How To: Buy An Engagement Ring Online

Caroline Leaper


Buying an engagement ring online seems, on good old-fashioned paper, like a bit of a bad idea. How could you possibly know that the ring is the one, when you can’t see it / hold it / marvel at its sparkle in the flesh?

Well Sarah Bennett, Gemporia’s jewellery design director, says that it can, nay, it should be done – you just have to know what to look for.

Here’s her guide to shopping for an engagement ring online…

There are three key considerations when shopping for an engagement ring…
‘Firstly, what stone are you looking for? Diamonds are the most popular choice, but other precious stones such as emerald, sapphire and ruby are also very popular choices. Once you have determined the gemstone, the metal should follow. Are you looking for something which is gold in colour, or white gold? And thirdly how much can you afford to spend? Once you answer these questions you should have a much firmer idea of the type of ring that you’re looking for so deciding on a style should be a lot easier.’

Remember the 4 Cs…
‘There are no hard and fast rules on which questions you should be asking - You may want to know about the diamond’s technical composition or about the style of the piece but I do think it’s a good idea to ask about the diamond’s quality. Diamonds are graded using a scale known as the 4Cs, which considers their cut, clarity, colour and carat weight- which are all assessed to determine their quality. This will tell you all you need to know about the piece you’re looking at in terms of its sparkle and brilliance. When you are considering buying a piece of diamond jewellery, these four grades should be displayed to give you an indication of the quality of the stone you are buying.’

Look for the certificate
‘For added peace of mind, purchase a diamond with a certificate- this is official recognition of the quality of stone you have bought so you have complete faith in your jewellery.’

Size matters…
‘If you’re buying the ring as a total surprise, size is often the biggest concern. Of course, there is no guaranteed way to ensure the perfect fit [either when shopping in store or online] but there are a few tricks you can use to try and get pretty close. The best way is to try and borrow a ring that she wears on the fourth finger of her right hand and download an online ring sizer to determine its size. We offer a great tool on our website. And remember that most engagement rings can be sized after the event if they are too big or small so try not to panic.’

You need to know about VIS-tailing…
‘It’s a brand new concept in online retail. Pop in store via a ‘virtual’ visit - live and online! You request to view a piece of jewellery – our diamond experts will show you it there and then, from every angle and answer all your questions about it. What could be simpler? Gemporia has The Diamond Room where customers can explore all of our beautiful quality diamond pieces in one room.’

Shopping online IS better than in stores…
‘Jewellery stores can often be intimidating environments and as helpful and friendly as staff may be, there is an element of pressure to make a choice and buy a ring. Online shopping removes this tension. You can do your research, browse different styles and stores and find inspiration from the comfort of your own home- in pjs if you wish! The screen used to be a barrier, but now, technology is so advanced that you can see all of the items specific details, watch product videos, zoom in on it from multiple angles and make a fully informed decision. Plus online stores do tend to be cheaper. We don’t have the overheads that high street jewellers have.’

And if you’re still just not sure what style would suit her…
‘Take a look at the other jewellery they like to wear- it’s a great indication of their jewellery style. Is it delicate, ornate, chunky or modern? Is it gold or silver? All of this should give you a good idea. And if you’re still a little unsure, do a little digging! Trust me, she’s bound to have spoken to someone- her mum, her sister or her best friend about her dream engagement ring- all girls do!’


You might also be interested in…

Look What I'm Wearing

More: Look What I'm Wearing

InStyle: Look Of The Day

More: Look Of The Day


Subscribe and get 12 issues of Marie Claire from only £13.99!

Choose how you want to receive Marie Claire – available in print or on your iPad