Up until a few weeks ago, there was a very good (not necessarily correct) article about buying a diamond engagement ring online vs in a jewellery store. The article, is still available here (archive.org) and was featured on the QReport website.
What made it a good article, in my opinion, is that it presented a number of points against buying online. However, selling diamonds and diamond jewellery predominantly online, I thought I’d point out why the article was just plain wrong.
The article starts out by implying that getting a great deal on the internet isn’t the most romantic thing to do when proposing. To that extent, the article is correct, however, buying on the web is by no means “cheap”. Sure, online retailers such as us sell for significantly less than say Tiffany & Co, however, these days, most of our customers are wanting the highest quality, brightest diamond they can buy for their money. This sometimes ends up with them spending a little bit more than what they had planned, but in the end, they get a much better diamond.
Secondly, the article asks “No matter how good the Internet becomes, or how high the resolution of your monitor is – will you really be able to see a diamond’s true fire and brilliance on your screen?”. The answer to this is YES! With modern technology, such as the Ideal-Scope, The AGS ASET, and others, you can even objectively measure a diamond’s light return and compare that with the diamonds you see in a jewellery store.
The next paragraph goes on to say the internet is a great resource for diamond information, but not a great medium for purchasing. However, in my opinion, it’s the complete opposite – browsing in a jewellery store is great for finding out what different shapes, sizes and colours are, however, when it comes to purchasing, it is best to do it online as you will most likely find a wider selection, better quality stones and probably (but not always) a better price.
The article then goes on to promote the benefits of a local jeweller, such as dropping in for ring cleaning or a matching wedder. Now that is something I’d agree on – no matter how great online dealers become, they still won’t be “local”.
In the end, buying a diamond or diamond engagement ring requires research, possibly both online and offline. It’s not a matter of price anymore. Instead, it’s up to every retailer to match the perfect product with each individual consumer.