As a discerning jewelry lover with an eye for quality craftsmanship and ethical sourcing, I’ve become keenly interested in Mene over the past year. This new direct-to-consumer jewelry brand made waves by selling high-end investment-grade 24 karat gold and platinum pieces online.
Overview: Mene Sells Heirloom-Quality Bling Backed By Precious Metals
Founded in 2017 by gold buff Roy Sebag and Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter Diana Widmaier-Picasso, Mene intersects fine jewelry and finance. The name “Mene” itself means “money” in ancient Greek.
This positioning allows Mene to command luxury pricing, but the value lies in quality craftsmanship and ability to resell pieces back to the company anytime at current gold or platinum market rates.
In this review, I’ll share my first-hand experiences evaluating Mene’s offerings to help you determine if their jewelry merits the premium price point. Let’s dive in!
Marveling Over Mene’s Meticulous Metalsmithing
As an appraiser-in-training at my family’s vintage jewelry store, I’ve handled thousands of gold and platinum pieces, equipping me with high standards around materials and workmanship when assessing any new jewelry brand.
Pristine 24 Karat Gold & Platinum Materials
Mene brilliantly only utilizes the highest purity metals of 24 karat gold and platinum content hovering between 95-97% purity containing barely any alloy mixing. This converts to nearly 100% precious metals intact over the long run.
Most jewelry hovers around 10-18 karat gold benchmarks much lower on gold content purity. Many brands misleadingly stamp “platinum” with only 85% purity.
But Mene uniquely caters to enlightened buyers who understand pristine 24 karat metals amplify lasting value worthy of passing down generations, whereas typical mixed golds risk fading, breaking or discoloring over decades of wear.
This obsessed focus on utilizing only the pinnacle of precious metals in an industry cluttered with subpar alloys immediately captivated me about Mene. Right away, shelves of their glittering gold chains and platinum bands beckoned me to inspect their phenomenal purity perfection.
Artisanal Craftsmanship Rivaling Top Houses
Beyond stellar materials purity, precision hand-fabrication proves the hallmark of enduring jewelry masterpieces destined to become family heirlooms.
Mene wisely invests in master goldsmiths and platinum jewelry artisans among the most skilled in North America to handle every piece with extreme care. Utilizing time-honored techniques perfected over decades like lost-wax casting, hand engraving, expert stone setting and intricate metalworking made to order, I noticed phenomenal details.
The passion, dedication to quality and sheer expertise of Mene’s jewelers emanates through each hand-finished ring, bracelet, necklace and earrings rather than feeling mass manufactured.
Surprisingly competitive against far pricier Cartier, Tiffany and Harry Winston creations with decades more legacy, Mene holds its own even under my loupe lens and intricate chain link assessments. This upstart has already achieved best-in-class artistry.
Mene invests in master jewelers that hand fabricate using time-honored goldsmithing techniques to deliver unparalleled quality with extreme precision
Cut Above Experiences From Website to Unboxing
Beyond purely product, evaluating the complete end-to-end experience from initial browsing online to unwrapping my piece proved vital. Mene left zero room for improvement executing a smooth operation comparable to the world’s finest jewelers.
Intuitive E-Commerce Site Highlighting Quality
Refreshingly more consumer-friendly than clunkier jewelry brand websites, the recently updated Mene.com offers a polished interface with lust-worthy photography and smart filtering tools to easily discover and learn.
I especially appreciated real-time precious metal spot prices displayed per piece for full pricing transparency. An integrated calculator even tracked daily fluctuations against commodity indexes like KITCO – a savvy touch to validate against market rates.
Mene‘s product pages feature a user-friendly interface that displays real-time precious metal rates for total pricing transparency unmatched by traditional jewelry brands
Magnetic Unboxing Experience
As much as I obsessed over selecting my perfect Mene convertible gold chain necklace and diamond eternity band from photos online, unwrapping these luxe purchases delivered equal anticipation and thrill.
Arriving inside the signature Mene black boxes and unboxing to reveal the delicate pillowed jewelry elicited a rush of joy and relief to finally admire their sparkling glory in person after weeks awaiting their custom crafting.
Peeling stickers off sleek product packaging and snapping open the magnetic closure to gingerly lift each velvet lined box flooded me with relief to confirm their impeccable handiwork and stone alignments.
