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Ritani’s fresh, millennial style is evident throughout their designs, with a look that would be best described as contemporary and minimalist.
They incorporate their Instagram account into their homepage and feature their signature #GetTheMomentRight at the bottom of the page. Their use of shareable images demonstrates their emphasis on social media as an advertising tool, and thus the rest of their website is fairly void of ‘obvious’ marketing techniques.
Ritani’s well crafted ‘top-down’ design and editorial photography present a seemingly coherent, contemporary and luxury brand. I am going to explore whether or not the quality and value match up to their sleek branding.
Ritani was founded in 1999 by Harout Aghjayan (the brother of another jewerlry designer, Vatche Aghjayan) and Brian Watkins, the former executive at Blue Nile.
Watkins helped Ritani became the strong contender of omni-channel jeweler we see today. In mid-2016, Watkins stepped down as the president for personal reasons.
In January 2017, Deborah Fine became the new CEO of Ritani. Fine has a highly accomplished and diverse career before Ritani where one of her achievements being the CEO of Victoria’s Secret Pink. She has two decades of experience in leading businesses to record growth and profit.
Ritani sought to merge the luxury retail experience with the unstoppable force of online trade. Known as their ‘clicks and bricks’ approach, Ritani offer a security net to those who are less comfortable with a straight online purchase, by allowing them to have their selection sent to one of their authorized bricks and mortar jewelers.
Ritani offer a huge selection of engagement ring settings with 470+ listed on their website.
This huge selection does not mean that quality is compromised, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Each Ritani setting is crafted by masterful bench jewelers at their HQ in New York. Perhaps the most notable feature of Ritani settings is their use of pave and micropave techniques.
As seen here in this pave halo engagement ring, there is real attention paid to the finer details and finish of the setting. A badly done pave setting can have a grainy look and actually reduce sparkle, however I find Ritani’s to be some of the best that I have seen on the mainstream market.
Their settings also present some lesser used shapes, such as octagonal halos or hexagonal pave settings, as seen in this Vintage Hexagonal Halo Vaulted Diamond Band Engagement Ring
Ritani also offer their ‘Masterworks’ collection. This is a tactic used by top jewelry houses such as Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels to distinguish their most intricate, expensive, and unique designs from their standard collections. The pieces are selected by their master designers.
While Ritani may not be out to compete with those powerhouses, but by offering a masterworks collection continues to suggest a luxury and stand out brand.
They offer settings in 18k rose, yellow and white gold as well as 14k white gold and platinum. The addition of 14k white gold is perfect for those who have fallen for a unique Ritani setting and are working within a budget.
On the whole, it is difficult to not be impressed with both the quality and variety of Ritani settings. The final decision ultimately rests on price, which we will look at shortly.
I commend Ritani for only listing GIA and AGS diamonds on their website. Should you choose to select a diamond directly from Ritani themselves, you will at least be secure in the knowledge that it comes with an internationally respected certification.
I also found that, while their diamond inventory is undoubtedly smaller than their competitors, they do offer a good selection of fancy cuts. It is common for retailers with a smaller inventory to favor round brilliant and princess cut diamonds, and while this is of course the case, Ritani do not neglect the more unusual cuts in their offerings.
They offer an HD video for their diamonds, very similar to that used by Blue Nile, James Allen, and Whiteflash, which is a great tool for getting a better sense of the diamond beyond the certification.
Their diamonds are good value, although they still come in marginally more expensive than some offered by James Allen and Blue Nile. Ultimately, if you are looking for the highest quality diamond and best cut possible, I would still recommend Whiteflash as first choice for your ring.
For the purpose of this article I will be looking at the price of Ritani settings alone (i.e. without the center stone).
The price of your final engagement ring is entirely dependent on the cut, color, and clarity of the diamond you choose, therefore to accurately assess the price of Ritani, it is easier to look at the settings in isolation.
Beginning with the cheapest offering on Ritani’s official website, a 6 prong, 14k white gold solitaire setting will set you back $245. The same setting costs $180 on Blue Nile’s own in-house setting, so a difference of $65. On James Allen, a six prong 14k white gold solitaire setting will cost you $240.
One of the perks of the Ritani website is it states the weight of the setting, a feature not offered by the many competitors. A heavier ring will cost more and is generally more desirable. The fact they give the weight of mtal also means you can accurately compare how much you’re getting for your money (for those who are making every penny count).
On the whole, Ritani come in fractionally pricier than its competitors, with both settings and diamonds coming in at usually around 5% more expensive.
I would argue that this can be justified by the level of craftsmanship that goes into the rings, particularly those featuring a pave setting. It must also be said that some of Ritani’s unique designs will be difficult to find on Blue Nile or James Allen, therefore simply cannot be compared.
In terms of the diamonds, Ritani is yet to reach the level of inventory offered by their competitors, and the fact that not all of the listed diamonds have high-quality videos can make your search tricky.
On the whole, while I believe their settings are fairly priced, I would recommend pairing them with a higher quality diamond from Whiteflash where you will find more selection and ultimately have a better ring overall.
The service that sets Ritani apart is the ‘clicks and bricks’ feature mentioned earlier. This offers nervous buyers the chance to have their chosen ring sent to one of Ritani’s many authorized jewelers in the states.
It is worth noting that Whiteflash offers free returns if you are not happy with your jewelry. For some, this is enough peace of mind to confidently order online without cause for concern.
The only real benefit of Ritani’s clicks and bricks option is you will get to have an ‘in-store’ experience, which for some people is an important part of the buying process. For the majority of buyers, this feature is a waste of time.
Remember that once you are in store, there is also a high chance that sales advisors will attempt to encourage upgrades or a different, more expensive ring altogether. That is also worth keeping in mind if you believe you have found the perfect ring in the perfect price range.
Ritani also offer:
- Lifetime warranty and cleaning
- Upgrade and trade-in options
- Free shipping on all US orders and international shipping to over 70 countries
- AGS or GIA certification
Ritani offer some exceptional and stand out settings, all of which prove their worth when it comes to detailing and craftsmanship.
If you are looking for a simple solitaire design, you will save money elsewhere. The markup is small, but if you are looking to make every penny count, it is worth looking at some of Ritani’s competitors.
However, if you fall in love with one of their unique designs, you would be hard pushed to find something of the same quality for a better price. I would absolutely recommend Ritani for anyone looking for an expertly crafted engagement ring that stands out from the crowd.