"I tend to recommend local, artisan jewelers that do custom work (in addition to their own designs and one-of-a-kind pieces), because of the great customer experience," Swistel says. "They often work one-on-one with the customer, helping them design their piece, even if they know nothing about jewelry and gems."
"Transparency is key," Rubin agrees. "Ask questions, and ask for clarification." You want someone who you can trust, someone who doesn’t intimidate you. Artisan jewelers know what they're doing and know gems better than those big-name spots like Harry Winston.
Don’t get dragged into the hype. You want a diamond specialist who has been in the business since the dawn of time; one who basically lives and breathes precious gemstones.
Pick the diamond
When it comes to choosing your rock, you've got to live by the "four C's." But like all things in life, it's not as simple as it sounds. The C's stand for cut, color, clarity, and carat.