Cool Diamonds - Company biography

This is the first in a series on articles on up and coming British jewellery brands.

After ten years trading, design led Cool Diamonds is now Europe’s largest internet-based jewellers – their website CoolDiamonds.com is revolutionising the way in which we buy diamonds.

The company moved into new five-storey ‘flagship’ premises in London in 2003 that accommodate showrooms and offices. The 3,000sq ft building was bought from Graff the Bond Street Jewellers.

A unique combination of skills underpins this business. Cool Diamonds has its own diamond traders, technology experts and in-house designers who work with customers requiring bespoke pieces and on special projects.

Located in London's Hatton Garden district, Cool Diamonds has been allowed to grow naturally and has seen a steady increase in hits and sales. The business was set up by Michel Einhorn, a fourth generation diamond trader, with ready access to diamonds from the family business in Antwerp.  With his partner Chris O’Farrell, they have notched up over 30 years’ experience in the jewellery trade.

It was Michel’s interest in technology – his hobby was designing and building robots – combined with an in- depth knowledge of diamonds, that led him to spot the new business potential offered by the internet in the late ‘90’s. Their success is attributed to the team’s ability to understand and keep abreast of the most up to date technology supporting the web. Using the latest JSP-xml language, information now loads twice as fast as that of their main US competitor, Bluenile, while remaining accessible to large companies using protective computer firewalls. Cool Diamonds is on the Intranet of many city institutions like Morgan Stanley and Warburg.

The site offers a collection of diamond jewellery that combines classic elegance with modern design.

Customers have more choice because of a bespoke service that complements the ranges for sale in their own exclusive shop. They are able to select a design they like and then customise it by adding the size, colour and carat of diamond to suit their budget. Alternatively, customers can submit a design of their choice and have a unique piece made up to their own specification.

Each purchase is certified and comes with a money back guarantee. Delivery takes from three to fourteen working days and there is a helpful section on “ all there is to know about diamonds” and a range of jewellery on special sale, with users able to subscribe to an early preview of these exclusive items only available on a first come first serve basis.

The company is always on the look out for fresh talent to design for the site and has recently worked in partnership with British Designer Jasper Conran, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Costelloe and the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, as well as the collection of haute couture diamond jewellery by Versace.

Unlike pure play jewellery sites customers are able to view each design as a 3D image or make an appointment to visit the company for a private viewing.

Cool Diamonds undertook a unique commission from Jasper Conran - the British designer of ‘Modern Classicism’ – when he made diamonds an integral part of his summer collection at London’s Fashion Week.

For the show he designed four accessories – two brooches, a belt buckle and the innovative V-pin – that appeared on the catwalk before becoming available for sale on the website.

The flamboyant style of Versace, became available to a wider audience when the creation - Atelier - was made available for sale on the Cool Diamonds website.

These “limited edition” pieces bear the hallmark of the vitality and artistic flair of Versace, who blended classic and pop culture to produce original designs, using only the best materials, including the world’s finest, flawless diamonds.

The launch of the Cool Diamonds Award, in 2002, in conjunction with Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, gave fresh, new talent a unique opportunity to glimpse the commercial world.

At the time, Managing Director, Michel Einhorn said “The launch of the Cool Diamonds Award is an opportunity to focus on design – we are looking for an engagement ring that is different to anything we have offered for sale before.  In return, we hope this Award will give students a commercial outlet to their creative talent that is often missing in the UK.”

A panel of judges at each event has included names like British fashion designer Jasper Conran; Curator of jewellery at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Richard Edgcumbe; Vogue Jewellery Editor, Carol Woolton,  Editor of the Financial Times How To Spend It, Gillian De Bono and Creative director of De Beers LV, Reema Pachachi.