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It is common knowledge that diamonds are one of the most sought-after precious stones. They are often used for engagement or wedding rings and other fine jewelry.
Not so long ago, choosing a diamond ring only requires a few questions: emerald or princess cut? Yellow or white gold? These days, before you get to buy the right diamond ring, there are plenty of things to consider by figuring out when, where, and how to buy a diamond ring.
With so many diamond designs and jewelry shops to choose from, knowing how and where to buy the perfect diamond ring may seem confusing and overwhelming. After all, it’s one of the biggest purchases you’re going to make, so you need to make sure you are doing it the right way.
With all this in mind, taking a little extra time for planning will make the buying process easier. This buying guide will take the stress out of the entire diamond ring search. Here, you will find the best real diamond rings from top online diamond retailers: Blue Nile and James Allen.
Scroll along and learn everything you need to know to get the perfect ring your loved one will cherish forever.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Best Real Diamond Rings Reviewed
- Comfort-Fit Engagement Ring by James Allen – Best Overall
- Twisted Halo Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile – Best Value
- Pave Halo and Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center) by James Allen – Editor’s Choice
- Luna Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile
- Regal Frame Diamond Engagement Ring by James Allen
- Infinity Twist Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile
- Hand-Engraved Channel-Set Princess Shape Diamond Engagement Ring by James Allen
- Cushion Duet Halo Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile
- Martin Flyer Tapered Bead Set Diamond Engagement Ring by James Allen
- Riviera Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile
#1. Comfort-Fit Engagement Ring by James Allen – Best Overall
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 1.5 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 1
- Carat Weight: 0.30 to 0.60
For those looking for traditional and cheap diamond rings that are simple, low-key, and sophisticated, a solitaire ring is the best choice. Since solitaire diamond rings don’t feature any halo or pavé diamonds, it makes the center stone the main focus of its design.
This classic and refined four-prong solitaire diamond ring from James Allen is men’s top choice for diamond engagement rings, especially those on a tight budget. It offers great value for your money, with pricing starting from only $440 for the setting in 14k white gold.
Compared to other six-prong solitaire rings, James Allen uses four-prongs to hold the center diamond to showcase its incredible brilliance.
|The diamond stands out||The band bends over time.
|Nice modern look||Flawed ring with dents|
#2. Twisted Halo Diamond Engagement Ring by Blue Nile – Best Value
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 3.2 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 62
- Carat Weight: 0.31
Capture your everlasting love with the Twisted Halo Diamond Engagement Ring from Blue Nile, featuring a stunning 14k white gold with an elegant drape of pavé-set diamonds. This ring has a twisting shank, creating an infinity design around its center stone.
With a total carat of 0.31, this stunning ring features 62 round diamonds along with its center stone. It comes in four different metal bands, including 14k white, rose, or yellow gold and platinum. You may want to settle for the white gold version if you want to keep it simple and traditional. Ladies who consider themselves modern and stylish, you may consider the rose gold band.
|A unique ring for someone who doesn’t want a full halo||Uncertain if the small diamond will hold over time
|Smooth purchase process|
|Affordable diamond ring|
#3. Pave Halo and Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center) by James Allen – Editor’s Choice
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 1.8 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 38
- Carat Weight: 0.26
The Pave Halo and Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center) is a stunning diamond ring featuring pavé set diamonds on the halo and each side of the shank. Its design highlights the pear center diamond for a stylish and eye-catching look.
This ring is the perfect jewelry piece for ladies who are not fond of the traditional engagement ring. Its pear center sets it apart from other pavé setting and halo diamond rings. Another great feature of this ring is that James Allen will let you fully customize the ring by choosing your preferred setting and precious stone.
|Pear shape diamond adds a nice modern touch.||A slight dark bow-tie effect
|Sparkly diamond accent|
|Comfortable to wear|
- Metal: 950 platinum
- Width: 3.8 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 6
- Carat Weight: 0.87
A classic beauty, the Luna Diamond Wedding Ring is a gorgeous platinum ring that showcases a sparkling row of shared prong set round diamonds. This ring doesn’t come with a center stone as its main focus is its pavé diamond shank.
