(Kitco News) - Roy Sebag, the visionary behind GoldMoney, is taking aim at the jewelry sector and looking to disrupt Western views on gold with his latest venture, Mene, set to make its TSX debut today.
A spinoff of Goldmoney, Mene will make its TSX debut under the symbol "MENE." The company, named after the ancient Aramaic word for a unit of money, is selling what Sebag calls, "investment jewelry,"- pieces made of solid, 24-karat gold and platinum, all responsibly mined in the U.S. and Canada.
"By combining innovative technology, timeless design, and radical transparency, we are restoring the link between jewelry and savings," Sebag said in an exclusive interview with Kitco News' Daniela Cambone ahead of the listing.
Cambone and Sebag sat down together in Colorado Springs to talk about the vision for what many analysts are calling a "revolutionary" jewelry model.
"Mene is guided by three principles. The first is that our jewelry is crafted from pure 24 karat gold and platinum with no diamonds or gemstones. This means our jewelry is a timeless physical object that will never tarnish. Our second principle is that Mene jewelry is sold by the gold and platinum weight value, pursuant to the ancient formula we discovered in the east, plus a transparent design and manufacturing premium. This premium is roughly 20% of the precious metal's daily value. The result is that a $500 Mene ring will have at least $400 in gold or platinum value at the time of purchase while $100 is the revenue earned by Mene. Our third and final principle is that Mene provides a lifetime guarantee to buy back or exchange any authentic Mene jewelry at the prevailing gold and platinum prices minus a 10% fee," Sebag explained.
Unlike brand names such as Cartier or Tiffany & Co., which charge a high premium, Mene has brought jewelry back to its elements and aligned prices with weight and the actual spot price.
Through mene.com, customers can buy, sell or exchange jewelry at prevailing daily prices for gold and platinum. That said, prices can fluctuate several times a day depending on the current market price.
"In countries such as China and India, you buy the jewelry by weight, of high karatage (close to pure) and you can sell the jewelry. I thought to myself it is pretty crazy that there is not one Western brand that has taken this approach," Sebag said. "The jewelry industry seems to have forgotten its role in crafting wearable investments, which should maintain their purchasing power."
However, Sebag explained he did not want to create a "buy gold,' or "jewelry.com,"site - he wanted it to build a brand that would resonate with millennials. "We want to democratize access to gold - tapping into a far wider market," he said.