A coworker recommended I buy an engagement ring here, so I took her advice and had a great experience with my engagement ring purchase. I considered buying an engagement ring from an online site because prices are 10-20% lower, but decided not to. It was important for me to be able to see the diamond and setting with my own eyes, and it was also important for me to buy from a reputable, well established local vendor.
One big plus for me is their use of information technology, which has many benefits. Their products are listed online and can be referenced by product code - this is how I chose my setting. They can schedule appointments online and send reminders via email. They have a record of items you looked at, in case you decide to come back later. They also provide sample invoices with price and details about products you are interested in so you can take it out of the store and compare it with other retailers! Another benefit is that they have on file the insurance appraisal of your diamonds, which they emailed to me a few days after my purchase.
The employees at Washington Diamond are very professional and not pushy. They let me see what I asked for and only gave recommendations when I asked questions.
I recommend coming in during the day - they have skylights that make the diamonds sparkle really well so you can see them in their full glory.
Buying at a local vendor has benefits too. For one thing, they offer free regular inspection and cleaning services for their products for the life of the product. Resizing was simple since all I had to do was come back to the store - they had all my account information already and quickly took the ring in for resizing. Another benefit is knowing that since it's a well established brick and mortar store, they can't screw you over and leave - this is important when buying a high price product.
Their selection is good, but I think it would be better if they had more to choose from. I think all their settings are custom made on site by their goldsmiths.
The diamond I ended up getting appeared to have very high quality for its grade (to my untrained eyes). I got an H color SI1 clarity diamond, and to me it appeared clear and I couldn't see any inclusions with the jewelers loupe, so to me it was effectively "flawless" without a loupe.
Overall I would definitely recommend Washington Diamond. You may pay a bit higher than some places, but to me it's worth it.