Purchasing a Diamond Online vs. In-store

Written by Jason on . No Comments

When it comes to shopping for diamond or diamond jewelry, the biggest dilemma most shoppers encounter is whether to purchase their diamond online or in-store. Thanks to leading online retailers making online diamond selection and purchasing a seamless process, more and more shoppers are choosing the online path over traditional brick and mortar diamond retailers. With the potential for with huge savings and a bountiful inventory of diamonds to select from, buying a diamond online makes practical sense.

Advantages of Purchasing a Loose Diamond Online – PRICE

Shopping online for loose diamonds and jewellery offers a lot of advantages, especially for those who know what they want. As with almost anything these days, the biggest advantage to purchasing a diamond online is substantially lower prices. Online retailers don’t carry the same operating expenses that their brick and mortar counterparts do. Some online diamond retailers, namely Blue Nile, drop ship from suppliers to further minimize overhead. All these savings translate to less mark-up and are passed on to you in the form of lower prices. Here’s a quick example:

Criteria: 1.04 Carat weight diamond, Ideal Cut, F Color, VS2 Clarity


  • Birks


  • Blue Nile

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  • James Allen

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  • Whiteflash

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  • Brian Gavin

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DISCLAIMER: The above examples are to illustrate the difference between in-store and online retailers. The online selected stones vary in their quality and are for example purposes only. For additional help comparing stones across retailers, leave us a comment on this page.

Advantages of Purchasing a Loose Diamond Online – SELECTION

Shopping the diamond market in-store means visiting several jewelers and retailers and sorting through their respective offerings of diamonds. Each jeweler will help educate you about diamonds, showcase their diamonds for your analysis and ultimately try and convince you why their diamond selection is superior. This process, while educational, is time consuming and complex.

Shopping online provides the distinct advantage of being able to view large amounts of inventory in a single session. Historically, choosing a diamond online was a daunting task. This, ironically, was due to the large inventory. Narrowing down the selection to a single diamond required a leap of faith as diamond images were not readily available.

Retailers who sell diamonds on the web have quickly come to realize and address this gap by offering high resolution photos (ex. James Allen Virtual Loupe). Some retailers even offer images traditionally only seen with an IdealScope, Hearts and Arrows, or ASET viewer (ex. Whiteflash, Brian Gavin). All these tools emulate an in-store shopping process and help narrow your selection down until only the best diamond is found.

Tips for shopping online:

  • GET EDUCATED. The more you learn, the better your selection of diamonds will be. The diamond market is vast and so there are countless websites featuring information on diamonds on the web.
  • Start with selecting the best diamond cut grade you can afford. This will ensure your initial set of diamonds selected will visually perform well.
  • Retailers who sell diamonds online often have their own branded signature line which feature ideal proportions. This is not to be mistaken for Tolkowsky’s ideal proportions.
  • A diamond color chart and diamond clarity chart show you potential areas for saving. D and F color diamonds are both colorless and indistinguishable to the naked eye, but the F diamond will cost less)
  • Diamond Supply Co. is a skateboard company, not an online retailer!
  • Take advantage of the online advisors.  Advisors can often pull two diamonds from inventory and compare them in person to provide you more details.

Other Benefits of Purchasing Online:

  • Cost savings!
  • Wider range of selection
  • Simplicity and convience
  • Guareentee and insurability

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Holloway Cut Advisor

Buying a loose stone online and can't decide between two similar diamonds? The Holloway Cut Adviser can help you choose by estimating a diamond's appeal based on its potential Light Return, Fire, Scintillation and Spread.

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