Where to Buy Engagement Rings Online for a Piece They’ll Cherish Forever

Plus tips on how to find what you’re looking for.

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Who among us hasn’t enjoyed browsing all things sparkly and beautiful on the internet and daydreaming about gorgeous engagement rings? But when it actually comes time to buy one, the process can suddenly feel incredibly overwhelming. Where can I buy engagement rings online? How can I trust these brands are for real? Will it be shipping in super obvious packaging and ruin the surprise? Yeah, there’s a lot to consider. But don’t fret—we went ahead and talked to the experts to find out everything you need to know about buying such an important piece of jewelry online. Here’s their advice, plus 15 PureWow-approved places to shop for an engagement ring that’s sure to be a winner.

The Best Places to Buy Engagement Rings Online at a Glance

Meet the Experts:

  • Kristy Cullinane is the co-founder of Plum Diamonds, a jewelry brand that specializes in lab-grown diamonds. Cullinane has experience in all aspects of fine jewelry production from design to manufacturing and retail.
  • Nicole Wegman, founder and CEO of Ring Concierge, started the brand after personally going through the engagement ring shopping process and couldn’t find a brand or company that she connected with. Either too expensive or too impersonal, Wegman realized there was a void and need in the industry for a company like Ring Concierge. By strategically utilizing social media and successfully blurring the line between retailer and influencer, she has disrupted the historically close-knit, male-dominated diamond industry. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University in Fiber Science and Apparel Design and she is also an Accredited Jewelry Professional from GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
  • Mona Akhavi is the president of sustainable jewelry brand VRAI. She began her career in technology, earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia, followed by an MBA from Simon Fraser University, before branching into the world of fine jewelry and lab-grown diamond production in 2018.
  • Lauren Whalley is a fashion editor at The Knot with focus on inclusivity and beauty, as well. She’s worked for various bridal publications for five-plus years, learning all there is to know about engagement ring trends and how to shop them.
  • Brooke Brinkman Ghanimian is the VP of Marketing and Communications at Simon G and has worked with the fine jewelry brand for more than a decade.
  • Kathryn Money is the Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Retail Expansion for Brilliant Earth, which specializes in ethically and sustainably sourced fine jewelry. She has more than a decade of experience in the field.
  • Logan Hollowell founded her namesake jewelry brand in 2014 with a focus on using ethically and sustainably sourced materials and has continued to explore new technologies in keeping with that core ethos.

How Can a Shopper Tell if an Online Jeweler Is Legitimate?

When it comes to jewelry shopping, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. But even for legitimate-looking websites, you can sometimes be left feeling a little unsure. All our experts agree, the best piece of advice here is to do your research. “I love this question because the number of online jewelers seems to grow every day,” says Cullinane. “It can be very confusing for shoppers to know who to trust. When it comes to knowing if a company is legitimate, unfortunately, some sleuthing is required. Check reviews, but don't stop there. If a company has 10,000 five-star reviews all from the past month and zero social media presence, proceed with caution.”

Both Wegman and Akhavi also stress the importance of GIA certifications. “Diamond certification shows that the stone in question has gone through a grading process that considers the 4Cs and determines its value,” explains Akhavi, “whether lab-grown or mined.” According to Ghanimian, if a brand has brick-and-mortar locations, as opposed to being online only, that is also a good sign. Essentially, it all comes down to taking your time to dig around to learn what you can about a brand. “Look for strong online reviews that mention high quality products, excellent service, certified diamonds, and policies in place to give you comfort around your purchase such as free shipping, free returns and a 30-day guarantee,” advises Money.

What Are the Four Cs of Diamond Shopping?

You may have heard reference to the four Cs of diamonds, but what exactly are they and why are they so important? “Each gem is held to a set of standards for cut, color, clarity, and carat that interact to determine the overall rating and diamond quality,” explains Money. These four combined helps determine the quality or grade of the diamond, but as Money adds, there’s no “right answer” to how a diamond should look. When selecting an engagement ring, shoppers may choose to prioritize different C’s of the diamond based on what speaks to them.

