A new way of getting the most bang for your buck is to pay for your own designer rings, says Yasu jewelry designers, who are selling rings for as little as $25 each.
“We’ve always done it that way,” says Yuna, a Japanese-born designer with a penchant for fashion and art.
“The price of the ring is the cost of the designer and the craftsmanship, the quality of the materials, the design and the decoration.
That’s how we make a profit.”
The rings are made by Yuna’s sister, Yumiko, in a small workshop in a downtown Toronto warehouse.
Yumichi has a PhD in applied art and a fine art background, she says.
It’s an artistic project that pays homage to her sister’s work.
“She’s been making jewelry for over 30 years, and she has a passion for it, and we wanted to honor her work,” says Tatsuya Yamaguchi, the jewelry designer.
“It’s a way of celebrating the family name, the family history, the love of the family, and it’s something we really wanted to do.”
In the US, designers tend to pay about $30 a ring for a designer gold ring, but in Japan it’s much less.
“In Japan, you can buy a diamond ring for $25,000,” says Shigeyuki Yasu, the Yumikos’ assistant.
“In the U.S., it’s about $2,500.”
A few other companies have come to Yasu’s rescue.
There are a number of options online, but the best way to choose is to spend about $500 on a ring, and then spend $200 on the designer itself.
“I love my designer ring.
It is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen,” says Tsukasa Saito, a Tokyo jewelry designer who sells rings for $1,000 each.
“I want to have the best one in the world.”
The Yumika Saito family shop in Toronto.
(Submitted by Tsukasa)The Yuzo Yuzumori, who founded the Yuzu brand in 2013, is also an avid designer, but sells his rings for about $100.
“It’s more of a personal thing, because I want to honor my family name,” he says.
“A lot of people can’t afford that.”
Saito says his goal is to raise the price of his rings by 10 to 15 per cent.
The price has dropped in recent years.
“Before I started selling, we had a premium ring,” he explains.
“But now it’s cheap enough to go for.”
But if you can afford to buy the designer, then you can make a much bigger deal out of it.
Saito has created a line of premium ring replicas, each with a different design, to help people see the value in what they’re buying.
He’s also making jewelry out of recycled materials, so he can reuse parts of his ring.
“This is a way for us to bring out our own design, and I think that will increase the value of our ring,” says Saito.
In fact, the designer is selling replica rings for around $600 each.
Sudo Shige, a Toronto jewelry designer with Yuzus, says he’s selling the ring replicates as well, and the prices are a bit lower, but he thinks the company is selling out fast.
“There are a lot of other options out there,” says he.
“We hope that more people will buy.”