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New Holiday Study Reveals Which Gifts Mean the Most

From natural diamonds to one-of-a-kind objects and brands, consumer demand for ‘authenticity’ is more than a trend.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — As consumers begin shopping online and in stores for gifts this holiday season, new research shows that ‘authenticity’ is central to the value of a gift, and authenticity brings the most joy to recipients, according to a study released by Yale University professor and psychologist Dr. George E. Newman.

The study, Consumer Preference for Authenticity and Naturalness, examines the psychology behind which holiday gifts mean the most and why, providing proof of consumer affinity for merchandise that is ‘authentic.’ Consumers say authenticity — actually being as described — is not just a trend. The research echoes previous authenticity studies where neuroscientists have found that the pleasure people report when viewing authentic works of art is correlated with activation within the brain.

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“In today’s online marketplace, people are deluged with more choices than ever before,” said Dr. Newman, associate professor of Management and Marketing at the Yale School of Management. “But from natural diamonds to authentic brands, such as Apple or North Face, people are drawn to items because of their authenticity.”

An item can be authentic in several ways:

  • Materials: A cashmere sweater is more authentic than a synthetic replica.
  • Origin: A Louis Vuitton handbag manufactured in the company’s original workshop in Paris is valued as more authentic than an identical bag manufactured in the company’s California workshop.
  • History: A painting that was physically created by Pablo Picasso is worth millions of dollars, while a replica (that was never touched by Picasso) is virtually worthless.
  • Naturalness: Natural diamonds formed by the earth three billion years ago are valued as more authentic than synthetic replicas created in factories for commercial purposes.

Key findings from Dr. Newman’s Consumer Preference for Authenticity and Naturalness include:

  • Authenticity is appreciated by all ages: This was true for consumers, grouped by ages that spanned from 18-80.
  • Consumers most appreciated specific authentic items: Of the 8 categories studied, frequently cited in consumer gift studies, the top gifts consumers appreciated were:
  • An authentic branded product—such as a North Face jacket (93%) or an Apple Watch (86%),
  • A natural diamond ring (86%), or
  • A product made with authentic quality materials, such as a cashmere sweater (88%).
  • Inauthentic products are disappointing: Some of the items people were most disappointed in receiving included lab-grown diamonds (31%) and knockoff shoes (36%).
  • People would rather receive something else entirely, instead of a knockoff or fake: In place of a cashmere sweater, people would rather receive a wool sweater as a gift than a sweater with synthetic composition mimicking cashmere.

“Objects can radiate authenticity in many ways, from the natural materials or traditional craftsmanship that compose an item, to the origin of the item’s production or heritage of its brand story.” said Kristina Buckley Kayel, managing director of DPA North America. “The common theme found throughout authentic products, however, is their capacity to bestow emotional and sentimental value, whether purchased for one’s self or as a gift for a loved one.”

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One additional finding highlighted that for identical authentic items, the origin or the history of the item’s story significantly influenced preference. When evaluating the importance of qualities such as rarity, origin and value over time, natural diamonds patterned closer to one-of-a-kind authentic items, such as a Babe Ruth autographed baseball, than luxury items. Meanwhile, lab-grown diamonds patterned closer to cubic zirconia. An item can also be valued as authentic because it is produced by a trusted, authentic brand, such as an Apple Watch, Nike shoes or parka from The North Face.

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Borsheims Sells Out of Gift Boxes During Weekend of Giving

For $10 shoppers could take home a box with a surprise gift inside.

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(PRESS RELEASE) OMAHA, NE – Shoppers purchased every one of the more than 1,500 boxes on Borsheims’ Giving Tree by Sunday afternoon during Borsheims’ annual Weekend of Giving. For $10, all of which went to Partnership 4 Kids, shoppers could take home a box with a surprise gift inside – anything from jewelry to home décor to Borsheims gift cards. Borsheims also donated a percentage of all instore sales during the Weekend of Giving to Partnership 4 Kids, a goal setting and group mentoring program that builds hope for under-served students in the Omaha metro area.

