Discover how the company hopes to shake up the way consumers shop.
Last month Gem Atelier launched in the UK – a jewellery design service focused on gemstone cocktail rings, pendants and earrings – the brainchild of Isabel and Hardy Jamaldeen.
Professional Jeweller meets the founders and finds out how they hope to build Gem Atelier customisable jewellery offer in the UK market and its intentions to shake up how consumers shop.
Professional Jeweller: The collection features classic settings and gemstones that can be made to order. Where does Gem Atelier get its designs made?
Gem Atelier: Our beautiful individually hand crafted pieces are made in our workshops in Italy and Sri Lanka. Some of our component parts like chains and findings are imported from Hong Kong.
PJ: Which stones does Gem Atelier work with?
GA: From our mines we unearth a vast amount of precious and semi-precious stones like different types of sapphires, rubies but also quartz and other semi precious stones.
PJ: Are any of Gem Atelier’s stones or metals Fairtrade or Fairmined?
GA: There is no such thing as Fairtrade gemstone but we can confirm that the stones are ethically mined. We can confirm that all metal used has also been fairly mined.
PJ: Does Gem Atelier use any recycled materials?
GA: We do everything we can to use only recycled precious metals. Some findings like earring posts and chains are not currently available from recycled metals. At this time, although our gold is recycled, we cannot guarantee that the other metals in our gold alloys, like copper, are recycled. If you choose platinum, palladium, or our Argentium Sterling Silver, we can assure you that your jewellery will be a minimum of 95% recycled in origin.
PJ: The stones are described as flawless – how do you define this?
GA: Gem Atelier only sells gemstones that are eye-clean. This means that there are no visible inclusions to the naked eye. We also call them natural stones and for us a natural stone means it is from the earth and is mined, not made from synthetic material in a production facility. Gem Atelier only sells natural gemstones. Some of the coloured gemstones are enhanced by trade accepted practices like heat treatment.
PJ: How does Gem Atelier guarantee a responsible and ethical supply chain?
GA: We know the mines that most our products come from and the others are from renowned and established players that have a reputation to stand by. All our mining families are part of the big Jamaldeen family. The workers are part of a profit sharing scheme which offers their children the opportunity to join school.
PJ: What are the plans for Gem Atelier moving forward?
GA: By taking a new look at the jewellery industry we hope to reshape it. Giving customers more choice and control over their design will help us do to Tiffany, what Amazon has done to Borders or iTunes has done to HMV, by changing the way people shop. By this we believe that there is a huge opportunity to disrupt the jewellery business by breaking the traditional model. The jewellery purchasing model has remained the same – largely untouched – for decades. A customer goes into a shop, views some designs and makes a purchase. They buy what they see. If they want a bespoke service they have to take months over it, buy precious stones and pay a premium price. It is beyond most people. We believe that we can make bespoke everyday and in the reach of most people.
PJ: What happens if a customer is then unsure about the piece they have ordered?
GA: We allow them to carry out an exchange. We offer a lifetime exchange policy to our customers. We understand that styles and designs change with time, that’s why we offer a Lifetime Exchange Policy. You can exchange your jewellery anytime in the future for another Gem Atelier product. We will credit 50% of the value of your purchase price to go towards purchasing the new Gem Atelier product.