Why This Tiara Rental Idea Is Perfect for Today’s Brides

EditorsJun 08, 2021

Why This Tiara Rental Idea Is Perfect for Today’s Brides

A new program from Hancocks London is capitalizing on several trends, Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator writes.

British jeweler Hancocks London is making its tiaras, like this circa 1900 diamond one, available “for hire” for those interested in renting one for their big day.
The rental market has gained momentum in recent years. Consumers can now borrow everything, from ready-to-wear clothes and accessories to high-end formal designer dresses and fine jewelry for either one-off wears or via subscription programs.

But what about renting a tiara?

When I received an email about that very idea for a new program from Hancocks London, I immediately thought to myself, now that’s a great idea.

After all, it capitalizes on several trends, including rental opportunities and the rising popularity of tiaras amid so many royal weddings and their exposure on popular TV shows

People are talking about tiaras again and, apparently, buying more of them, and I’d wager many a bride would rent one given the opportunity. 

“In the wake of the pandemic there seems to be a real focus on the ‘buy better’ ethos, and people are willing to invest money in a substantial piece of jewelry that they can wear forever and then pass down.” — Guy Burton, Hancocks London 

Sotheby’s, which recently auctioned a natural pearl and diamond tiara for $1.6 million, said it is seeing “unprecedented global demand for antique tiaras,” with almost all they offered for sale last year finding a buyer. 

Hancocks Director Guy Burton also said they’ve noticed an increased interest in tiaras, particularly over the last few months. 

In fact, he said just last week, a “fabulous” Edwardian diamond and ruby tiara sold within days of being posted on the Hancocks website. 

Burton attributes it in part to the popularity of period dramas like “Downton Abbey”—Netflix just started streaming all six seasons—and “Bridgerton.”

 Related stories will be right here … 
“In the wake of the pandemic there seems to be a real focus on the ‘buy better’ ethos, and people are willing to invest money in a substantial piece of jewelry that they can wear forever and then pass down,” he said.

To that end, the jeweler is now letting brides “hire” its tiaras for their big day.

The cost is 1 percent of the tiara’s retail value plus tax for every 24-hour period it’s borrowed (brides can pick the length of borrowing time).

A minimum charge of £100 (about $142 at current exchange rates) plus tax per day is applicable.

It also will require, unsurprisingly, a fully refundable deposit of the item’s retail value, and temporary insurance is recommended.

The Hancocks London website has three tiara options listed on its website now: a Victorian diamond leaf tiara (£65,000 retail, or about $92,160), an en tremblent diamond floral tiara (£95,000, or about $134,594), and an antique and pearl fringe tiara that also converts to a necklace (£19,500 at retail, or about $27,650)—but a spokesperson said they are adding more as they acquire them. 

Renting out tiaras is something the jeweler has done before and, after a year in lockdown, thought it was the perfect time to revisit, Burton said. 

As we all know, couples getting engaged and married today are really looking for those special jewels to make the occasion even more memorable.

Open to brides anywhere, the new offering from Hancocks is the perfect way to fill that desire and attract new customers. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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