Two U.S. firms that deal in pre-owned jewelry and watches are merging their businesses to create a single international company in a way that complements their strengths in this fast-growing market.
Mondiamo, an eCommerce company specializing in buying diamond jewelry, and Circa, global buyer of pre-owned fine jewelry and watches, are partners in this new endeavor. The two companies will continue to operate separately under their brands while merging their resources, a company spokesperson said.
Mondiamo, launched in 2017, brings digital capability and a data-driven approach to the process of buying jewels online. It says it provides sellers of diamond jewelry “guaranteed, sight-unseen cash offers” through their eCommerce platform through the use of algorithms. It has an exclusive referral agreement with Blue Nile, the world’s largest online seller of engagement rings. Mondiamo was founded in 2017 by Adama Partners, a New York based venture firm that partnered with Bain Capital and Bow Street to take Blue Nile private in 2017.
Meanwhile, Circa, founded in 2000, has 12 physical office locations in the U.S., Hong Kong and Spain where they personally deal with people selling their jewels and watches.
Oren Schneider, co-founder of Adama Partners, will be CEO of the new combined business. Richard Tilles, a Circa co-founder, will become president.
With this new business, sellers can now choose between shipping their pieces for evaluation or scheduling face-to-face expert consultations, Schneider told Forbes.com. “Mondiamo and Circa, with their online platform plus 12 physical offices, make it easy for consumers to sell their jewelry and watches, either from home or in person, to experts who offer discretion and the highest standards of service.”
What they are trying to capitalize on is a high-value, high-growth market for pre-owned jewelry and watches.
“The growth in the jewelry resale market significantly outstrips demand for new products. Bain predicts low single digit growth for new jewelry, while we at Mondiamo and CIRCA are seeing high single digit growth in demand following the $8 billion spent on pre-owned jewelry and watches in 2018,” Schneider said. “This is largely due to the increasingly sophisticated and numerous propositions on offer in the market for people who wish to sell their jewelry. ‘Recommence’ (the process of selling previously owned, new or used products) is becoming increasingly attractive for consumers given mounting awareness of sustainability issues coupled with people becoming more comfortable with the process of selling their jewelry online.”
They are also joining an increasingly crowded field in the fine jewelry and watch categories that include Worthy.com for pre-owned diamond jewels and Watchbox for pre-owned watches. Not to mention established players like auction houses who now use their auctions, online platforms, and other means to buy and sell jewelry and watches.
However, Schneider and his new partners appear undaunted.
“By combining Mondiamo’s scalable business model, digital capabilities, data-driven processes and operational expertise with CIRCA’s jewelry knowledge, physical locations and brand equity, we plan to build the best global proposition for sellers of high-end jewelry and luxury watches,” Schneider said in a statement.