Chain of Trust The jewelry industry begins embracing blockchain technology

Imagine a common scenario: A woman visits a jewelry retailer or contacts a designer to shop for a special piece for herself. Before making the purchase, she starts to ask questions: Where did the diamond or gemstone come from? Were the materials responsibly sourced? How did you or your company obtain it?

Meet today’s contemporary jewelry consumer, who wants ethically sourced jewelry and, more importantly, to know the story behind it. She joins the vast majority of jewelry buyers, according to a 2015 Nielsen report, which said that almost 75 percent of global Millennials and 66 percent of all consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. The jewelry industry is embracing this trend, with more and more stakeholders committing to practices that uphold human rights, labor rights, environmental im-pact, mining practices, and more.

And that’s a good thing because in this age of computers and global access to information, consumers have come to expect that lineage of information prior to purchasing. As technology catches up and is applied to the jewelry industry, it is getting increasingly more likely that those consumers will not only be able to see the supply chain more clearly, but know it is credible and verified. And the way they’ll likely be able to do that? Blockchain technology.

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is emerging and it’s going to make a significant impact on the jewelry industry, say experts. It will eventually allow those in the industry to track diamonds, gemstones, and metal—virtually everything involved in the making of jewelry—throughout the supply chain.

While a complex system, blockchain is really appropriately named. Simply put, it is a chain of blocks of data that are essentially a shared database or digital ledger that is stored across multiple computer networks. Think of it from the starting point: a piece of information or record is uploaded. It has a digital mark or signature on it. Then the record is validated throughout the network (or “nodes”) as it moves through the process using consensus algorithms. If it passes the validation, the record is then timestamped and embedded into a block of information. Each block contains a hash (a digital fingerprint or unique identifier) and the hash of the previous block. The previous block hash links the blocks together, creating an immutable chain.

This technology has been around since 2008, but it generated more headlines when it was used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users liked that the technology allowed them to trade funds directly with each other without a bank or middleman charging fees and taking time to conduct the transactions. Users also were enthused about the idea of a secure network that exists in numerous places and can’t be hacked or forged.

“Blockchain and the jewelry industry were made for each other,” says Anne Miller, a Massachusetts-based business transformation consultant. “Provenance and responsible sourcing are critical industry challenges that blockchain can address. With blockchain, you have shared access to data, and when you get to the data, it is accurate. As transactions move from point to point, you know who you are engaging with, that the thing is what it says it is, and that what’s supposed to happen is happening. All of this is moving in real time—cutting out friction, delays, and intermediaries.”

Technology companies are taking notice. IBM has emerged as a powerhouse in blockchain technology, developing projects across a number of industries, from food sourcing to healthcare to jewelry. It began a collaboration with major diamond and jewelry companies from around the world on an initiative called TrustChain®. The consortium began working in 2017 with the goal to track and authenticate diamonds, precious metals, and jewelry at all stages of the global supply chain, from mine to retailer. This effort combines the strength of IBM technology with wide expertise in the jewelry industry. Involved in the project are the Richline Group, Underwriters Laboratories, LeachGarner, Helzberg Diamonds, and Asahi Refining.

Blockchain Mark Hanna

As the chief marketing officer for the Richline Group, Mark Hanna was a founder of TrustChain®, which makes sense given his company’s commitment to social conscience. Through the Richline Responsible Initiative, the company says they are committed to “ethical best practices and a fully responsible supply chain as well as verified trust.”

“It is about the 5Ts for suppliers and retailers to provide for consumer ethical concerns: track, trace, transparency, truthful, and trusted,” Hanna says. “Socially responsible sourcing is imperative in the jewelry industry. The blockchain protocol/platform provides the technical system to optimize a chain of custody documentation inclusive of every participant in a product’s journey.”

