2017 was peppered with viral articles and clapbacks in social media from millennials expressing why they're not buying diamonds.
With later marriages and search for authentic experiences instead of “things” (plus a huge percentage claim to still be in school debt!), it’s not hard to understand why they would rather spend money on travel and a more meaningful wedding.
Some would opt for a gemstone or a birthstone for a personal touch as they saw diamonds as old-school and expensive. This is the truth for some, but according to a De Beer’s research, millennials are actually buying diamonds but not for the reason you think.
Millennials that can afford are apparently buying diamonds for themselves to celebrate achievements and basically self-love. And there are those who still resonate with tradition and the classics. So, in reality, men are still proposing, and women are still dreaming of engagement rings, but they do so in their 30s where they could afford more!
If you’re on this boat, you already know how in the recent years, diamond shopping was honed to cater to the younger gen. 2018 introduces the most high-tech viewing and purchasing tools matched with the latest cutting techniques and ethical sourcing. Online diamond shopping is still the way to go, and there are fierce competitors.
What Features Should the Best Place to Buy Diamonds Online Offer?
While it is an entirely normal thing to buy almost anything on the internet, some people still shy away from buying diamonds online. But the truth is, it can be a very clever decision – provided you’re shopping at a great place and really know what you’re getting!
High-Quality Diamond Imagery
Doubters think that they won’t be able to verify the quality of the diamond with their own eyes. The premise is justifiable; you should never buy a diamond blindly!
Because unfortunately, most diamond vendors out there don’t provide any video or even pictures of the diamonds they are selling. These are the places you should definitely avoid!
Consider shops that provide magnified high definition images of their diamonds. Or better yet, 360° HD videos! This is particularly important when buying diamonds within the VS2 – SI2 clarity range. For instance, the SI2 diamond on the left is not eye clean while the SI2 diamond on the right is eye clean:
You want to have a close look at the diamond before buying it to assess its beauty. Every diamond has a unique sparkling style and, you want to make sure that you like the way your diamond dances.
Furthermore, diamonds that have Excellent cut and Excellent symmetry grades can also look pretty different because even within the best grades there are a lot of variances allowed. Just have a look at the two diamonds below. Both have excellent cut and symmetry grades by GIA:
Thus, you should never buy a diamond at a place – where only the basic information is provided – without any pictures or videos. You may not see it with your own eyes, but it doesn’t get any more real than imaging seen on all sides and up to 40x zoom.
Much Lower Cost
You can easily save yourself anywhere between 30% – 70% compared to what you would pay at a brick and mortar store. This is simply because they have much higher operating costs with their salespeople and fancy showrooms.
GIA or AGS Graded Diamonds
Furthermore, you should only buy from a vendor that offers GIA and AGS graded diamonds. These are the two most consistent and reliable grading labs. Read my post on the best grading labs if you want to know in detail why you should only buy GIA and AGS graded diamonds.
Idealscope, ASET, or Hearts and Arrows Images
A good online vendor should also be able to provide you with Idealscope images and ASET images. These images can provide light performance data about a diamond and tell you how much light is leaked. That is especially useful for comparing different stones to each other before making a final choice.
Superb Selection of Ring Settings
The best place to buy diamonds would let you design an engagement ring in a manner where you can see what your diamond will actually look like once it is set in a ring setting. A huge selection of designs, a variety of metal types, and other preferences are also readily available.
Last but not least, the conditions of purchase are very important. Can you return the diamond and within what period? Is the return shipping for free so that you are virtually not taking any risk at all?
Having these criteria clearly set out, you will realize that there are not many diamond vendors worth your time. However, the ones who are, offer excellent choices at very reasonable prices compared to brick and mortar stores.
Now, let’s see which vendors can live up to these standards!
James Allen: Currently the Best Place to Buy Diamonds Online!
As the current #1 choice for buying diamonds online, James Allen matches all of the criteria above and is, undoubtedly, the leader in 360° diamond display technology. No other diamond vendor will let you view all of their diamonds in high definition 360° videos – in up to 40x magnification!
If you have found a diamond you like, you can view it in 40x magnification and see every tiny detail. There is literally no better way to assess a diamond and, I would argue that you’ll have a closer look at a brick and mortar store.
