Jewellery is more than just an accessory. It is a symbol of beauty, emotion, and identity. But how can jewellery keep up with the changing tastes and expectations of modern consumers?
The answer lies in embracing the power of technology. Technology can transform the way jewellery is designed, manufactured, marketed, and experienced.
From 3D design and printing to augmented reality and blockchain, technology can unleash new possibilities for creativity, efficiency, engagement, and trust in the jewellery industry.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the latest trends and innovations that are reshaping the jewellery trade.
The global jewellery market is expected to grow from about 270 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 to over 330 billion dollars by 2026 (Source)
1. 3D Design: Unlocking Creativity for Jewellers
Jewellers strive to create stunning, unique pieces that evoke awe and delight. But physical constraints can limit imagination. Traditional methods of prototyping by hand can be time-intensive, costly, and dependent on available materials. This hampers designers’ ability to fully explore and actualize complex concepts.
Enter 3D modelling – a digital tool that empowers jewellers to unlock their creativity. Virtual modelling liberates designers from physical restrictions. It enables the freedom to experiment with intricate shapes, textures, and arrangements that are unfeasible manually. Models can be modified iteratively without wasting precious gems or metals.
The software allows granular control over structural and aesthetic elements. Designers can construct optimized lattices and frameworks to enhance durability using minimal material. The interaction of light and stones can also be simulated to maximize radiance and fire.
Programs like Rhino3D, Jewelry CAD Dream, Blender and MatrixGold provide bespoke tools to test variations and material simulations only possible digitally. This unburdens jewellers to focus creativity on crafting their vision, rather than practical limitations. They can pursue designs of any complexity, confident the technology will facilitate bringing imagination to life.
3D liberates potential by removing barriers. Jewellers can now explore their wildest inspirations, assured that digital tools exist to make them a reality.
2. 3D Modeling: Crafting the Future of Jewellery
3D further optimizes jewellery manufacturing. Digital modelling frontloads error checking – any issues can be spotted and fixed before committing to physical production.
3D printing is a technology that can revolutionize the jewellery industry by offering many advantages over traditional methods. 3D printing can create complex and intricate designs, reduce production time and cost, enable mass customization, and promote sustainability.
Mass personalization is easier too. Jewellery brand Blue Nile uses 3D customization for engagement rings. After choosing a base design, customers can customize the metal, engraving, and diamond from thousands of options to create one-of-a-kind rings.
Sustainability benefits abound as well. Easier design modifications mean less wasted precious materials. Striim uses 3D modelling and 3D printing to only produce jewellery after it’s ordered, eliminating the need for inventory. The company also uses recycled metals and ethically sourced gems to create sustainable and eco-friendly jewellery.
Digital crafting also avoids the harsh chemicals of traditional jewellery making.
3. Engaging Shoppers with Augmented Reality and Digital experience
AR allows shoppers to visually try on jewellery from home. Interactive 3D models layered over real-time video create an immersive digital experience.
AR boosts sales by giving customers the confidence to buy jewellery online. AR company HoloMe found that their AR solution increased conversions by 40% for jewellery e-commerce.
A Campaign from Tiffany & Co. used an Instagram AR filter to let users try on jewellery and sparkle. They also offered a $10,000 gift card for sharing with #TiffanySparkle.The campaign was a huge success, generating over 50 million impressions and 5 million engagements.
Jewellery brand websites are embracing immersive digital experiences like 3D environments to engage customers. For example, Palette69 designed a virtual jewellery store with interactive product displays and lifelike details. This brings the in-store experience online.
Looking ahead, virtual and mixed-reality devices could let shoppers digitally visit jewellery stores from anywhere. On future platforms like Apple’s rumoured AR/VR headset, virtual try-ons of customized jewellery will feel even more realistic.
More innovations on the horizon include:
- Immersive Website Experiences
- Interactive 3D product models
- Photorealistic virtual store environments
- Multi-angle views and customization
Augmented Reality Try-On
- Lifelike rendering of jewellery overlays
- Customizing metals, gems, and engraving
- See pieces on your own hands in real-time
Virtual Reality Stores
- Fully explorable digital store replicas
- Avatars to interact with salespeople
- Seamless purchases without leaving VR
Virtual reality need not mean bulky headsets that isolate users from the world.
The future is lighter, friendlier devices like 3D glasses providing seamless, immersive digital experiences while keeping us connected.
These technologies will revolutionize jewellery shopping for both retailers and customers.
Digital will enable more personalized, convenient and exciting jewellery experiences.
Forward-thinking jewellery brands can leverage purely digital collections to expand their reach, especially with younger demographics.
For example, launching a Lord of the Rings-inspired line of rings and jewellery as digital assets usable in games or metaverse environments. Imagine launching a limited edition jewellery category in Fortnite, which gives you access to 400+ million users.
This digitally-native approach generated huge exposure for Nike with their shoes in Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. By having their sneakers appear in the film and related games, Nike accessed entertainment fanbases worldwide.
Similarly, jewellery brands can partner with popular entertainment franchises to increase awareness and desirability through digital-only collections. If designed well, these digital pieces create brand buzz and demand for physical products.
4. Unlocking Jewellery’s Potential with Blockchain
Financing remains a crucial challenge for the industry.
One of the key factors preventing smaller jewellers’ access to capital is that most deal in cash and so do not report the full extent of their turnover in their accounts.
Many have been unable to keep pace with the recent introduction of transparency measures and regulations and, as a result, their businesses have failed.
Solution: Under sustainability, mention using Blockchain as a Social Tool for brands and artisans to manufacture and deliver jewellery to the customer.
This opens up Hyperlocal markets to interact with bigger brands easily and opens up diverse ways of trade channel partners that can be regulated and created with local artisans within Blockchain.
By using blockchain, jewellers can tokenize their gold and other precious metals, creating digital tokens that represent a specific amount of physical gold or metal. These tokens can be used as a form of collateral to access loans from lenders who can verify the authenticity and value of the tokens.
Tokenization can also help jewellers comply with the transparency measures and regulations that require them to report their turnover and sources of gold.
5. Restoring Trust in Jewellery with Blockchain
Jewellery captures sentimental value – but its origins often remain obscured. What if technology could illuminate the full journey of our heirlooms and gemstones?
Enter blockchain, a digital ledger logging each step of a jewel’s odyssey. It tracks transactions verifiably from mine to market to owner. No more questioning authenticity or provenance.
For consumers, this transparency instils confidence in origins and ethics. And it allows us to make purchases aligned with our values. We can support responsible mining practices and artisans by following the chain.
For creators, blockchain enables showcasing their unique human craft. By digitally certifying their work, it provides overdue recognition to underserved makers. It formally traces their imprint from workshop to customer.
Imagine jewellery carrying a definitive record of its roots and passage over time. Blockchain makes this possible – reforming jewellery as a human-centric symbol of memory and connection.
Blockchain technology is being leveraged in two key initiatives to bring transparency and trust to jewellery supply chains.
For example – The Provenance platform uses blockchain to connect ethical producers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers, allowing jewellers to showcase sustainability impacts and enabling consumers to verify authenticity.
The IBM TrustChain initiative traces diamonds using blockchain from mine to market, assigning a unique ID and record to each stone. TrustChain verifies compliance with industry standards like the Kimberley Process as the diamonds travel through the supply chain. Together, these projects demonstrate how blockchain can illuminate jewellery journeys, building consumer confidence through accountability and provenance.