London-based 7879, a modern-day jewellery house started by Sach Kukadia (who previously founded Secret Sales) and Ben Flowers (ex-BCG), has banked £5.5 million in seed funding to 'transform the industry'.
First things first: the company is called 7879 because, on the periodic table, 78 happens to be the atomic number of platinum, while 79 is the atomic number of gold.
With that out of the way: what the company claims makes it special is that it enables people to buy (or 'invest in') non-diluted items that are produced from bullion and priced transparently by weight, by the gram, in real-time.
That enables its customers to buy pure precious metals at prices that "more accurately reflect their underlying cost and enjoy wearing the items while generating potential yields on the metal value", according to the startup.
The precious metals value of purchased jewellery can be tracked through a personalised online portfolio where 7879 customers can sell back their items – regardless of its condition – for the prevailing price of platinum or gold.
“There is real liquidity in our jewellery should you want it. Importantly the resale price for our items is not discretionary and is instead governed by international market prices, so wherever you are in the world, you will always know what your item is worth. This means you can maximise the value of your jewellery if you decide to sell it back to us,” says Flowers, co-founder and CTO of the company.
In addition, Kukadia also points out that all the pieces that the company sells originate from responsibly mined or recycled sources, adding a sustainability element to the business.
It's a story that seems to resonate, both with customers - 7879 self-reportedly hit an annual revenue run rate of £2 million within the first year of launch - and investors.
The seed round was led by Anglo American, a producer of platinum group metals, and Rainmaking, a corporate venture fund.