  • Carat. Contrary to popular belief, carat refers to a diamond’s weight, not its size. “One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams, and the larger the diamond, the more valuable and/or rarer it is,” says Ghanimian. However, two diamonds of the same weight can appear to be vastly different sizes depending on their shape. “For example, a 1.00 carat cushion diamond would look smaller than a 1.00 carat oval, since an oval is an elongated shape,” Wegman explains. “If you want to make your engagement ring look bigger, you can opt for certain diamond shapes that give the look of a bigger spread for their carat weight.”
  • Color. Color actually refers to the lack of color in a diamond, according to Akhavi. “Color is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown),” clarifies Ghanimian. “The highest quality diamonds are completely colorless, while lower quality diamonds may have a yellow or brownish tint.”
  • Clarity. Clarity is all about grading how clear a diamond appears and whether it has an inclusions, aka “naturally occurring ‘blemishes’ or imperfections in a diamond,” explainsAkhavi. “We recommend that shoppers prioritizecolor over clarity in nearly all cases,” says Cullinane, and Wegman agrees. The GIA grades for clarity under 10x magnification, which means any inclusions are likely going to be totally unnoticeable with the naked eye. Wegman recommends a clarity grade of VS1 to SI1 for the best value. “These will have few to no visible inclusions to the naked eye and will have no effect on the beauty or durability of your diamond. Working lower in clarity allows us to focus the budget on color and size—the two more aesthetically noticeable qualities.” That said, the shape of the diamond may end up shifting those priorities. “The exception is with emerald cuts, says Cullinane, “which require additional attention to clarity. Those long, “hall of mirrors” step-like facets allow you to see right into an emerald cut diamond.”
  • Cut. “Cut is often confused with a diamond’s shape, but actually refers to a diamond’s facets and determines its overall brilliance,” says Akhavi. Having a well-cut diamond will increase its overall sparkle and brilliance, making it perhaps the most important of the four Cs. That said, only round cut diamonds are currently graded for cut by the GIA—there are no universal standards for cut grade on diamond shapes that are not round. “If you have a non-round diamond that doesn’t have a cut grade, don’t sweat it,” stressed Culliane. “However, when shopping for a round diamond, cut grade is critical. Stick to Excellent and Ideal when possible (these grades are the same, just used by different labs).”

What’s the Best Way to Determine Your Correct Ring Size?

If you don’t know your ring size, your best bet is to head to a jeweler IRL to be measured. Some brands also offer sizing rings which can be shipped to your home for you to try on your own time. “It is best to keep in mind the thickness of the sizer being used versus the ring being ordered and to take into consideration any fluctuations in your fingers due to diet or weather change,” advises Hallowell. She also notes that the size of the gem may also be an important factor. “The larger the center stone, the tighter it may fit over the knuckle, so ultimately it’s still best to consult with a professional for a large investment such as an engagement ring.

However, in a pinch, Ghanimian suggests taking a strip of paper, wrapping it around your ring finger, marking where it overlaps and then measuring that distance in millimeters. The good news is that, unlike the insanity that women’s clothing sizing, ring sizes are standard across the board. “If you are a size 6 at one jeweler, you will likely be a size 6 at another, with only slight variations,” says Whalley.

What Should Shoppers Consider When Deciding Between Lab-Grown and Mined Diamonds?

“A common misconception is that lab-grown diamonds are fake diamonds, but this couldn’t be further than the truth,” Whalley clarifies. “Lab diamonds are physically and chemically identical to earth mined diamonds in every way, the only difference being that one is produced in a lab while the other comes from the earth. Mined and lab diamonds are indistinguishable to the human eye, meaning you won’t lose any of that gorgeous fire or sparkle. Mined diamonds, due to their nature, are also significantly more expensive while lab diamonds on the other hand, will cost you anywhere from 20 to 50 percent less.” There are, of course, many other factors involved in deciding between the two, so again our experts recommend doing some research and talking with a representative from the brand you’re interested in shopping.

How Much do Engagement Rings Cost?

There is no average cost for an engagement ring, which is great news for anyone looking to shop on a budget. “There are long-standing myths around how much you should spend on an engagement ring,” says Money. “The truth is, there are no rules that dictate the amount necessary to spend. Budget is entirely a personal choice, and there are many beautiful options available at all price points.”

From J.Lo to Priyanka Chopra, Who Has the Most Expensive Celebrity Engagement Ring?


Best Lab-Grown Diamond Designs

VRAI works exclusively with lab-grown diamonds and puts a great deal of effort into making its processes as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, with tons of information on exactly where the brand’s stones are coming from, how much carbon they produce and what the environmental impact is from start to finish. For engagement or wedding rings, there are plenty of predesigned styles to choose from, but you can also design your own custom ring, choosing the setting and the specific stone from an online catalog. You can also schedule a complimentary personalized appointment (virtual or at one of the showroom locations) to talk through all the details with an expert who can answer any questions you may have. You’ll also earn a $100 credit towards your engagement ring purchase after your meetup.

2. Brilliant Earth

Greatest Range of Diamond Shapes

Brilliant Earth has both predesigned styles and custom designs available to shop on its website. You can also choose between diamonds or more colorful gemstones as well as moissanite. Much like VRAI, Brilliant Earth also offers both virtual and in-person consultations to help ensure you wind up with exactly what you’re looking for. It also has a wider range of diamond shapes than many other brands, including top favorites like pear and round, but also Asscher and heart shape diamonds as well. As for gemstone options, Brilliant Earth does work with both lab-grown and recycled diamonds, but for mined diamonds it sells only Beyond Conflict Free-certified gemstones, which means the entire chain of production has been held to a high standard of ethics (learn more here).

