Here are the 17 best places to buy engagement rings online
Happily ever after starts right here
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First comes love, then comes one of the most important decisions of your life. No, it’s not whether or not to pop the question—chances are, you’ve already figured that part out. Rather, it’s where to buy the best engagement rings online.
Thanks to the pandemic, proposals aren’t the only thing skyrocketing in popularity. Engagement ring sales have soared since March 2020, with many folks opting to conduct their searches for the perfect rock from behind a smartphone or laptop screen. The benefits of this are vast—it means you can shop from anywhere and avoid crowds, browse from a larger inventory than brick-and-mortar shops might offer, compare prices from multiple retailers at once, and even read customer reviews, in case you’re still on the fence about something.
Buying engagement rings online might be the new normal, but that doesn’t make it easy, as you still have to take lots of factors into account, too, like whether or not the shop is legit, what the return policies are, and more. This process gets even trickier if you’re planning to design a custom ring, as many diamonds are cut and polished overseas and shipped from other countries, which could result in extended wait times.
It might seem overwhelming, but don’t panic. Even if you don’t know a thing about diamond shapes or you’re unsure of how much to spend on engagement rings, this guide can help take some of the guesswork out of making the first step toward happily ever after. Here are the best places to buy engagement rings right now.
Best Established Retailers
Sometimes, it’s easier to start a search by going with what’s familiar. Famous retailers that are instantly recognizable from commercials or ads that you’ve seen in the past could be a good option for engagement rings, as they generally have a massive inventory of ready-to-shop rings and tend to offer a comprehensive online experience. In addition, many large stores may have in-house financing options available, which could be beneficial for some budget-conscious shoppers. Even if you end up preferring an independent shop or designer (more on that later), these well-known brands are worth taking a look at, too.
1. Blue Nile
Established in 1999, Blue Nile was essentially the first online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, helping pioneer the model for internet-based engagement ring sales. With more than 150,000 GIA-graded diamonds in its inventory and 250 settings to choose from, Blue Nile streamlines the entire process of buying high-quality bling. You can shop its ready-made catalog or design your own, and even request a virtual appointment if you’d like some extra help to navigate the process.
Our favorite: Vera Wang Love Collection Oval Diamond Double Frame Engagement Ring—$1,836.75
Return policy: 30 days
Known as “the diamond store” since its inception in 1924, Zales has been a dominant force in the engagement ring industry for decades. This retailer offers an assortment of ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones—you can also opt for lab-made stones that offer a similar sparkling brilliance, but at a much more affordable price than some gems of comparable size. While you can design your own ring, this shop also has a variety of popular collections to shop from, including Enchanted Disney and others.
If you’re interested in fine or semi-fine jewelry that’s fashion-forward and incredibly on-trend, Mejuri is worth a gander. The brand, which was established in 2015, is one of our favorite places to shop for jewelry online and after we tried out a few pieces, we were impressed with the way Mejuri marries style with affordability. As far as engagement rings go, expect easy, ready-to-wear functionality with a twist, as many of these bold items feature nontraditional center stones like green sapphires and morganite.
Our favorite: Round 14-Karat White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring—$4,999.99
Return policy: 30 days
With more than 200 stores across the U.S., Jared is a power player in the engagement ring industry and has been dominating the market since 1945. This retailer’s in-stock offerings are virtually endless; think halos, solitaires, 3-stones, and so much else. While you can absolutely shop from Jared’s vast inventory of ready-to-ship classic rocks, you can use the store’s virtual appointment hub to talk through your questions with a trained specialist, and even design your own glitzy showstopper.
5. Chris Aire
Nigerian-born designer Chris Aire has been called the King of Bling, and his statement-making luxury jewelry, can attest to the fact that it’s a well-earned reputation. If you want to pop the question with the kind of ring that’ll make your beloved’s eyes glaze over with awe, he’s your guy. Since setting out on his own in 1996, Chris Aire has delivered a variety of shimmering, exceptional gems—like black diamonds—that stand out in a crowd, in a good way. In addition to ready-to-ship offerings, you can also design custom rings.
