Buying Your Engagement Ring Online vs Kay or Zales

Ready to buy an engagement ring? Congratulations! You’re in luck: there has never been a better time to buy a diamond.

Online diamond shopping has transformed the experience of buying an engagement ring. It’s easier than ever before to comparison shop and find the perfect diamond ring for you.

But what’s really surprising is that only 15 percent of Americans who buy an engagement ring buy it online. In comparison, 16 percent of Americans buy their engagement rings at chain stores run by America’s largest jeweler: Signet Jewelers, a corporation that owns Kay, Zales, and Jared. Signet has $2.5 billion in sales and 3,500 stores.

Honestly, we think that’s pretty crazy because there are a lot of advantages to buying your engagement ring online instead of a big chain jewelry store. Before you decide where to buy an engagement ring, here are six reasons why you are better off shopping for an engagement ring online than at Kay, Zales or Jared.

1. Online Jewelers Have a Better Selection

Online retailers have revolutionized diamond shopping by offering much more selection than traditional brick and mortar jewelry stores. Online jewelers have tens of thousands of diamonds to choose from so you have many more options to fit your budget. Blue Nile, James Allen (also owned by Signet Jewelers) and RockHer offer more than 100 times the choice at a big chain jeweler.

Kay Jewelers, Zales Jewelers and Jared only have a few hundred choices. And if you are looking for a specific style ring, a specific quality diamond or a fancy shape diamond, your choices are even more limited.

Buying online means never having to compromise on the exact diamond you want.

2. Buying Loose Diamonds is Better

Online jewelers offer you loose diamonds, not diamonds already set into a specific ring. This allows you to get exactly the diamond quality, cut proportions and carat weight you are looking for, independent of the style of the ring. It also makes it much easier to directly comparison shop for the diamond. Like this stone but want it set in a rose gold halo setting? Done!

RockHer makes your engagement ring to order to your exact specifications: style, finger size, diamond dimensions, and precious metal choice. You can even request small changes like setting an oval diamond east-west instead of north-south at no additional charge.

3. Online Jewelers Offer GIA Reports

When it comes to independent diamond grading reports, there is one lab that stands above all others: the Gemological Institute of America. GIA diamond grading reports are the benchmark for judging diamond quality all around the world.

But most of the diamonds in engagement rings at Kay and Zales do not have GIA diamond grading reports. Kay and Zales sell diamonds with reports from labs that are not as well respected.

Diamonds with reports from other labs sell at a discount because jewelers and gemologists assume that their quality grades have been inflated. You don’t know what you are getting and it’s difficult to comparison shop because you can’t compare apples to apples. If a store sells you a diamond as H color and SI1 clarity but GIA would grade it as J color and I clarity, you’re probably overpaying for that diamond.

4. Carat Weights & Quality are Accurate Online

Large chain jewelry stores sell complete engagement rings made overseas in such large quantities that the color, clarity and even carat weight of the center diamond vary from ring to ring. You’ll only get an estimate of quality and carat weight.

If you read the fine print you’ll be shocked to see that the carat weight can vary by 10 percent. That’s a huge difference when diamonds are sold by weight! A one-carat solitaire engagement ring can have a diamond that weighs only 0.95 carats which is much less valuable. In fact, a 1.00-carat diamond is worth 10% to 20% more than a similar 0.99-carat diamond! It makes it very difficult to comparison shop when you don't know exactly what you are getting.

5. Diamonds Prices are Lower Online

The number one reason why many people today buy loose diamonds online instead of at Kay or Zales or other chain jewelry stores is that the markups are much lower online.

It’s easy to understand why. Rent, salaries, insurance and all the overhead for chain jewelry stores are much higher. And if the store is located in a mall, the retailer also has to pay the mall a percentage of sales too. All those expenses add up to higher prices on engagement rings.

6. Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Buy Better Online

The number of diamond options you have online can make the experience overwhelming. This is the main reason people are too intimidated to shop online and end up in a store with fewer options and higher prices. Online jewelers like Blue Nile and James Allen outsource the expertise of picking a loose diamond to you. You are expected to do the research to educate yourself to be a diamond expert.

RockHer is different than Blue Nile and James Allen because we built a diamond-picking artificial intelligence called ROSI using all the combined knowledge of scores of diamond experts. Using the power of IBM’s Watson, ROSI can sift through the hundreds of thousands of loose diamonds on the market at any one time and find the most beautiful well-cut eye-clean diamonds in your budget.

It’s not just an easier way to comb through the options and find the best choice, it’s the best way to get the value of online diamond retail while making sure that you are buying the most beautiful diamond possible. And it’s easier than being pressured by salespeople in a chain store too.

RockHer Blue Nile James Allen Kay & Zales
60,000+ Diamonds
A.I. Personal Ring Shopper
Diamond Value Check
U.S. Made Jewelry
Made Specifically to Order
Crafted in Your Size, Not Sized
Responsible Center Diamonds
Responsible Small Diamonds
Recycled Precious Metals
30-Day Return Policy
Custom Design Available
Inspects All Diamonds
No Commissions
Low Markup
All GIA/AGS Reports

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