Hanna says unlike cryptocurrencies, TrustChain® is not an open, decentralized system. TrustChain® uses a platform that is private, and potential users need permission to join the network. Only those authorized may contribute, and they will have been fully evaluated for best practices with third-party confirmation (such as being a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council). Hanna says interactions are guided by versions of a “Smart Contract,” which includes all the participant-to-participant requirements of the product, plus all the ethical confirmations compulsory by TrustChain®. And since the data within the chain is transparent to every participant throughout the chain, there would need to be multiple collusions to create incorrect data on essential elements.

Another major blockchain initiative within the industry involves De Beers, which conceived Tracr in 2017 and rolled out its pilot last year in a comprehensive “mine-to-finger” traceability solution for the entire diamond industry. It joined with Russian miner, Alrosa, and five diamond manufacturers, in addition to Signet Jewelers Ltd. as well as Asia’s Chow Tai Fook.

David Bouffard, vice president corporate affairs of Signet Jewelers and chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council, says it was a natural decision to join this effort. “When De Beers approached us to participate in a pilot for their Tracr initiative, we did not hesitate. The potential for blockchain to help strengthen the integrity of the global diamond supply chain is beneficial to both Signet and the industry as a whole.”

Tracr works by having industry participants go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) process. They connect to the platform and create their unique identity. Then, for example, they can upload a digital certificate of a diamond, which has primary and secondary information in it (such as cut, clarity, grading certificates, invoices, etc.). All data is encrypted and stored in a blockchain. This now becomes a historical ledger that is secure and en-crypted, but available to users.

In addition to tracing and tracking precious metals and diamonds, blockchain technology is also being put to use with colored gemstones. Gübelin Gem Lab launched the Provenance Proof Blockchain during the 2019 Tucson gem shows. Its goal is to provide the industry with a tool that enables the tracing of specific gemstones along the supply chain. Building the system is Everledger, a London-based company that was created in 2015 and says it became the first company to start tracking the movement of diamonds in 2017 via its Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol. Rounding out the team is the mining company, Fura Gems, which will help to develop and test this new system.

According to the initiative, Provenance Proof Blockchain is suitable for any type of gemstone. All processes, including registration and uploading data, can be done on a smartphone, making it inclusive for all types and sizes of stakeholders, from artisanal miners and large cutters to gem labs and retailers.

What Comes Next?

While all these initiatives are on the road to qualified success, there are some twists and turns ahead. Since this technology is still developing, experts say there are still many unknowns, and the technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

“The technical challenges are primarily the lack of interoperability between various blockchain protocols,” says Hanna. “This eliminates the potential for far more participants in the chain due to different protocols.”

Interoperability issues can add costs and delays in processing, not to mention the inconvenience of stakeholders having to be active participants in more than one initiative. However, experts believe that as new innovations come on board, interoperability issues will be resolved.

Bouffard says the complexity and diversity of global supply chains across multiple minerals and geographies are the biggest challenges facing initiatives. “We work to be inclusive and help our supply chain partners evolve and improve,” he says. “We try to leverage the benefits from partners from whom we source larger diamonds, where tracking and tracing is already underway, and Tracr can be more readily applied. The biggest challenge is in melee, which represents the vast majority of Signet’s diamond supply chain. Developing applications of Tracr for melee will be of tremendous benefit to Signet and the industry.”

There’s also an impact to core business strategies and procedures, as well as legal issues, adds Miller. “It changes policies, standards, governance, procedures, etc.,” she says. “In addition, legal implications are still being understood and worked out. The distributed nature of blockchain introduces new challenges, for example, around jurisdiction, service levels and performance, liability, intellectual property, data privacy, compliance, and more.”

Joining an Initiative

Companies thinking about wading into a blockchain initiative should educate themselves first, say experts. There may be no fee to join these initiatives, but companies have to be responsible for their own integration of their systems and there can be transaction fees.

“Companies would be well-served to investigate what is available rather than embark on their own system,” notes Bouffard. “It’s important that these efforts take into account the realities and practicalities of the global supply chain, as well as existing best practices, so as not to be extraordinarily burdensome or exclusive.”

