Since launching in 2018, The Clear Cut has experienced an average volume growth of 136% YOY with over a million dollars in diamond revenue per month. Founders Oliva Landau and Kyle Simon took a modern approach to selling diamonds to Millennials and Gen Z. Despite their use of TikTok, Instagram, and an impressive front-end experience for customers, the two kept encountering aspects of the antiquated industry and knew they needed to find a way to create a more seamless experience for all parties. In particular, they found that their clients needed virtual access to a GIA gemologist to design custom engagement rings.
This prompted Landau and Simon to develop Gem by The Clear Cut, a proprietary technology that offers a personalized gemologist service that allows couples to create their own diamond engagement ring. “Our gemologists work directly with you to create a personalized selection of the highest quality diamonds at the fairest prices to help you create the ring of your dreams. Whether you live in Seattle or San Francisco and your budget is $500,000 or $5,000, Gem. offers you access to experienced GIA gemologists, quality service and craftsmanship. We’re putting diamond expertise at your fingertips and putting the power back in the hands of couples,” they shared.
Gem not only solves consumer-side problems, but impressively creates a streamlined process for the back-end of the industry. “As a fourth generation Diamond professional, my parents have always discouraged me from entering the industry. They told me the diamond industry was dying and it was impossible to build a scalable business. After graduating from GIA in 2013, I started working at Tiffany’s and then in wholesale diamonds. Through these experiences, I realized how antiquated all aspects of the industry were. From listed luxury retailers to major manufacturers and wholesalers, the entire industry still operated with pen and paper and handshake deals,” Landau said. “I couldn’t believe tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds and jewelry were exchanged in handwritten envelopes. When we started The Clear Cut, we were constantly spotting bugs and human error from our partners.”
The only way The Clear Cut was able to scale its business so quickly was by creating a variety of technological tools that allowed its vendors to scale their business alongside theirs. “The key to building great technology is making it seem simple and effortless. For example, our suppliers can simply scan QR codes with their cell phones to notify us of status changes or updates. While this may seem simple to them, it is much more complex in the backend. We use this real-time data to make informed business decisions and continuously improve the efficiency of our model. Our goal is to be this generation’s jeweler for life. Our Gem Portal has created our customers’ virtual jewelry box, where all their pieces, records and documents are centrally stored. As our pieces go into production, we are able to provide accurate and transparent updates to our clients and ensure all timelines are met,” she explained. “We are also able to collect tremendous amounts of data on diamond specifications, pricing and customer feedback to ensure we offer the best diamond options on the market at the fairest prices. There’s something poetic about honoring the craftsmanship and heritage of New York-made pieces while scaling the experience and process through technology. Gem allows these artisans to focus on their craft while we streamline the workflow.”
Another technology that was recently added to Gem is The Clear Cut NFT. Last year, Landau wanted her ring revalued and insured, but found that she had lost her physical GIA certificate. Because of this, she had to dispose of her diamond, send it back to GIA and get a new certificate before she could insure it again. The fact that she had to rely on a physical piece of paper to authenticate her diamond and show ownership was very frustrating. Using NFTs is a seamless solution to this timely process. “Now all clients who create a bespoke diamond engagement ring with us in Gem can choose to purchase an NFT of their ring. This not only shows the origin, but also offers the safe storage of all important documents such as appraisals and GIA certificates. Our NFT powered by Authentic is linked to GIA’s API,” Landau shared.
The average customer of The Clear Cut is between 24 and 35 years old and over 80% of engagement ring customers buy entirely remotely without ever having seen the diamond in person prior to shipping. The vast majority of Clear Cut’s customers work together, explicitly or implicitly, as a couple. It is rare for one partner to complete the process without involving the other that Landau shares. This is where Gem comes in. The process always begins with a 10-15 minute phone consultation with a gemologist (and sometimes even Landau) to discuss diamond and ring preferences, budget, schedule and how to proceed. A Gem Profile is created for the customer in the portal where the entire process is tracked and completed. It takes about a week for the gemologist to select a selection of loose diamonds for the customer to view on the portal. Once a diamond is selected, the custom design process begins, which can take three to five weeks. Once the ring is complete, customers can watch a video on the portal and suggest final adjustments before shipping.
By automatically integrating Gem with GIA, real-time dynamic pricing and automatic variable pricing based on market conditions, and a vendor with a data-centric system for tracking and analyzing diamonds with the ability to allocate multiple diamonds to multiple clients, clients have been able to save time and Money Saving Benefits on Custom Made Engagement Rings.
Building on Gem’s success, The Clear Cut continues to innovate and add new offerings to its customers. Recently, given the uncertain economic environment in 2023, The Clear Cut added a holiday gem collection and launched a beta stealth bride rental program. Landau and Simon shared that they expect to introduce more color over the next year in addition to new tools to integrate via The Clear Cut.