6. Brilliant Earth
Our favorite: Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Engagement Ring—from $1,250
Return policy: 30 days
If responsible sourcing is something you and your partner are extremely passionate about, Brilliant Earth could be the ideal place to shop online for engagement rings. Founded in 2005, the brand is dedicated to delivering ethical, conflict-free diamonds and using recycled materials, so this is one ring destination that not only talks the talk, but walks it with regard to sustainability. One of the best ways to make the most of Brilliant Earth’s versatility is to design your own ring, as you can pick from different settings, stone shapes, and even hues. You can also shop for lab-treated diamonds too, in case you want to avoid using the real deal entirely, or peruse the recently purchased section to see what other styles are trending with shoppers. While Brilliant Earth does have brick-and-mortar locations in major cities like Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and more, shopping online is made easy, especially if you schedule a virtual appointment to help guide you through your options.
7. James Allen
Our favorites: 18K White Gold Petite Cushion Halo Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring—$2,750
Return policy: 30 days
With more than 200,000 certified diamonds to shop from, James Allen is one of the largest retailers for engagement rings online. Since it was established in 2006, this brand has offered an immersive online experience, wherein shoppers are able to not only pick diamonds via the custom design feature on the site, but are also able to view high-resolution, 360-degree high-definition photos and zoom in for up to 40x magnification, which really gives customers an up-close-and-personal glimpse at the goods. In addition, James Allen offers a variety of ready-to-ship rings, available to fit a variety of price points. These rings definitely get expensive, but you can segment down your search to fit within your exact budget, if the price tags on some of the brand's most radiant rocks are making you sweat.
8. Woolton & Hewitt
Our favorite: Solitaire Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring—from $2,481.34
Return policy: All sales final
There’s more than one way to show your pride, and this LGBTQIA+-owned businesses is a great way to start, especially if you’re looking for an extra-special ring to give your sweetie that also celebrates your love for the community. With roots back to 1931, these fourth-generation jewelers make striking bands that offer a lot of versatility, and you can choose from ready-to-ship picks featuring rainbow-inspired gemstone accents and more. Want to get a better glimpse into the showroom without heading to the U.K. (where the brick-and-mortar location is) to do it? You can schedule a personal consultation via Skype or Zoom to get a better idea of how this shop’s products compliment your vision of love everlasting.
We’re gonna let you in on a little secret: QVC isn’t just a hub for affordable electronics, fashion, and home accessories. It’s actually a hidden gem if you’re shopping for engagement rings, especially if you want to avoid spending thousands of dollars but still want something really breathtaking. Referred to as “diamonique” (a.k.a., cubic zirconia), engagement rings from this home-shopping network are built for durability and everyday wear, meaning your partner isn’t going to have to stress much about what a few chores and running errands is going to do to one of these bad boys if they happen to forget to take it off beforehand. Best part of showing off diamonique? Unless someone in the crowd is a certified gemologist, they probably won’t even know the difference. But if by chance they do, they’ll probably give you both kudos for being budget-savvy enough to know a great value when you see it.
Best Emerging Retailers
Rings aren’t just a token of love and commitment—the best ones tell a story. While your proposal is part of that plot line, it’s really only a small piece of it. The truth is, the ring you give your love has another origin story, and it starts with the place you purchased it. Emerging retailers, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ or Black community, can be an excellent alternative to famous jewelers because the businesses themselves often have fascinating beginnings. This background can help inform not just their product offerings, but the unique look and vibe of each engagement ring. A diamond might last forever, but the tale it tells is just as timeless, and using your nest egg to help support up-and-coming designers could be a great way to show your love in more ways than one.
Our favorite: Forever One Moissanite Vintage Filigree Ring—from $1,999
Return policy: Varies by shop
If you’re looking to support an independent jeweler and find a ring that really is one-of-a-kind, Etsy is a must-shop. Just browsing through Pinterest boards, there’s a good chance you’ve seen many stellar rose gold, morganite beauties or other exceptional rocks that hail from it. Because Etsy is actually composed of thousands of shops, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule for shopping from it, especially when it comes to engagement rings. To get started, you can head to Etsy’s main engagement ring page and then navigate down from there. It’s a little chaotic, but that’s part of its charm, and while each individual shop is bound to have its own policies surrounding shipping, custom designs, and other particulars, one thing is for certain: You’re sure to find something truly unique there.
