Fine Jewellery, costume jewellery, fashion jewellery – enough words to make your head spinning, do we need a new kind you might say ? Read on, and you might change your opinion.
High jewellery – it’s belongs to world where white unicorns and oligarchs live – it’s rare, one-of-a-kind pieces made with the finest craftsmanship and the most precious of materials – the sort of things you daren’t even glance at on Bond Street. I say Fine, you think 18ct gold, precious and semi-precious stones, costing up into the tens of thousands.
Then there’s ‘costume’: it’s bright, it’s whimsical, it uses alternatives to its precious counterparts (glass, crystal, alloys, etc).
And finally, ‘fashion’: the quick-fix jewellery on the high street.
So, what is demi-fine then ? Who is it for ?
“The demi-fine customer is looking to accessorise, whilst the fine-jewellery customer is looking to make a significant purchase,” said Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director at women’s fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter
So it’s hits that sweet spot between fine and costume by clever use of the
combinations of the pure gold and other metals used in all fine and high jewellery – is more so than lower carat weights (usually 14ct, 10ct, or 9ct).
Which results in the great looking pieces at affordable prices – we talking hundreds here, not thousands. And most of the time it’s hard to differentiate between 14ct and 18ct, it’s a very small difference. “It’s for women in their 20s and 30s, who we call the “luxury hunter” and it’s definitely part the whole trend around self-gifting. Whereas the traditional consumer may have been about the it-bag or the statement shoe, it has now shifted to the area of semi-luxury jewellery.” said Emily Gordon-Smith, head of fashion at Stylus, a trend research firm.
Uniqueness, personalisation and the ability to mix and match are key to the rise of the category.
“The demi-fine customer discovers brands through Instagram and often buys niche labels and jewellery pieces in unusual shapes and materials.” said Selfridges accessories buying manager Josie Gardner.
Consumers want a story, values and a brand look — something they can relate to, wear every day and then passed down for generations.