This real diamond wedding ring has a very simple design, perfect for bride-to-be’s looking for a no-fuss diamond ring. It doesn’t come with a large stone that easily catches on thin fabric. Despite its low-key design, this ring is still a worthy jewelry piece that is equally stunning and breathtaking.
|Can customize the diamond and setting||Only available in platinum
|The diamond sparkles when light hits it|
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 2.0 to 3.0 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 22
- Carat Weight: 0.24
The Regal Frame Diamond Engagement Ring is a bold, impressive, and eye-catching engagement ring, featuring a cathedral shank with pavé stones and a vintage-inspired diamond halo. Its unique and over-the-top design will give a huge amount of presence on your fiancé’s finger that will surely earn endless compliments.
For those looking for a romantic yet bold design, this elegant engagement ring will surpass your highest expectations without compromise. Available in a variety of metals, this James Allen ring will certainly look impressive in 18k yellow gold. This ring looks exceptionally stunning with a non-diamond center stone, such as ruby or sapphire, for a lovely vintage design.
|Internally flawless old mine cut diamond||Slightly heavy
|Beautiful fine details|
- Metal: platinum
- Width: 4.6 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 50
- Carat Weight: 0.25
Equally delicate and beautiful, the Infinity Twist Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring features two bands of micropavé diamonds intertwined around each other to frame its stunning center diamond.
Its unique infinity design with a stunning split and joined shank symbolize unity, devotion, and everlasting love. The set includes 50 small, round pavé diamonds with a total carat weight of 0.25.
Unlike other unique engagement rings, this piece can hold various center stone shapes and other types of settings. You may want to settle with the platinum band with an elegant round diamond if you want to retain its original design.
|Diamond is very appropriate for the setting.||Not available in 14k yellow gold
|Incredible quality and attention to detail|
|Inclusions are not visible.|
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 3.2 to 2.5 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 14
- Carat Weight: 0.49
Exceptionally hand-engraved, the Channel-Set Princess Shape Diamond Engagement Ring from James Allen showcases 14 princess shape diamonds embellished in a tapered channel. It is designed to complement a sophisticated wedding band for a striking and asymmetrical combo.
As a vintage-inspired pavé diamond ring, James Allen features a fine milgrain edge, giving it a one-of-a-kind look and feel. This ring is the perfect match for women who have a very particular sense of style. She will certainly love the ring’s elaborate design and its attention to detail.
|Outstanding craftsmanship, value, and quality||The band is not too thick for some customers.
|Not too bulky, not too dainty|
|Exquisite cut and clarity|
- Metal: 18k white gold
- Width: 2.0 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 68
- Carat Weight: 0.57
The Cushion Duet Halo Diamond Engagement Ring perfectly defines what brilliance is all about. It features a round pavé set diamonds within a cushion-shaped double halo design in a stunning 18k white gold band.
This dazzling piece is a must-have diamond ring for women willing to splurge and go all out with their jewelry collections. This Blue Nile charmer is one of the flashiest engagement rings in their collection as it comes with a double halo of 68 diamonds on its setting.
Despite the number of its pavé-set round diamonds, its large center stone remains to steal the show. So if you’re looking for a jewelry piece with plenty of presence, this one is for you.
|The perfect setting for a decent sized diamond||Only available in 18k white gold
|Better pricing than physical stores|
- Metal: 14k white gold
- Width: 2.4 to 1.8 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 22
- Carat Weight: 0.11
The Tapered Bead Set Diamond Engagement Ring is an exquisite designer ring from the works of Martin Flyer. It is a New York City-based jewelry dealer that has been designing jewelry since 1945. Martin Flyer is known as an expert in the bridal and engagement ring industry with its handcrafted pieces.
