March 12, 2004, 12:00 AM

All that sparkles: Amazon and J.C. Penney offer custom diamond rings

Amazon and J.C. Penney are adding customized sparkles to their online jewelry sales with build-your-own diamond ring features. “We’ve had a positive response from customers,” Amazon says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Taking a play from successful online jewelers such as BlueNile.com and Diamond.com, Amazon.com Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. are adding customized sparkles to their online jewelry sales with build-your-own diamond ring features. “We’ve had a positive response from customers,” Amazon says.

Amazon, which is running the feature in a test mode that started Feb. 18, expects it to boost sales on its jewelry section, which went live in November 2003. “It’s an important thing for online jewelry categories, because people want to have the ability to select exactly what they want from the type of diamond to the ring setting,” a spokeswoman says. Amazon is offering rings through the feature priced from $265 to $21,250. It promises shipment within 1-2 weeks and lets buyers return the rings within 30 days.

JCPenney.com is going more upscale, offering customized diamond rings at prices ranging $250 to $100,000. Its Build-A-Ring feature lets shoppers select from more than 150,000 variations of 5,000 diamonds in five shapes and 30 ring styles in gold or platinum. It also offers a return policy of up to 60 days.

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