A local diamond retailer has reported a sparkling boost in sales after launching a mobile app which helps customers check prices.

The app, launched by retailer Caraters in late August, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

The app displays prices for diamonds which are available at Caraters’ physical store, Syddall Diamonds at UE Square shopping mall.

The app has already attracted nearly 30,000 registered downloads, of which about 70 per cent are by people in Singapore.

Foreigners from as far afield as the United States, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and India have signed up too, said Mr James Syddall, managing director of Syddall Diamonds, which founded Caraters. Sales have leapt by more than 150 per cent since the app’s launch, he added.

“Many customers are saying the application is very useful to them. They save a lot of time by comparing prices on diamonds they are keen on, without having to go to many stores.”

To use the price calculator, shoppers just need to input the four Cs – cut, carat, colour and clarity – to check the price for diamonds ranging from .05 to 1.5 carats. They can then choose to buy through the app, at the physical store – Syddall Diamonds – or even at another store, said Mr Syddall.

“We created this app as a platform to educate our customers on the value of diamonds, especially the value of matching pairs (which Caraters specializes in). We also want to provide more transparency by giving an indicative price.”

Prices on the app are pegged to the world’s biggest diamond exchanges, with some of Caraters’ costs factored in. This means prices will fluctuate based on the exchange prices and the US dollar rate. Hong Kong-based diamond wholesaler and manufacturer ELS Diamonds agree to make 20 million euros ($32.6 million) in diamonds available for sale via the app; which helped build up the extensive system.

“The app would not work if it was just a price calculator ... I felt there was nothing available in the market that can back up prices. Everyone quotes prices, but no one can deliver and consumers are confused; so we created the app,” said Mr Syddall. This article was published on Sunday 19th October 2014, by The Sunday Times (Rennie Whang).