The Only Online Jewelers You Should Be Buying Diamonds From, According to the Pros

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There’s a lot that goes into fine jewelry shopping. Add diamonds into the mix, and you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the lingo — and the prices. But buying jewelry and gemstones online actually makes the process a lot easier and provides more opportunities for transparency, competitive prices, and some unique customization features, so long as you’re looking at the best places to buy diamonds. 

Choosing an online jeweler comes down to quality, sourcing, service, and authenticity, says Kristy Cullinane, the co-founder of Plum Diamonds. This is true whether you’re buying lab-grown vs. natural diamonds, having a custom piece designed, or are considering ready-to-ship styles. To help you get started on your diamond-buying journey, we tapped jewelry experts (including Cullinane) to learn more about what to look for when shopping online for diamonds, important factors to consider before buying, and their recommendations for online diamond retailers. 

Best Places to Buy Diamonds at a Glance

What Is the Most Affordable Way to Buy Diamonds?

When considering the most affordable way to buy diamonds, Olivia Landau, a 4th generation diamond expert,  G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist, and the founder and CEO of The Clear Cut, says to view it through the lens of getting the most value for your diamond. “It is important to do your research and not overpay for characteristics that do not necessarily matter to you,” she notes. With this in mind, she recommends first setting a topline budget and, within that budget, “identify the characteristics of a diamond you want to maximize for,” like carat, color, and clarity. Also, make note of the characteristics you’re willing to compromise on to find the perfect balance of specifications. “For some people, size will be the most important factor and they are willing to compromise on color or clarity, and then others will sacrifice size for color,” she explains. 

Outside of your budget, it’s also worth looking at a diamond’s origin. Earth-mined diamonds (aka, natural diamonds) are the more expensive option since they are rare and require many resources to mine them. Lab-grown diamonds are a popular and more budget-friendly alternative because they have the exact same makeup as a natural diamond — you literally cannot tell the difference — but don’t use as many resources for creation. Because of this, they tend to be a less expensive diamond. 

As for where to buy affordable diamonds, consider shopping online or at a wholesale jewelry market, such as The Jewelry District in Los Angeles or the NYC Diamond District. Online shopping is the more accessible route and often one of the best ways to get a good deal. Consider shopping around and keeping an eye out for sales, especially around popular shopping holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. 

What to Look for When Buying Diamonds Online

Whether you’re looking at individual gemstones or jewelry pieces, finding the best diamonds online comes down to a few key factors. Here’s what to look for when shopping, according to experts. 

Diamond Type 

Before diving into diamond jewelry, Page Neal, the co-founder of Bario Neal says the first thing to think about the diamond itself. “The first thing to know is that there are all different types of diamonds, from raw and natural diamonds to lab-grown diamonds, black diamonds, melee diamonds, recycled diamonds, and heirloom diamonds,” she explains. The beauty of shopping online for diamonds is that you can find a variety of diamonds at various retailers. While the most popular are lab-grown and natural diamonds, you can also find retailers who source recycled diamonds or use your own heirloom — aka, inherited — diamonds for a most custom piece. 


After considering sourcing, you’ll also want to look at sourcing. “You want to be sure that you’re not getting diamonds from questionable origins,” says Cullinane. When shopping for diamonds, look at both ethically and sustainably sourced gemstones to ensure your diamonds are conflict-free. 

Balancing Budget

Since diamonds are an investment, it’s important to shop with your budget in mind. To find the best diamonds for your price range, Anubh Shah, the founder of With Clarity, says to think of it as a scale with size on one end, quality on the other, and budget balancing everything out. “The optimal way to [stay within] budget is by balancing size and quality without overweighting the other,” he explains. “This will give you the optimal diamond for your price range.” 

The Four Cs 

To find a high-quality diamond online, Shah says to keep cut, color, clarity, and carat in mind. “Cut is the overall light performance or sparkle of a diamond,” he explains. These gemstones are like mirrors that bounce light to create sparkle. “That should be prioritized to ensure the diamond is sparkling to its fullest potential,” Shah adds. 

Color is the overall brightness of a diamond, so this also matters when shopping for the best diamonds. The color scale goes alphabetically, with D being the highest grade for color quality. The higher the quality, the brighter and whiter the diamond, so Shah recommends going with at least an F color, “which allows one to stay on the colorless spectrum without breaking the bank.”

“Clarity is the magnitude of tiny imperfections in the diamond,” says Shah. These tiny imperfections can actually prevent light from passing through, which can impact the overall sparkle. “This is also graded on a scale with flawless being the highest grade,” Shah notes. He recommends looking for diamonds with a VS1 grade, which will guarantee that the diamond has no distracting imperfections. 

Carat is the diamond’s weight, not the size. And, while it is worth considering, it might be an area that you can compromise since it won’t impact the overall size. However, if you want a diamond that is more rare and valuable, the carat is worth keeping in mind. 

GIA Certified Diamonds

When purchasing diamond jewelry — especially bigger investment pieces such as engagement rings — Landau says to look for GIA-certified diamonds to ensure overall quality. “GIA is the foremost authority on diamond grading and certification and is the industry standard,” she explains. “Although other grading labs may use the same grading criteria, they will not have as strict of standards as GIA.”

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Blue Nile is a STYLECASTER sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

The Best Places to Buy Diamonds Online

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