3. James Allen

Most Reachable Support Team

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown and conflict-free mined diamonds
  • Return Policy: free within 30 days, engraved pieces are subject to a $25 repolishing fee, special orders (not including online custom engagement ring designs) cannot be returned

James Allen sells both traditional engagement rings, as well as a collection of men’s engagement rings that are ready to order. You can also design your own ring from scratch using either lab-grown or conflict-free mined diamonds. Need some help getting started? James Allen’s support team is just a phone call away and can answer your questions by call or text 24/7. Oh, and you can also choose to have your ring, whether it’s custom or predesigned, engraved with up to 20 characters for free.

4. Ring Concierge

Most Intimate Custom Design Experience

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: conflict-free mined and lab-grown diamonds
  • Return Policy: free within 14 days, all custom orders and pre-orders are final sale

Ring Concierge is all about making customers feel informed and comfortable, without losing the luxe vibes of shopping at a legacy jeweler. To that end, anyone looking to do a custom design is required to meet, either virtually or in person, with an expert consultant to discuss the specifics and to get intimate details on what stones are available, the best way to set them for maximum brilliance and to answer any and all questions you may have. That said, there are also predesigned rings you can shop, but the real joy of working with RC is the individual attention you get when you set out to create your own unique ring. (Just ask Olivia Culpo.)

5. Plum Diamonds

Provides an Easy At-Home Try-On Kit

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown only
  • Return Policy: free within 30 days

Plum Diamonds works exclusively with lab-grown diamonds and sells both engagement rings and wedding bands. There are premade styles for you to choose from, or you can have some fun playing around with its custom ring designer to create something unique to your tastes. That includes truly one-of-a-kind designs you build from scratch, rather than pulling from readily available settings or bands. Plum Diamonds also has a ton of information on its website, on both the stones and engagement ring shopping in general, to help make the process easier for everyone. That includes a Find Your Diamond Kit that lets you try on different sizes and styles from the comfort of your very own home. Just pay a $100 deposit (it will be returned once you ship the kit back), keep it for five days to wear test your customized options, then ship it back all the more confident you know exactly how your final pick will look on your hand.

Shop Plum Diamonds Engagment Rings

6.  Simon G

For Custom Designs

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: mined only
  • Return Policy: items can be returned within 14 days, personalized and custom items are final sale

Simon G handles online orders a bit differently from other retailers. If you find something you love online, you can add the setting to cart and after you’ve placed your order a Simon G expert will be in touch to discuss the center stone and any small tweaks you may want to make in order to get the ring of your dreams. You can also design your own custom ring from scratch by filling out a contact form so the brand’s design team can get in touch to make whatever it is you have in mind.

7. Logan Hollowell

For Non-Traditional Designs

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: conflict-free mined diamonds only
  • Return Policy: no returns

For those looking for a ring that’s outside the norm, Logan Hallowell makes stunning pieces that are sure to fit the bill. Think alternative gemstones, unusual band shapes and unique settings, all made using recycled metals and conflict-free gemstones. Plus, each piece is also made to order in an effort to reduce waste—however, as such, the brand does not accept returns. If you want to work with the team of talented LH designers on a unique ring made just for you, you can email them with details before meeting for a consultation. (Just note, custom pieces require a minimum cost of $3,000.)

8. Mejuri

For a Modern Twist on the Classics

  • Custom Designs Available: No
  • Types of Diamonds Used: conflict-free mined only
  • Return Policy: free 30-day returns for customers in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and Germany

Mejuri has developed something of a cult following who adore its modern designs and (relatively) affordable prices. The entire catalog is made using recycled materials (like gold and 18k gold vermeil), responsibly sourced diamonds or AAA-grade gemstones. The engagement ring collection runs from about $700 for a sleek eternity band to $3,700 for a bolder piece with multiple diamonds. Mejuri’s pieces are great for the minimalist gal who wants to break from tradition, but maybe only a little. You can also book a free virtual styling session to get tips and advice on which ring is the one.

9. AUrate

For Classic Designs on a Budget

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: conflict-free mined diamonds only
  • Return Policy: 30-day return window from the day of shipment delivery on unworn pieces (made-to-order designs, included in policy)

Another popular brand for everyday styles, AUrate is a New York-based company that seeks to eliminate the extra costs accrued in dealing with middlemen to give shoppers the highest quality pieces at the best prices. Its selection of engagement rings is ideal for those who want a classic, timeless design. But for those who want something that breaks with tradition a bit more, AUrate also has a gorgeous selection of statement rings that feature a wide range of alternative gemstones. You can also create your own bespoke ring in conjunction with the brand’s design team.

