Ballpark estimate: $19 to $99 a month (in some cases the jewelry rental itself is an additional charge)
If you love beautiful jewelry but don’t have the budget to support your high-end tastes, one option is to consider using a jewelry rental service so you can have access to the pieces you admire without going broke in the process.
Maybe you’re getting married yourself or you’ll be attending the wedding of a colleague or friend. Or perhaps you have your high school reunion, or a date with someone you want to impress. The best way to accessorize your style is to rent fine jewelry that’s sure to draw admiring looks.
The Allure of Renting Jewelry
Whether you prefer to incorporate new trendy jewelry pieces on a regular basis, or want to drape yourself in fine jewelry that tops the average salary, a jewelry rental service may be for you. Some services also provide show-stopping costume jewelry that will make you look like a million dollars while costing just a small rental fee.
When you get tired of wearing the same items again and again and like to rotate your jewelry on a regular basis, then the concept of renting fine, costume, or designer jewelry—or a combination of the three—may be the perfect fit for your situation. Better yet, some jewelry rental services also offer other accessories, including designer belts, scarves, and handbags, so you can accessorize your outfit and feel like a fashionista from head to toe.
If you want to join a jewelry rental service, you can expect to spend a lot of time on the company’s website browsing the inventory to select the pieces that you want to borrow. Be sure to find out the types and quality of items available to make sure they meet your personal style and preferences before you commit to a membership. If you want to limit your borrowing to everyday sterling silver earrings and rings, then you don’t need a membership at a company with an impressive collection of valuable gemstones in platinum and 18 karat gold. Further, some jewelry services focus on more traditional pieces, while others offer jewelry suited for formal occasions, along with high-end designer looks. In addition, it’s less common—but still possible—to find websites that offer vintage jewelry styles.
How to Find
You can do a search online for suggested jewelry rental companies or services that fit your ideal. Plan to read the company descriptions and customer reviews before you commit to anything. You’ll also need to know how long a rental lasts. Some companies limit rentals to a short timeframe, while others allow customers to keep the pieces for an extended period up to a month or two. If you plan to travel out of the country for a wedding or trip and want to bring the jewelry with you, a longer time period can help make it possible. (Some sites will also allow you to arrange an extended time for borrowing the jewelry if you arrange this in advance for an extra charge.) Be sure to find out how the jewelry is sent to you and returned. Some sites offer delivery both ways as part of the membership or rental costs, while others charge extra for the shipping, which can really jack up the costs.
What to Expect
When you sign up with a jewelry rental company, you’ll be able to search the jewelry options online to select the pieces you want to borrow. Some services will offer members the ability to borrow up to three pieces at one time, while others make you return one piece before you can borrow another one.
Some companies also allow you to keep the items for as long as you’d like, while others put a limit on the timeframe (such as two to three days for one specific event). The latter can be common especially for very formal and/or valuable jewelry pieces. In addition, high-end jewelry items from coveted brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, are in high demand. This means that you may need to request them far in advance.
You go shopping online and select the item or items you want to borrow. Most jewelry items are sent by mail a few days before your event or requested date. You can wear the jewelry and then return (you’ll probably get a postage-paid envelope or UPS package so returning can be done seamlessly). The jewelry will typically be insured by the rental company in case it becomes lost or damaged while it’s on your possession. But just know that you could be liable for a deductible.
How Jewelry Rental Works
Every jewelry rental service has its own unique way of doing business and terms. Some charge a flat rate membership fee that includes the jewelry rental itself at no extra cost. Others charge a membership fee and also charge a separate rental fee for each piece that you borrow. Others may charge a rental fee but not require a monthly additional membership charge. With so much variation to consider, it’s important to do your research to make sure you know what you are getting into with a membership.
Cost for Jewelry Rental
What you can expect for a jewelry rental service really depends on what type of jewelry you want and whether you rent pieces individually or commit to a service that requires a monthly membership. The number of items you want at a time can also impact your overall costs. Casual jewelry pieces will be the most affordable options, while renting precious diamond pieces and other valuable jewels will require a more significant investment, as will high-end designer items.
To give you a concrete idea of what to expect, on the more affordable end of the spectrum, for a flat $19 monthly membership fee, Rocksbox sends three designer or trendy jewelry items at a time and let’s you trade them in for new selections whenever you desire a switch.
Then there’s Rent the Runway, which offers a monthly unlimited membership that includes jewelry items along with clothing and other accessories for a cost of $139 a month, or you can rent individual pieces a la carte starting at $10 for a pair of designer earrings. If you go with the unlimited option, you can borrow a wardrobe of the latest fashions and handbags to go along with your jewelry selection. This will allow you to be a true style setter and you can borrow to your heart’s content.
For high-end jewelry, you may also explore Borrowed Bling. This website has different types of membership starting at $29.95 a month on up to $99.95 a month, including two to three pieces of jewelry at a time for no additional charge. The level of your membership dictates the quality and value of the jewelry you can borrow.
You can also invest in a membership (different levels and options exist) with Haute Vault if fine diamonds and watches is your thing. Membership is annual and ranges from $250 to $500 a year, plus the cost of the rental for each item desired. Members get a 15 percent discount off the rental cost. A Chanel stainless steel watch can cost $260 to rent for a week or $936 to rent for a month (minus 15 percent off this amount for members). For 3-carat diamond chandelier earrings in platinum, the weekly rental is $330, while the monthly rental costs $1,188 (minus the member discount).
For a special event, a website like Adorn might meet your needs, since it offers bridal jewelry and other formal fine jewelry options at individual rental costs. Diamond cluster earrings glistening in 18 karat gold and dripping with 1.15 karats of diamonds that retail for almost $6,000 cost $160 to rent for a one-time event. A dazzling sapphire and diamond necklace adorned with almost 8 karats of diamonds and almost 6 karats of sapphires that retails for close to $50,000 costs $990 for a one-time event rental. (No membership fee is needed.)
Putting It into Perspective
While the prices of jewelry rental services can be quite steep if you borrow very extravagant pieces, some women find that the investment can be worth it in return for the enjoyment they get when showcasing an array of the finest jewelry without the financial commitment required to keep them. It’s also worth noting that some jewelry rental services also offer the option to buy their pieces at a discount if you decide you really want to invest in owning them after you rent.