If you get yourself a diamond and a ring setting, James Allen will also provide you a real-life video of the diamond shape that you have chosen with the corresponding ring setting. Of course, in 360° view:
Another useful feature that only James Allen has is their 3HD player technology. It shows an animation of what your diamond with your particular diamond shape will look like on a woman's ring finger:
James Allen also offers three Idealscope or ASET images for free. This way, you can compare the light performance of different diamonds to each other and make the best choice.
Another great thing is they also have the best conditions of purchase in the industry!
There are diamond vendors that will offer free return and shipping within 30 days, but only JA will actually offer you free return shipping (within the US)! This way, you are buying completely risk-free!
If for some reason you decide that you don't like the diamond or ring you purchased, you can send it back without carrying the costs which can easily amount to $75 – $100!
Honestly, I think James Allen could offer this because their return rate is so low. The reason being that you know perfectly well what you are getting and there is no guesswork involved anymore.
James Allen Features
– Real 360° diamond videos in high definition
– Magnified diamond photographs: See your diamond in up to 40x magnification!
– 3D engagement ring setting visualizer
– An intuitive diamond search tool
– Build Your Own Ring
– 24/7 customer support service
– Free engraving with laser inscribing
– 100% full refund within 30 days
– Free returns (JA will pay for the return shipping within the USA)
– Lifetime warranty on your jewelry purchase
Brian Gavin: Perfection in Diamond Cutting for Five Generations!
Brian Gavin is a 5th generation diamond cutter from South Africa. His name stands for the best-cut diamonds in the world that don't allow even the slightest compromise. A real Brian Gavin diamond is a true hearts and arrows diamond with the best symmetry and cut proportions. Every diamond in Brian Gavin's signature line has been handpicked and approved by Brian Gavin himself!
Brian Gavin also provides 360° videos of all their diamonds:
Brian Gavin offers the famous hearts and arrows signature diamonds that are well-known for their perfect symmetry and light performance. In fact, as far as super ideal cut hearts and arrows diamonds are concerned, it does not get any better than Brian Gavin.
They also have their own signature diamonds, Brian Gavin Blue, which are diamonds with blue fluorescence. In my post about diamond fluorescence, I have described that diamonds with fluorescence appear a little hazy but are usually about 15% cheaper. All Brian Gavin Blue diamonds, however, are guaranteed not to exhibit any negative effects of diamond fluorescence.
What I particularly like about Brian Gavin is they provided Idealscope images, ASET images, and hearts and arrows images for all their in-house diamonds. This way, you can thoroughly pick the one with the best light performance:
Brian Gavin Features
– Largest collection of super ideal cut hearts and arrows diamonds
– 360° videos, Idealscope/ASET, and hearts and arrows images are provided by default.
– All diamonds are checked by Brian Gavin himself for eye-cleanliness.
– 15-day inspection period
– The possibility of custom designing your own ring setting
– 100% lifetime upgrade policy (you only pay the difference in an upgrade)
– Superb customer service with knowledgeable staff
Whiteflash: World Class Diamonds with an Exceptional Customer Service
Whiteflash is a diamond vendor that is absolutely dedicated to providing world-class hearts and arrows diamond with the best cut imaginable. Their A CUT ABOVE signature series is world-renowned for being the best of the best! Their super ideal cut hearts and arrows diamonds play in their very own league and are a good choice if you want to buy a top-performing diamond.
They also provide Idealscope images, ASET images, and hearts and arrows images so that you can make the most educated decision:
What I love about Whitelflash is that they work with well-known designer brands that you can choose from for your ring setting:
– Idealscope/ASET and hearts and arrows images are provided by default.
– Free shipping worldwide
– An extensive selection of ring settings including well-known brands like Ritani, Verragio, and Tacori
– 100% lifetime trade-up policy
– BBB rating of A+ and awarded “Winner of Distinction” for six years in a row!
– Full 30-day money back guarantee
– One year buyback guarantee
The best place to buy diamonds in 2018 should represent what this year is all about: digital, ethical, value, and authenticity. These top online diamond vendors let you shop for meaning through an educated lens, just like how modern smart shopping should be!
If you have any questions about a particular diamond and need an opinion, I will be more than glad to help you out. Just comment down below or drop me a mail! 🙂