We are newbies to all of this. We are starting to look at engagement rings and want to see how much our $$$ can take us. Here are the qualifications: 1) $40-45K (with taxes---if we bought from a store (ie: Cartier) that is not in our state, does that mean taxes can be witheld?) 2) Would like upwards of 1.5-2 carats 3) Want it to be from Tiffanys, Cartier or HW 4) In terms of the other C's---we do not know much about them yet, but at first glance at least VVS1 and above and D, E, F 5) open to any cut at this point Are we being realistic? We haven't gone into our store yet b/c we didn't want to be "take advantage of" due to our inexpertise. One last question---can prices be "neogiated" at those stores above? Many thanks!