“In today’s digital era, almost 100% our purchases are made online, from electronics and furniture to clothes and groceries. Soon, walking into stores to get your purchases will be unheard of. No one can deny that the comfort and convenience of shopping from your home at your own time is a huge time saver. Now, for your engagement ring, would you not want to experience the same too? But often when it comes to bigger purchases, there is an intrinsic fear that what you saw online may not be what you receive offline. That is why it is particularly important for us customers to shop from only reliable e-tailers with good reviews. In this issue, we present you our top online pick that you can seek for your engagement and wedding ring needs – Zoara.
Zoara is a privately held jeweler based in New York City that started back in 2008 at South Dakota, USA. Zoara’s owners impressively have a combined 50 years of experience in the diamond industry, with extensive connections to the main global diamond centers of the world, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Israel, Hong Kong and India. Apart from selling through their brick and mortar store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, they have also been supplying their diamonds to many retails stores across the United States. In 2008, due to many customers feedback, they launched their e-commerce site to sell directly to us consumers. This means more affordable prices and a more efficient shopping experience. Read on to find out what Zoara has to offer you for your engagement ring and wedding ring for your big day.
10 Reasons to shop online at Zoara for your engagement ring and wedding ring
1. Enjoy lifetime warranty on your diamonds
How often do you hear a purchase enjoying lifetime warranty? Even more expensive purchases like cars do not get to enjoy such a good deal. Zoara’s confidence in their high-quality products shines through in their lifetime warranty offering on all their jewelry and gemstone products, which extends further to include a one free resizing, rhodium recoating and free repairs due to manufacturing defects.
2. Get authentic, high-quality diamonds that are GIA certified
For those who worry about getting cheated online with fake diamonds and jewelry, rest assured authenticity is highly valued at Zoara. Along with your diamond purchase, you get the GIA diamond grading report for your diamond. The diamond is laser-inscribed with its unique identifying number that corresponds to the GIA certificate, so you can be assured that it matches the report you get.
“I immediately took the diamond to my jeweler and had it checked out. It was what it said it was and this particular diamond actually had the GIA number laser inscribed on it.” – Trevor W, South Carolina, USA (source)
It is extremely important that the diamonds you purchase are graded and certified by a reputable grading lab, the most well-known and reputable being the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification. GIA is the lab who created the diamond grading system that is used all over the world by other labs today. The certificates by GIA are held in high regard and are trusted by millions of customers and companies worldwide. Additionally, diamonds on Zoara are of high-quality and undergo stress testing and examinations by their in-house team of goldsmiths and gemologists.
3. Enjoy more affordable prices without compromising on quality
Getting superior quality on a more affordable prices is always a challenge, but many customers raved to have gotten both at Zoara. Many of the reviews we read shared how much they saved on their diamond purchase as compared to purchasing it from the retail stores.
“Much to my liking, the prices were staggeringly less expensive online on Zoara.com. I started finding diamonds for 30-34% less than retail. I realized that effectively, I had found a way to cut out the middle man (retailers) and get wholesale pricing.” – Trevor W, South Carolina, USA (source)
4. Positive reviews and good ratings
When shopping online, an important step is to always read the reviews of the company. Zoara’s growth since 2008 has been largely attributed to its excellent customer service, evident in its positive reviews, testimonials, and good ratings. You can find these reviews on Zoara’s own site and on third-party sites like Diamonds Peace Army. Zoara is rated 4.5 stars on iVouch, 5 Stars on OnlineDiamondBuyingAdvice, 4.2 Stars on Wedding Wire, which goes to show that Zoara is legitimate and delivers an authentic product and service. Many customers after receiving the diamond, bring it to their local jewelers who have authenticated the genuine product.
“I bought a 1.2 carat loose emerald cut and I saved nearly $3,500 (34%) of retail pricing in my market. I would recommend this company to my family and best friend.” – Trevor W, South Carolina, USA (source)
For those in New York, feel free to head down to their showroom in the heart of New York’s Diamond District. If you would like to view your diamond in person, collect your order, or measure your ring size in person, you can simply make an appointment with them here. If you are situated in Asia-Pacific, they have a Hong Kong branch as well.
5. A specialty in custom-made jewelry
Zoara specializes in custom-made jewelry. As this is a time-consuming process, most online jewelers do not provide labour intensive custom services. On the other hand, as Zoara aims to serve the needs of customers wants to allow customers to create their own one-of-a-kind designs to symbolize their unique relationship. Yet despite this added service, Zoara’s prices are affordable, especially in comparison to luxury jewelers where you mostly pay for the branding. Zoara is a great option for couples looking to get the best value.
If you have a specific design in mind, or a setting or mounting that you are looking for, Zoara allows you to do easily in 3 steps.
- Simply send via email your idea. Include a description, photo or sketch of the ring you would like to create.
- From your input, Zoara’s team of expert jewelers will be able to craft an original 3D rendering* and/or wax model* of your unique ring design. A comprehensive and competitive quote will also be provided to give you an idea of the cost to make your ring.
- Once you are pleased with the design, the team will get started on creating your ring. When it is completed, it will be engraved, photographed, packaged and FedEx-ed right to your door. There is no need to worry if your parcel gets lost in the mail for it comes with tracking, and you can choose to top up a nominal US$30 fee for insurance.
*A $100 deposit may be requested for this service. The deposit will be deducted from the purchase price upon completion.
6. See photos of the actual diamond itself
Zoara is also one of the very few online luxury jewelry retailers that offer photos of the actual diamond for your preview before purchase. This will allow you to inspect for any inclusions, though one thing to note is that photos can only be taken as a supplemental aid to assist with interpreting a diamond’s clarity, and you should not be basing the entire purchase solely on the photo alone. Click here for Zoara’s advice on how you can use the photos to help you with your purchase. If a real photo is not provided, simply write in to request for one. Diamond videos are also available for some.
