There was a time, not so long ago, when women who wanted a piece of diamond jewelry would leave a photo of it on a pillow or maneuver for a shopping day with their sweetheart, in hopes that her partner would take the big hint, spend the big bucks and “surprise” her. We are now happy to report that those old-fashioned ideas have vanished without a trace.
Now we can give precious gems to our favorite person—Ourself! —whenever the spirit moves us. In fact, there is great joy in celebrating your own special moments—or simply treating yourself to a much-needed pick-me-up in the form of a highly personal piece of diamond jewelry.
Which Jewels are Women Buying for Themselves?
But what exactly are women buying for themselves these days? And how much are they willing to spend on an impulsive treasure? To find out, we surveyed a group of talented female jewelry designers and executives, for who better to answer the age-old question, “what do women want?” than women themselves?
Mercedes Abramo, President & CEO of Cartier North America, sets the record straight: this phenomenon isn’t exactly new. “We’ve found note in our archives of women making purchases at Cartier, for themselves, beginning in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. These were a new type of client at the time; some of the first generations of women who enjoyed new positions of freedom and power. This trend has certainly continued since then, and we’re currently seeing a rise in female self-purchases.” Though she doesn’t offer a specific dollar amount, Abramo says there is a lot of enthusiasm for Cartier classics, many available at friendly price points.
Purchasing Jewelry for Oneself is the New Celebration
“Beloved designs such as Love, Juste un Clou and Panthère consistently resonate quite well with these clients; in particular, pavé bracelets from these collections are attracting recent attention.” Abramo acknowledges that even in challenging circumstances, a love of jewelry endures. “In the current climate, these clients are experiencing Cartier in new ways. Though trips and parties may have been postponed, because of the pandemic, special occasions are still happening. Plans have changed and celebrations have evolved—many times into a Cartier purchase instead. There’s something so personal about turning these memorable moments into something with more permanence and longevity.”
Women are Spending Real Money on Themselves
Over in beautiful Paris, jewelry designer Valerie Messika says that “typically, we find that our client spends between 2,000€ ($2,300) and 5,000€ ($5,800) when looking at jewels for themselves. Our Move Collection is our must-have collection, and it continues to prove to be a very much-loved collection among our clients. The rings or the Baby Move pavé necklace have been particularly successful. I always feel honored when I see women wearing my creations with their own style and a personal touch. It is important for women to be able to wear their jewelry every day.”
In California, Irene Neuwirth declined to be pinned down on exactly how much clients would spend on themselves, explaining, “I think the sky’s the limit for a woman to purchase something she feels is timeless and beautiful, holds its value and can be passed down. In most of my diamond pieces I mix diamonds with colored stones, something serious with something more whimsical, like carved bunny rabbits with diamond eyes or rose cuts surrounding opals that look like the ocean floor. My jewelry is bold and colorful, and I use diamonds in a non-traditional way; that’s fun to me!” (Fun to us too, Irene, and we say this as the proud owner of a bunny ring.)
“I’m lucky because most of the women who buy my jewelry gravitate to it because it speaks to them. They may fall in love with a piece immediately or wait months to buy something, but it always feels like a very, very personal connection.”
Splurge for Something Small—or Massive
Another designer at home on the West Coast, Anita Ko says her customers’ mad money splurges
can vary greatly. “It could be small, like a diamond stud for her third or fourth piercing, a safety pin earring, a zodiac coin, all the way up to a large diamond necklace she can layer in her leisure outfits at home. We women love to feel sparkly and beautiful, even at home…My clients have always loved to feel strong, empowered, and pretty in their pieces. I just launched my mini diamond safety pins on my website, and we sold out in the first ten minutes.”
Happily ensconced in her beloved New York City, Brent Neale shares that her tiny magic mushroom stud earrings—super small but not too minuscule to sport five diamonds—start at a mere $550. “We have had people buying them as a group as friendship earrings which I adore!” she says. “The earrings are fun and lighthearted and obviously price sensitive.” Of course that’s not to say that there aren’t other people who crave—and buy—her incredible diamond three-stone rings, which start priced at a cool 60 thou.
Confident Women Know How to Treat Themselves
But let’s cross the Atlantic again, this time to Milan, where we can allow Pomellato to have the last word. Sabina Belli, the company’s Global CEO, explains that Pomellato “is all about the emotional connection. All our collections are bought mainly by women for themselves, as a reward, or to celebrate a particular achievement in their lives; It is more about what takes their heart. They know what they want.” Belli says that at the moment the Nuvola rings are very popular.
“They are made with Fairmined gold and certified diamonds by GIA and RJC, plus they come with a ‘passport’ of origin that guarantees the gold traceable journey from mine to finger. They have green’ credentials acknowledged by an engraved Fairmined trademark on each piece, and the premium paid for this process is delivered directly to the mine to improve working conditions, human rights and ethical practices for the local communities.”
An approachable and joyful jewelry brand that has always been on the side of women since its inception in 1967, Pomellato really speaks to the confident, independent female
After all, isn’t that what all of us are looking for when we decide to reward ourselves with a fabulous new piece of diamond jewelry?