De Beers Mens Diamond Concept
De Beers Partners with Zameer Kassam for “Men’s Diamond” Concept
Impassioned entrepreneur Zameer Kassam, in partnership with De Beers Forevermark brand, prompting men to entirely rethink engagement rings through bespoke ‘secret story-driven’ designs; singularly ushers in brazen new era in fine jewelry category
Zameer Kassam, a 36-year-old Harvard Business School grad turned jewelry design entrepreneur, has shaken up industry complacency with his inventive business model. His eponymous Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry (ZKFJ) company uniquely offers clients the opportunity to infuse details of their personal love stories into a piece of meaningful fine jewelry—an engagement ring or other item to celebrate a milestone. In a highly personalized process that takes anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months and beyond, Zameer and his team follow three important client-centric steps:
Tutorial: A 30 minute conversation detailing the most important criteria to keep in mind when searching for the perfect diamond or other gemstone—and pitfalls to avoid.
Discovery: An hour-long casual discussion that covers important and meaningful details of the client’s love story.
Storytelling: Zameer and his team share diamond/gemstone options and ideas for the design infused with elements of their individual story. Perhaps a hidden gemstone tells of the moment they met; a tiny carving signifies an important part of her heritage; or a clandestine code celebrates the moment he realized she was the one.
ZKFJ is at the forefront of a seismic shift in how millennial men think about engagement rings—they seek something personal, meaningful and experiential. ZKFJ’s unique process meets these needs head-on. ZKFJ’s clients are struck by the uniqueness of its method, the personal nature of which caters to this desire for something entirely original. What was previously thought of as an arduous, transactional process is now an excitement-filled expedition that changes both the way men shop for jewelry and the expressive end result of this “labor of love.”
Zameer first decided to explore a path in fine jewelry while studying at Harvard Business School. His professor, Robert Kaplan—current Federal Reserve executive and former vice chairman of investment banking at Goldman Sachs—challenged Zameer to pursue a career that fulfilled his passion. Ultimately, Zameer realized this passion was story-driven jewelry design honoring life’s most precious moments, and Kaplan has served as an enduring mentor ever since. ZKFJ was thereby founded to work with men who seek entirely original, dream-worthy engagement rings (ranging in price from $10K to “the sky’s the limit”) that that artfully take stock of a couple’s journey in matchless form.
The below narrative expands upon key details that exemplify the extent to which Zameer has significantly raised the bar in the engagement ring category, as well as background on the industrious designer himself.
A Closer Look: The Personalized & Perfectionist Process
Unlike the traditional, routine process of buying jewelry that is often stressful, transactional and unimaginative, the ZKFJ method is extremely personal, engaging and notably less time consuming than conventional ring procurement—an endeavor that’s become decidedly conformist. First, ZKFJ does not have a retail location. Rather, the process starts with Zameer and his team of Storytellers traversing the globe to meet in-person with a client (and the client only, no fiancée/friends/relatives), perhaps over a scotch in a plush hotel lobby if not his Midtown Manhattan design studio. Here the Storyteller gains a full understanding of the client’s needs, in his voice, and learns about their own unique love story. The client need not have an “epic” or “over-the-top” love story to tell, but rather provide simple details applicable to every couple. The Storyteller adeptly navigates the conversation to delve deeply into areas that hold great meaning for the client and couple, to identify and extract the most momentous happenings, occasions and locations to commemorate.
Zameer then takes those inspirations to a ZKFJ Gemologist who, with Zameer’s close oversight, scours the earth for exquisite diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other gemstones worthy of the specific story. Zameer often travels himself to view the final options, venturing as far as Botswana, Afghanistan and Australia in search of the perfect gemstone. Through painstaking testing, each option must meet exacting standards relative to fire, life, brilliance and other uncompromising benchmarks. Zameer himself then brings the story to life in sketches that realize a classic and timeless aesthetic to be coveted through the ages. Ultimately, a ZKFJ Artisan hand-sculpts the physical heirloom jewel, sometimes requiring over one hundred hours of hand fabrication to perfect. All ZKFJ pieces are crafted in New York City using the finest materials available, and the client is engaged throughout the entire process from start to finish.