Remember it will take some time as well, Bouffard adds. “The application of blockchain to the minerals supply chain remains in its nascent stages; we will need to allow time for significant learning before we have a clearer view of the most appropriate ways forward, especially for the many small or medium-size companies that represent our global supply chain.”

Miller agrees and says full adoption of this technology is still years away. “Gartner Inc., a leading research and advisory company, estimates a 5- to 10-year time-scale before blockchain enters the mainstream. Similar to the internet, there will be a shakeout of providers and the full transformation blockchain can enable will take time.”

Hanna believes that blockchain technology will make its impact eventually, especially as there is increasing pressure for documented proof of ethical practices, which he thinks will someday turn into an industry-wide mandate.

“We firmly believe in the future potential of blockchain,” he says. “It may be over-hyped in the short-run but very underestimated for the longer term.”

Will the use of blockchain technology affect costs of goods? Hanna says initially there may be incrementally higher costs as systems are constructed and people are trained. The belief over time is that efficiencies throughout the full procurement process will offset those initial costs.

Despite any challenges, Hanna says the use of blockchain technology will become essential in telling the full story about any piece of jewelry. “The added benefits of the TrustChain® are in the expanded and demonstrated story of the full path of the product,” says Hanna.

Bouffard looks forward to the day blockchain is commonplace. “For us, blockchain is about industry, not items. We are working toward a time in which blockchain will become the technology most used to verify responsible supply chains and all the companies within that chain. Over time, Signet believes that responsible sourcing will become a normal part of doing business—not a bolt-on afterthought for when you have time, but rather a core business function. Fine jewelry customers around the world expect nothing less.”

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Richline’s Gemvara Adds Lab-Grown Diamonds to Ring Builder

New York—Gemvara, the e-commerce site for custom jewelry owned by Richline Group, is getting into the lab-grown game. The company announced this week that it is now offering customers both natural and lab-grown diamonds as well as colored gemstones as options on its ring builder.

Gemvara  is selling lab-grown center and accent diamonds as well as lab-grown sapphires, rubies and emeralds 3 mm and larger for most jewelry styles.

Richline said the initiative is currently in a “private test” with a “large retailer” under the name Gembuilder.

The company is not disclosing which retailer is testing the initiative at this time, though it seems likely it is one of the sizable retailers owned by parent company Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway owns 210-store chain Helzberg Diamonds and 92-store chain Ben Bridge Jeweler along with Borsheims in Omaha, Nebraska.

Richline said it will expand the program to a limited beta test group later this year, allowing retailers to utilize Gemvara’s customization platform for their own customers for both complete designs as well as semi-mounts with lab-grown diamond accents.

Gembuilder is slated for a wider rollout in 2020.

When asked the source of its lab-grown diamonds for Gemvara/Gembuilder, Richline said it is not releasing that information at this time.

The sale of lab-grown diamonds on Gemvara is Richline’s second initiative involving lab-grown diamonds after the launch of “Grown With Love” at J.C. Penney and Macy’s last year.

For that line, Richline sources some of the lab-grown diamonds from  WD Lab Grown Diamonds.

“By adding both the Gemvara and the upcoming Gembuilder launch to the company’s already robust lab-grown diamond offerings, we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting new space with an innovative experience that offers modern shoppers meaningful choices,” Richline Group President and CEO Dave Meleski said.

For more information on Gembuilder, email  gembuilder@richelinedigital.com.

Richline will exhibit at the upcoming JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show, scheduled for May 31-June 3 at The Venetian and Sands Expo.

Contact Michael Schechter,  mschechter@richlinedigital.com, for an appointment.

Richline Group Acquires The Aaron Group

The Acquisition Adds A Major Industry Supplier To The Berkshire Hathaway Owned Firm.

Richline Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and The Aaron Group, a leading jewelry manufacturer and marketer, announced today that Richline has acquired The Aaron Group business effective today, January 11th.

“We are extremely excited and energized about joining forces with The Aaron Group. The Aaron Group’s differentiated, prime-manufactured products will offer Richline’s retail partners a dramatic new range of options and increased value, while preserving the legacy of customer satisfaction that both companies prioritize,” said Dave Meleski, Richline Group’s President.

