Buying diamonds online – the pros and cons

The Ultimate Men's Guide To Engagement Rings 

Buying diamonds online – the good, the bad and the ugly


Since rise of online diamond retailers customers have a new channel to browse and shop for loose diamonds and engagement rings. We have rounded up the pros and cons of buying a diamond online so you have a better understanding if it’s worth it for you.

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The Pros


  • The price

If you are very keen on saving on the diamond itself, this will be one of the cheapest option on the market today. 

  • Shop at your own pace

No pushy sales people to deal with and the advantage of browsing at the speed comfortable for you.

  • Comparing hundreds of diamonds

These stores list an impressive amount of diamonds so you can look through a dazzling array of loose diamond inventory. The online diamond stores usually don’t hold any (or very little) diamond inventory themselves, but they basically pull the list of diamonds from wholesalers onto their website for you to see and browse.


The Cons


  • The internet is well … the internet

It is a vast and interesting market with good and bad sellers selling good and bad diamonds. If you don’t know well enough how to spot this online, it can quickly become an expensive learning curve for you.

  • Buying off a certificate

You learned your 4Cs and you have a fair bit of understanding of about the qualities that influence the price of diamonds. Great. Unfortunately reading and buying off a certificate can eliminate some pitfalls but it still tells you very little how the diamond will look when you open that parcel.

 Both of these diamonds are the same quality based on their certificates : both of them are a GIA certified G colour and SI2 clarity. The one on the left is supposed to be better quality based on difference of the cut/polish/symmetry of the certificate however the one on the right is visually more pleasing for the way the inclusions are dispersed within the diamond.

Both of these diamonds are the same quality based on their certificates : both of them are a GIA certified G colour and SI2 clarity. The one on the left is supposed to be better quality based on difference of the cut/polish/symmetry of the certificate however the one on the right is visually more pleasing for the way the inclusions are dispersed within the diamond.

  • Buying a diamond unseen

Online stores don’t give you the possibility to assess the beauty of the stone itself. The 4Cs are important but it’s all the characteristics coming together in that one particular diamond that give you the big picture. Does it sparkle? Maybe the inclusions are very disturbing or do they distribute themselves in a way that is unnoticeable? Is it longer oval shape or a chubbier one? Does it show a bow tie effect? Is it a deep cut or spreads bigger than you would think for the carat weight? This is especially true for fancy shape diamonds.

 Both of these Oval Diamonds are the same weight (1ct). However the left one is a chubbier oval with a deeper cut thus being smaller whereas the one on the right is a more elongated oval resulting in a visually bigger stone. Again unfortunately this is not something you visualize based on the certificate without seeing the stone.

Both of these Oval Diamonds are the same weight (1ct). However the left one is a chubbier oval with a deeper cut thus being smaller whereas the one on the right is a more elongated oval resulting in a visually bigger stone. Again unfortunately this is not something you visualize based on the certificate without seeing the stone.

  • What if you don’t like it

You paid for it, they shipped it and it’s not what you wanted. You just simply return it, right? Well yes and no.  Some online retailers charge you a “restocking fee” that can vary between 10%-30% of the selling price but they put this in the small script. Others don’t but they ask you to insure and ship the diamond back to them at your own cost. The shipping is fairly straight forward (assuming the shipping company you choose accepts loose diamonds for shipping – a lot of them do not) but insuring a diamond over a certain price point can become a hefty price to pay for a something you don’t want to keep.

  • If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is

At least in this industry. The diamonds are one of the most strictly regulated supplies on the market whether we are looking at the it from the customer’s point of view or the wholesale point of view. 50% off special sale price and such for loose diamonds only mean you are buying a lesser quality overpriced diamond for a price you will think is a bargain but in reality, you are paying a normal price for it.


Overall it comes down to what type of service and quality you are looking for when you are looking for your engagement ring. Buying diamond online can be a choice for some men who are willing to take the pros and cons of buying a diamond online. Most men prefer to allocate some of their budget towards a more personalized service and not loose sleep over such an important purchase for “optimizing cost over confidence”.

If you are looking for a personalized bespoke diamond engagement ring, please don’t hesitate to reach to us for advice. We are happy to help.

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