The most romantic time of year is coming up and what better time to shop for an engagement ring online? Here’s the most comprehensive “how to” list from Blue Nile, online jewelry retailer. Blue Nile diamonds are the talk of the web right now, which brings us to the first question: Can you shop for an engagement ring online? The answer? Sure you can.
If you’re just starting out, online is a great place to start browsing discreetly (just remember to clear your browser). You can shop by diamond, setting, or pre-set diamonds. Having things organized for you with a huge selection is a great way to start. Without feeling pressure, you can get a sense of what you can actually afford before you set out. But, remember, while you’ll rarely find a “coupon” for a jewelry store, you might find coupon codes online for jewelry retailers.
There are of course some drawbacks. Seeing the ring in person and on the hand of a saleswoman can really influence your decision. Sometimes when you see it, you just know.
If you’re just getting started, here are some tips.
1. Know what you can afford. Ignore the rules and be comfortable with what you’re spending. Are you planning to have a monthly payment? Paying in cash? Credit card? Have a plan–and tell the sales person right away. You do not want to fall in love with something three times your budget. Some tips to stay in budget are: stay away from platinum, buy a stone with a bit less sparkle but more surface area (it will look bigger), and buy just shy of the next carat (.8 instead of 1 carat will save about 20% and the difference is barely noticeable.
2. Shape comes first. There are NINE to choose from. More than you thought, right? If you’re not sure, phone a friend. Getting a pear when this is the last thing she would pick can ruin the moment. Don’t be bashful about calling friends of hers for some advice.
3. After shape, setting is most important. Having different settings, like bezel versus four prong, can change the whole look of the ring.
4. Get in writing. You want the carat, cut, clarity, color in writing for insurance purposes and the peace of mind that the diamond is GIA certified, meaning you got what you paid for.’