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, gone are the days of heading to Hatton Garden in London to buy an engagement ring as more and more, buying fine jewellery online, is an accepted practice and this blog is dedicated to helping you understand things to look out for to make sure you get the best deal.
0f course, depending on what you want to buy, where you will shop and what to look out for will vary. Given that this blog is written by Mayfair Jewellers, I am going to focus on tips for buying engagement and wedding rings online in the 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 interweb so I'll focus on the key points and will include links to helpful info to help you learn the benefits and differences in things like diamonds and metals. Everyone knows about the 4 C's. Cut, clarity, colour, carat...but what do they all mean? The Gemological Institute of America is a great place to start. They explain all about the 4 C's (which is helpful since they were the ones to invent them!). They also created a bunch of standards that certifies the quality of diamonds (of which, Mayfair attests to). 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...yellow gold, white gold, silver (not sure if anyone would dare buy a silver engagement ring...but anyway!), platinum etc, it can get a bit much. Have a read of our blog post about how to pick the right metal for you: Deciding on the right metal for an engagement ring .
Now, this blog 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 blog 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 can't.
- Online stores don't have overheads like fancy jewellery stores to pay for so their prices will be more competitive which means 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 dodgy. For example, look for testimonials.
- 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.
- 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...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 (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.
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 blog (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.