This is Borsheims’ 14th annual Weekend of Giving, held in conjunction with jewelry and engagement designer trunk shows. The Giving Tree is always a big draw for Borsheims customers who love buying multiple boxes and giving them as gifts or even trying to win the big prizes themselves. The top prize this year was a $2,700 14k white gold diamond-by-the-yard necklace. Other featured gifts were jewelry from LAGOS, Pesavento, Alex Woo, Phillips House, and Robin Haley.

“Our Giving Tree has become such a big part of our customers’ holiday shopping traditions,” said Borsheims CEO Karen Goracke. “We love that our customers can have such a fun Borsheims experience and feel good about donating to this great local child-focused charity at the same time.”

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Uneek Jewelry Launches “Every Love is Uneek” Campaign

The film depicts that special moment when the man is about to pop that question until that ever-thrilling reaction of an “I do.”

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(PRESS RELEASE) LOS ANGELES — Uneek Jewelry, the Los Angeles-based brand founded by designer Benjamin Javaheri, the most awarded jewelry designer in the industry, launches its new campaign, Every Love is Uneek, with an endearing wedding proposal film. Watch it here.

The film depicts that special moment between a couple from when the man is about to pop that question until that ever-thrilling reaction of an “I do.” It highlights the 10-carat cushion set on a three-row shank with a rose gold middle row and filigree on the basket accent with Natural Pink Diamonds (LVS1066) — A Benjamin Javaheri exclusive and a part of Uneek’s Silhouette Collection.

Another star of the film is the Blue Sapphire Pear Ring (LVS1067BS) on her right hand. Embraced with diamond halo, the magnificent Blue Sapphire ring is also an original piece from the Royal Blue Collection that belongs in the roster of Uneek’s award-winning jewelry design. “The film brings out the emotions of a special moment that inspires me to design one-of-a-kind pieces that come to life.”, Javaheri shares.

The campaign hashtag, #EveryLoveIsUneek, is an addition to Uneek’s bold tagline, #DareToBeUneek, as a part of its ever-growing social media presence.

LVS1067BS and LVS1066

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Jewelers Mutual Donates Seven Damaged Synthetic Diamonds to Diamond Durability Lab for Research

Differences were observed between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI — Jewelers Mutual Group, as part of its continuing support of the jewelry industry, has donated seven synthetic diamonds to the Diamond Durability Laboratory.

Each of these diamonds had been damaged and was sent to Jewelers Mutual as part of its policyholder claims process. Jewelers Mutual worked with the policyholders’ jeweler of choice to replace the stones with synthetic diamonds of the same kind and quality.

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About the synthetic diamonds:

  • The donated, damaged synthetic diamonds ranged in size from 0.64 carat to 2.27 carat weight.
  • Each of the synthetic diamonds were worn in an engagement ring by a Jewelers Mutual policyholder.
  • The length of normal wear of the donated, damaged synthetic diamonds varied from 43 days to less than 2 years.
  • Jewelers Mutual and DDL have been collaborating for more than a year to better understand damaged diamonds – both natural and synthetic – and their relationship to several physical characteristics with the goal of creating a more predictive model for potential damage during wear.

Jewelers Mutual’s Kay Kostelny and Mitzi Rietveld, Graduate Gemologists (GIA), studied the damaged synthetic diamonds and shared their observations with DDL that “the damage to the synthetic lab grown diamonds are not characteristic of damage to natural mined diamonds.”

When Jewelers Mutual observed the differences in the damage between their typical natural damaged diamonds and the synthetic damaged diamonds, they reached out to DDL for discussion. The idea of the donation was in part supported by the lack of a secondary resale market for synthetic diamonds.

DDL plans a complete evaluation of the donated synthetic diamonds. The donation from Jewelers Mutual will deepen the understanding of synthetic diamond durability, a subject that has not been studied with any rigor. As the only diamond lab that focuses on diamond durability, DDL is well positioned to learn from these diamonds.

Additionally, DDL CEO Thomas Gelb has served as the technical adviser to the ASSURE Program and its development of a universal standard for synthetic diamond screening or detection services.

“We appreciate this donation from Jewelers Mutual and we are excited to use the stones to further our research and contribute to the industry knowledge about synthetic diamonds,” Gelb said. “Our collaborative research relationship with Jewelers Mutual is extremely important, and we hope by adding these synthetics to our knowledge base we can learn even more.”

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