The Exceptional Extras
The design process culminates in more than a deeply meaningful piece of jewelry to be cherished and admired forever. Beautiful keepsake art in the form of hand-written notes and sketches, as well as photography of the finished piece, are gifted to the couple. In some cases, ZKFJ is honored to host a celebration to debut the jewel and congratulate the couple. Each event is designed around the client, their lifestyle and their love story. All of these efforts capture the personalized process, and elements curated thereto, for the family to enjoy forever. By telling a couple’s special story, a ZKFJ jewel is far more meaningful than typical jewelry; it is a piece of family history. Over time, as other celebratory milestones are chronicled with ZKFJ, the suite of jewels can capture the holistic story of a family and a life well-lived for generations to come.
[if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]
The Ingenious and Idealistic Designer
Zameer Kassam has been hailed as “no ordinary jeweler” and was anointed by VOGUE as an “iconic” designer with a “timeless, classic” aesthetic. Zameer’s love affair with jewelry began in his teens while working at his family jewelry business in Vancouver, Canada. After honing his business skills as an analyst at McKinsey & Company, and later with MTV Networks International, Zameer wholeheartedly reentered the world of fine jewelry. While at Harvard Business School, he conducted research projects that took him to the diamond mines of Botswana and South Africa, the production labs of India, the trading centers of Israel and Belgium, and the luxury boutiques of 5th Avenue and Bond Street. Upon graduation, he joined De Beers Louis Vuitton where he served as the head of their global bridal business, working with some of the finest artisans and most exceptional jewels of our time. It was during his tenure at De Beers that Zameer realized jewelry is about so much more than incredibly beautiful gemstones or the excitement of wearing a magnificent piece; it is about celebrating life’s most important moments in a way that will last forever. In 2011, this passion led him to create his own high-end bespoke brand, Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry.
Today, Zameer and his team have created more than 600 remarkable story-driven fine jewelry pieces for private clients around the world. Each of these projects tells the client’s meaningful story in subtle, discreet details that are weaved into the designs—stories that deserve nothing less than an uncompromising level of quality.
The Spoils of Success
ZKFJ’s unique and endearing approach has captured global attention. The company recently announced a partnership with De Beers’ brand of beautiful, rare and responsibly-sourced diamonds, Forevermark. The two entities recently unveiled the Zameer Kassam custom-made engagement rings set with Forevermark diamonds and the launch of a related microsite, http://zameerkassam.com/forevermark, that provides details on the unique Zameer Kassam process, how a ring can tell a story and this exciting partnership. Less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond, each carefully chosen for its fire, life and brilliance. Moreover, Forevermark diamonds are only available at select exclusive jewelers who are passionate about utilizing and creating the finest designs inspired by these exceptional diamonds.
“We have always scoured the earth to find extraordinary gemstones for our clients,” said Zameer. “With this Forevermark partnership, we can proudly offer our clients the world’s finest diamonds. Moreover, I am deeply passionate about the impact these diamonds have on the countries they come from, having conducted field research in Botswana while a student at Harvard University. My entire team is excited to support diamonds that are responsibly-sourced and truly worthy of the couple’s story.”
Charles Stanley, president of Forevermark US, noted, “We are pleased to be partnering with Zameer Kassam Fine Jewelry to offer a new way to showcase Forevermark diamonds. Both brands tell a story that enhances the meaning of a diamond engagement ring and makes it that much more special for the wearer.”
Forevermark is the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, and it benefits from over 128 years of diamond expertise. Forevermark diamonds are carefully selected and are beautifully crafted by a select group of diamantaires. They are exclusively available from select authorized Forevermark Jewelers.