The days of women dropping hints to their man to buy those pair of earings they want seem to be a thing of the past. A new day has come where women are cutting out the “middle man.”
There’s nothing quite like opening a perfectly wrapped box containing a beautiful necklace or pair of earrings. Even those of us who don’t always adorn ourselves in tons of jewels need a good pair of diamond studs or simple gold pendant to complete a look.
As women take control in the workplace, they are also taking control of their wallet. They are making their own decisions when it comes to the jewelry they wear, rather than waiting around for a man to do it.
Thus, the diamond and gemstone industry has seen a surge in self-purchasing female clientele, a trend unseen in previous years.
Mociun, a jewelry company based in Brooklyn, creates jewelry that is almost always one of a kind. Caitlin Mociun, the founder of the company, creates pieces with heritage stones, and makes them into clusters that are each a little different—all set in 14 carat gold.
Nora Clarke, an employee at Mociun, says via e-mail that “most of the jewelry we carry (by Caitlin Mociun) are rings. Split about half and half between collection pieces that we carry all the time, and custom pieces that are one-of-a-kind, can’t be made again.”
Mociun even believes in showing their socially conscious side, by using these reclaimed gemstones and recycled gold, something that gets many millennial jewelry buyers attention.
“Custom rings are by far the most popular – who doesn’t want a piece of art/jewelry that no one else has?” Clarke says, “The stones are all antique or unique colors, making up a piece of art that’s not only trendy, but wearable and eye catching.”
Mociun’s pieces can help the buyer capture a feeling or use the jewelry to commemorate a special moment in their life. A lot of what they sell includes custom engagement rings utilizing their heritage stones.
Other designers, such as Jennie Kwon and Lana Jewelry, believe that female empowerment is essential to their businesses, although Kwon doesn’t target this group with her branding—she claims it’s just something that happens organically, according to National Jeweler.
Tiffany Alaimo, Lana Jewelry brand representative, says that younger purchasers are interested in buying more pieces at lower price points to have quality fashion jewelry.
“We’re definitely seeing more dainty jewelry where it’s more layered instead of the big chunky statement piece.” Alaimo says. “I definitely think it is more of a fashion mindset.”
Because those wearing the jewelry are thinking a lot about fashion when purchasing, the female consumers are leading the jewelry buying and even helping their partners make the purchases. Women don’t want to be asked by their partners why they aren’t wearing the jewelry they purchased, which empowers them to take part in the decisions of what is gifted.
Even taking a scroll through Instagram, it is easy to see that jewelry retailers aren’t trying to target men with their images. They are hoping female buyers will send that picture to someone, or just come in and splurge on themselves. These brands, like Jaimie Geller Gallery, are showing off extravagant layers of diamonds, gems and gold to show their customer that it isn’t so hard to pull off a crazy layered look.
“[Mociun has] a big Instagram following,” Clarke says. “I’d say about a quarter to a third of the people who come in looking for jewelry come in because they saw a piece that they liked on our Instagram page.”
Women are taking charge of their jewelry purchases in part because of their careers as well. They want to reward themselves for their big achievements, specifically with jewelry that is appropriate for their working wardrobes.
Clarke says, “we are located in a super trendy, wealthy and very gentrified area of Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg), so generally people who come in looking for jewelry are liberal with their spending.”
In some cases, the location and social media following helps these businesses thrive when it comes to selling to lots of women self-purchasers. These female designers understand what they want to wear and create something that works for fashionable women.
A 2009 study by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council showed that female self-purchasers buy pieces with colored gemstones or pearls more often. Several of the things that jewelers are missing when assisting female self-purchasers include the presence of male purchasers and sellers. This new demographic is looking for real gemstones and confidence of the person that is selling the item and being able to exchange or return the item easily, according to JCK magazine.
It’s a combination of all these factors that help lead to Mociun’s and Lana Jewelry’s success. In part it’s the price point accessibility that Lana Jewelry has to offer that is a great gateway for new jewelry purchasers, and once she has started a collection, Mociun is a natural progression to expand a jewelry wardrobe.
“[Mociun] uses those antique and colored stones to create cluster rings, pieces with many stones instead of just one,” Clarke says. “Perfect for the girl who’s looking for something else besides Tiffany or Cartier.”