7. All jewelry from Zoara is crafted in-house
Unlike other e-retailers in the industry, drop-shipping is not an option for Zoara. Every single diamond, gem and jewelry piece is examined, crafted and produced in-house by Zoara’s team of expert goldsmiths, gemologists, and craftsmen.
Though ring casting may sometimes be done by their trusted partners, Zoara never fails to bring their products back in-house for completion, and also undergo stress tests and detailed examination, to ensure no impurities are in the casting that could lead to structural complications. Once the integrity of the casting has been confirmed, the team at Zoara polishes it, sets it with stones, engraves it, followed by all the final steps required to transform these raw materials into a stunning piece for you. Every piece is guaranteed to have gone through the personal attention of a Zoara goldsmith or gemologist. The jewelers and gemologists are dedicated to their craft of making fine, honing their skills to create high-end diamond and gemstone jewelry. Behind every piece they create is fine craftsmanship.
8. Upholding their core values – providing quality, value, good customer service, and education
Dedicated to their core values, Zoara strives to offer customers high-quality diamonds and jewelry at a good value, accompanied by good service. One of the frequent mentions we observed in the reviews of Zoara, is the good service from Zoara’s representatives. Much feedback shares a positive experience thanks to their helpful and meticulous approach. Their 24/7 online chat service is also particularly useful and not run by bots, unlike what you may experience at other sites.
“Their 24/7 customer service is amazing! No matter what time of night I was able to speak with somebody who patiently helped me out.” – Ryan M. (source)
Being very keen on customer satisfaction, their service staff makes it a point to follow a customer through his entire shopping experience with Zoara. It is almost impossible and unrealistic for a company to only receive positive reviews online, but one thing we found was that Zoara takes the time to respond to reviews to help to resolve the issues faced by their customers. I do appreciate companies who take the time to go the extra mile.
Zoara is also committed to educating customers to make more informed purchases. Zoara’s education center covers a wide range of topics, teaching you everything you need to know about diamonds and gemstones, from the 4Cs to teaching you how to read diamond grading reports and how to care for your diamond.
9. Easy 30 days return policy
Standing behind the quality of their products, Zoara offers you refund or exchange within 30 days of your purchase. International returns are also easy, simply contact their Customer Service Team at 1-800-431-0012 or email [email protected]. However, do note to insure your shipment and also check with the Zoara team on shipping costs. Click here to see the full details of their return policy.
10. The Fifth C – Conflict-free
In our earlier guide ‘Buying an Engagement Ring for your Proposal’, we covered the commonly known 4 Cs – carat, colour, cut and clarity. There is a fifth C that we should begin to take note of – Conflict-free.
I lately started getting concerned about making responsible purchases as a customer, as they can be used to fuel and support unethical or abusive practices by companies. It is crucial that we do our research to support fair and sustainable companies with our dollars.
The last thing you want is to have your diamond originate from a war-torn country in the world, and have that uncertainty that your diamond could possibly have been used to fund war and terror groups, as known as conflict diamonds.
For a purchase as significant and meaningful as your engagement ring or wedding ring, it is meant to symbolize your love and everlasting relationship. The last thing you want is to have your diamond originate from a war-torn country in the world, and have that uncertainty that your diamond could possibly have been used to fund war and terror groups, as known as conflict diamonds. These conflict diamonds, aka blood diamonds, have resulted in the suffering and mistreatment of many innocent people, men, women, and children are used as slaves to extract diamonds from the ground using primitive methods. Many are not paid for their hours of work, and only measly amounts when they find something, barely enough to cover a day’s meals. With most originating from central and western Africa, they could end up being sold anywhere in the world no thanks to illegal trade.
“140,000 carats of conflict diamonds were smuggled out of the warn-torn Central African Republic” – 2014 U.N. Report (source)
Conversely, conflict-free diamonds are diamonds that are ethically mined, traded and sold, with no connection to terror or opposition groups.
The outcry on ‘blood diamonds’ has led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Member countries are required to certify that all rough diamond exports are produced through legitimate and humane mining means and sales activities. Each shipment is expected to carry a certificate detailing the source of the diamonds, the method of mining, cutting, and polishing. It also outlines the parties involved and final destination. However, Despite 17 years of this effort, many countries are not signatories (including Singapore) to this Process. The effectiveness of this scheme has also been largely dependent on the commitment of member states. Hence, the responsibility comes down to us, the customer. When you purchase your diamonds, it is important to ensure that the retailer is committed to ensuring that their diamonds are conflict-free. Otherwise, you should be wary of the stone’s origin.
Zoara, dedicated to protecting human rights and upholding ethical diamond trade, ensures to only retail conflict-free diamonds. The Zoara team is committed to only retailing diamonds from reputable and ethical sources, conflict-free free with the Kimberly Process. Conscientious customers now can buy your diamonds with a peace of mind.
Zoara, dedicated to protecting human rights and upholding ethical diamond trade, ensures to only retail conflict-free diamonds.
With all the above, we would suggest you get started by speaking to Zoara’s customer service team online. I am certain they can help you find the engagement ring and wedding ring that you are looking for.
50 W 47th St. Suite 1711
New York, New York 10036, USA
Hong Kong outlet is located at Zo HK Limited
22/F, Euro Trade Centre,
21-23 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
This post was brought to you by Zoara.
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Don’t miss our wedding guide here and our honeymoon guide here. For couples, if you need any help/services, email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to help!