This ring boasts of its perfect symmetry of a tapered pavé engagement ring with the right amount of brilliance. It comes with an enticing backdrop for the center diamond, which you can customize with other fitting gemstones.
One of its standout features is the tapered bead set, giving this diamond ring a delicate and feminine look. This ring is available in three white metals, which accentuates its classy and elegant design.
|Available in round and princess cut||Very thin band
|Customizable diamond ring|
- Metal: 950 platinum
- Width: 3.0 mm
- Number of Diamonds: 10
- Carat Weight: 0.67
The Riviera Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring is a beautiful French-style pavé diamond ring, featuring an abundant line of pavé-set diamonds along its shank. Blue Nile showcases its center stone without an elaborate diamond halo, giving it a simple yet elegant appearance while highlighting the diamond’s incredible shimmer.
Stunning and timeless, this Blue Nile engagement ring is a fitting option if you prefer an eye-catching and slightly more ornate diamond ring than a simple solitaire setting. This ring looks best with a round, brilliant-cut diamond or gemstone for those who want to modify its center stone. You can also add another presence that comes with a slightly higher diamond ring price.
Blue Nile offers this stunning ring at four different metals, including 14k rose or white gold, 18k yellow gold, and platinum. You can get the 14k white gold with 1/6 carat weight for only $950, a value-priced offer for a high-quality real diamond ring.
|Individual pave stones do not distract the sparkle of the main stone.||Diamond detail can be quite delicate when worn|
|Competitive price||Only available in 14k white gold
Top Pick for Best Real Diamond Rings: Comfort Fit Engagement Ring by James Allen
Every diamond search is a unique journey, and buying a diamond ring is a very personal decision, where you have to consider plenty of personal factors. Setting a baseline and knowing your preference and budget is an essential part of the purchase decision before you aggressively buy the perfect diamond ring.
Those who still feel overwhelmed after knowing the best real diamond rings from Blue Nile and James Allen, don’t worry. This buying guide has narrowed down the perfect diamond ring’s finest qualities to end up with one final pick.
The Comfort Fit Engagement Ring from James Allen rules this list as the best real diamond ring. It is also the bestselling diamond engagement ring on their website. This timeless four-prong solitaire diamond ring is a great option if you prefer a traditional yet elegant ring that never goes out of style.
This ring certainly embodies class and simplicity as it doesn’t feature any side stone or pavé stones, making the center front stone the center of attention. For those who worry about the secureness of its setting, no worries. It comes with four prongs to better showcase the sparkle of the diamond.
Equally refined and elegant, this piece guarantees unsurpassed comfort with smaller carat diamonds for a sophisticated and petite look without sacrificing stability. James Allen offers this ring in six different metals, with a starting price of $440 for its setting.
There you have it, the best real diamond ring you can find online that never goes out of style with a wallet-friendly price tag. It’s easy to get the best diamond ring when you are certain of the design you prefer. If you are still confused about what to get for your fiancé-to-be, you may consider other top choices in this buying guide.
Best Brands for Real Diamond Rings
Besides knowing your preference and budget, choosing the perfect diamond band also involves picking the right diamond vendor. Since buying a diamond ring is a life-changing decision, it is highly recommended to buy only from reputable online diamond retailers. Based on years of experience, Blue Nile and James Allen have proven their reputation to offer the best diamonds for sale at the best value and price.
Both companies have low overhead costs, and they don’t maintain an in-house inventory. Plus, Blue Nile and James Allen offer a highly-advanced HD imagery so you can compare diamond rings up-close before making your final purchase.
Get to know these companies by reading their success stories below.
Blue Nile is one of the leading retailers of fine jewelry and diamond. This company boasts of its professional customer experience by providing its consumers with a convenient way of buying engagement or wedding rings and fine jewelry. They provide unique online tools and in-depth informational materials, allowing customers to take full control of the entire jewelry shopping process.
Mark Vadon founded Blue Nile in 1999 after discovering a new way to shop for engagement rings online. He recognized that several customers are often confused and overwhelmed by the traditional jewelry-shopping experience. From there, Mark acquired Internet Diamonds, renamed it Blue Nile, and the rest is history.
