Why buy a diamond?
Nothing else on the planet moves light like a diamond. Synthetics and imitations come close, but it's diamond's special properties and unrivaled hardness that make a diamond unique compared to anything else! Almost instantly, a diamond given to someone becomes an heirloom representing permanence and commitment... love and adoration.
Platinum vs. white gold?
Both are great. Platinum's "pros" are it's rarity and constant whiteness. It's only "con" is cost, as platinum jewelry is cast more pure than 14K or 18K gold jewelry, making it more expensive. White gold's big "pro" is it's less expensive than platinum. It's big "con" is it needs to be re-rhodium plated over time to maintain it's whiteness. Without this maintenance, white gold will show a slight yellow tint over time.
Will I save money buying jewelry on vacation where they're offering 'special values' or "stones close to the source"?
Typically no. Feel free to buy yourself a souvenir from your get-a-way, but don't expect to save a great deal of money (or any!). Ames Silversmithing can offer any gemstone from any part of the world right here in the heart of Iowa for the same, if not less, than what you see on vacation. Opal from Australia? We have it. Tsavorite garnet from Kenya? No problem. Tanzanite from Tanzania? Of course! On top of access to anything, because we're so picky when it comes to our gemstones and sources, you'll end up with a better quality stone than what most of the tourist-traps out there are offering.