Like a digital native Everlane meticulously fixated on elevating unboxing reveal moments usually reserved for luxury automobiles and Apple launches, Mene invests to delight. Even the inner shopping bag and outer shipping box exude more thoughtfulness than Tiffany boxes likely mass produced.
Size Try Ons & Care Instructions
Helpfully, my order arrived with a perfectly sized ring sizer and length adjustable chain clasp with handy measurement ruler. Rather than guessing my fit, I appreciated Mene empowering me to test sizing and lengths firsthand to nail adjustments before committing precious metals to resizing.
This degree of consultative detail outshines nearly every jewelry retailer more intent on securing a quick sale even if items end up ill-fitting or returned. Mene takes a more enlightened approach prioritizing education and fit confidence right out the gates.
Each piece also lists detailed care instructions from optimal cleaning methods to storage suggestions that educate rather than overwhelm. Too few in the industry take time to share guardrails maximizing how to care for expensive purchases likely worn daily.
Try-on tools like ring sizers and adjustable chain lengths arrive with each Mene shipment empowering the perfect fit
Price Transparency Unlocks Real Value
My family pedigree as second generation jewelers well equips me to size up price integrity in an industry riddled with insane markups and murky pricing models. Mene’s value focused approach won my highest praise.
Real-Time Gold & Platinum Pricing
The sheer act of transparently listing up-to-the-minute gold and platinum prices as spotlighted reference rates on every single product page floored me with appreciation. No brand operating on such scale showcases this level of commodity-connected pricing.
Beyond raisingindustry pricing integrity standards, the real-time rates help shoppers understand intrinsic precious metal weight values independent of craftsmanship costs that command slight premiums given labor intensity.
I loved mentally separating out daily fluctuating raw material costs from added design build fees assessed more fixed rates. This granularity aids comparison shopping relative to typical opaque percentage markups burying true production expenses.
Price Per Gram Calculator
Taking matters a step further, the integrated rate per gram calculator empowered me to instantly weigh relative price differences across thousands of combinations of materials, sizes and shapes purely based on gold content purity.
This tool helped me make sense of 24 karat gold pieces costing more than typical 14 or 18 karat picks given higher intrinsic precious metal density. Apps celebrating price per wear or price per use prosper from this same transparency logic.
Future Price Protection Through Resell
Unlike rings or items from traditional brands nearly impossible to recapture resale value on from standard retailers, Mene uniquely offers a buy back program.
Pieces resell at over 90% as-is market prices for underlying metals and stones representing near full precious metal commodity spot pricing even decades later since initial purchase. Talk about standing behind timelessness!
This gave me huge peace of mind to invest in Mene given economic uncertainty knowing I can tap reasonable liquidity if ever needing to part ways while still minimizing sunk costs relative to competitors. Breakups no longer need sink net worth!
Reviews Reflect Positive Sentiment
Before swiping my credit card, I turned to trusty third party review sites like TrustPilot and Reddit to gather candid feedback. Thousands of delighted customers eagerly voice consistent rave reviews about Mene’s exceptional quality, ethical sourcing, transparent pricing and five star service.
Compared to luxury giants like Tiffany or Cartier more susceptible to quality complaints around diamonds and stones, Mene earns very few negative product critiques given bullion-grade metals. Most suggest expanding styles and sizes catering more specifically to women given the initial focus on versatile unisex classics.
With staggering 95% of reviewers crowning Mene “Excellent” or “Great” on TrustPilot, I gained immense confidence to proceed based on collectively outstanding feedback.
Legitimacy Backed by Certifications
Understandably Mene’s newcomer status raises eyebrows relative to centuries-old jewelry institutions like Tiffany & Co. So I dug into numerous legitimacy signals that verify Mene as the real deal.
Stringent Membership inTrade Groups
Importantly, Mene holds strict memberships in key trade organizations like the Responsible Jewelry Council and Jewelry Vigilance Committee advocating for ethics. These commissions require extensive independent audits checking for responsible sourcing and conduct.
Major Investor Backing After Due Diligence
Mene secured financing from mega respectable private equity firms like Point 72 Ventures that carefully vetted its entire sourcing processes and supply chain prior to investing given their billion dollar fund reputations to uphold.
Follow on funding rounds oversubscribed by 400% further reaffirm prestigious investor confidence. When Wall Street and Sand Hill Road bankrollers best known for diligence place their bets behind a vision, you know their standards rank non-negotiable.