Today, the company offers thousands of independently-certified diamonds and fine jewelry at competitive prices that are significantly cheaper than traditional retail. Their diamonds are also made from quality standards and one of the best in the jewelry industry.
Some of their products and services include customizable diamond rings, proprietary interactive diamond search, diamond consultation, and fancy colored diamonds.
For those searching for the best selection of most prized diamonds, look no more. James Allen is a premier diamond bridal company that utilizes highly-advanced technology for an immersive jewelry shopping experience.
James Allen started when four creative individuals combined their expertise and talents to establish a privately-held online diamond and bridal jewelry retail shop. Their main mission is to provide customers large selections of premium quality diamonds at the most competitive price.
This company takes pride in their 360° Diamond Display Technology, allowing customers to view more than 200,000 conflict-free diamonds in a highly magnified imagery. Their innovative display feature caught the attention of leading diamond manufacturers worldwide, letting James Allen get the first pick of the best diamonds and gemstones.
James Allen firmly believes that providing total transparency, friendly support, and meaningful education are ways to keep their customers happy. They also provide a 24/7 real-time diamond inspection service and hundreds of customizable jewelry styles.
Features to Consider When Buying Real Diamond Rings (Buyer’s Guide)
Choosing the perfect diamond involves narrowing down your options and picking high-quality pieces without going over your budget. You also need to compare each diamond to check which one will give you the most brilliance and flare. Follow this step-by-step guide to find the best real diamond ring without overpaying.
Choosing the diamond shape is the starting point of the buying process. No shape is superior to the other – it’s up to you or your partner’s personal preference. Round brilliants are the most famous diamond shape for engagement rings as they give off the most sparkle. Others prefer unique shapes, such as princess, baguette, cushion, or oval.
If you are still unsure of what your partner likes, you can consult her family and friends. What’s crucial is to select a specific shape to narrow down your search and compare other diamond designs.
Is your partner expecting a low or high carat diamond? Are you looking for a stone that is decent enough to get noticed without being flashy? Carat weight greatly affects how large a diamond looks, including its shape and cut quality. Choose a carat weight range that works for your budget, such as 0.80 to a 1.05-carat diamond. Keep in mind that as the carat weight goes higher, so does its price.
The cut quality plays an essential role in a diamond’s overall beauty. There is no standard cut grade across all diamond vendors. In general, the most preferred cut grade is the Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds.
When searching for round diamonds at Blue Nile’s website, limit your search to Ideal and Astor Ideal diamonds. Meanwhile, stick to Ideal Cut and True Hearts when buying at James Allen.
For those who prefer a round brilliant diamond ring, look for Ideal or Excellent grade diamonds. A Premium grade is the recommended quality for the fancy shape diamond.
Color Grade Range
Your ultimate goal when finding the right color grade is to find a diamond that appears colorless. However, you don’t need to pay for D or E grade diamonds to get a completely colorless piece. Diamonds with a G to I grades may appear white but tend to be less expensive.
Different shapes reflect the color at various strengths, so your choice of optimal color while balancing its appearance with its price will entirely depend on your chosen diamond shape.
To get the best clarity grade for your diamond ring, look for an eye-clean diamond stone, which means it doesn’t have inclusions or blemishes seen by the naked eye. Depending on its shape, you can often find eye-clean diamonds within the VS1 to VS2 range. You don’t want to spend large money on an FL or IF grade diamond when you can get a lower graded diamond at a much affordable price.
Blue Nile and James Nile use high-tech display imagery so you can view the diamond up-close to inspect its clarity. Look at it closely and check if you see any blemishes or inclusions.
Comparing Similar Diamonds
Once you have filtered down your preferred styles and specs for your diamond ring, it’s time to compare similar stones to determine which one you should buy. In this part, you have to consider certain aspects, including price, brilliance, and clarity.
