Site Review | Professional Jeweler

October 24, 2001

Most online auctions are nothing like live auctions. Sellers put items up for auction online and give buyers a number of days to bid. This format gives more people the opportunity to bid, but it's useless for buyers who want their merchandise in a hurry and who enjoy the excitement of live auctions. Luckily, gemstone buyers who like to bid in real time don't have to go offline for auctions – they can spend evenings bidding on gemstones and some jewelry at

The site is simple, and easy for even a beginner to use. Visitors to must register. It's a painless process, and users only need to submit basic contact information to start using the site. Once registered and logged in, users can shop for small diamonds, ring mountings and gemstone jewelry from the site's 24-hour eShops. Every evening, the site holds a live auction. Currently the Diamond and Colored Gems Show runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET nightly, and more live auctions are on the way.

The live auction page is divided into four sections. One is for text conversations, another includes important links and a box to type text into, another section has a list of who is in the auction and the last section contains an image of the item up for auction along with the price, basic details and the time left in the auction. The auction hosts and buyers are friendly and willing to chat or answer questions – they even greet you when you enter the auction. The gemstone deals are good, especially the closeouts, and there are occasionally some unusual gemstones up for bid.

Jewelry designers and gemstone lovers will feel right at home at The site's help section provides all the instructions necessary to successfully use the site and answers shipping and payment questions. If you use the site, you'll need patience at times. The auctions are sometimes slow or technical difficulties delay the start, and it's possible to spend an hour waiting to see something worthwhile. If you're looking for something specific, ask the host if you should wait for it. However, if you enjoy viewing the auctions and talking to other gem buyers, you could easily spend the whole evening watching, chatting – and buying.

- by Julia M. Duncan