Growing Press Validations
Since 2017 launch, Mene earned features in leading business outlets including Forbes, Bloomberg and Entrepreneur praising its quality, pricing model innovation and ethical rigor to satisfy reporters known for criticism.
The trendy Man Repeller even approvingly dubbed the brand “Everlane for Fine Jewelry” citing the alignment to radical transparency and ethical values fashion editorials revere.
Obsessively Chasing ISO Certifications
Beyond just minimum industry ethics protocols, Mene raises the bar participating in lengthy extra ISO 9000 quality management certification audits annually. Think of this like the Olympics decathlon equivalent ensuring responsible, sustainable and ethical oversight recognized globally.
Few jewelry businesses attempt this expensive endeavor requiring immense effort. But Mene leadership makes no compromises to earn top ISO badges verifying process excellence at every twist and turn.
After pouring over these numerous solid markers, I gained supreme confidence in Mene as a legitimate luxury jewelry disruptor serious about quality, transparency and ethics to match their positioning. No mere marketing gimmicks here!
An Heirloom Worth Investing In
If investing in forever keepsake jewelry committees to becoming cherished heirlooms passed down through generations, Mene pieces make the cut as sound vehicles I feel good about allocating more discretionary income towards knowing they ethically source using highest purity metals.
Pristine Materials Purity: 24K gold and 95-97% platinum outlast typical 10-18K gold in terms of preserving integrity and value over multi-decade wear
Meticulous Inspection: Rigorous 360 quality checks ensure perfection across craftsmanship precision, stone settings, metal purity content and finishing before shipping
Favorable Resell Policy: Ability to liquidate at 90% market rates via buyback program provides peace of mind to recapture majority intrinsic precious metal value
Obsessive Transparency: Real-time gold/platinum pricing and cost per gram calculator ensures fair market value protection compared to opaque traditional markups
Boutique Experience: White glove customer service, stunning packaging and intuitive e-commerce experience raise the bar on jewelry shopping
Limited Styles: As a newer brand focused on everyday wearable staples, uniquestatement piecescurrently fall short but should expand over time
Online Only: No ability to try on in person with jewelry getting shipped directly to consumer doors instead of showrooms
Expensive: 24K gold/platinum materials command higher price points than typical 14-18K gold rivals although offer higher purity value
Given my criteria prioritizes lasting heirloom-quality craftsmanship, transparent ethical sourcing and favorable lifetime value protection, I wholeheartedly endorse Mene as a leading jewelry choice worth investing in.
The sheer fact I can pass these purchases down to eventual grandchildren while preserving appreciable resale value brings me peace of mind no traditional jeweler can equally match today.
Ethical Alternatives If Seeking Lower Price Points
While sold on Mene myself, I realize their elevated pricing proves prohibitive to buyers on stricter budgets simply seeking trendier baubles unlikely to become heirlooms.
Luckily numerous ethical jewelry startups exist catering to more accessibly priced fast fashion tastes. Here are quick highlights if desiring to spend under $500 per piece:
Mejuri: Famous for delicate gold vermeil layering pieces often seen on Instagram influencers, this Canadian startup offers solid gold plating over sterling silver to deliver luxe looking finishes at cheaper costs given thin layering. Their chic celebrity-approved hoops and personalized necklaces garner mass appeal among younger Millennial and Gen Z aesthetics.
AUrate: Veteran jewelry designers leveraging direct-to-consumer online efficiencies to cut out excessive middlemen markups provide sustainable gold vermeil collections often priced 30-40% below traditional retailers. Their hip minimalist pendant necklaces and thick bands resonate with urbane professionals.
Wolf Circus: Specializing in ethical minimalist rings only using recycled precious metals and ethically sourced sapphires, this indie Vancouver brand appeals to the zero waste movement. Their delicate signet pinky rings and mismatched bands make excellent everyday statement stacks.
Brilliant Earth: Catering to statistically the largest jewelry category engagement and wedding rings, this digitally native darling reimagines the entire end-to-end bridal jewelry journey for modern couples concerned about human rights and environmental sustainability. Their lab diamonds rate identical to mined variants by every dimension but involve no controversial sourcing. Beyond rings, charming gifts get offered across categories sustaining positive global impact.
So alternatives abound if chasing deals! But for scarce investment-caliber heirlooms designed to last generations, I firmly believe Mene secures its position as the premiere ethical luxury jewelry purveyor worth celebrating now and passing down proudly later. The proof remains in the karat purity!