plan
  2. Lifetime guarantee on all of their sapphire, emerald, ruby and diamond jewelry
  3. 30 day return policy


In our interactions with Zales, one of the things that stood out is how extensive their jewelry selection is. If you need a ring for one reason or another, Zales is likely to have it. They have a beautiful range of engagement and wedding rings from which to choose. To assure customers that they only offer high quality diamonds, their diamond stones come with an International Gemological Institute (IGI) certificate. You may also have your Zales diamond authenticated by an expert to ensure that you are acquiring a good gem.

Another feature about the Zales website that stands out is their ‘create your own’ tab, which allows you to personalize your own ring. You can design your own engagement or wedding ring or order jewelry that is tailored to your requirements. Zales offers a 30-day return and exchange policy, which makes it possible for customers to return items within 30 days of purchase. Exchanges must be made within 60 days of purchasing the jewelry or the shipping date. The jewelry has to be in satisfactory condition and be accompanied by all the original accessories and certificates in order for this policy to be employed.

To summarize the benefits of Zales:

  1. Broad range of options
  2. Many affordable or discounted products
  3. 2 month Exchange window

Diamond Nexus

One of the most well-known jewelry retailers is Diamond Nexus. Their expertise is creating jewelry using natural diamond substitutes. The business prioritizes affordability, the absence of mined stones, and the highest possible efficiency. Since they are made from diamond stimulants, their diamonds are one-of-a-kind. 

Nexus diamonds are not the same as man made or synthetic diamonds. Nexus diamonds are created using a patented proprietary formula, whereas man made diamonds have only the carbon component. Their diamonds aren’t cubic zirconia.

Nexus diamonds are graded using the same grading methodology as mined diamonds. These diamonds were grown in a lab and come with a lifetime guarantee. Their diamonds are much more economical than other diamond alternatives because they are made in a lab. Diamond Nexus has a 30 day free return and exchange policy. If you are looking to purchase a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, this is a great company to look at. 

To summarize the benefits of Diamond Nexus:

  1. 30 Day free return and exchange policy
  2. Lab-grown focus
  3. Free US shipping
  4. Patented technology
  5. Nexus Diamond™ is ensured for life

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are James Allen Diamonds so cheap?

James Allen operates entirely online so they don’t incur the costs of a brick and mortar store, such as a lease and paying a sales staff. As a result, they also don’t have to have inventory on hand. For these reasons and more, we highly recommend James Allen as the best place to buy online.

Is James Allen owned by Jared?

James Allen and Jared are both owned by the same parent company: Signet Jewelers. Signet was founded in 1949 and is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Is James Allen Better Than Blue Nile?

James Allen and Blue Nile both offer certified diamonds at very competitive prices. Blue Nile has a larger selection of jewelry products while James Allen focuses more on engagement rings and has a larger selection in that field. James Allen also offers free diamond consultations.

Is James Allen cheaper than Blue Nile?

James Allen is slightly cheaper than Blue Nile. This is potentially because Blue Nile has a small footprint in brick and mortar show rooms while James Allen is entirely online. Both companies however, offer engagement rings at significantly lower prices than the larger retailers such as Kay, Jared, and Zales.

Leave a Comment