Hello DA and welcome!
I got into diamonds when my now husband proposed. he researched and researched, and ended up going with a prominent online diamond retailer. he chose a beautiful setting and a very high end diamond - .81 carat, D, VS1, ex cut, ex polish, ex symmetry, med blue fluorescence round brilliant cut diamond knowing only it's statistics and never seeing an actual picture of it. you can see the ring with it's matching wedding band in my avatar.
The ring arrived, but the craftsmanship was appalling, the prongs were bent and scratchy, the halo was also very bent and one of the pave diamonds was too small for the setting and looked invisible, the day after he proposed and i got my ring, we had to send it back to have them fix it. we had to pay the shipping cost, AND i was without my ring for 2 weeks. my sweetheart was so disappointed. though this retailer is VERY well known with a great reputation their jewelers are clearly not the best. i think they thrive on volume and that is why my ring was so mangled. also, at about one year old one of the pave diamonds nearly fell out and i had to take it to a local jeweler to get it fixed.
now, i love my ER, but if my hubby had found the Diamonds by Lauren website, he would have DEFINITELY gone with them over the other. I have been looking at David's products and forum for a long time now, and though I haven't yet gotten the opportunity to purchase anything, I can say without a doubt, that I would trust him with any purchase, large or small.
We got lucky with my diamond, i love it and it is beautiful, but it was not hand picked like all the stones you'll find here.
that's my two cents, hope it helps.