Polished Diamonds, bespoke jewellery franchise

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2019 View comments

Buying a life-celebrating piece of jewellery is a significant event. Imagine a business that offers bespoke rings to suit any taste and any occasion – without a jaw-dropping price tag. Well, that’s how Polished Diamonds founder Daniel Joines started the New Zealand-based business 15 years ago.

Ready to pop the question to his long term partner, Joines was frustrated at the lack of variety in engagement rings and set up to create a business delivering customised jewellery. He saw an opportunity to design and accurately size rings and gemstones and turned to Computer Aided Design (CAD) for the tools to achieve this effectively and at reasonable costs.

Customers can choose from a portfolio of about 300 prototype rings held in store or bring their own inspiration to be translated into a bespoke ring.

“There are endless design choices,” Joines points out. “We can bring up a design in a CAD model to see how it looks at the desk and while sitting there can add diamonds to the band, change the figure size, change the ring to rose gold, for example.”

Polished Diamonds jewellery design

Joines is confident in the product. “It’s proportionally perfect, the world’s most accurate copy and we can produce it at extremely good value.”

Polished Diamonds sources directly from diamond cutters so it has access to a diamond pool with a net value of about $7.5 billion without the commensurate financial overheads.  

A local supply chain in New South Wales will cast, set and finish each gemstone ring and then ship the bespoke items to the stores across Australia.

With the technical design skills already built in to the operation franchisees don’t need to bring any practical design talent to the business. They do need sales and marketing abilities to develop a social media following and develop their brand. 

While the design and ordering process is high tech, the ambience of a Polished Diamonds outlet is far from minimalistic. Franchisees operate from a small design studio with a video screen, and a display cabinet and baroque mirror that set a luxurious tone.

Australian expansion

What started out as a small retail concept in Christchurch, New Zealand, today operates online across 13 countries and has plans to expand its bricks and mortar stores yet further.

Joines says “We’ve won best retail category at retail awards. The business works extremely well. We have a huge amount of intellectual property and know-how based in small Christchurch and we replicated that in the slightly bigger Auckland. Now we want to replicate that into slightly bigger cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane.”

The first foray into franchising was with an Auckland store less than a year ago. Now attention is focused on the Australian market with Joines seeking business-minded and marketing-savvy franchisees to run with the opportunity.

Joines tells Inside Franchise Business the first Australian franchisee will have the national rights until further franchisees come on board. So if the launch franchise is based in Sydney, the franchisee can operate Australia-wide. If the second franchisee is Melbourne-based, they will have take over the rights to Victoria from the Sydney franchisee.

“I’m not selling to just anyone, I’m looking for someone with a spring in their step,” he says.