First of all, CONGRATULATIONS for finishing the diamond portion of the tutorial!
Unfortunately, your work has just begun! You must now decide what type of diamond you would like to purchase. To make your task even more difficult, you must also decide on a ring. While Diamond Review can't make the diamond and ring decision for you, we can help you in some of the other finer points, such as selecting a jeweler, negotiating a fair price, and caring for your jewelry.
If you are not in a hurry and are able to find a good local jeweler, chances are that the local jeweler will be able to beat any Internet jeweler in terms of value (value being the combination of service, quality, local convenience, and prices).
Finding a good local jeweler is tough -- there aren't that many out there, and the best ones don't usually advertise because more of their clientele is based on referrals. If someone you completely trust can refer you to a jeweler they trust, this is probably the best way to go.
Once you have found a good local jeweler, be sure to:
In general, approach the local jewelers first, since they will spend the time to educate you. Once you have a good idea of what's out there, talk to wholesalers and definitely visit some of the Internet jewelers. Don't assume that a wholesaler will price diamonds lower than retailers. The trick is to find the best value, which simply means trying to find the highest quality diamond jewelry, at the level of service, selection, and convenience that meets your needs.
Everything in life is negotiable. Your first step should be to learn to negotiate -- visit our negotiation primer for a few general tips. The first thing you'll learn when you read about negotiation is that you should know how much you're willing to pay before you walk into a negotiation.
Visit our care & cleaning guidelines for instructions on how to properly clean and store a diamond ring.
You should also strongly consider insuring your ring. Most homeowner's and renter's insurance policies specifically exclude expensive jewelry, and none will cover a loss or theft if it occurs outside of your home. Also, consider how easily you could lose the stone if one of those teeny little prongs that holds it in place happens to bend or break.