Your Business Online | Professional Jeweler



September 19, 2000
The Best of the Best
Forbes reviewed 15 retail jewelry sites and chose the best of the Web

Forbes set out to find the best Web sites in its Best of the Web issue, which hit newsstands at the beginning of September. Forbes reviewed hundreds of sites, including 15 in the retail jewelry category, and the results provide helpful information to retail jewelers already on the Web or planning to be there.

According to Forbes, the best jewelry retail sites offer detailed images, educational content and airtight return policies. Others go the extra mile and offer chat and forums. Here are the sites ranked as best in jewelry along with a little bit of insight into what Forbes likes and dislikes:

  • Adornis.com – Forbes loves its multiple close-up views of the products, the A-Z encyclopedia of jewelry terminology and the articles like "Jewelry and Royalty." The site's only downfall, according to Forbes, is its gift suggestions aren't specific enough.
  • AntiqueAndEstate.com – Sharp pictures that show detail of each product and the update page that features the newest products caught Forbes' attention. However, the small product selection left Forbes wanting more.
  • Denmans.com – Despite the short item descriptions, Denman's selection and fun features like a slide-rule that tells you what gems are available in each price range put it in the best of the Web.
  • Ebay.com – Forbes had to mention the great selection and simple and efficient search features of this site, especially in the huge jewelry section. Beware of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the product images and the lack of guarantees on merchandise.
  • Miadora.com – Miadora topped the picks because of its generous suggestions area, detailed search function, online chat with sales representatives and the option to find companion pieces for most products. Its only downfall is the lack of multiple product views.
  • Mondera.com – The learning center filled with information to help any shopper stands out at Mondera, but Forbes finds some of the site content, like "20 ways to pop the question," a little corny.
  • Tiffany.com – Although the product images weren't large and engagement rings were nowhere to be found on the site, Tiffany made it on the list with the best because of its good use of Flash design, helpful jewelry-buying tips and simple navigation.
  • BlueNile.com – This Internet-only jeweler was picked as Forbes' favorite in the jewelry category. Forbes' editors liked Blue Nile's "Design Your Own Ring" feature, but they would have liked to see recommendations for gifts to buy for men.
The seven other jewelry sites reviewed by Forbes didn't make it into the best category for many reasons. No gift suggestions, low-quality images, small selection, few men's items and poor customer service are some of the complaints Forbes had about jewelry sites. Forbes does like the informative editorial at FirstJewelry.com, the elegant atmosphere at Ashford.com and the customized reminder service at Zales.com.

- by Julia M. Duncan