The heart and soul of the luxury business is the understanding that luxury is inexpressible, because it is aesthetic based….captivating all of our senses. That is why a simulant or synthetic gemstone doesn’t make it. No matter how beautifully it is described and no matter how good it looks at first glance or on TV, a fake has nothing to do with luxury. The reason is simple: Natural gemstones captivate us emotionally, physically and mentally. If we know we are wearing a fake or if we see our faux gemstone next to the real thing…we will feel differently. In other words, the luxury experience will also be simulated and fall short.
Some jewelry sellers choose to define their products as being in the luxury market with “price” (meaning they are priced really high) and others use accessibility (meaning access is restricted or limited). True luxury is not so easily defined. So, it is unfortunate that many consumers who love jewelry think they must settle for more affordable and plentiful simulants and synthetics…thinking they can not afford real luxury. Ugh, not true; true luxury is available and accessible in a wide range of price points.
First of all, luxury is no longer about price. The first brand I know that changed the price of luxury was JET BLUE. Yes, I travel a lot and things have changed since Jet Blue first started flying, but stay with me a bit. JET BLUE was first to offer leather seats in coach and first to give a selection of free snacks, free personal entertainment/TVs, free headsets and full cans of soda. They were a catalyst for change in airline travel (Yes, it’s true that the airline industry needs more change. LOL)… but they also changed the marketplace beyond air travel. Consumers learned to expect or demand more for their dollar. The consumers demand for better, then prompted lots of businesses to start talking about “Affordable Luxury”… which is Marketing Spin/Spam for offering something that is far away from anything to do with Luxury and everything to do with fake, faux and phony. True luxury is available at varying price points, but it is best found and best experienced with a skilled curator. Think about it: we can enjoy an art gallery alone, but when we are guided by a true connoisseur of fine art (even via a taped tour guide), the experience and appreciation is greater. The luxury experience of sourcing, appreciating and acquiring fine quality jewlery and gemstones also requires a skilled connoisseur and/or master jeweler.
Accessibility does remain a component of luxury …exclusivity counts. You can purchase a limited edition or one-of-a-kind fine jewelry items that could be pricy or you can find new designers who cannot (at least not yet) produce large quantities or command big-brand prices. Here are some of my favorite ways to find exclusive fine jewelry:
1. Visit your local craft fair…and enjoy the hunt! There are always small jewelry makers showcasing their work; but again, beware of those that create fake or fine jewelry imposters. Ask questions!
2. Visit your local jeweler …who has a good reputation and some history in your community. Ask her or him if they showcase any new designers.
3. Don’t be afraid of the exclusive high-end jeweler in your area, just because you think they are too expensive! There you will find highly knowledgeable and passionate jewelry ambassadors …. who welcome the opportunity to share what they love about fine gemstones and jewelry. Tell them I sent you ; )
You may not be able to afford to buy there today, but you may have a memorable and unforgettable experience that will influence what/how you buy in the future! You will also learn a great deal and you will enjoy the journey! Remember, shopping for Sparkle is fun and only “buying” comes with a price tag …experiencing a real luxury shopping experience is priceless!