News that e-commerce is now one of the bright lights of jewellery retail won’t come as a surprise to Jean Z Poh. The former venture capital lawyer saw the potential of this sector while investing in startups and launched online jewellery website Swoonery in February 2016. The site is a slick online showcase for exciting contemporary jewellers, but it is also kitted out with algorithms that track user data for personalised shopping, offering visitors pieces that directly suit their tastes and needs – then delivering them within 48 hours (with some exceptions, such as bespoke pieces).
Poh and her team work closely with more than 70 designers, from familiar names such as Jade Jagger and Sabine Getty, to more up-and-coming talents. There’s Bangkok-based Kavant & Sharart, whose Geo-Art Oto earrings ($5,900) have a sci-fi meets art deco edge, and Roman jeweller Casato, whose sensuously avant-garde pieces include a double-banded bangle ($16,240) bridged with a cascade of diamonds.
Poh believes that buyers are increasingly comfortable buying big-ticket gems on the web and has even included seven-figure jewels in her offering – namely the $3m Amarante bangle by Neha Dani, an expertly executed, floral-themed showstopper that, bursting with more than 12,000 pink and purplish-pink diamonds, took some 2,000 hours to create. The site also abounds with exclusive pieces: Katherine Jetter’s fabulous star-encircled cocktail ring ($56,000) with an unusual Burmese blue-grey sapphire at its centre, or NC Rock’s super-cool enamel and pavé diamond Byzantia necklace ($17,060) and Point Black cufflinks ($6,280). Also unique to the site are Yael Sonia’s dramatic gold Quartz Spinning Top necklace ($32,000), whose reflective 18ct gold pendant contains a whirling pavé diamond top, and the wonderful selection of eastern-inspired amulet pendant necklaces by Buddha Mama (Eye and Hamsa Scapular necklace, $4,200).
Swoonery continues to merge age-old tradition with cutting-edge know-how and in September launched an iOS app for mobile devices that has been described as the “Tinder of jewellery”. Users swipe right for pieces they like, left for those they don’t, so that the app can pinpoint their tastes and serve up a fantastic, curated menu of gems that’s guarantee not to disappoint.