Since its founding as Samuel Aaron Jewelry in 1950, the Aaron Group has grown from its New York City roots to become a widely renowned, vertically integrated international jewelry manufacturer. Along the way, the Aaron Group has remained a true family business and, under the stewardship of third-generation leader Robert (Bobby) Kempler, has achieved stature as a major global force, with operations, factories, partnerships and hundreds of employees in New York, London, Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou.

Richline’s CEO, Dennis Ulrich, said “this acquisition will allow The Aaron Group to continue as the leader of bridal, three-stone and fashion diamond and gemstone fine jewelry while leveraging Richline’s advanced capabilities across our entire jewelry value chain”.

Per Aaron Group President, Robert Kempler, “Richline Group support will enable The Aaron Group to grow faster, introduce new designs and collections more rapidly, and expand on our history of success by reaching a broader array of customers and markets. Our mutual goal is to anticipate, foster and drive positive change in our industry.”

ABOUT THE AARON GROUP

The Aaron Group is an international jewelry manufacturer with hundreds of employees in offices around the world. A firm believer in the power of jewelry to connect people, The Aaron Group has grown from its 1950 founding as a one-man shop to become globally recognized in the jewelry industry, with an unblemished reputation for quality, value, and commitment to the customer.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services.

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Silpada Launches E-commerce Site

Following its recent acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway’s Richline Group, Silpada is proud to announce the launch of its new e-commerce site in time for Black Friday.

The new website focuses on Silpada’s unparalleled sterling silver jewelry, including never-before-seen pieces and best-selling legacy styles, in a direct-to-consumer model.

“We could not be more excited about this launch,” said Matt Nichols, Senior Vice President of Richline’s Digital division. “We’ve worked hard to craft a digital shopping experience that is worthy of Silpada’s dedicated fanbase and its beloved sterling silver designs. These fresh styles, as well as a new digital presence for Silpada are just the beginning. We look forward to building upon the extraordinary brand that the Kelly and Walsh families created.”

At launch, Silpada will unveil 40 entirely new designs. In addition to these new styles, silpada.com will bring back hundreds of customer favorites at permanently reduced prices. As the team at Richline Group develops the next line of Silpada jewelry, the site will host “The Sale Shop”, which offers exceptional last-chance values on legacy designs.

“Since acquiring Silpada in October, we’ve spent considerable time taking in feedback from passionate customers and representatives. Their insights have been invaluable as we work towards a new and inclusive direction for Silpada. We believe the new silpada.com is the right first step forward,” said Richline Group Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Hanna.

To learn more and shop the latest collection, please visit silpada.com.

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Richline Group has Acquired Silpada Designs

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, announced today that it has acquired select assets of Silpada Designs, including the “Silpada” brand name, its jewelry designs and all sterling silver and fashion jewelry inventory. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

From its humble beginnings as a business founded by stay-at-home moms, Silpada saw stunning success, becoming the world’s largest home party seller of sterling silver jewelry. Over the past three years significant investments were made to keep Silpada operating as the company worked to enhance and evolve its business to remain relevant in an evolving market.

Richline Group, the USA’s foremost manufacturer and marketer of fine jewelry brands, will continue to produce and market the Silpada brand through new channels, focusing on Silpada’s sterling silver jewelry heritage.

While the Kelly and Walsh families will no longer be a part of Silpada moving forward, they are “extremely pleased that the Silpada brand will live on as a member of the Richline family of brands.”

“We see a tremendous opportunity to bring Silpada back to its creative roots. We plan to focus exclusively on these unique and accessible sterling silver designs that have clearly resonated with so many women across the world. We look forward to honoring the Silpada legacy while finding new ways to invigorate this unique and nationally-recognized brand”, said Richline Group CEO, Dennis Ulrich.

