March 2, 2011, 4:36 PM

James Allen combines smartphones and sparkle with a new app

The jeweler launches an iPhone app that showcases 20,000 loose diamonds and 1,000 rings.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

James Allen is hoping to find a sales gem in its new m-commerce effort. The jewelry retailer has launched a diamond app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that enables shoppers to closely examine more than 20,000 photos of diamonds.

The app features a tool called a Virtual Loupe—named for the small magnification device jewelers use to inspect jewels—that lets users see diamonds up close. It also offers access to diamond laboratory reports that show the certification of the diamond’s weight, color, cut and clarity. Shoppers can also sort the diamonds by shape, color, cut, clarity and price. When app users find a ring they like, they can connect to the jeweler’s e-commerce site to obtain more information, contact customer service or make a purchase.

The James Allen Diamond App also displays more than 1,000 engagement rings, a wide range of which can be displayed in high-definition video—both on a hand or alone.

“At James Allen, we understand a customer must feel 100% confident in what he or she is buying. That’s why we work extra hard to make sure what you see is what you get,” says Victoria Feder, marketing director at JamesAllen.com. “We’re constantly pushing the limits of technology to create new and exciting display technologies that will make your shopping experience better and better. Now you’ve got an entire jewelry store in the palm of your hand.”

The online retailer’s web site, JamesAllen.com, also offers a similar tool that lets visitors view every diamond it sells in detail. The retailer developed a microscopic camera that it uses to take a highly detailed photo of each stone it sells.

James Allen isn’t the only jeweler looking to make its sales sparkle with mobile. Customers also can shop for jewelry from Blue Nile, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide , from their mobile devices. Blue Nile’s iPhone app enables consumers to research and comparison-shop its collection of more than 70,000 diamonds. The app’s Dream Box feature enables consumers to browse thousands of one-of-a-kind rings created by Blue Nile, the merchant says.

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