CityPress - - Business - MAMELLO MASOTE mamello.masote@city­

Cou­ples have been saved from go­ing on a fran­tic search for the per­fect en­gage­ment di­a­mond with the re­cent launch of an on­line di­a­mond store.

Yair Shi­man­sky, the founder and CEO of tan­zan­ite and di­a­mond com­pany Shi­man­sky Jewellers, has launched Di­a­monds 27, an on­line di­a­mond store where you can choose the stone and the cut. There is also a con­cept store at Cape Town’s V&A Wa­ter­front.

“We chose the wa­ter­front as the port of en­try be­cause there’s over 20 000 plus vis­i­tors a year,” says Shi­man­sky.

He wanted to tap into the grow­ing e-com­merce mar­ket and also pro­vide shoppers with a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

Shoppers can visit the store and browse on­line for the di­a­mond they want and can then see it and feel it be­fore buy­ing it.

All the di­a­monds are cer­ti­fied by the Ge­mo­log­i­cal In­sti­tute of Amer­ica, says Shi­man­sky.

The web­site has been up and run­ning for a few months. Most of the cus­tomers are in their early and late 20s and buy di­a­monds for en­gage­ments and gifts.

“The re­sponse has been fan­tas­tic. The web­site has been work­ing on mo­bile, which is a grow­ing cat­e­gory lo­cally and world­wide.

“It’s work­ing on the smart­phone, it’s work­ing on­line and we’ve got a lot of peo­ple com­ing and vis­it­ing the store,” says Shi­man­sky.

Di­a­monds range in price from about R5 000 to R2 mil­lion.

He says on av­er­age, pop­u­lar di­a­monds among South Africans range from half a carat to about two carats – from about R30 000 to more than R500 000.

While the di­a­mond mar­ket faced some chal­lenges af­ter the begin­ning of the eco­nomic down­turn in 2008, Shi­man­sky says the US mar­ket is re­cov­er­ing and prospects for the di­a­mond in­dus­try look good.

“The In­dian and Chi­nese mar­kets con­tinue to grow and in three to four years, will over­take the US.

“So there is def­i­nite growth and de­mand world­wide,” says Shi­man­sky.

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