BriteCo is the jewelry insurance that covers up to 125% of the appraised value. Competitively priced with no deductibles. BriteCo aims to reinvent your jewelry shopping and insurance experience. Get a no-obligation quote in just 60 seconds using your smartphone. BriteCo makes the jewelry retail and insurance experience as seamless and frictionless as possible. Now, you may be wondering who is the person behind the brand. We recently sat down with BriteCo CEO Dustin Lemick to get some insight into his knowledge of the industry and how it has benefited him in running a successful jewelry insurance company today. Get to know Dustin Lemick here:
What is it like to have grown up among generations of jewelers? Do you think that gives you insight others won’t have?
It was a fantastic experience growing up amongst multiple generations of jewelers. I basically had a second home, which was my family’s jewelry store, and it felt very special to not only be part of a family business, but also be part of a generational tradition. I worked as a third-generation jeweler and had the opportunity to work with family members and employees that had been with the store that long. It was truly memorable to work with the same families that had helped my grandfather grow the business.
Coming from a family of jewelers definitely gave me an in-depth insight into the jewelry industry. There’s tribal or generational knowledge that gets passed down, and I was also fortunate enough to learn how things are done from an early age. Being exposed to the industry allowed me to intuitively pick up on a lot of different skills. For example, when it came to sales, I had observed it countless times by the time I was five years old, so when it was my turn it came to me organically. Looking back, these sales skills definitely gave me an advantage when I started BriteCo.
What inspires you when it comes to jewelry?
I love the idea of unique and classic, which is kind of funny since those two are basically opposites. With a classic, I’m very fond of timeless stones that never go out of style, like beautiful round-cut diamonds. With unique, I love how a custom-designed piece can be distinctive from anything else on the jewelry market. There are lots of repetitive designs and generic pieces being sold today, but when something sticks out as special and unique it really catches my eye. As a collector of watches and other jewelry, I take great pride and joy when I find a truly individual piece.
What message/advice do you have for people looking for an engagement ring?
The number one thing when looking to buy an engagement ring is to do your homework. Do your research, talk to some folks, hop on google and find a jeweler you can trust. Trust is obviously a big thing, so it is important you can find someone that has your best interests at heart when they help guide you through the process. Additionally, try to get an idea of what type of engagement ring your partner would like. Visit some trusted stores with your partner and see what they would choose if they were to get a ring. If you’re looking to keep things a secret try asking your partner’s friends and family for help.
What do you, as a jeweler with an economics degree, think is the forecast for jewelry as an investment?
Personally, I don’t buy jewelry as an investment, I buy it for the pleasure it gives me in owning a beautiful object. There are ways to buy jewelry as an investment but from a consumer perspective, it may not be the best option to make money. You shouldn’t buy diamonds as a hedge against inflation, since you will likely not get your original investment out of it. Diamonds that are worthy of investment are extremely rare and are not available to the typical consumer. One example is an argyle pink diamond from a specific mine in Australia that is now closed. Diamonds are mostly just a (fun) expense. As lab-grown diamond technology continues to evolve and their cost comes down, the overall value of diamonds will most likely fall as well.
Transparency is important for Brite Co., can you tell us how that sets you apart?
Transparency all comes down to trust. No one wants to buy anything from someone they don’t trust, I certainly don’t. And it’s even more important to be transparent when you’re talking about protecting people’s prized jewelry. We aim to demonstrate our honesty and transparency through service that delivers the best customer experience. Our goal is always to ensure our customers can have faith and peace of mind when it comes to their valuables.
What are a few things that one should look for when reviewing estate jewelry?
This is another instance where trust is exceptionally important. Estate jewelry is jewelry that had a previous owner and is typically antique or vintage, meaning it’s either very old, unique, or both. Pieces can be over a hundred years old and often have been passed down in a family for generations, being repaired and modified as it changes possession, making it harder to prove its authenticity and value. Estate jewelry is very specialized so you really have to trust the person that you’re buying from. You need to find a good estate jewelry dealer that has deep knowledge and understands the jewelry market well.
What are a few jewelry travel tips that you can give our readers?
One tip I strongly recommend is to be constantly mindful of your jewelry while traveling. Be aware of what you’re doing with your jewelry and where you’re keeping it. If you want to keep your jewelry organized, I suggest storing your jewelry in some sort of jewelry organizer or travel case. If you’re flying, don’t leave your jewelry in any checked luggage – wearing it or keeping it in your carry-on is a much safer bet. Be judicious about the jewelry you bring and use common sense, don’t bring a hundred pieces or your most expensive and irreplaceable piece. A good idea is to make a list of all the items you’re bringing so nothing slips your mind. Lastly, if you’re staying in a hotel make sure to use the safe that comes with the room, and don’t use 1234 as the password. And of course, make sure you have a jewelry insurance policy that has worldwide coverage just in case.
What is your personal favorite piece of jewelry (something sentimental or irreplaceable)?
My personal favorite piece of jewelry is a pendant I had fashioned with a gold Indian head coin. The coin was actually my grandfather’s so the piece is very sentimental to me. He wore it as a pinky ring which was crazy because it is a big coin. It looked like he was wearing a Superbowl ring all the time.
What diamond cuts are the most valuable in theory? In practice?
Both in theory and in practice the round brilliant cut is the most valuable. Round cut is widely regarded as the classic cut for an engagement ring and has the highest demand out of any diamond cut. Additionally, when making a round-cut diamond you have to remove more of the original rough diamond than any other cut, and even though the excess is cut out it is still factored into the price of the final product. After round, diamond cushion cuts or oval cuts would be the next most valuable.
Is your jewelry protected by BriteCo? If so, how has your BriteCo experience been thus far? Are there any other questions you have for Lemick? Let us know by clicking the comments button below.
Thank you for taking the time to read our latest interview with BriteCo CEO, Dustin Lemick. If you would like us to interview any other key players in the industry – Contact us and let us know.