You may be thinking about the next jewelry purchase you are going to make. You may not be thinking of where you will make that purchase. I would encourage you to think about working with a reputable independent retailer and/or designer. You are bound to have a better experience over all, and certainly one that will be more personalized. Chances are you will have the same sales person helping you out with your purchase along the way, which matters when it comes to purchases that may have some back and forth before settling on the final item. Whether your style is avant garde or timelessly traditional, a reputable local jeweler will be your best ally.
Not sure where to begin to find a great jewelry retailer or a designer to work with? I like to go grass roots for something like this. Certainly you can ask friends and family members for recommendations. Scour Instagram using various hashtags (#weddingjewels, #cooljewelry #designerjewelry #instajewels, #showmeyourrings, etc). Being that its heavy on visuals, its an indispensable shopping tool.
Here's a Buzzfeed article I recently came across that highlights some pretty traumatic wedding jewelry experiences had at a big box chain. Think about the future of that piece of jewelry with regards to the cleaning and maintenance - handing your heirloom piece of jewelry back to the store for a routine repair or cleaning should not be a source of anxiety to you.
Even if you are a gambler by nature, I would bet that this is one thing you won't want to take a chance on. Shop local and independent - its good all the way around.
You can also reach out to us for a retailer recommendation in your area - we've got the scoop! (firstname.lastname@example.org)