There’s no substitute for seeing the diamond in-person. A great store will show you lots of different options in your price range and educate you on the tradeoffs to be made amongst the Four C’s. With guidance you can find a great diamond that you connect with.
Plus, you can get immediate gratification and walk out of the store with the diamond in your pocket. Additionally, you might find stores with buy-back or upgrade policies (which allow you to trade-in or trade-up the diamond at some point in the future). Finally, diamonds are the hardest substance on the planet but they require maintenance. When you start a relationship with a physical store you’ll have someone to go to for sizing, cleaning, and prong tightening.
Your first move: ask around. Talk to anyone—friend, mother, co-worker—who has recently bought jewelry. Ask for recommendations and references. Go to the best store you can find in your market independent family-owned jewelers, like The diamond Broker in Dallas, have stellar reputations and chances are someone you know has done business with them