With the evolution/advent of the internet and technology, it's never been easier to buy what you want, when you want, at a price you want. Indeed, the days of heading to Hatton Garden or browsing the shops in Mayfair to buy an engagement ring are declining as more and more find buying fine jewellery online an accepted practice. If you wish to join this growing trend then this article is dedicated to helping you understand things to look out for to make sure you get the best deal and hope that you will feel more comfortable using the internet for such an important and emotional purchase.
There's an overwhelming amount of information on the internet so I'll focus on the key points and will include links to helpful information to help you learn the benefits and differences along the way.
It takes four to measure a diamond - The 4C's
The Gemological Institute of America is a great place to start and their history of the 4C's is a great insight into why they are important. They explain all about the 4 C's (which is helpful since they were the ones to invent them!). They also created a range of standards that certifies the quality of diamonds (of which, Mayfair attests to). Our article on the Important of Diamond Cut provides further reading on this and how it can help you not only choose the right diamond or gemstone but ensure you are getting value for money. When buying a diamond online if you cannot choose the 4C's yourself then look our for minimum quality values or ask the retailer what quality they are. This is especially important for accent stones such as Side stones and halo stones surrounding the main diamond.
Choosing the right Precious Metal
Once you've come to grips with all the critical information about gemstones, then you need to understand which metal you want to go for not just for an aesthetic appeal but also the quality of the metal that will hold your diamond and it's intrinsic value. With precious metals such as Yellow gold, White gold, Platinum, Palladium and Silver (not sure if anyone would dare buy a silver engagement ring!!), it is worth doing your homework to see what suits your budget and style. Our article on Deciding on the right metal for an engagement ring can help you further here.
Top Buying Tips for Engagement Rings
Now, this article wasn't supposed to be about the education elements of buying jewellery but it would be remiss of me to not address it. No, this article is about what to look for when buying such a precious investment online. Here are my top tips to look out for:
- Try to focus on independent jewellers: independent jewellers will provide you with a level of flexibility and personal service that the big players struggle to match.
- Online stores don't have the same overheads that larger jewellery stores have to pay for. This makes their prices higher and online stores more competitive. This can mean you can get a better quality stone and setting for less than you would pay if you went to a jeweller on the high street.
- When you're browsing the endless number of websites, make sure you look for things that provide you with reassurance that the seller isn't fake or untrustworthy. Look for testimonials, reviews, active facebook and instagram accounts and call them to see what advice they can offer.
- Look for a secure checkout: Most websites actually do have a secure site, but it’s good to see the 'badges of trust' ie the logo of how/who secured the checkout. Also look for HTTPS in the address bar. This means your payment information is safe.
- Don't fall for high ranking search results: If you type in 'engagement rings' in to Google, you'll be presented with an array of sellers including De Beers and Tiffany, but also high street stores such as Argos! Remember that Google uses an algorithm to define search rankings and no offence to Argos, but please don't use them to buy an engagement ring from the high street (well, maybe a decoy ring!)
- Don't be dazzled by gimmicks: I've spent a long time looking at websites selling engagement rings and almost all of them have the 'design your ring' gimmick. Some of them have built it well and it can be a nice way of bringing uniqueness to your ring, however most of them don't work properly and could leave you feeling frustrated by the whole experience. At Mayfair, we pride ourselves on keeping our site simple and elegant and if you have any questions about the ring, please feel free to use the live chat to discuss your requirements with our jeweller.
- Most of all, do your research and feel confident that the company will solve any issues should you have any. A price may be enticing but their returns policy may not be suitable or their quality guarantee might be lower that you'd want.
And that's about it. For those of you who are yet to propose, good luck! And for those of you choosing the ring with your fiancée/fiance, congratulations! We hope you've enjoyed our article (if you made it to the end!) and if you have any questions at all about buying a ring from Mayfair Jewellers, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 203 205 7169.
View our beautiful range of Designer Engagement Rings only at Mayfair Jewellers