GoldMoney Founder Is Disrupting The Way We Think About Jewelry
|Mene Founder Roy Sebag with Creative Director Diana Widmaier-Picasso|
(Kitco News) - As Uber was to the transport industry and Airbnb was to hospitality, Roy Sebag the brainchild behind GoldMoney is taking aim at the jewelry sector and looking to disrupt Western views on gold.
But being a disruptor in the jewelry and gold industry sometimes involves taking a step back to a time of once upon yonder – to a time when people purchased gold for its intrinsic value.
Sebag launched Mene, a company named after the ancient Aramaic word for a unit of money (which was gold or silver at the time) – the company is selling what he calls, "investment jewelry,"- pieces made of solid, 24-karat gold and platinum, all responsibly mined in the U.S. and Canada.
But unlike brand names such as Cartier or Tiffany & Co., which charge a high premium, Mene has brought jewelry back to its elements and aligned prices with weight and the actual spot price.
Through mene.com, customers can buy, sell or exchange jewelry at prevailing daily prices for gold and platinum. That said, prices can fluctuate several times a day depending on the current market price.
"In countries such as China and India, you buy the jewelry by weight, of high karatage (close to pure) and you can sell the jewelry. I thought to myself it is pretty crazy that there is not one Western brand that has taken this approach,"Sebag said in an interview with Kitco News. "The jewelry industry seems to have forgotten its role in crafting wearable investments, which should maintain their purchasing power. "
So Sebag- a former Wall Street hedge fund manager had a vision where an investor can log in to their account and can see the value of their investment – their jewelry – in real-time.
However, he explained he did not want to create a "buy gold,' or "jewelry.com,"site – he wanted it to build a brand that would resonate with millennials. "We want to democratize access to gold – tapping into a far wider market,"he said.
Sebag brought on Diana Widmaier Picasso, the granddaughter of famed artist Pablo Picasso to create modern jewelry designs for Mene. A close friend of Sebag's, she is now the brand's chief artistic officer. Mene Inc. the brand's parent company plans to list on the TSX Venture exchange in October. Sebag's other company, Goldmoney Inc. already trades on the TSX under the symbol: XAU and is valued at nearly $200 million.
"Mene is the most attractive investment you can make. It is not a frivolous purchase. It's jewelry of precious value that endures over time. Every piece is crafted from pure 24 karat gold and platinum, and sold by weight with a minimal design fee,"Sebag explained.