March 22, 1999
Set up to look like a Yahoo! for jewelry consumers, DiamondGrading.com invites users to "learn about diamonds from former gem lab graders."
The site categorizes lists of links for diamond suppliers, designers, auction houses, appraisers and other jewelry and diamond businesses. Like Yahoo!, companies can add their URLs to the pages with a short description of their sites. Consumers can also learn about diamonds from the library of original articles a diamond tutorial (the 5Cs, including "cost," and shapes), dissection of a diamond certificate, instructions on selling pre-owned jewelry, lists of famous diamonds and diamond facts, and a directory of diamond books.
Consumers can glean even more information from the site's interactive capabilities. A much-visited classifieds section allows users to post and search ads for diamond jewelry. A bulletin board covers current industry issues (GIA's Ideal Cut study and Lazare Kaplan's new diamond process) as well as tried and true questions about shopping for diamonds, plus a section on stock prices.
Most intriguing is the company's advertised e-services, which it's currently "beta testing." With Multi-Jeweler Diamond Search, consumers fill out a form with the criteria of the diamond they're seeking; DiamondGrading.com then promises to forward the form to many participating jewelers. The E-Diamond Buyer service, once it's up and running, will allegedly do consumers' work for a fee seek out jewelers, find the best price and set up appointments. The company also offers E-Consultations (personally answering diamond questions) and E-Appraisals (judging the diamond's value based on a description and certificate information) for $10 apiece.
The site is comprehensive, but there's one drawback although they promote themselves as "former gem lab graders," the site's creators never identify themselves with an "About Us" section. A profile of the company would better support the site's credibility.
- by Stacey King