April 07, 2020 5 min read
“Is your jewellery/jewelry fake?”
“Candles with expensive rings in them...that can’t be true!”
“Is Royal Essence a scam?”
These are the typical reactions we get whenever people hear about our “Ring in a Candle” product. In all fairness, receiving a free piece of jewellery/jewelry appraised at $90 to $5000 when you only paid $50 is not the most realistic sales pitch. You’re probably stumbling upon this article trying to unearth some sketchy truth about Royal Essence and our jewellery. Our Co-Founder and Creative Director Hannah is about to debunk all of that. In a conversation on creating and appraising jewellery, she sat down to discuss the ultimate question: is Royal Essence jewellery/jewelry real?
Finding inspiration from a similar brand in the US back in 2012, even Hannah herself was apprehensive at the start, admitting, “I didn’t know people would be interested in buying jewellery that they’re not sure what they’re gonna get.”
Fast forward to 2016, founders Hannah and Paul started creating their own homemade candles, starting with twelve jars they made themselves, printed their own labels, and posted online. Four years later Royal Essence has now gathered more than 19,000 reviews and delivered over 500,000 jewellery surprises to women all over the world. We have also given over $100,000 worth of gold rings to over 30 winners from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and USA.
You could say that Hannah has slowly become a jewellery connoisseur. After meeting with different manufacturers and traveling to jewellery-focused cities in Asia multiple times, she learned to explain in great detail to many customers how our jewellery is created and appraised. So for once and for all, she puts an end to the doubts people may have about these jewellery surprises.
What exactly makes jewellery “real”? For many, it’s the amount of precious metals involved. Perhaps the cheapest type of jewellery available in the market is made of copper and simply plated to look like gold or silver. “These are the ones that tarnish,” Hannah explains. Ever bought a cheap ring that turned your skin green? It’s most likely the copper reacting to your skin. “That’s what they call ‘fake jewellery,’” she adds.
A slightly higher type of jewellery is the gold-filled kind. These types have the same copper base, but this time, they’re coated with a thin layer of gold. The prices of these types of rings vary on how many times they have been coated. The thicker the band, the more expensive it can get.
Royal Essence jewellery is made of sterling silver. Just like the other two, the base of our rings also have copper--but only comprises 7.5%. This type is called 925 sterling silver because 92.5% of the band is made of silver. However, due to the soft material of silver, copper is added in small amounts to keep its form and integrity.
“They are real sterling silver jewellery. In Australia, we can’t claim something that is not or else we’re going against the consumer law,” she states. For the longest time, jewellery has been a highly perceived product. Many higher jewellery brands would sell 925 sterling silver with lab created or natural gemstones for 20 to 100 times the price they bought it from their manufacturer. For these brands, this is how they prove they sell “real jewellery”, but as the ultimate standard is the precious metals used, the legitimacy of jewellery has very little to do with its price.
Due to the high demand and the big production of jewellery all over the world, many companies who buy it in bulk can get it for much cheaper without changing the retail price. This doesn’t mean it’s fake, it’s just simply how it is in the industry. You might think it’s impossible for a jewellery appraised at $150 as an extra surprise in a $50 candle. But the truth is, if you go to a jewellery store and buy an $150 dollar ring, you’d notice little to no difference.
“Jewellery is a very high-perceived product and most big brands really inflate the price. What that means is that we can give you the same quality of what they’re selling, but these are just bonuses from our products,” Hannah expounds.
She can prove this through a test conducted with a jeweller where they found that the 925 sterling silver ring from our manufacturers and a similar ring from a bigger jewellery brand have the same properties. “It has the same amount of silver, the scratch test is the same, and it has similar properties and composition--but they just sell it for more.”
To cut it short, yes. It is real jewellery, and the same jewellery you are familiar with goes for a much higher price than you think.
The RRP or the recommended retail price of Royal Essence jewellery goes from $90 to $5000. Perhaps this is where the confusion takes place. “The RRP is not the price we purchase at, but the price a jewellery retailer would sell it for,” Hannah clarifies. What this means is that these appraisals are set by Royal Essence and may vary in different jewellery stores. However, this doesn’t mean we’re just typing random numbers for your jewellery, because the curation of these pieces don’t just end in production. After the designs are made, they all go through an independent local jeweller to determine how much they could sell for.
There are two factors on how we set our prices: the local jeweller’s advice and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Hannah gives us a glimpse on the fascinating process of pricing jewellery, detailing what goes on in curating every unique design you can find in our products.
For Tier 1 (RRP $1000 to $5000) jewellery, a certificate is given to the winner declaring an official recommended retail price set by the jeweller. An intricate evaluation is necessary to set this price. From weighing stones and metals to spotting every detail with a microscope, the jeweller carefully probes these pieces of jewellery and sets a price that answers the question, “if he were to make it himself again from scratch, how much would it cost him?” Production factors include raw materials, craftsmanship, overhead, and labour costs.
Due to the gruelling and expensive process of getting this certificate per jewellery, Tier 3 rings (RRP $90 to $500) and Tier 2 rings (RRP $500-$1000) are appraised through physical evaluation instead. With that said, it’s not just some randomly generated price attached to your code. Each design you can find was carefully inspected by an expert to determine its retail price.
Aside from this, Hannah also asks our manufacturing partners for the MSRP or the manufacturer suggested retail price. This is evaluated through comparing the different prices in the market and how much they usually sell for both online and in stores.
Our mission is to provide unexpected surprise to women while providing them self-care and relaxation with our products. Without this, it simply would not appeal to the customers. “I think people really like that element of surprise,” Hannah muses. Several surveys and experiments have been conducted before. Every time, they arrive at the conclusion that Royal Essence simply isn’t Royal Essence without the jewellery surprises.
True enough, Royal Essence doesn’t thrive through being a jewellery brand or a bath and candle brand. Instead, we found that the sweet spot is right in the middle. Considering it as either one or the other simply doesn’t explain its appeal. Ultimately, Royal Essence is a brand that provides the beauty of unexpected surprises in the midst of self-care and relaxation.
If you’re still skeptical and don’t understand why many women love our products, Hannah simply puts it this way: “It’s a good thing that happens in the form of surprises. We don’t get that a lot because life is hard. The more we can give surprises to people, then that’s how we know we’re doing our job well.”