Whether you’re looking for a wedding band, engagement rings, or diamond earrings, the internet has become a busy shopping ground for jewelry purchases. Statistics tell us that an average of 20% can be saved off of standard retail costs, and it actually makes sense, since you’re not paying the overhead involved in brick-and-mortar jewelry shops. Additionally, online jewelers are often able to offer a larger selection of stock than a physical retail outlet.
According to IBISWorld, an industry research leader, the online jewelry market has grown to about $10 billion, so chances are your next jewelry purchase will at least involve some internet pricing, if not a full-on purchase. Here are a few things to keep in mind so your online jewelry shopping experience is as positive as possible.
Read the Return Policy
This is of paramount importance, particularly if you’re buying diamond earrings, a diamond cuff bracelet or gemstones like emerald engagement rings. The reason being, stones look different in different light settings. It can be difficult to make a comprehensive decision about a stone from looking online, even though the best sites will give you high definition, three dimensional views. Additionally, jewelry tends to be more expensive than the average online transaction, so you should be thoroughly comfortable that the outlet’s return (or exchange) policy is agreeable to you.
Can You Try It On?
There are some select websites out there that will allow you to try on diamond jewelry before you make a formal purchase. Some have an arrangement with jewelers around the country and will ship rings to a local outlet free of charge. There are others that will send replicas, free of charge, made of sterling and cubic zirconium.
Check for Certification
Diamonds must be certified with paperwork, either from the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society, both of which examine diamonds for “the four C’s” — carat, color, clarity and cut. These organizations will provide a grade for the stone, which in turn will help determine its value. Keep in mind, there are other entities that grade diamonds, but the do not carry as much clout.
It’s is generally known that, of the four C’s, the “cut” of a diamond is the most important, since it has a direct effect on the way it sparkles. And excellent cut can make an otherwise average diamond look magnificent. So, the cut is one area that you should not skimp on. The size, however, is something you can cut back on to save a bit of money. Cutting back ever-so-slightly on the carat is another savings trick.
Don’t be afraid to shop the internet for emerald gemstone engagement rings, ruby dangle earrings, diamond earrings or diamond engagement rings — online jewelry shopping has become an industry standard. Just keep these tips in mind to help make your experience the best possible.