Posted 03 December 2012 - 19:08
I shopped around for one earlier this year, and there are two pieces of advice that I can give you.
Do not get a princess cut diamond. It is the easiest cut to do. Gemologists literally learn to cut diamonds with this cut. Princess cut diamons are generally the worst ones in terms of quality that you can get. That's why they gave it a name that would attraction more attention. In my opinion, go with a round-cut. It's THE classic cut for a diamond ring, and it will never go out of style. So go with that one, unless your significant other explicitly stated they wanted another cut. (And if they said they wanted a princess-cut, get them to change their mind)
Do not buy a diamond or buy from a jeweler that is not AGS certified. Otherwise, you could be (read: probably are) paying way more money for a diamond than what you should be. A diamond certified by the AGS will get an appraisal that is guaranteed, no matter where you go. A certified jeweler is basically a jeweler that stands behind all of their diamonds. The AGS can and does randomly visit these jewelers, select any number of diamonds on display, and appraises them. If a certified jeweler misrepresents any of their diamonds, the AGS will revoke that jeweler's certification. I would never buy from a jeweler that is not certified with the AGS. Zales, Hannoush, Jareds, Kays are not certified. In CT, the only close certified dealer is Michael's, and that is the only place I would buy one. But Michael's is a local jeweler. I don't know what is out there in IL.
As for the style to get, that is totally up to the person receiving it. If you don't know what they want, ask. Or, shop for the ring together. Trust me, you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a ring that they hate or find unattractive.