Stucki Jewelers offers virtual shopping in world’s diamond capital, “pandemic pricing”

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

Stucki Jewelers in Grass Valley is offering to take customers on a virtual shopping tour for discounted diamonds next week in Antwerp, Belgium — the world’s diamond capital.

Next Monday-Wednesday the downtown jeweler will stream a live broadcast on Facebook Live and Zoom video conferencing with a trusted diamond supplier in Antwerp — some 5,380 miles away.

“We are going to go to Belgium virtually next week — on Facebook Live and Zoom — with our diamond suppliers,” Arbaugh told us. “We’re taking out the middleman, hand selecting the diamonds, and offering them at discounted prices.” He called it “pandemic pricing,” a response to slowing business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The diamonds will be displayed up-close in the video streaming feed, where customers can inspected them for price and the “four c’s” — carat weight, color grade, clarity grade and cut grade (see the YouTube video below for an example).

The virtual shopping tour is owner James Arbaugh’s brilliant response (pun intended) to being unable to travel to Antwerp this spring for his annual shopping trip for world-class diamonds because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stucki’s customers will be able to inspect the diamonds close-up in the live video, as well as ask Arbaugh and the supplier questions about its properties, such as the “four c’s.” Arbaugh is an experienced, certified gemologist.

“How cool that our customers can sit on their couches at home and talk to our suppliers in Antwerp, who will be able to show them the diamonds,” said Arbaugh, summing up the virtual shopping experience.”We have to be creative because of COVID-19.”

Diamonds that are purchased online will be shipped from Antwerp to Stucki Jewelers about a week later, he said.

“The pricing is going to be fantastic,” Arbaugh added, acknowledging that people’s pocketbooks are hurting from the pandemic’s economic fallout. Small businesses are being challenged to bring shoppers into their stores.

Stucki’s offer is well-timed, with graduation just around the corner, as well as spring weddings and engagements.

At the same time, Stucki has relaunched its website, offering the “pandemic pricing” on much of its jewelry. The website also offers a bridal shop for engagement rings, as well as a calendar to make an appointment to shop for jewelry or receive an appraisal on heirloom jewelry. “Websites, email, phone calls, Facebook, Instagram, What’s App — most downtown businesses are offering all of these things to their customers.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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