Site Review | Professional Jeweler


June 27, 2001
ThaiGem.com

It's not every day online shoppers find a site as wonderfully organized, easy to use and full of great jewelry and gemstones at reasonable prices as ThaiGem.com. With an extensive gemstone inventory, a design-your-own-ring section and jewelry, beads and carvings sections, ThaiGem.com is one of the nicest and most fun jewelry sites around.

Upon arrival at ThaiGem.com, shoppers can easily tell they've hit the jackpot for gemstone jewelry. The main page promises "1,490,225 individual gem and jewelry products online" and "design your own ring at incredible prices." Shoppers can quickly tell ThaiGem.com is on top of customer service as well. The home page tells visitors about 24-hour e-mail response customer service, secure payment system, 24-to-72-hour FedEx global delivery and more.

Shopping at the site is easy and fun. People looking for gemstone rings will love the design-your-own-ring feature. It's simple to use, and images accompany all gemstones so shoppers can select the perfect stone. To create a ring, customers have to choose a diamond ring, gemstone ring or diamond-accented ring. For gemstone rings, shoppers select a gemstone from 144 gemstone categories. Next, shoppers select the shape and browse the gemstones matching the selected criteria. Each stone is listed with basic information – weight, size, origin, clarity and price – as well as an image and a link for more details.

Once shoppers find the perfect stone, they need to select the setting. There's a wide selection of settings, varying from traditional to bizarre. To finish, shoppers select the type of gold for the setting – white, yellow, rose, deep and Asian – and if the setting has diamond accents, shoppers can select the color and size of the diamonds or opt for cubic zirconia instead. Finally, shoppers are presented with a summary of the ring design and the total price. The only thing that would make it better is a final image of how the ring will look. Instead, customers can see the parts of the ring and imagine the final result.

The ring design section is only a small part of ThaiGem.com. The site also has a gem shop, where users can browse hundreds of categories of gemstones, a jewelry shop full of silver and gold jewelry as well as body jewelry and a bead shop stocked with strands of gemstone beads in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are also sections for gem books, gemstone carvings and lab created gems.

Shoppers who know what they want can use the advanced search. They can select the product type, gem type, gem shape, gem cut, weight range, price range and key words to view the products they're most interested in. The site is also stocked with customer service information. The user guide gives shoppers basic information about shopping, buying, paying, shipping and the site's product categories. The information center has information ranging from customer testimonials to gem care to gem TV, a collection of online video clips. Plus, the help section has detailed information on payment, shipping, returns and frequently asked questions.

- by Julia M. Duncan

www.thaigem.com