Don’t worry, the diamond is real. L’Dezen, founded by Payal Shah, will be the first fine jewellery company to launch a pair of “digi-physical” NFT diamond earrings with Digital Twin, an NFT art, fashion and tech marketplace built on Ethereum at a 24-hour auction on March 10.
The Limitless Earrings, made of 18K enamel gold diamond, is designed exclusively for the digital auction. The winner will receive the earrings’ NFT, backed to its physical counterpart, and can accessorise any profile picture (PFP) NFT that he or she owns in a custom 3D rendering of the jewellery.
As for the real earrings? They are stored away and insured by Digital Twin. The winner can redeem the earrings by connecting his or her wallet to L’Dezen’s website, and the physical asset will be shipped to the winner’s home address once ownership is proven.
In honour of International Women’s Day in March, ten per cent of the auction’s proceeds will go to The Global Fund for Widows, a non-profit which provides shelters and financial services for widows and female heads of households to help them overcome poverty.
Tatler talks to Shah, who is using her jewellery as a means to connect the metaverse and the real world.
How did you come up with the idea to introduce NFTs to your jewellery business?
During Covid, I was a business advisor for Camweara, which was a company that developed augmented reality for jewellery where you can try on the pieces straightaway through technology. As I learned more about digital art through a modern art specialist friend at Sotheby’s, I started to invest in artists and PFP (picture for proof) projects that I resonated with, such as Women Rise, Crypto Chicks, Sad Girls and 8Sian NFT. I bought the PFPs that [was of an avatar] wearing a sari, and a World Of Woman NFT that has an evil eye on the shirt—as I make evil eye jewellery. This was how I saw myself as an avatar and the Web3 world.
Then Digital Twin found me through Twitter in January this year. The founders were interested in how smart contracts can be involved in the luxury space. They wanted me to be their first jewellery designer for an NFT drop.
I find that there is a connection between NFTs and jewellery. When you think about jewellery, they are items that your parents pass down, or gifts from your sister or partner. There’s a blockchain element attached to it. Imagine if we had blockchain when the maharajahs were alive, and to know that the queen wore my piece of jewellery, I think it adds value to the actual physical asset itself. That’s why I said yes to our collaboration.
How is your digi-physical NFT jewellery different from the existing NFT jewellery out there?
I came across one website where you can buy the NFT jewellery and add extra money to buy the physical asset but the two are not attached. The second is an NFT wedding band company. You buy the NFT bands to legitimise your marriage on the blockchain, which initially is what marriage is—a contract. There’s no physical element attached to that.
Ours combines the physical and digital world. Also the winner of the bid can send us his or her PFP which our graphic designers can attach to the NFT earrings. We already have a world of woman and even the Bored Ape Yacht Club apes wearing the Limitless Earrings. That’s a fun element to add to your avatars.
How have NFTs transformed the luxury industry?
Jewellery can exchange hands through families, loved ones and friends, but there is no true way to verify an item’s provenance. Brands will often provide a certificate of authenticity with their products, but counterfeit [are prevalent] in the luxury space. When jewellery is sold in the secondary market, verifying authenticity can be challenging and sellers often leverage Web2 companies like The Real Real to establish trust that their item is authentic.
Provenance recorded on the blockchain solves this problem by providing information about the item’s origin and the previous owners of the item.
In reverse, how will the NFT scene change when the jewellery industry joins the game?
Jewellery is most women’s love language. I have never met a woman who hasn’t fallen in love with at least one piece of jewellery in her life, whether it’s something delicate, something passed down to them, or something they bought to celebrate. Jewellery is something that they already love and are familiar with. Getting more women involved in Web3 bridges that gap, and from jewellery, they will start to learn about other elements. It’s a great way to expand that 15 per cent of women in crypto to maybe at least over 30 or 40 per cent.
Tell us about the Limitless Earrings. What inspired the design? What’s special about them?
The colour scheme of the digital world evolves around orange, red, blue and purple; and Very Peri happens to be the digital pantone colour of the year. Very Peri was picked specifically with that in mind. This dynamic periwinkle blue with a vibrant violet red undertone is designed to evoke the glowing touch screens of the digital world. The Limitless Earrings represent a time when our real and online lives are intertwined.
Also, Very Peri is a bold colour that still has a feminine quality to it. The wearer is elegant, bold yet feminine.
In case you missed: Very Peri is The Pantone Colour of the Year 2022
Do you have more NFT project plans in the near future?
This time, I’ve created the 3D jewellery through my personal 3D artists. But in the future, we will involve established NFT artists to add more artistic value to our pieces. I’m working towards integrating the Coinbase business to my L’Dezen website.
I’m also currently in the middle of creating the merchandise for two NFT projects: Crypto Chicks, founded by Elena Sinelnikova, and 8Sian, founded by a female Malaysian artist. Both want to produce more Asian-oriented NFTs.
My long-term goal is to open a jewellery store in the metaverse, where you can bring your avatars and accessorise them with our pieces.
The auction starts at 6pm EST on March 10. Find out more at digitalxtwin.io