Category Archives: Jewels

Why Diamonds Are A VC’s New Best Friend

The following article is re published from article released by “Business Insider”

http://www.businessinsider.com/online-jewelry-industry-booming-2011-7

If in 1999, investors weren’t convinced that shoppers would buy a diamond ring online, the gleam is certainly in their eye today. eCommerce has been one of the most active segments, with 67 merger and acquisition transactions topping $6 billion thus far in 2011 vs. $180 million in the same period in 2010 according to investment bank Petsky & Prunier.

Within eCommerce, one of the segments which is gaining traction and investment favor is jewelry. Since late 2010, Gemvara, Stella & Dot, Baunat and BeachMint have all secured major funding rounds ranging from $4 to $40 million. And jewelry is an active segment in the fast-growing fashion flash sale business which includes such heavily funded websites as the Gilt Groupe, which recently raised $138 million, Beyond the Rack, Hautelook, Ideeli, Modnique, Rue La La, and My Habit.

The VC funding activity in jewelry is supported by research from Forrester, which includes jewelry as one of the fastest growing eCommerce segments through 2014. As a product category which initially started slow online (when compared with books for computer equipment), jewelry is now enjoying strong growth for several reasons:

Increased Shopper Confidence: Twelve years ago, investors were skeptical if shoppers would flock online to buy big ticket items. But the growth of eCommerce since the late 1990s has proven that consumers will buy anything online which they used to buy in-person. Through mechanisms like merchant reviews and based on an overwhelmingly positive shopping experience, shoppers, who first dipped their toes into online commerce with the purchase of a book or a T-shirt are now willing to place their trust in online merchants in the same way they trust a local shopkeeper.

Customization: A big benefit for online jewelry retailers versus local jewelers is the ability to create customized jewelry based on shopper requests. With most local jewelers buying directly from a few wholesalers, they usually don’t have the design and manufacturing contacts to create and manufacture customized jewelry. Furthermore, a one or two store operation usually lacks the scale in order to make such an operation profitable, and the wholesalers who supply their jewelry are focused on selling existing (and not customized) jewelry through their pipeline. For an online jeweler, customization can be a point of differentiation around which the company was developed. And in the same way that local jewelers historically built their business by knowing the tastes of their local clientele, online jewelers have established their businesses based on the ability to source jewelry from a broad range of international suppliers to improve cost efficiencies and create product differentiation.

Product Selection: As with customization, product selection is another area where local jewelers face challenges when competing with online jewelers. All an online jeweler needs to do to add a new product is to upload a picture and description of the product. A local jeweler, on the other hand, must physically obtain the product and then merchandise it in-store. The ease in which new products can be added and removed enable online retailers to add and then tweak entire product lines with ease, facilitating much more fluid merchandising opportunities. This issue is magnified when it comes to loose diamonds. Online stores can hold a virtual list of diamonds, thus enabling them to exhibit tens of thousands of loose diamonds for sale. Needless to say that no brick and mortar store can hold such inventory.

Improved Product Displays: In 1999, most online shoppers accessed the Internet through a dial up modem. Today, with almost all shoppers using broadband Internet,and advancements in 3D imaging and graphic displays, shoppers can really see how the ring or necklace will look.

Better Customer Service: One of the reasons for the improved shopper confidence is undoubtedly the improved customer service. In 1999, most shoppers had to log off an eCommerce website and their dial-up Internet service in order to free up their phone line to make the phone call to call customer service, if the website even published a number to call. Today, most online retailers offer shoppers a range of options, including real-time chat, FAQs and toll free numbers to customer service, all available 24/7, and often in several languages. Along with these pre-shopping services, online shoppers also benefit from free shipping from many online retailers on many items, and very liberal return policies.

Though social and mobile shopping applications are also helping all online retailers, including jewelers, it’s the aforementioned improvements in online retailing which are driving the newfound interest and investment in online jewelry companies. Yes, Ms. Monroe certainly had it right, but watch out girls, diamonds just may be an investor’s new best friend.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/online-jewelry-industry-booming-2011-7#ixzz1SVJVK14f

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Pantone’s color seers say earth tones for fall

This is a reprint of an article in National Jeweler May 14th, 2009 written by Catherine Dayrit

Just Like You Design citrene ringNew York–Each season, the world-renowned color experts at Pantone release a report detailing the palette of hues that fashion designers expect to be indicative of the season. And for fall, designers are placing their bets on a rainbow of earth tones, from true red and deep orange to vibrant blue.

