By Lenore Fedow
A pair of 14-karat yellow gold and diamond huggies from Gemist ($245). De Beers Group Ventures invested in the online jewelry company known for its customization capabilities. (Image courtesy of Gemist’s website)
Los Angeles—De Beers Group Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in online jewelry retailer Gemist, which aims to carve out a niche in the market with its “try-and-buy” technology.

On Gemist, customers can dream up a custom design online and then receive a free replica of the piece, letting them give it a spin before completing the purchase.

The site sells both fine and fashion jewelry; there are silver, gold-filled, or 14-karat gold pieces with gemstones including diamonds, emeralds, and blue or champagne-colored sapphires, or Swarovski crystals.

Offerings include engagement rings, stackable bands, hoops, and huggies.

Entrepreneur Madeline Fraser, a one-time contestant on CNBC’s “Shark Tank,” started the Los Angeles-based company.

As per her LinkedIn profile, Fraser was also a co-founder of interior design platform Zoom Interiors and the Hutch app, a mobile app that lets you see furniture in your house virtually before buying it.

“We are honored to partner with De Beers Group Ventures and look forward to working together to develop and grow the Gemist business,” Fraser said in a press release announcing the partnership.

As part of the deal, De Beers Executive Vice President Consumer and Brands Stephen Lussier will join the Gemist board.

The company will also collaborate with Gemist on consumer engagement, with a special focus on the responsible sourcing of natural diamonds.

“Gemist is a first-mover in offering Gen Z and millennial consumers a unique shopping experience with fully customizable designs through a simple, engaging and fun platform—key features we know these consumers are looking for,” said Neil Ventura, De Beers executive vice president of strategy and innovation.

Other investors in Gemist include venture capital firms Legendary Ventures, Lightspeed Scout, and Luma Launch.

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