Before I (inadvertently) stumbled across PS, I already started my collection. I was dealing with jewelers of a good standing and reputation, but any jeweler, even a good one, can not resist the temptation to make some $$ when he sees a novice. So I got a few very nice stones but had I known the PS or got them with the help of PS-ers, I would have saved money. Definitely. I read books before I started my "journey" but reading is not enough - you have to see. And PS-ers make great photographs, so I at least can imagine how a good demantoid or a chrysoberyl should look. Also, PS-ers gave me names of great vendors and taught me how to read photos and videos. I am mostly on CS. I need to educate myself more before I start buying diamonds. But the only time I was looking for a diamond on a budget, PS-ers helped me source out a very good diamond + ering for my friend. On a budget. Hangout often perplexes me but it is interesting to see the mentality of people since I come from a totally different background and age-wise differ from most PS-ers.