We buy groceries, shoes, and even couches online. So why not engagement rings?

My fiancé and I bought my engagement ring online, and it was much more efficient and relaxing than visiting a brick-and-mortar store and dealing with pushy jewelers and salespeople. Shopping for a huge investment like this is always going to be stressful, but it’s a little less so when you can wear PJs and Google things you don’t understand at midnight.

According to a 2017 report from The Knot, about one-third of the 14,000 engaged or already married couples surveyed reported shopping for the engagement ring together and 14% of the grooms said they bought the ring online, citing better prices and convenience, among other reasons — my fiancé and I fall into those categories.

We decided to shop for our engagement ring after visiting several jewelry stores in Manhattan’s Diamond District and not feeling totally comfortable with the process. Once you’ve found “a guy” through a friend or family referral, you’d start by telling them your budget and diamond specs you’re looking for (the 4Cs), and then the jeweler will go and source a handful loose stones for you. Once they’re in, you can go into the store and check them out in person. I assume you can do this several times with your jeweler, but we wanted to see more options and didn’t want to feel pressured into buying the first sparkly thing we saw, so we went straight online.

Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely helpful to see diamonds in person but we wanted to make sure we were getting the best one within our given specs and only being able to see three stones just wasn’t enough.

There was so much more inventory at the online shops we looked at, and being able to view stones in magnified zoom without a salesperson hovering over you and encouraging you that it’s a great stone is an immense stress-reliever. That being said, there are a ton of sketchy sites that don’t have in-house photos, magnified zoom, 360-degree views, and more, so it’s not the online shopping experience is a sure bet either. Make sure it’s a reputable site with warranties, GIA certification, and at the very least, a return policy.

After shopping for my ring online and zooming in on stones until my eyes glazed over, you can’t go wrong at any of these five stores. Some have truly unique stones and free returns, while others have at-home try-on programs.

Here are the best engagement rings you can buy online:

  • Best engagement rings overall: Blue Nile
  • Best for at-home try-on experience: With Clarity
  • Best for untraditional styles: Mejuri
  • Best for lab-grown diamonds: Vrai
  • Best for in-store preview experience: Ritani

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