The past year has been a learning experience for every company. If there is one particular lesson, from jewelry brands to custom clothing, it’s that people are willing to make an investment in something that is truly special and unique. Consumers are more thoughtful about their purchases than ever before. They are thinking about sustainability and corporate responsibility when shopping, particularly if it’s an investment piece like a luxury item. What we also have to understand is the emotional component that goes along with purchasing decisions, particularly with luxury jewelry.
Understanding the Customer Journey
Several years ago, the Holy Gems controlling owners (The Taub family, Israeli jewelers) opened diamond jewelry showrooms in Tel Aviv, Israel; London, England and New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue. Before “experiential” became a phenomenon, we knew that it was important for people to understand the journey of the diamonds and jewelry they were about purchase. Each showroom was set up with a special flow of videos which explained how the diamond is formed, and an exhibit booth allowed customers to see the process of cutting and polishing the rough diamond into a beautiful gem, and the process of creating the end jewelry. This level of transparency gave customers the understanding that what they were purchasing was exclusive for more than just the design — there was a level of accountability by the boutique and the brand that was highly unusual for that era.
Knowing the Difference Between Different & Exclusive
We have taken this same level of accountability and added a new and innovative level of exclusivity by launching the Holy Gems brand. This new limited-edition, high-end jewelry collection is set with natural precious gems mined exclusively from the Holy Land of Israel. This allows for the full traceability and transparency that was not possible when the precious gems were mined by a third party, because it was not always possible to identify the source or make sure that the mining was executed with the same brand value of responsibility. As a third-generation member of the jewelry industry, we have gained decades of experience in all stages of the journey of precious gems from the depths of the earth to the hands of the customer.
The launch of Holy Gems is not only the launch of an exclusive luxury collection, but also a brand that understands that a successful launch requires accountability and transparency. Even the jewelry designs are done in-house for complete exclusivity: the limited-edition collection was designed by the internationally acclaimed jewelry designer, Michaella Taub. The Holy Gems designs are marked by her approach to designing with classic and traditional elements, and inspirations that focus on nature and spirituality.
Standing Behind a Brand’s Transparency
Shefa, the parent company of Holy Gems, is the first and only company in the world that mines gems from the Holy Land, and the brand prides itself on being the only worldwide certified channel for these exclusive gems. As a result, Shefa is one of only a few jewelry brands that can provide the customer with the full confidence and transparency of the origin of the precious gem found in the one-of-a-kind piece that is purchased. Each step of the process — mining origin, rough gem, polish, jewel, certificate and sale — are fully accountable.
Holy Gems are rare and accurately traceable. Each piece of jewelry from the limited collection is certified by a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisals, authorized by the EGL to issue international precious gems and jewelry grading. When a person buys a Holy Gems piece, they are provided with a Jewelry Identification & Grading Report, which includes all the natural properties of the inlaid Holy Gems and includes the proven Holy Land origin.
Leveraging the latest technology, customers are also given private access to a user-friendly online authentication system.
Demonstrating True Exclusivity
Four certified-precious gems make up the Holy Gems collection. The rarity of the stones is apparent in the limited number of carats that have been unearthed — for example, as of today, there are fewer than 100 carats of sapphire, fewer than 200 carats of garnet, fewer than 200 carats of spinel and fewer than 300 carats of Carmel Sapphire.
Completely exclusive to the collection is the Carmel Sapphire, a gem that has been documented for the first time on the earth. Except in the case of the Carmel Sapphire, the other precious stones originate from Israel, and can be identified by their special luster. All Holy Gems jewelry pieces are made of 18K gold, set with the exclusive Holy Land Gems, decorated with small diamonds of VS collection quality and crafted by experienced master jewelers.
The hallmark of exclusivity and rarity is based on the number of pieces available and the ease of attaining. This is the international standard for everything from cars to comic books, stamps to coins and, in our case, jewelry. The launch of the first collection of Holy Gems will have only 101 one-of-a-kind pieces.
Staying Focused On Success
For a new luxury brand to be truly successful, sophisticated shoppers require more than the promise of exclusivity. Customers want a value that is not always visibly tangible but can be proven in areas including sustainability and manufacturing transparency. Often, they also want an emotional connection to a product that brings additional meaning — perhaps, even in a divine way.
Tali Shalem is CEO of Shefa Gems Ltd., the first and only company in Israel focusing exclusively in mining exploration of precious stones in the North of the Holy Land. shefagems.com.