10. Blue Nile

Widest Selection of Styles

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown and conflict-free mined diamonds
  • Return Policy: free within 30 days

Blue Nile offers both lab-grown and mined diamonds for you to craft your custom engagement ring. Or you can shop from a huge selection of ready-to-ship designs featuring timeless classics that will never go out of style to intricate vintage designs to non-traditional statement rings featuring diamonds or colored gemstones. There are also designer collaborations with names like Zac Posen and Bella Vaughan for a high-fashion look. You can browse all the setting options, as well as available stones, to build your dream ring, but know that some options require you call in to complete your order (just to ensure everything is squared away in exactly the way you want).

11. Clean Origin

Longest Return Window

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown only
  • Return Policy: free within 100 days, custom designs are final sale

As you might have guessed from the name, Clean Origin uses only lab-grown diamonds to create its gorgeous designs. There’s a wide selection of premade ring designs to choose from, including a newer collection of gender-neutral styles, but you can also start from scratch with whatever setting or stone you prefer and further customize from there to make something uniquely yours. And because Clean Origin uses only lab-grown diamonds, the prices are more affordable than mined alternatives, meaning you can get more bling for your buck. Plus, you can book a complimentary virtual or in-person appointment to get additional guidance before you buy.

Shop Clean Origin Engagement Rings

Clean Origin della
$1,150 and up
Buy Now
Clean Origin norah
$1,825 and up
Buy Now

12. Catbird

For the Boho Minimalist

  • Custom Designs Available: No
  • Types of Diamonds Used: recycled and conflict-free mined diamonds
  • Return Policy: online orders can be returned within ten days of the date your package was delivered; $5 return shipping charge; some final sale exceptions

Catbird is a beloved NYC-based jewelry brand that’s ideal for anyone looking for a minimalist ring that’s anything but simple. They specialize in non-traditional designs with multiple stones, intricate metal work or a mix of colors, but there are also more classic ring designs to shop as well. There is, unfortunately, not currently an option to design your own ring from scratch (although you can have a ring engraved), but with the huge number of rings available to shop online, we feel pretty confident there will be more than one ring you’re sure to fall head over heels for.

13. Frank Darling

For Those Unsure Where to Start

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown, recycled and conflict-free mined diamonds
  • Return Policy: free within 30 days, custom designs are returnable with some caveats

You can shop either mined or lab-grown diamonds at Frank Darling, which offers a number of shapes we rarely see available online, like rose and trillion. But what makes the brand really stand out is the amount of information and aide it can give you. There’s an online quiz for those who aren’t entirely sure what their style is, tons of information on how to shop for diamonds and what consider between lab-grown, recycled and mined stones. It also has the option to ship you a kit of options for you to try on at home. All you have to do is select up to three sterling silver replica rings you want to test, then wear them around to see what’s comfortable for five days before returning, now confident you know exactly how you’ll feel sporting the real deal.

Shop Frank Darling Engagement Rings

Frank Darling breezy
$1,340 and up
Buy Now
Frank Darling pave
$1,140 and up
Buy Now

14. Sarah O.

For a Vintage Vibe

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown, rough and conflict-free mined diamonds
  • Return Policy: within 10 days with a 10 percent restocking fee, postage not included, custom designs are final sale

If you’re hoping for the look and feel of a vintage ring but aren’t up for combing through vintage shops hoping to find the one, Sarah O. should be on your list of places to check out. The Latina-owned and operated jewelry brand has a wide array of gorgeous vintage-inspired rings, as well as lots of classic styles, to fit all sorts of aesthetics. It also offers lab-grown and rough diamonds, which are less expensive than mined, for the soon-to-be-bride on a budget.

Shop Sarah O. Engagement Rings

15. Kimai

For Modern, Unique Bands

  • Custom Designs Available: Yes
  • Types of Diamonds Used: lab-grown diamonds only
  • Return Policy: no returns (complimentary resizing available)

What really drew us to Kimai’s engagement ring collection was the elegant flow and shape of all the unexpected bands, with unique stone placement to boot. They’re all at once timeless and incredibly modern. That said, if you’re not finding your exact match in the selection of predesigned rings, you can go the bespoke route. Meet with your designer one-on-one over multiple virtual sessions (the term is based in Antwerp, Belgium) to craft the ring of your dreams. Just note, Kimai does allow you to ship your ring back up to be resized up to three times free of charge, but the brand does not accept returns.

Shop Kimai Engagement Rings

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on the best running apps? She's your gal. From trend explanations to designer gossip, Abby has your back.

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...

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Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...