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Keep Scale In Mind

Most sites only display rings floating against solid backdrops, skewing their size.

Browsing netaporter.com and overstock.com's jewelry selection to see rings on models will help you better grasp a prospective ring's size. Alternatively, you could also refer to a ring you know the dimensions of and use it as comparison.

Look for Variety

One of the major benefits of internet ring shopping is the selection. You'll want to take the time to browse mom and pop style websites as well as household names in case something one-of-a-kind or vintage catches your eye. (The average groom ring shops for three months, regardless of where he's shopping.)

Get A Certification Certificate

Certification agencies assure a stone's quality via an unbiased, third-party standpoint. Which is kind of ideal for anyone who shares my parents' "But how do you know what you're getting?" anxiety. There are dozens of agencies out there (IGI, EGL, HRD) but you can't go wrong with two of the most trusted, GIA and AGSL.

Buy Solitary Stones

If you fall in love with a distinctive ring that's too expensive, turn to the interwebs. Buying a loose stone online and then having it set at a local jeweler can get you the look (and often with the same quality stone or better) without the massive credit card statment.

And those who want to propose with a ring but only feel confident about the stone, not the setting, are in luck, too: sites like Brilliantearth.com offer temporary settings free of charge.

Keep Track Of The Details

Refund policies, insurance offerings, shipping methods: take note of all the specific details that vary between sites. (While Zales.com has a 100-day refund policy, most sites only have 30 day return policies. Not something you'd want to confuse.)