Covett, The World’s First Online Shared Jewelry Ownership And Access Firm, Launches New Subscription Plans
Why own strikingly beautiful but costly fine jewels, when you can reserve access to them at your pleasure?
The London-based online fine jewelry platform Covett has been answering this compelling question since 2018 by offering fractional ownership of jewels from prestigious luxury brands to its U.K. resident members. In September, 2021, Covett inaugurates a new chapter in the history of adornment by launching the U.K.’s first annual subscription service for fine jewelry rental. While fashion websites like Rent The Runway and the U.K.’s Hurr Collective have forever changed the traditional paradigm of how designer fashions and accessories are worn and shared by a style-conscious community, Covett is pioneering the brave new realm of shared fine luxury jewelry and watch ownership, and access.
Covett revolutionized fine jewelry as the world’s first platform for the shared ownership of fine jewelry and watches by offering brands from exclusive; prestigious jewelers such as Cartier and Backes and Strauss. Luxury designs by Baunat, Picchiotti, Nadine Aysoy and Covett’s own jewels are currently on offer, as is a chic selection of the London-based eponymous labels Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden and Zeemou Zeng. The latter designer won Best Young Designer of the year at the 2020 U.K. Jewellery Awards. According to Covett founder and CEO Cynthia Morrow, “Covett is broadening and enhancing people’s access to fine jewelry and watches by offering our shared ownership model, and now the new Covett Vault subscription plan. The idea behind the subscription is to bring the genius of Covett to aspiring jewelry enthusiasts.” In practice, this means that Covett subscribers can choose to wear diamond and gemstone jewels from the Vault that are delivered cleaned, sanitized and in pristine condition, by the platform’s concierge service.
The subscription plan has three levels, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each offers a specific number of loans from the Covett Vault, Morrow explains. “The loan period spans five consecutive days and can be extended for an additional fee.” (Subscriptions start at £300 for the Silver level, which grants two jewelry loans from the Covett Vault during a one-year period. A Gold subscription runs £800 for six jewelry loans each year, and the annual Platinum subscription for twelve loans costs £1200.) The intrinsic value of Covett’s subscription model is immediately apparent upon Google searching designers and comparing the retail prices of jewels that Covett clients have access to. Along with embodying bona fide luxurious design, superb materials, master artisanship, and in some cases, important design heritage and jewels from environmentally sustainable brands, the Covett subscription concept offers enthusiasts a rare degree of access to fine jewelry, and thus rare value for money.
While Covett subscriptions are open to those in London and the surrounding counties, the company aims to expand the subscription to women and men across the UK, and internationally. “Covett seeks to be the place to invest in and access jewelry for luxury-conscious consumers of all ages,” Morrow says. “We aim to build a company that delivers, and a community that embraces smart ownership and subscription models for jewelry and other luxury goods.” Covett cleans and sanitizes all pieces, plus insures them against loss, theft and damage. “Our concierge hand delivers the subscriber’s piece and collects it when the five-day lending period has ended,” Morrow adds. “All the subscriber has to do is wear, enjoy, return, and then Covett all over again.”
At the time of this article’s publication, Covett clients who want to wear pieces just for special occasions, or illuminate their Zoom calls with serious sparkle, can enter the virtual Covett Vault and choose from over fifty pieces of fine jewelry for loan, some from designers such as Leo Pizzo, David Jerome, and Massimo Izzo. It includes an assortment of classic diamond pieces including diamond hoop earrings, a morganite and diamond cocktail ring, and baroque pearl and diamond earrings. Vintage pieces include a Cartier watch and the Vault also contains fine jewelry from renowned and award-winning British and European designers. “Our selection is curated to appeal to a range of different styles, sensibilities, lifestyle needs and social situations,” Morrow explains.
For example, Alice van Cal designs remind the wearer that, no matter where they find themselves, life is an unfolding adventure and a gift. Myriam Soseilos Fine Jewellery designs are multi-functional, playful, can be worn in myriad ways and are produced according to eco-safe practices. (90% of the precious metal that this brand uses is 100% recycled and indistinguishable from new precious metals, and the brand claims that all the sources for its gemstones promote worker and environmental wellbeing while also contributing to their local economies.) “While Eva Gems and Jewels designs showcase richly-hued, superb quality colored gemstones,” Morrow relates, “the understatedly chic jewels of Karen Phillips radiate what the designer refers to as disorganized elegance.” The Rock Hound uses responsibly sourced, raw materials, including Fairtrade gold to create design-driven, organically flowing jewels animated by playful hues which frame bold gemstones. (Fairtrade gold is artisanal gold that is produced by small-scale miner, whose primary tools are typically the shovel and pick. Gold which is certified as Fairtrade has been audited by a third-party standards investigator to ensure that its environmental footprint and labor conditions are sustainable and ethical. What’s more, Fairtrade gold is accompanied by paperwork citing the name and location of the artisanal community that mined it.
