GEM.NET RIDING E-TAIL ROUTE

Byline: Peter Braunstein

NEW YORK — After enticing online gem enthusiasts with nine months of content, including gemology horoscopes and Elsa Klensch columns, gem resource Web site Gem.net has launched e-commerce as well.
After bowing on Sept.15 with 50 items, such as rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, Gem.net has just increased the number of items in its online store by half, to total 75.
“We have exclusive designs, so we wanted to be selective and launch our product line with a minimum of clutter,” Bill McTighe, managing director of Gem.net, told WWD during an offline preview of the new collection. “We also want to make sure we’re telling prospective shoppers enough about the product, through designer profiles and other information,” he added.
Goods in the Gem.net online store are priced from $25 to $5,700, and, McTighe noted, “range from well-known jewelry you would find at Neiman Marcus to unique unknowns.” The offer features a “Serpentina” collection, created exclusively for Gem.net in Italy by designer Paola De Luca, consisting of gold-coiled necklaces, bracelets and rings studded with Burmese rubies.
Among other pieces in the assortment are Golay pearls and a “Hard Candy” group of burgundy rhodolite garnets, golden citrines, lime green peridots, azure topaz, dusky blue iolites, violet amethysts, and high-style Italian silver lariats.
“About one-third of the online store merchandise is exclusive to Gem.net, and we plan to launch one new exclusive collection a month,” said Gem.net content director Cheryl Kremkow.
According to Kremkow, Gem.net made a conscious decision to launch a content-based online site and then gradually ease into e-commerce. “We knew from the beginning that jewelry is a high-touch product that involves a lot of trust between the buyer and seller,” she said. “We felt that by establishing relationships with consumers through content, we could overcome the trust barrier.

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