There’s so many fabulous jewellery rental services out there, finds Tiffanie Darke. They’re your best bet for borrowing some truly unique pieces.
Why I’m Renting My Jewellery Now
There is nothing known to curse jewellery more than a safe. The moment your grandmother’s ruby bracelet disappears into that black box, well, how long does it take to come out again? If you’re like me, you can forget about it for months.
Owning expensive jewellery is nerve-wracking. Not just for its monetary value, but because we invest so much emotional value in it too – an investment that must be safeguarded. But what if a new model were to enter the market? What if, like Cinderella, we were to let our fairy godmothers take care of safekeeping and we were to borrow our diamond glass slippers for the night?
Bond Street jeweller Garrard is giving it a go. This summer it launched its first rental collection: a tight curation of diamond and pearl tiaras, bracelets and necklaces aimed at the bridal market (‘something borrowed and, adding a few discreet sapphires, something blue too…’). You pay a fraction of the price to enjoy wearing a vintage tiara down the aisle, plus you can reclaim the hire cost against the purchase of any Garrard item over the next year.
‘If you want something special for your wedding, rent for the day and buy your forever piece afterwards,’ says Garrard CEO Joanne Milner. ‘For your first anniversary, perhaps. There’s so much one-time-use bridal product, it’s nice you can rent something special and not feel you’ll never wear it again.’
The logistics are designed to be frictionless: you pay the insurance, but the cover on a one-day loan will not cost the earth; and your security deposit is only 15 percent of the retail value. The bracelets and necklaces are borrowed for a four-day period, but the tiaras arrive early in the morning with their own security guards, and are whisked away before the stroke of midnight but after the photos and first dance.
Covett is a jewellery platform launching a shared-ownership model. Its customers are independent women with the means to treat themselves rather than wait for Prince Charming.
‘A customer buying a £15,000 diamond bracelet only needs to spend £2,500 for her share,’ reports founder Cynthia Morrow. ‘It’s a thrill every time it comes.’ For her share, the customer owns the bracelet for 72 days a year, booked in advance. Covett also has rental subscriptions that allow up to ten rentals a year for £1,440. With brands such as Theo Fennell, Bentley & Skinner and Picchiotti on offer, that’s tempting. ‘People still fear the responsibility of wearing something expensive. We undertake all insurance, maintenance and transport costs, so you can just enjoy it,’ says Cynthia.
If the idea appeals, you don’t have much to lose. My three-day rental of Garrard’s diamond fan necklace elicited some very admiring glances (yes, I’m the type to sling on a diamond necklace for lunch). Fashion rental sites are also getting into the game – find Kiki McDonough at Hurr, and Tiffany at By Rotation. Cinderella shall go to the ball!