Merchandise / Diamonds
The power of eight adds up to something more than beauty
BY ROBERT WELDON, G.G.
As if brilliance isnt enough, the confluence of eights in Eighty-Eight, a new brand of diamonds by Finesse Diamonds, New York City, is a harbinger of good things to come.
Eighty-Eight diamonds have 88 facets and an octagonal outline. The brand taps into a Chinese legend begun in wait for it 888 A.D. that found Chinese newlyweds during the Tang Dynasty decorating their homes with designs depicting 88, which symbolized happiness and good luck.
Finesse launched the brand at Diamonds International stores on eight islands in the Caribbean. Asian tourists took to it immediately, says the company. But our response with American consumers on cruise ships was phenomenal, says Alex Twersky, vice president of business development at Finesse. They, too, responded positively to the legend of eights. We see this not only as a bridal product but one that reaches across the board to several types of consumers. The product is sold in popular three-stone settings as well as engagement and anniversary jewelry.
Finesse created a website just for the new brand designed to link the ancient legend of luck with todays focus on beauty and brilliance.
Retailers on the islands received ad slicks and brochures (for tourists to take back to their ships), video programs and a Duratrans for illustration, with all the promotion geared to weave stories around the 88 legend. All diamonds are GemEx certified to assure consumers the brilliance and fire they saw in the store is a real effect resulting from the cut, not just a fancy lighting effect.
Finesse is introducing the product to retailers in the continental U.S. this month with a trade ad campaign that will continue until the JCK Las Vegas show in June. We also will begin launching consumer ads featuring stones and finished jewelry in the spring and summer, says Twersky.
He expects the diamonds will appeal the most to women in their late-30s to 50s who enjoy buying jewelry for themselves. There should be some crossover with customers who are beginning to feel affluent and want to use their disposable income to look avant garde and modern.
The EightyEight diamond is available from 0.50 carat up, from G-H color up and from I1 clarity up.
- Finesse Diamonds, New York City; (212) 391-5445, www.88cut.com, www.finessediamonds.com.
Finesse introduces the EightyEight diamond, enhanced by a Chinese legend.