A timeless piece of diamond jewelry can elevate any outfit, making it an excellent choice for travelers without the space or inclination to travel with a loaded jewelry box. And, with hundreds of online retailers offering sustainably-sourced, fairly-priced pieces, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect fit.
Buying diamonds has historically been a tricky business. As well as finding something beautiful and timeless, you need to make sure it ticks the 4Cs: carat (weight), clarity, cut, and color. Diamonds should be sustainably sourced and conflict-free too, with certifications from recognized organizations that prevent diamonds that fund civil wars and other ethical abuses from entering the supply chain. Diamond mining is a dirty business, but globally-recognized organizations like the International Gemological Institute and Kimberley Process Certification System are helping to tackle this problem.
The process becomes even more complicated when purchasing online. As well as ensuring your diamond jewelry is timeless and sustainable, you need to ensure it is authentic and arrives safely. Thankfully, the game has changed in the past few years thanks to a rise in digital-first diamond jewelry brands. The best of these offer detailed information on where their gemstones are sourced, comprehensive valuation reports, and tracked international delivery. Many brands offer virtual concierge services to help you pinpoint the perfect piece, offering a whole world of options from the comfort of your sofa. We’ve rounded up five of the best places to buy both natural and lab-grown diamond jewelry online, taking into consideration customer reviews, brand profile, supply chain transparency, price, and range.
Founded in 2006, James Allen has since become one of the largest privately held online diamond retailers in the world. There’s a staggering variety of ready-to-ship diamond jewelry on offer, as well as a nifty ‘design your own’ service that allows you to create your own earrings, engagement rings, and pendants to taste. Buyers can speak to a G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist at any stage of the process for advice and recommendations too. The brand only sells conflict-free diamonds sourced from professional members and suppliers from the diamond trade. Every piece of jewelry valued above $1,000 comes with a full insurance evaluation and all pieces have a lifetime warranty covering free prong tightening, re-polishing, rhodium plating, and services for extra piece of mind too.
US brand VRAI describes itself as a digital-first fine jewelry brand, so you’re in good hands. Offering a range of stylish and sustainable pieces, the brand exclusively uses lab-grown diamonds created at its own foundry. That means no middleman – and no potential unethical loopholes in the supply chain. The foundry is also the world’s first certified diamond lab with zero emissions, so it’s little wonder why Leonardo DiCaprio quickly signed up as an investor. It’s easy to schedule a complimentary online consultation with a diamond expert, who can help you whittle down your preferences on shape, setting, and metal. VRAI sells some extraordinary engagement rings, but for those looking for an everyday piece, there are hundreds of necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings to pootle through too.
Brooklyn-based Frank Darling prides itself on its no-nonsense approach to selling diamonds in an industry that famously takes advantage of its customers. The brand sells a range of lab-grown, recycled, and ethically sourced diamond jewelry to suit a wide range of budgets and tastes, from everyday diamond pendants to bespoke engagement rings. The website is easy to use and offers a slick quiz function that can produce a free sketch of your dream ring setting, metal, and more. Frank Darling also leverages the latest technology for mine-to-finger traceability that allows them to trace a diamond from its first transaction all the way to the final sale.
Baunat may have showrooms all over the world, but it was founded in Antwerp, the global capital of diamonds. Combining the age-old tradition of jewelry-making with the ease of online shopping, the brand is particularly popular amongst millennials thanks to its sizeable engagement ring collection (which accounts for 75 percent of the business). There’s an excellent range of rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, and men’s watches to choose from too. Baunat exclusively works with certified diamonds from three reputable independent laboratories, GIA, IGI, and HRD, with each stone carefully inspected to ensure its carat, clarity, color, and cut meet exceptional standards. The brand has scored a lofty five stars on Trust Pilot based on more than 3,500 reviews too.
Founded in 2005, Brilliant Earth is on a mission to reshape the jewelry industry through transparency, sustainability, and compassion. The brand only uses Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds, which goes a step further than the Kimberley Process to ensure extraction protects against human rights abuses, minimizes environmental degradation, and supports local community development. This applies to Brilliant Earth’s lab-created diamonds too, which are individually graded, certified, and inscribed. The good work doesn’t stop at diamonds either; the brand uses recycled and re-refined precious metals from existing jewelry, industry-use metals, electronic components, and even in-house recycling for a truly circular piece.
Find out more at Brilliantearth.com