A lot of people buy their wedding bands online these days. If you are also planning to do so, the tips in this article will help you with your purchase. Let’s see what you should pay attention to when shopping for diamond bands online.
Choosing Diamonds Online
Buying diamonds online is a bit more complicated than doing so in person.
The reason is that you often cannot see the stone as well as you could if you went to the jewelry store.
It is true that you can often see the color, clarity, and cut grades of diamonds available online, but being able to see the actual stones in person would give you a better idea of how each of them would look when worn.
Not to mention that often diamonds of the same quality grade may look slightly different – their color may vary slightly or they may have flaws in places of different prominence.
Generally, if you are buying diamonds online, it is recommended that you do so at websites where you can see high-quality pictures of the actual stones.
We do not recommend that you buy diamonds that you haven’t seen at all.
Make sure that the diamonds you purchase online are also accompanied by a diamond certificate issued by a respected authority such as the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
This document contains a grading report that lists the quality characteristics of the stone, such as its color, clarity, and cut, along with information on its carat weight, dimensions, and other important features.
A diamond grading certificate issued by a reputable institute ensures that the quality of the stone has been vetted by an independent third party specialized in gemstone evaluation. The report is a kind of guarantee that you are getting what you are paying for.
Buying Diamonds: Loose or Mounted
Another important decision is whether to buy wedding bands with diamonds that have already been set or buy the diamonds loose and then have them set in bands of your choice.
In general, the advantage of buying a diamond loose is that you can see it from all sides and notice any flaws easily.
As for mounted diamonds, when a stone is already put in the setting, it can hide some of the diamond’s visible flaws.
This is fine as long as you don’t take the stone out, but if at some point you decide that you want to put it in another mounting, the new setting may not conceal the diamond’s imperfections so well.
So, if you decide to buy wedding rings with pre-mounted diamonds, it is best if you could see the stones when removed from the mounting.
If this is not possible, as it often is when buying online, at least make sure that the return policy of the vendor allows you to send back the bands if you don’t like them.
How Many Diamonds Should Your Wedding Bands Have?
One of the most important decisions you will have to make when picking diamond wedding bands is regarding their design, and in particular, how many stones the bands should have.
If you opt for bands with a big center diamond and a few side stones, or none at all, you should be prepared to pay more per unit of total carat weight (the combined weight of all diamonds in the ring). The reason for this is that bigger diamonds cost more per carat.
Wedding bands with many small stones will be cheaper compared with rings with bigger stones of the same total carat weight, as smaller diamonds are less expensive per unit of weight.
People often try to decide whether the band they buy should have a single diamond or if it should also include additional side stones.
You could choose to buy bands with no side stones at all, and these rings are usually easier to clean and maintain.
The advantage of having side stones is that they add more brilliance to the band, but you should also make sure that they are uniform in color – you don’t want to look at a cluster of diamonds where some are darker and yellowish while others are lighter and whiter.
Selecting the Bands
When selecting the bands for your wedding rings, you should pay attention to the durability of the metal as well as its color.
One of the most durable choices is platinum, but it is also one of the most expensive.
White gold is another popular option – it is relatively durable and is cheaper than platinum.
Compared with these two metals, yellow gold wears out more easily as it is softer, especially if it has a high karat number.
The color of the metal should be chosen with the color grade of the diamonds in mind.
Stones that have visible yellow tints should not be put in white metals as they will make the hues in the diamonds stand out. For such stones, yellow gold is a better solution as it will make the tint less visible and underscore the white in the diamond.
Selecting the Band’s Setting
When deciding on a setting for your wedding bands, you should take into account how safe the mounting is, how easy it is to clean, and how much of the diamond is visible when put in the setting.
In general, prong settings are easy to clean and allow for great stone visibility, but they are less safe, as more of the diamond is exposed to accidental hits, and the prongs holding it may loosen.
Bezel settings are safer, but they offer less visibility.
Channel settings are similar in that they are pretty safe while hiding more of the surface of the stone, but they make it hard to reach the diamond and clean it well.
Don’t Forget: Online Jewelry Return Policies
When shopping for diamond wedding bands, it is worth stressing the importance of reading the return policy of the store.
As already mentioned, you will not always have the option to see the bands and their diamonds well before the purchase.
If you don’t like how the bands or their stones look when worn, the sale terms should allow you to return the pieces within a predetermined period.
Where to Buy a Diamond Ring?
For diamond rings, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a ring.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.