In our newsletter this month:
As we've increased our inventory of gemstones - now over 14,000 items - we've been working on creating better tools to help our customers find specific gems in our very large collection.
We want it to be easy to find simple things, such as all the 6 mm round blue sapphires. But it should be just as easy to find all the spessartite garnet cabochons between 2 and 2.5 carats, or all the violet gems over 5 carats with at least VVS clarity that cost less than $100. Searching needs to be easy, but it should be flexible too.
This month we would like to introduce a new navigation system that you'll find on every page where you browse our gemstones. We call it the "shop by" menu, and it looks like this:
The nine buttons across the screen (gemtype, color, etc.) are categories from which you can make one or more selections. The five checkboxes above those buttons are ways to limit your selection. Let's run through an example. Let's find all the highest quality orange gemstones between 1 and 2 carats.
First we'll click on the color button and select our colors. We'll check orange and then click the submit button.
This returns all the orange gemstones in our inventory. Since that's more than 1,900 items, let's apply some more filters. We'll click on gemtypes and select sapphire and spessartite garnet to restrict our search for orange stones to just those two fine gem types.
Next we apply our weight filter by clicking on the weight button and choosing a range of 1 to 2 carats. That still returns over 400 items, so let's filter the results by removing the lots and pairs and showing just the single stones. We do that by checking the single box to show only single stones. Let's remove the cabochons as well by clicking on the faceted checkbox. Finally, we limit our search to pieces with VVS clarity or better by making a selection from the clarity category. We end up with 63 items as our result, a very manageable number.
At each stage our navigation shows us exactly where we are. So after making these selections, it shows us:
You Selected: sapphire, spessartite garnet » orange » 1ct to 2cts » VVS or better » single, faceted » order by weight descending
We can easily modify this selection without starting over. We can expand our search by searching for pairs as well as single pieces, or we can view only the pear or oval shapes.
Once you've created your selection in this way, you can bookmark the page and view it at any time. It will always find all the gems in our current inventory that match your criteria. In effect, you can use this mechanism to create your own custom pages on the GemSelect website.
Gemstones that display some color change in different types of light are rare. Moreover, gems that exhbit a dramatic color change are very rare indeed. Alexandrite is the most famous of these, but it is almost always found in very small gems. Recently we found some unusual color-change garnet from Tanzania that is greenish-brown in daylight and red-pink under incandescent light. We've taken some videos in which we alternate the light source so you can experience the remarkable color change of these gems. We have a small number of pieces weighing over 1 carat, with the specimen shown above weighing in at 1.81 carats.
|A final note - if you send us email, please be assured that we answer all our email very promptly, 6 days per week. But we sometimes have problems with spam filters on the receiving end, so please adjust the settings on your email account so that you can receive email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy gem hunting,Your friends at GemSelect
- First Published: September-01-2009
- Last Updated: November-06-2014
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