Finding the perfect engagement ring online is no easy task. Despite Google feeling like the obvious starting point to scope out your options, it often brings with it a lot of the misunderstandings and misinformation about diamonds and buying an engagement ring. Here are some of the top mistakes I see my clients making when they search online for an engagement ring…
Focusing on the carat size only
Firstly and most importantly, the biggest mistake people make is searching by carat size alone. Entering ‘1 carat diamond ring’ into your search engine is not going to yield you the best results in terms of quality or design. This is mainly because all good fine jewellers just don’t name their rings by carat size, so the only results you’ll get from this kind of search are places leading with the carat size - essentially selling cheap and fast design, and more often than not poor quality diamonds.
As the quality of a diamond varies hugely across all different suppliers, sizes, cuts and shapes, this means that there is no ‘standard’ price for a 1 carat diamond - a poor quality one that is badly cut, lets little light in and doesn’t sparkle will cost considerably, sometimes thousands less than its excellent cut 1 carat counterpart.
Jewellers who focus on design and quality will work to your budget, and if there is an excellent diamond that is 0.9cts and a poorly proportioned or cut 1 ct diamond, they will select the better quality one for you. Size is not the leading factor you should search by for this reason.
Looking for the cheapest deal
Let’s talk about the ‘big’ diamond and jewellery brands that come up in our online searches. We’re often quoted ‘cheap’ diamond prices that our clients and customers have found online themselves, usually from one of the most easily googled online diamond suppliers’ websites. But in reality, ‘ethically’ sourced, good quality diamonds cost what they cost, and if that cost seems too good to be true and a lot cheaper than anything else, then chances are it’s not a good stone.
When jewellery sellers are competing on price alone, then the design, materials and manufacturing will suffer. Cheaper manufacturing processes will be used, either overseas labour that cannot be responsibly monitored or ring ‘blanks’ will be bought in bulk wholesale and your diamond set into it. Big mass-market diamond retailers that appear first in all online searches are not selling high quality diamonds from reputable sources. There is a reason they are so much cheaper, and it is those reasons why we stay very far away from them.
The best ‘middle ground’ to try and find is where design, manufacturing and materials are all thoughtfully assembled, which might not always be the cheapest option, but will definitely hold the most value.
Not checking out all the Socials
The best jewellery designers regularly post photos of rings they have created, along with the customer’s images of it on their hand, as well as other glowing positive reviews and quotes from their many happy customers. If a jewellery brand you’ve found doesn’t do this, it would raise alarm bells for me. For example, a quick online search for a diamond engagement ring brings up a number of ‘big brands’ whose socials are suspiciously void of photos of happy customers. Whereas if you check out jewellers like Michelle Oh or Rachel Boston on instagram, their feeds are bursting with examples of all the custom engagement rings they’ve recently made.
My advice is always to use the internet for visual research initially, working out a few styles that you like, and then make a shortlist of your favourite designers to see what you can afford from their range. If you’re super set on a particular style or carat size - which is understandable if you’ve been thinking about how your engagement ring might look for a long time - but can’t find a designer that fits the bill, book in for a free Monday morning chat with me and I’ll talk you through the options that aren’t always obvious when you’re searching online.