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Jewelry and Jewelers

For an explanation of how this page developed, click here.

Rating jewelry sites. These are my subjective ratings. Speed (in seconds) is based on the time the home page takes to completely download with a 56K modem at mid-day on a weekday. I have a vested interest in all these sites. See here.

However, I have not shopped at any of these sites. If you have, send me your feedback.

The Best

Spotlight Jewelry -- Speed: 23 Appearance: Elegant Product Breadth: For fine jewelry, wide Beads: Pearls Prices: Look good Navigation: Fairly easy Features: "Jewelry loupes" allow close ups of each piece; meet the designers, customer service areas.

Meridian Imports -- Speed: 11 Appearance: Very attractive Product Breadth:
Within its area (mostly Nepal) very wide Beads: Yes Prices: Good Navigation: Very good Features: Portion of sales donated to Childreach; section for men; gifts under $50, books.

Preston J. Reuther, Master Wire Sculptor - Jewelry, jewelry-making videos and books, cameos, jewelers' tools and supplies. Start your own profitable jewelry business at home. Complete small business package-instruction, tools, supplies.

Preston Reuther -- Speed: 32 Appearance: Clean Product Breadth: One Product, teaching you how to make wire-wrapped jewelry Beads: Can be employed Prices: Video $67, kits $499 to $1497 Navigation: Good Features: Free patterns, free home business reports; looks like good customer service.

Good Specialty Sites

eJeweler -- Speed: 10 Appearance: Plain vanilla Product Breadth: Wide, especially diamonds Beads: Pearls and pendants Prices: Options of grade (quality), frequent sales Navigation: Good Features: Informative buying of gemstones

Ugly Otter Trading Post - We sell Native American sterling silver jewelry, pottery, and kachina dolls made in the American Southwest.

Ugly Otter -- Speed: 10 Appearance: Clunky Product Breadth: Extremely wide in the field Beads: Necklaces, pendants Prices: Seem fair Navigation: Catalogue pages slow to download because of the number of items Features: Mailing list, non-jewelry items

The Rest

Just Jewelry -- Speed: 41 Appearance: O.K. Product Breadth: Medium Beads: None that I saw Prices: Lots of sales, look good Navigation: Dead ends; I searched for garnets and amethysts in their drop-down menu and they had none. Features: There's a contest, but it's expired.

All the Rage -- Speed: 30 Appearance: Cool Product Breadth: Small; I get the impression they are just starting out. Beads: Power/Mala (they call them Energy) problematical. See here.Prices: Heavy discounts, e.g. buy $50 and get 50% off. Navigation: A little tricky; drop-down menu doesn't work. Features: Good idea; needs more work; I wish them luck.

General (animated)banner

Merlite Jewelry -- Speed: 50 Appearance: Pedestrian Product Breadth: Very wide Beads: Power/Mala Beads. See here. Also other beads. Prices: Look good Navigation: Very large pictures for catalogue; very slow to download Features: Keeps up with trends. $2000 for guessing the best-selling item (Mala/Power beads are the best selling category). Been in business for 53 years, but look like newcomers on the Web. May be good as a wholesaler.


About Power-Mala-Energy beads

. See my initial story. These beads are being represented (in some way or the other) as stones that are supposed to have various powers (see the story). I am doubtful about those on these sites and elsewhere. The turquoise, for example, looks like glass or plastic. The rock crystal beads also look like glass, as they have perfectly straight perforations. See this warning.

Merlite, who has been in business a long time, never explicitly says that the beads are stone. They say that genuine stones may have powers, but don't say these are stone beads. They do, however, offer them at different prices, depending upon the name of the material.

If these beads are glass or plastic (they are often a combination; in one case they are acknowledged to be wood), I think the prices are high. Those featured in my stories on the site were bought for $1.00 each. I am not saying that the sites on this page are cheating, but I would be cautious.

How I came to do this page: Two things happened at once. Two of my affiliate programs added jewelry web sites to their offerings. At the same time, Meridian Imports became the sponsor of the Uses of Beads section and asked to have their banner on this page.

With all the increased activity in this related field, I decided to rate the sites. Meridian Imports, I am pleased to see, came out quite well. It is more in line with bead sites than jewelry sites and makes a good partner.

Yes, I have a vested interest in all these sites. I receive a few cents if you click on some of them. With others, I receive a portion of their sales. Meridian Imports does not have an affiliate program, but is a sponsor of The Bead Site.


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