dessin bijoux
Illustration credit to @gaelleseret

Think just 10 years back, if you wanted to buy a ring for your future wife, you would still go to Lafayette or a close friend of your that happens to be a jeweller in Place Vendome, look at what they offer and buy a specific ring you liked, on the spot! Well now, you just can’t. There are over one thousand jewelry stores in a city that offers the same designed ring that you want at competitive prices, labeled the right way and pretending to offer quality craft. Some are bigger than others, some are local or international, some are brands offering over-priced result, some are online, some uses recyclable metals and some propose free delivery. 

Meet Julien.

Age: 27
Belgo-Lebanese living in London.
Status: Julien is in a relationship with Patricia for 2 years now. He met her in an online book club.
Julien is a Fashion photographer.

Julien is a typical customer that keeps browsing the net for a unique ring to buy for his girlfriend, Patricia on Valentine’s day. He is used to love brands but he seems to be quite tired of the overpriced jewelry they offer. He just wants a unique specific design he saw while backpacking in Mexico last year. While on instagram, he ends up on a cool profile of an online jeweller XYZ that offers free shipping to London (Online brands such as XYZ offer jewelry collections to their customers that let their customers personalise detail such as the metals choice to gemstone selection, even engraving). While browsing on their website, Julien falls in love with one specific design. He liked it but it’s not yet the design he dreamed of. A pop-up shows up stating: “You like this design? Well, you can make it your own using ‘this code’. Click here to customise it!”. He then clicks the link and the page redirects him to a 3D customised screen. He goes through the process of actually choosing the right finishes and diamond color. A chatbot pops up and offers him: “If you have any specific question, you can talk to me here !” He decides to go through a common question: “What is better to buy? A real diamond or a lab grown diamond?”. The Chatbot answers the question and then suggests him if he had more doubts, he could book an appointment on Skype with an expert consultant available now. He decides that it was not needed and continues editing. Julien visualises his modifications in real time. The price is updated as he finishes adding an engraving of his wife’s initial at the bottom! Julien is fully satisfied from his choice. He decides to save the model as a ING. and sends it via WhatsApp to his brother to get his opinion. Marc love it !!! Julien logs in back to his account and pursue his purchase… Before choosing his method of delivery, he decides to 3d print the model at home and bring it to his jeweller friend back home, in Lebanon to manufacture it for him. He exchanges details of the stone he likes so his friend John can buy it in Antwerp for him at competitive prices with a GIA certification. John and Julien meets back in John’s FAMILY ATELIER in Bourj Hammoud where he is well received with a private visit of the atelier. He gets to assist the guy who is working on his jewelry and get a GoPro video of the jewellery making process. He pays via his online banking method by securing his payment through his fingertip. Two days later, he receives his order that the coursier picks up an hour earlier. Boom, he is ready for his proposal. He books a nice restaurant where while booking, adds a note to say that it was actually his proposal dinner. The restaurant calls him back and proposes him to book a photographer for the evening at low price. He gladly agrees and orders in advance the champagne, the starter and a special meal. The restaurant receives them well. She says yes! Back home, he notices that the ring is a bit small. He decides to text John and let him know. John suggests that he goes to a his university buddy jeweller in London and resize it. Julien reviews on GOOGLE John’s family atelier by sending a “private message” and a few pictures of the event. This comment is later posted on Family Atelier’s story on instagram

This process took 5 days tops! Well, this is just an example of many where customisation comes in mind. 

Now, you’ll rethink before purchasing a typical overpriced ring at Dubai Mall….

Customisation nowadays

  • Taylor & Hart, a London-based start-up by Nikolay Piriankov makes a jewelry purchase easy again while still customising online your own product, with the help of a designer, always ready to prompt your doubts.
  • Attention, Vashi Diamonds are in the house! Customers are welcomed into the diamond emporium by smiling shop staff, and met by a modern, sparsely furnished shop space. Instead of pieces on display being housed in large glass units, diamond rings sit on shelves, free of any casing and ready to be touched — no white gloves required.
  • Missoma, a London-based company makes “demi-fine” jewelry, wants to earn a spot on that list with their jewelry customization technology.They’ve recently introduced a line of jewelry designed not by high-end artists, but by individual buyers. The vehicle for doing that is a custom-built, interactive drawing tool that allows jewelry aficionados to sketch their design on a tablet or smartphone (or with a mouse on a computer screen, though that’s slightly less elegant) and have that design engraved onto a piece of his or her choosing. The technology launched in May 2018 and already makes up roughly 8% of the Notting Hill-based company’s revenue. They offer this technology on 26 of their products.
  • Gemmyo is a french brand created by Pauline Laigneau destine to target younger generations seeking high quality jewelry made in France through an on-demand online service. A plus for their reputation, their branding is cuter than a cat!
  • 404 Place Vendome has an intriguing name as it refers as the misplaced internet page of the Place Vendome, an icon in the Parisian jewelry industry. Also, it offers a co-creation service through a website where customers can be part of the jewelry process. Pas mal du tout!
  • At Custom made, jewelry should be as unique as the moments, memories, and people that inspire it, not something off a shelf, out of a catalog, or that’s been sitting in a case. It’s something that should be created just for you. Custom Made offers customers the opportunity to work closely with the artist that is going to manufacture your jewelry.
  • Gemvara offers an online customisation tool that branches out to resetting your worn jewel and offers free shipping, free 101 days return.
  • At Blue Nile, a jewelry starts with a beautiful diamond. You first choose your perfect diamond then you design a jewelry around it using advanced online tools.
  • Nervous system is an online generative design studio that works at the intersection of science, art and technology. They create computer simulations to generate jewelry designs and use digital fabrication such as 3d printing to realize creative results. It also let customers print your design at home using your personal printer.
  • In today’s world, the importance of using data to drive growth cannot be understated. Perhaps that’s why there is so much innovation in the data space. But more recently, a real trend is emerging toward the use of data as a form of self expression. Location data is arguably some of the most personal data out there – literally tracking your footsteps. San Francisco-based Meshu has truly elevated data visualization into a fine art, crafting jewelry in the pattern of your Foursquare check-ins.
  • Tournaire Paris, a family jeweler in Paris taken to the next level. Philippe’s atelier turnes your favorite cities into a ring thanks to 3d tools.
  • Coeur de gem is the first mobile customisation tool.

Other players: Misuzi, Brilliant Earth, Mejuri

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