In the jewelry world, is anything ever really new?
Some months ago, this very question was put to me. And it’s a fair question. Jewelry (or jewellery) has been around for thousands of years; in fact the Cro-Magnons wore bits of shell as necklaces. The Egyptians were the first serious wearers of jewellery as we know it; so it’s fair to say that the gold rings, necklaces, earrings we know have been around for some 4000 years, give or take a couple of centuries.
And if you break it down, the metals haven’t really changed in that time: gold is still given a high premium today as one of the most valuable jewelry items to be worn. Certainly the shapes haven’t changed all that much compared to the Egyptian, and then subsequently Roman, eras. Today we still wear circles, squares, rectangles and triangles…whether they’re dripping around our neck, or adorning our fingers.
Gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are still given as much importance today as they were a few hundred years ago; you only need to look at the crowns of kings and queens in the Tower of London to see how gemstones were given such a premium back then – this remains unchanged.
So nothing is completely new in terms of the product from a jewelry sense: same metals, same shapes, same stones.
But what IS new is the ability to manufacture on a bespoke basis; order 1, instead of 100 – and for it still to be affordable. What IS new is the ability to hand over that design process to the customer – completely bypassing the need for education, structure, an understanding of mechanics. This process is called ‘mass customisation’; the number of companies now participating in this mass customization movement globally is 900, up from 400 in 2007, according to the Database Configurator Report 2013.
And this is where StyleRocks comes in: by handing over the customization process to the customer – rather than the jeweller – this allows the user creative freedom in terms of a number of variables: metal, finish, gemstones, pearl colour, plating, charm creation, engraving etc.
New product? No. A new way of to market, yes.