Olivia Landau, CEO and co-founder of Clear Cut.
Since launching in 2018, The Clear Cut has experienced 136% YOY average volume growth with over one million dollars in diamond revenue per month. Founders Oliva Landau and Kyle Simon have taken a modern approach to sell diamonds to Millennials and Gen Z. Even with their use of TikTok, Instagram and an impressive front-end experience for customers, the pair kept running into aspects of the antiquated industry and knew they had to find a way to create a more seamless experience for all parties. Most specifically they found their customers needed virtual access to a GIA gemologist to design custom engagement rings.
That led Landau and Simon to create Gem by The Clear Cut, a proprietary technology that offers personalized gemologist service that empowers couples to create their own diamond engagement ring. “Our gemologists work with you directly to curate a personalized selection of the highest quality diamonds at the fairest prices and help you design the ring of your dreams. Whether you live in Seattle or San Francisco if your budget is $500k or $5k, Gem. gives you access to expert GIA gemologists, quality service and craftsmanship. We’re bringing diamond expertise to your fingertips and putting the power back into the hands of couples,” they shared.
Gem isn’t just solving consumer-facing problems but most impressively creating a streamlined process for the back-end of the industry. “As a Fourth Generation Diamond expert, my parents always discouraged me from entering the industry. They told me the diamond industry was a dying one and it was impossible to build a scalable business. After graduating from GIA in 2013 I started working at Tiffany;s and then in the diamond wholesale industry. From those experiences, I realized how antiquated all aspects of the industry were. From publicly traded luxury retailers to large-scale manufacturers and wholesalers, the entire industry was still operating on pen and paper and handshake deals,” shared Landau. “I couldn’t believe that tens of millions of dollars of diamonds and jewelry were being exchanged in handwritten envelopes. When we started The Clear Cut we were constantly catching mistakes and human errors from our partners.”
Customers using Gem have their own personal profile inside the portal where they can access every … [+]
The only way The Clear Cut was able to scale its business so rapidly was by building a variety of technological tools that enabled its vendors to scale their businesses alongside theirs. “The key to building excellent technology is to make it appear simple and effortless. For example, our vendors can just scan QR codes with their cell phones to notify us of status changes or updates. While that might seem simple for them it is a lot more complex on the backend. We leverage that data in real-time to make informed business decisions and continuously improve efficiencies in our model. Our goal is to be this generation’s jeweler for life. Our Gem portal has created our client’s virtual jewel box where all their pieces, records, and documents are all centrally located. As our pieces are put into production we are able to provide accurate and transparent updates to our clients and ensure that all timelines are met,” she explained. “We also are able to gather tremendous amounts of data on diamond specs, pricing and client feedback to ensure we are providing the best diamond options on the market at the fairest prices. There is something poetic about honoring the hand-craftsmanship and heritage of pieces made in New York while scaling the experience and process through technology. Gem enables these artisans to focus on their craft while we optimize the workflow.”
Another technology just recently added to Gem is The Clear Cut NFT. Last year Landau wanted to get her ring reappraised and insured but realized that she had lost her physical GIA certificate. Because of this she needed to unset her diamond, send it back to GIA and get a new certificate before she could get it insured again. The fact that she had to rely on a physical piece of paper to authenticate her diamond and show ownership was very frustrating. Utilizing NFT’s are a seamless solution around this timely process. “Now all clients who create a bespoke diamond engagement ring with us in Gem can opt-in to purchase an NFT of their ring. This not only shows provenance but also provides safekeeping for all important documents like appraisal and GIA certificates. Our NFT powered by Authentic is linked with GIA’s API,” Landau shared.
Clear Cut grew popularity with Millennials and Gen Z for designing bespoke engagement rings with a … [+]
The average The Clear Cut’s customer is between 24-35 years old and over 80% of engagement ring clients purchase completely remotely without ever seeing the diamond in person prior to shipment. The vast majority of Clear Cut’s clients work together as a couple either explicitly or implicitly. It is rare one partner would do the process without involving the other one Landau shared. This is when Gem steps in. The process always starts with a 10-15 minute phone consultation with a gemologist (and sometimes even Landau) to discuss diamond and ring preferences, budget, timeline and the process going forward. A Gem profile is created in the portal for the customer where the entire process is tracked and completed. It takes about a week for the gemologist to hand-pick a selection of loose diamonds for the customer to view in the portal. Once a diamond is picked the custom design process begins which can take three to five weeks. Once the ring is complete customers can view a video in the portal and suggest any final adjustments before it is shipped.
Gem utilizing automatic integration with GIA, real-time dynamic pricing and automatic variable pricing based on market conditions and vendor with a data-centric system to track and analyze diamonds with the ability to assign multiple diamonds to multiple customers has allowed customers to reap time and money-saving benefits when it comes to bespoke engagement rings.
Beyond the success of Gem, The Clear Cut is continuously innovating and adding new offerings for its customers. Most recently, The Clear Cut has added a holiday gemstone collection and launched a beta stealth rental program for brides given the uncertain economic environment in 2023. Landau and Simon shared they expect to introduce more color in the next year in addition to new tools to integrate across The Clear Cut.
Olivia Landau, CEO and co-founder of Clear Cut.