Going forward Richline plans to refocus the Silpada name around its sterling silver offerings. For the balance of 2016, Richline will continue serving Silpada’s loyal customer base with the core products Silpada is best known for, as well as a previously unreleased line of jewelry, as it refines a new direction forward for this national leader in silver jewelry. In addition to ongoing retail sales for the brand, Richline will continue honoring the Silpada Lifetime Guarantee that was in place prior to June 1, 2016 for all qualified purchases until September 2017.

Richline Group Acquires Viawear To Bolster Wearable Product Offerings

Richline Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and Viawear, an innovative wearables provider for jewelry brands, announced today that the companies have completed an agreement for Richline to acquire the Viawear business.

“The world has embraced wearables, and we intend to provide our customers with the right jewelry products that blend seamlessly with the latest technology. Viawear’s technology and designs compliment everything we’ve set out to achieve in the smart jewelry space,” said Joel Schechter of the Richline Group.

Viawear has developed a unique approach to filtering mobile notifications and delivering the most contextual wearable alerts. With Viawear, wearers can stay connected to their most important alerts, and eliminate the need to constantly checking to see if they missed something important. An interactive preview of their technology and designs will be on display at the Plumb Club at the JCK Show in Las Vegas, booth #PC–200.

“Our objective has always been to develop smart accessories that truly complements our wearer’s lifestyle. Blending Richline’s tremendous jewelry acumen with Viawear’s technology platform allows us to make this vision into a reality that can help drive the world of fine jewelry into the world of wearable technology,” said Ben Isaacson, Founder and CEO of Viawear.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of Berkshire Hathaway is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

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Richline Group Acquires Nordt

Roanoke, VA and New York, NY – Richline Group, Inc. has the pleasure to announce the acquisition, effective June 1, 2016, of John C. Nordt, Inc. Joe Esposito, Richline’s EVP of Manufacturing said that “Nordt is another important and strategic addition to our brands. The firm’s unique and successful business model is a tribute to the leadership of the Nordt family. The synergies between Nordt and our LeachGarner and Nobilis business units will accelerate our growth into the PGM industrial markets. Nordt has a great product line, talented people and long term relationships with its clients”.

Joe White, President of LeachGarner, A Richline Group Company stated, “The combination of Nordt’s proprietary process technology and LeachGarner’s scale is unique in the precious metal industry. We look forward to integrating our businesses to deliver enhanced value to our existing customer base and leveraging our new synergies outside our traditional channels.”

Five generations of the Nordt family have led the firm over 140 years. Paul Nordt III, Rob Nordt, Sr. and Rob Nordt, Jr. will continue to lead the company along with a highly experienced professional management team. Paul Nordt stated “Richline’s strength will enhance the core corporate capability brought to our customers including our unique and proprietary processes for precious metals. We have long been proud of the creation of products of extreme precision and adaptability for the jewelry industry.”

ABOUT JOHN C. NORDT:

John C. Nordt is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company and a leading manufacturer and supplier of precious metal products to the jewelry industry. Founded in 1872 in New York City, Nordt has operated in Roanoke Virginia since 1984.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.:

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Richline Group was formed in 2007. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of Berkshire Hathaway is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

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Richline Group a Proud Member of Jewelry Industry Initiative to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

As announced by the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, Richline Group—alongside jewelry industry leaders Signet Jewelers and Tiffany & Co.—is celebrating World Wildlife Day by announcing its commitments to support broad jewelry industry efforts in the fight against wildlife trafficking.

“The only way to stop wildlife trafficking is to band together, continue the jewelry industry’s existing steadfastness to legal compliance and to stop supply and demand. Everyone in this industry has an essential part to play,” said Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer at the Berkshire Hathaway owned Richline Group, Inc. “Richline and our industry organization partners are committed to raise awareness and share best practices with our peers to achieve progress on this critical issue.  We hope the announcements today will be a catalyst for a series of additional commitments from others in our industry.”

Richline Group’s commitments include keeping the elimination of wildlife trafficking part of best practice discussion, and to assist companies that want to update their codes of conduct through the newly introduced IvoryFreeJewelry.com.

