As a science writer, I believe I am qualified to write about life, the universe and everything. In this case it's going to be about online jewellery shopping, as online store JewelryArtDesigns (aka LuShae Jewelry) kindly agreed to let me loose in their virtual aisles provided I wrote up the experience.
They sell rings, earrings and pendants, priced around £40 ($60-70) including worldwide shipping. Many of the pieces (note the easy use of the jargon there) feature cubic zirconium stones and a lot are gold or rhodium plated in finish.
The shopping process was painless, and despite this being an Australian company shipping from the US, it was easy enough to flip the currency in the shopping cart and get a price I understood. Then the wait. It took a little longer than I expected, taking 20 days to arrive. Irritatingly, I had to go to the post office and pay tax on it - particularly galling because the tax was £3.83, but the Post Office added an £8 handling charge. I'm assured by the people at JewelryArtDesigns that this doesn't usually happen, but see comments below. It seems very likely to happen unless the Post Office only checks random samples.
All in all, apart from slight issues with delivery and tax, a good experience. The pricing (provided you don't get hit with tax) seems about what you'd expect for an item of this quality, though I wouldn't say it was any cheaper than buying something in a local jewellers.
Here ends my excursion into the retail world. Normal service will be resumed in the next post.