With the recent addition of these notable designers, the Covett Vault now includes an eclectic array of statement, every day, and contemporary fine jewelry pieces. More will be added to the Vault monthly as the subscriber base grows. As Morrow relates, “Covett is in conversation with a global network of jewelry brands and designers, all who believe that sharing fine jewelry will become increasingly popular with style-conscious, sustainability-minded luxury consumers.”As Alice Millner of Alice van Cal observed, “While our jewels are uniquely appealing and versatile, people will fall in love with them as soon as they experience wearing them. For this reason, being part of the Covett platform that allows people to borrow jewelry, is ideal.” The company is also sourcing from those individual jewelry owners who want to monetize their jewelry by putting it in the Covett Vault. “We invite people to inquire about trading a jewelry piece for a subscription to the Vault, or receive a monthly payment when their piece is borrowed by a subscriber,” Morrow says. “Interested jewelry owners who are U.K.-based can speak to a member of the Covett concierge team via the website chat (www.cove.tt) or our WhatsApp number.”
“We are continually adding new pieces to the Covett Vault,” says Morrow, who holds a dual MBA with Honors from both Columbia University and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. In addition, she has a Masters’ degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. Morrow, who is also an Accredited Jewelry Professional certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), moved to London in 2013 to become a Director for the change management and operational improvement experts Expressworks International. Responsible for account management and business development of a global practice, Morrow built a multi-million dollar European business for them within five years. Given her proven expertise at creating globally successful businesses, there is ample reason to believe that Morrow, plus her co-founder and Chief Partner Officer Elsa Navarette, will grow Covett into the world’s first global shared ownership and access jewelry business. Navarette, who also holds a business degree, is a passionate gemstone lover and Accredited Jewelry Professional certified by the GIA. She worked for and trained under Jay Boyle, a senior gemstone buyer for Jewelry Television (JTV) in the United States.
While Covett’s vibrant business model is part of the ever-expanding global sharing economy, it is in fact what economists and business consultants refer to as a “shared infrastructure provider.” Shared infrastructure providers create value by providing monetized, temporary access to a centralized pool of proprietary resources that fee-paying people and business customers can access. Some of global culture’s most recent, transformative and lucrative market disruptions have included Airbnb for accommodations and Uber for individual transportation. In light of the ongoing exponential growth of the sharing economy, Covett represents a smart challenge to the traditional luxury jewelry retail market and thus holds the potential to become an infinitely expanding vault of value-creation. “After all,” notes London-based jewelry brand strategist and co-founder of NouvelleBox, Darren Hildrow, “Renting makes more sense to cost-conscious and style-loving consumers than buying, as it allows them to wear a greater range of pieces throughout the year.”
Because the Covid-19 pandemic has restricted socializing, shopping and travel spending for the past 18 months, many people accrued disposable income while they were also pondering life during lockdown. As Hildrow tells it, “Since Covid-19 came along, many of us have been looking within, redefining what matters most to us and have become more sustainably-minded in how we consume everything, including luxury goods.” The very concept of ownership seems to be one of those things that has evolved in the popular consciousness, Hildrow ventures. “Because we’ve been experiencing Covid-19 and dramatic effects of global climate change, there are masses of people who now have more money, more awareness of life’s fragility and more willingness to try something that’s different and environmentally sustainable. Covett,” he continues, “also offers the advantage of wearing great jewelry without the hassles of insuring it, repairing it and so forth.”
As Morrow sees it, “Gen Z and millennials have long been redefining what it means to own and access luxury goods. I founded Covett because I saw an opportunity to expand the market by making fine jewelry far more accessible to far more people than ever before.” Expanding the market? Redesigning or configuring seems more accurate. Covett offers people the revolutionary chance to either access luxury jewelry that is undeniably valuable, enjoy fractional ownership of that jewelry, or both. “Either way you choose,” Morrow ventures, “you are expanding your collection of fine jewelry, bringing you abundance and unlimited brilliance. We learned during 2020 is unpredictable, and we need to embrace and create opportunities every day. You no longer have to wait for a special occasion to wear fine jewelry now that there’s Covett.”
While Morrow readily recognizes that, “People will always own and love wearing sentimental and everyday jewelry,” her company makes luxury jewelry available to a wide swath of consumers who will be happy to share or borrow jewelry depending on their mood and social schedule, all at a fraction of its retail cost. The fact that Covett is building a community of like-minded enthusiasts who are committed to accessing and sharing luxury jewelry further distinguishes it as one of 2021’s most important sustainable luxury business launches.