“The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past,” Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman said in the report. “Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to the current economic conditions, but also understand the need to incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy.”

Among the top 10 colors designers identified as the most directional hues for fall are: “American Beauty,” a balanced, true red; “Purple Heart,” a jewel-tone purple; “Honey Yellow,” a warm, more subdued version of the sunny “Mimosa Yellow,” Pantone’s 2009 Color of the Year; “Burnt Sienna,” an earthy shade of orange; “Rapture Rose,” combining the vibrancy of fuchsia and the softness of pink; “Warm Olive,” a rich yellow-green; and finally “Majolica Blue,” a deep teal.

Helena Krodel, spokeswoman for the Jewelry Information Center, says that what these trends mean for jewelry is a proliferation of large gemstones in earth tones or rich deep colors. The stones will be combined with chain-links or charms in precious metals, making for oversized statement necklaces.

As for basic colors for the season, designers surveyed by Pantone selected “Creme Brulee,” a grayed-down beige; “Iron,” a grounding color somewhere between brown and gray that coordinates well with all colors in the palette; and “Nomad,” which serves as a bridge between the beige and light gray.

Such tones serve as an ideal canvas for jewelry, whether that means sticking to the monotone look with one of the all-metal statement necklaces that will be big for fall, or selecting colored gemstones with intense hues that pop.

Leatrice says that of the 10 colors, the neutral Iron received the highest rating from designers, a choice that points to practicality.

“Designers are very aware that consumers are conscious of how they’re spending their money,” she says. “They want something very consistent.”

She also adds that over the last few seasons there has been more of a trend toward “trans-seasonal” dressing, in which apparel and accessories can be used from one season and into the next, so trends linger and aren’t thrown out the door quite so quickly.

“If you love something, it’s a shame to hang it in the closet,” she says.

And that goes for jewelry too. While precious stones tend to be pricey, perhaps making for an initial barrier at the sales counter, their classic nature helps to make them pieces worth investing in, items that can be worn time and again.

Virtual Display Case Paragon Lake

paragon-lake-screen1While at the “The Smart Jewelry Show” in Chicago I notice quite a buzz about a new business offer by a company, Paragon Lake. They have created a highly interactive web based “Virtual Display Case.” Paragon Lake has effectively broken the boundaries between live jewelry and the virtual world. Their virtual display case will go a long way to engage the consumer in the buying process.
The current business model offers retail jewelers a slick HP touch screen computer and in store training for a meager $2000. They also refund a large portion of that investment as the system is used in the store. They are capping the new users they can roll out the first stage, so jewelers were scrambling for their wallets in Chicago.
For more information go to http://www.paragonlake.com/

Preserve a memory

picture-in-diamondThe science of nano-photography has entered the world of gemology and pulling heart strings. Now offered by a US company, Gemory, you can send them a diamond and a photo and they will “safely injected (the photo) just beneath the surface of your diamond without damaging the surface.”
The photo will invisible to the naked eye, but can be viewed by their “GemmaView” a Nano-Photograph Viewer, sold separately.
So what does it cost? The nano-photography sets you back $1500 and the viewer cost $300.
One interesting fact, the process is reversible if you want to erase that memory form your diamond.

For more information, go to www.gemory.com

Sometimes irrelevant is fantastic!

boucheron-necklaceI ran across these photos in Wallpaper magazine of the necklace that was designed by Shaun Leane and created by Boucheron to celebrate their 150th anniversary. There is nothing at all “relevant” about this necklace, but it’s irrelevance makes it truly remarkable! Here’s to Boucheron’s incredible legacy of making the world more beautiful, one jewel at a time!

The picture below show the necklace with the buds of the night blooming “Queen of the night” open. There are hidden buttons that open and close the buds. The large lilac sapphire can also be removed and worn separately.

boucheron-necklace-open