“Worldwide demand for ivory and other illegal wildlife products is decimating iconic wildlife populations and supporting international criminal syndicates that are destabilizing governments and supporting terrorist groups,” said David J. Hayes, Chair of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. “The Alliance is honored to partner with leading companies, conservation organizations, and the U.S. government to educate U.S. consumers and shut down U.S. demand for illegal wildlife products. By putting our wallets in line with our values we can work together to protect these treasured species for the benefit of our planet, our security, and future generations.”

Wildlife trafficking is a criminal, multi-billion dollar industry centered on the killing of endangered and threatened species to produce illegal products made from ivory, snake skins, animal furs, and other animal parts. The U.S. is one of the largest markets for these products, which means that demand from American businesses and consumers influences whether lions, elephants, pangolins, and other at-risk species will become extinct within our lifetime.

For a complete list of companies and NGOs partnering with the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance visit USWTA.org. For upcoming information on how jewelers can help fight wildlife trafficking, sign up at IvoryFreeJewelry.com.

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Richline Group Introduces Wearable Style News Website

Richline, a leader in fine jewelry and the emerging category of FineWear Technology, announces the arrival of a new and robust blog, Wearable Style News. WSN brings a unique “function needs fashion” perspective to the rapidly growing world of wearables. By aggregating the latest news and gaining exclusive interviews with industry newsmakers, the blog fills a major editorial gap.

“We believe the industry needed a new voice,” says Mark Hanna, CMO of the Richline Group. “Too much of the conversation is about the inventive technology and not enough time is spent on the design and style of these new products,” he adds. “Today’s elegant women will not be caught dead putting on a clunky wearable so we’re hoping this blog will guide the industry to rethink its function-first approach,” concludes Hanna.

Wearable Style News focuses on the designers, technologists, and manufacturers who are leading the wearable industry. The blog features curated and original content, including interviews with industry talent such as Uri Keren, CEO and co-founder of Hermes Innovation, Scott Amyx of Amyx+McKinsey, and Amanda Parkes, Chief of Technology & Research for Manufacture NY.

In addition to interviews and product profiles, Wearable Style News provides coverage of relevant conferences and events. Readers can also follow the blog on Twitter, where the editors are often found commenting on the newest releases in the market.

Editorial submissions should be emailed to editor@wearablestylenews.com.

Click here to visit WearableStyleNews.com.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. The Richline Group was formed in 2007. Currently, the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Brands. Berkshire Hathaway, and its subsidiaries, engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of the Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hanna P: (212) 886–6212 E: Mark.Hanna@RichlineGroup.com

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Richline to Integrate Say Technology into Smart Jewelry Offerings

Richline Group, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, has reached a strategic partnership agreement for the exclusive distribution of products leveraging Say™ technology from Hermes Innovation Ltd.

Hermes Innovation Ltd. was founded in 2013 by an elite squad of high-tech veterans who hail from corporate giants like Conduit, Kodak, and Intel. Their Say™ device is the first social experience that was specifically designed for Wearables, incorporating a wearable device coupled with a customized social network.

Richline will work to incorporate this innovative device—which empowers people to customize the external appearance with exclusive graphical content of their choice to suit any fad, mood, whim, or fancy—into an array of fine and fashion jewelry as part of their new smart jewelry initiative.

“One of the great untapped opportunities for smart jewelry is personalization,” said Richline CEO, Dennis Ulrich. “And Say™ is uniquely positioned to empower women, men, and even entire communities to express themselves in entirely new ways through this one-of-a-kind socially connected wearable.”

Richline previewed several proof-of-concept designs at the JCK Jewelry Show during Market Week. Following the introduction of this first iteration of Say™ later this year, Richline looks to bring designs to market in time for the holiday selling season.

When asked about the partnership, Hermes Innovation CEO, Uri Keren said, “We could not have found a better partner than Richline for this project. Their understanding of the future of jewelry, coupled with our technology is exactly what is needed to help introduce Say™ to fashion and tech savvy luxury consumers.”

To learn more visit SayNecklace.com.