11. Automatic Gold
Queer, proud, self-funded, and designed with all bodies in mind, Automatic Gold is a company that’s radicalizing the way people normally think about engagement rings in a really meaningful way. Every piece of jewelry in this brand’s inventory—including its ready-to-ship rings, which are available in four different colors and five finishes—is made from reclaimed gold and arrives in recyclable packaging. Even better, the models showing off these radiant gems come from all walks and include non-white, non-cis folks, as representation is one of the most important values that Automatic Gold holds dear. Although the brick-and-mortar location is closed right now due to COVID-19, you can request custom designs via the site if you want something more personalized.
12. Valerie Madison
Our favorite: Eva Colorless Trillion Diamond Engagement Ring in 14 Karat Yellow Gold—$4,190
Return policy: All sales final on custom rings; 14 days for ready-to-ship rings
Handcrafted and made from recycled metals, Valerie Madison is a Black-owned business established in 2014, with a focus on creating heirloom-quality pieces that are responsibly made and built to stand the test of time. If you’re looking to design your own ring, the process is a bit involved: It starts with a 30-minute consultation, then stone selection. You have to provide a nonrefundable deposit once you have, and then the shop provides digital mockups, which are referred to as CAD renderings, of the ring, so you have a better idea of how it’ll look one it’s forged. You can also shop from a variety of ready-to-ship rings, including stellar diamond, moissanite, and gemstone-centered rings.
Our favorite: The Swan Solitaire (Cultivated Diamond)—from $2,500
Return policy: 10 days
It should come as no surprise that one of the hottest indie shops to hit up these days for engagement rings was founded in 2004 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (a.k.a., still the hipster mecca of the world). Catbird is a female-run business offering up an assortment of wonderfully offbeat and interesting rings, including its own signature collections from recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds, as well as vintage-inspired picks from smaller brands like Wwake, Polly Wales, and others. You can also schedule virtual consultations, if you’d like a closer look at certain selections before you buy.
Our favorite: The Emerald Halo—from $1,525
Return policy: No returns for custom engagement rings; 20 days for ready-to-ship rings
When it comes to shopping for engagement rings online, Gemist is an innovator. This retailer, which was established in 2018, offers ethically-sourced stones and handmade rings via a direct-to-consumer model that’s similar to Warby Parker: You can design rings and get samples to try on first before you buy anything. Unsure how to start? Schedule an appointment with a Gemist stylist to get the process underway. Each call lasts from 15 to 20 minutes, and then the store will send along three stand-in rings (similar to the one you’ve designed) so that your romantic vision for the perfect ring comes to life.
15. Kataoka Jewelry
Japanese-owned business Kataoka Jewelry was founded in 2011 and prides itself on fashioning the kinds of exquisite jewelry that stands on its own as a supreme work of art. The brand received all kinds of buzz in 2019 after Emma Stone showed off one of its rings—a dazzling center pearl offset by several diamonds on a beige gold band—and has been on many style watchlists since, but you can find all sorts of treasures at this retailer. In particular, Kataoka is terrific if you’re searching for a delicate, easily stackable ring that goes the nontraditional route; think, bold rubies instead of diamonds as a center stone. Explore the brand’s ready-to-ship section to see more unique pairings.
Our favorites: Tapered Baguette Asscher Diamond Engagement Ring—from $3,195
Return policy: 30 days
Whether you’re shopping for lab-created diamonds or the real McCoy, Ritani offers a glittering variety of pretty engagement rings sure to knock your S.O.’s socks off. Like a lot of jewelers, this retailer—which was founded in 1999—gives you the option to choose from ready-to-ship rings or design your own, and you filter selections based not only on price, but on diamond shape, so you pick from Art Deco-inspired asscher-cut diamonds to pear-shaped stunners and everything in between. Another advantage to Ritani is that you can chat with a real gemologist before you buy and use the Ring Recommender tool to find a diamond that’s right within your budget.
17. The Clear Cut
Return policy: Contact directly
For a sparkly ring that you can custom design to your heart's desire, The Clear Cut could be a terrific option. Founded in 2013, the brand focuses on ethically sourced diamonds that’ll make a big impression. While the brand does have a ready-to-ship section, it really prides itself on its custom ring process. To start your journey with The Clear Cut, you can schedule a call or email a gemologist directly. Another great way to make the most of shopping this retailer is to take advantage of its online classes, or to head on over to the couples testimonials page, to hear what happy duos have to say about their proposals and experiences with the shop.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.