Deforestation, mercury release, greenhouse gas emissions… Jewelry may be a woman’s best friend, but it’s certainly not the planet. A problem that many players in the sector have tackled head on with ethical stones and precious metals, even innovative ones like osmium, but which could also find a solution in the second hand, which always has more followers around the world.
Antique jewelry has always had interested enthusiasts, collectors or amateurs looking for unique or rare pieces, steeped in history, even cheaper than new models. But until recently, these pieces were mostly unearthed in antique shops, at auctions, or in specialty shops, without ever being sold to as many people as possible. Faced with the climate crisis, the situation seems to have changed. Just like in the fashion industry, jewels can now afford a second life in just a few clicks thanks to the proliferation of dedicated platforms.
As with second-hand clothing, it is now a matter of buying antiques online and finding the ring, necklace, bracelet, earrings and other brooches that will please new buyers. The only exception is that the jewels are – of course – appraised before they are bought and then put back up for sale. This is exactly what the specialized platform 58 Facettes offers, with a permanent selection of nearly 10,000 designer pieces from the largest jewelers such as Cartier, Boucheron and Chaumet, or selected and certified by era and style, and even watches.
“We are convinced that the future of luxury, especially jewelry, depends on sustainability and the circular economy. We promote and make second-hand, vintage or signed jewelry more and more attractive, thanks to an unparalleled and constantly renewed offer.”
But it is also up to the platform to offer many other services, always intended, among other things, to reduce the environmental impact of an entire sector. Upgrading, repairing, estimating and upcycling ensures that as many people as possible don’t have to go to new. And Parisians will soon be able to take advantage of this expertise in physics, as 58 Facettes inaugurated an address in the heart of the capital, Galerie Sapir, on May 18, where all these services will be offered.
And if considered a benchmark in the field today, the platform created in 2020 has a number of predecessors, starting with Collector Square, which is dedicated to second-hand luxury items, including jewelry. Here too, it concerns the sale and purchase of vintage or old jewellery, but also the exploitation of the restoration, dimensioning and transformation of certain pieces through the jeweler’s workshop. Boucheron’s iconic Quatre ring is offered in several versions at more affordable prices than when new, as are the no less emblematic pieces from Chaumet’s Liens collection.
The craze is so great that even the most mainstream brands are joining in, such as Maty, who now offers a “second-hand” section so anyone can buy and sell all kinds of jewelry.
Sometimes forgotten treasures
Extending the life of jewelry, sometimes forgotten at the bottom of a drawer, is one of the goals of most of these new platforms now dedicated to pre-owned, but it’s not the only one. They also have a desire to tell stories through precious jewels, some of which were first worn in centuries past. This is the case of Anne-Lise Delsol, founder of Caillou Paris, and true treasure hunter, who brings together her discoveries obtained with passion in the brand’s e-shop.
With this platform dedicated to vintage, the gemologist wants to “to modernize and desecrate ancient jewelry, to excavate pieces that will be like treasures, rare and unique, like their future owners, [et] tell and pass on their stories”†
A passion shared by Galerie Pénélope Paris, who wants to offer “a buy-back or sale solution” for those who want to give their jewelry a second life, with an area of expertise that extends from pearls to signed jewelry, including fine stones, modern jewelry and (very) old jewelry. At stake ? A wide choice of rings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants or brooches, which will not leave the enthusiasts indifferent.
These caves of Ali Baba 2.0 not only offer an ethical alternative to purchasing new jewelry, but also contain real treasures steeped in history that once again entice the public. So many reasons to suggest that the antique jewelry craze is still in its infancy.
(ETX Daily Up)