Besides the 4 Cs, you may also consider other characteristics contributing to the diamond’s appearance and value, such as symmetry, polish, and fluorescence.
Ensure that the diamond stone is GIA or AGS-certified, especially if you’re searching for a loose diamond. Steer away from HRD, EGL, and IGI certified diamonds since their results are not often reliable due to inconsistent grading.
Before making your final decision to buy a diamond ring, ask a professional diamond consultant to review your final choice. They will give your diamond a close look to see if you made the right purchase according to your preference and budget. Having an expert’s opinion gives you more confidence by ensuring that you get what you pay for.
With thousands of ring designs, metals, color, and center stone combinations to choose from, picking the best diamond ring can be a touch process. It also involves making a personal decision, where you have to factor in your lifestyle and tastes.
This guide has put together a detailed product review of the best real diamond rings from top online diamond retailers: James Allen and Blue Nile. Both companies offer countless diamond rings that come in hundreds of designs and settings to suit everyone’s tastes and budget.
The Comfort-Fit Engagement Ring from James Allen is the top pick for the best real diamond ring. This beautiful engagement ring has a simple and elegant solitaire setting that never goes out of style. It doesn’t come with pavé-set or halo diamonds, but its center stone certainly steals the show.
This classic four-pronged solitaire diamond ring is James Allen’s bestselling engagement ring that comes in four different metals and offers great value for your budget. James Allen also allows you to customize the ring based on your chosen setting, carat, and diamond stone. Like other solitaire settings, the Comfort-Fit Engagement Ring looks outstanding with a premium quality round brilliant diamond.
In truth, there is no such thing as the best style of diamond ring for everyone. For those searching for the perfect real diamond ring, it would be best to choose a setting that perfectly matches your style, then customize it with your chosen brilliant diamond.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I know if the price I’m paying for the diamond is fair?
To determine if you are getting your money’s worth, you need to familiarize yourself with how diamonds are graded based on the 4 C standard and how each quality directly impacts its prices. The next step is to visit online diamond retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile and browse through their diamond ring inventory. You can do price checks by comparing different diamond rings that match your preference.
One mistake that people make is making unbalanced assessments by comparing two diamonds with different cut properties. Blue Nile and James Allen offer a smooth shopping experience by allowing you to compare various diamond rings with their user-friendly interface.
Like any product, you need to get what you pay for. Even if you saw an advertisement that flashes a 90% sale, bargains such as this one never existed, but fair deals do. Turning to reputable online diamond vendors is a practical way to get the perfect diamond ring at the best value and price.
Which are the most popular cutting styles and shapes?
Rough diamonds are often polished into ten different shapes. Some shapes have become more popular over the years due to changes in fashion trends and consumer tastes. However, full-cut round brilliant diamonds are consistently the top seller among the shapes. When cut to ideal proportions, a brilliant round diamond offers the best light performance and sparkle than other types of shapes.
Coming in at second place is the cushion cut. In the US jewelry market, cushion cut diamonds have overtaken princess cuts due to a recent surge in demand. Meanwhile, triangle cut shapes are one of the rare types and seldom seen in jewelry retailer shops. However, they might still appeal to those looking for exquisite choices.
You may also consider the radiant and Asscher cut as it combines the qualities of a round and cushion cut diamond.
Is a diamond certificate or grading report necessary when buying a diamond?
Whenever you shop for diamonds, one of the first things you should ask the vendor is whether the diamond comes with a certificate. A diamond certificate from highly regarded institutions is the most useful, especially if you plan to sell the diamond in the future.
Ideally, the grading certificate should be issued by well-known and respected institutions like the American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Stay away from diamonds with grading certificates from IGI and EGL. The accuracy of their diamond qualities can be unreliable and inconsistent.
Some jewelers have their in-house appraisals or documents from a third-party neutral grading company. If you come across jewelers such as these, you should be alert. These are unethical marketing tactics used by jewelers to manipulate the value of your purchase.