written by Mo
written by Mo

4 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Buy an Engagement Ring Online

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One of the topics that people always want more information on is buying engagement rings online. Today, we’re going to discuss why you should NEVER buy a ring online.

People typically buy their engagement ring online for one or more of these four reasons.

  1. Selection Myth – they feel like they’ve got way more diamonds to choose from than just a typical store because of the Comparison Illusion.
  2. Pricing – the price is a lot better than what they may find in a store.
  3. Customization – they’ve got way more options, a lot more styles that you can put whatever shape you want on it.
  4. Convenience – you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home without having to talk to anybody. 

As people who have actually worked in the e-commerce industry we’re going to peel back the curtain to really give you some insight into what actually goes on behind the scenes and at the end we’re going to show you the best way to buy your engagement ring.

#1: Selection Myth

Let’s start with what we call the “selection myth”. So you go to a website and it looks like you got hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of stones to select from. The first thing that most of you may not know is these websites do not have any of these stones. They are simply feeding their websites from a database basically like a brokering service like realtor.com, where you look for homes on a website showing all the options that are out there. 

Not only do these companies not own these stones, they’re scattered all around the world with the vast majority of them being in India.

Comparison Illusion

buying diamond online
diamond buying online selection myth

Online companies are trying to give you the illusion of comparison. The problem is that all of these diamonds have been shot all over the world with different sources. They’re using different studio lighting. Just take a look.

Even the lighting backgrounds not the same color. Do you see that was supposed to be white or gray some of them are coming off more blueish, more grayish? How could we possibly compare those diamonds when they’ve all been prerecorded? You need to see diamond side by side to be able to compare the differences. 


Let’s take a look at what real comparison looks like. Let’s start with this diamond. Take a look. What do you think? Does it look good, does it look bad? Well, it’s hard to tell because you’re not comparing it to anything. So let’s take a look when we’re comparing them side by side in real time. Take a look. Can you spot the dud?  It’s the one on the right. It probably didn’t look so bad when it was all alone? Why? Because you can’t understand how a diamond compares to other diamonds unless you’re seeing them side by side in real time.

round diamond comparison sparkle

#2: Price

Price is going to be one of the main reasons that people will buy their stone online. And if we really break it down, there’s a lot of false narratives that people will buy into, like that these companies have lower overhead, they’re getting a better deal because they’re wholesalers etc. The illusion that you’re getting a good deal is what’s believed but this is what’s actually going on: when you go on to a website and you’re looking for a round diamond, let’s say it’s a one carat. To narrow the scope, let’s say they’re all the same color, the same clarity, more or less the same cut. You’re going to get a listing of, let’s say, two or three hundred stones that fit your criteria. There’s going to be a HUGE difference in price between the one at the top and one at the bottom. 

diamond selection filter online

The number one burning question you should have is “Why is there such a big difference in price, even though everything on paper basically is more or less exactly the same?”

diamond price differences online

Here’s what’s going on, there are a lot more details attached to these diamonds in this database that you’re never going to see because e-commerce companies never share them. If they ever shared the information that’s on the back end, people would never feel comfortable buying a diamond online. If we peel back the layer, you’d see things like light milky, brown tinge, C2, B0. All these weird things would not fit within the parameters of the 4Cs but online companies want us to just focus on what you would see on a certificate. 

Take a look at our some of our other blog posts. We did one on ‘off the grade’– all the things that you never see on a certificate that matter, why diamond grading is not scientific. These things matter and they do correlate to the price but you wouldn’t see that because they’re never shared with you.

Let’s take a break from diamonds. Let’s say you’re about to buy a house and you’re looking at houses on realtor.com and the houses that you’re looking at in the neighborhood that you want to be in are going for a 1.2 million dollars. All of a sudden, you come across a house that costs six hundred thousand dollars. Are you going to stop right there and buy the house? No, you’re going to call your realtor and your realtor will have access to back end notes and your realtor is going to explain that house is cheaper because it has termites and mold. The way that house would look pretty in the pictures online, is the same way diamonds look good online at first glance because you’re just looking at these diamonds online, but you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes.

You deserve to know what the back end notes are.

#3: Customization Myth

Let’s move on to the customization myth. These sites typically have a “build-a-ring” feature where you could pick the ring style and you could pair it with whatever head you want, basically giving you the illusion that you can customize your ring. Here’s what’s actually going on. These rings are basically a series of bodies and heads. So you pick a body and you pick it in yellow gold. You say you want a round stone. There’s a round peg that goes in. You change your mind, you want a square stone, there’s a square peg that goes on. But there’s issues with that — you’re thinking that you’re buying a ring that’s new BUT it actually might have been used because a lot of these rings are returned due to their pretty flexible return policies. What do you think happens to them? It’s pretty simple. They receive the returned ring, remove the stone; the peg gets removed and goes back into the peg bin and the ring goes back into the ring bin. Don’t let someone else’s “no” be your “yes”.

ring selection feature e-commerce online
recycled rings

#4: Convenience

waiting for diamond to arrive

One of the other myths about buying a diamond ring online is that it’s fast and convenient. In reality, the only thing that’s fast is you paying for it. These are basically stock items that are coming from overseas so it could take several weeks for it to get to your door. It’s one thing if took time to curate and create because it was handcrafted and customized to your specification but you’re just spending weeks waiting for your diamond and your ring to ship in from overseas.

So we’ve shown you why you shouldn’t be buying online and quite frankly it’s a very antiquated approach. That self-service model doesn’t really speak to the needs that you have when you are purchasing something that’s meant to be a token of your love, but we get it. You want to do that because the other alternative of going into a store meeting with a sales clerk, that’s going to be pushy is annoying. Nobody wants to do that. So we came up with a solution, what we believe is the best way to buy a diamond – through a virtual consultation. Our virtual studios are equipped with high definition cameras so our consultants can show you diamonds curated for you within your budget range and wishlist.

cushion cut diamond


  1. Selection – Rather than spreadsheet buying, which is what you see online, we do a curated selection.
  2. Pricing – Rather than just trying to find the best price online, we’ll do budget optimization. Let’s look at what your range is and we’ll create a personally selected selection that works within your range.
  3. Customization – With us you can actually see everything side by side to see what it is rather than a faux custom or template body-peg system. We actually have our own manufacturing facility where we actually craft it by hand. It’s so important. Every ring is handcrafted from scratch to the exact measurement and dimension of the stone that you picked that we work with you on. So it’s like a custom made suit.
  4. Convenience – Rather than just trying to get something fast, let’s figure out what your timeline is and we can work within that. We find for most of our clients it’s more important for us to get it right than to just get it fast.
So before you check out, check us out!

We’re Toronto based jewelers and you can meet with us in our studio, in-store or online, virtually. We ship all through Canada and the US.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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