FAQ

Check our most frequently asked questions here. If you still need help then please contact us at hello@banglabegum.com

About

Bangla Begum, technically, means "lady from Bengal" but it is also a full name. It's the name of the imaginary character my brand is based on. She is my imaginary best friend and I am designing the content of her jewelry box.

I was tired of mainstream storytelling, which I think are often flat-out lies, and wanted to embrace fiction as a way to talk about my work. 

The reason I chose the name Bangla Begum is because I started my jewelry career in India, where I worked and lived for almost 10 years. Although I lived in Rajasthan, I learned jewelry with Bengali karigars, and I wanted to honour that. 

Although my products and my art direction have nothing much Indian or Bengali, I did want one aspect of my brand to reflect the beginning of my career and the people with whom I first learned about jewelry, hence this name.

It was also important for me to choose a name with a Muslim heritage as one of the reasons I ended up leaving India was my sadness and horror at the way the Muslim community, more and more, is being targeted by Hindu nationalists there, and the way Muslim culture is being erased from the official narration of India. 

It may sound very little, but to have Bangla Begum as a brand name, to me, is a small way to make this heritage visible in the global landscape. And let me tell you, it's bad in France too. In fact, a few people tried to dissuade me from choosing a Muslim name for my brand, but I was determined!

Which brings me to another point, or maybe just an answer to remarks I sometimes get about my "profiting" from Bengali culture: I don’t think my brand name is actually helping my business! If I had wanted an efficient brand name I would have chosen a single, short and simple word with maybe one French detail about it like an acute accent. I do think that the name Bangla Begum is making my brand more obscure to my main audience. But I don’t mind. 

Also, I feel like - but I understand if some people feel otherwise - making products and images taken from Indian and/or Bengali culture, *that* would be, to me, appropriation. I instead chose the name Bangla Begum as a reminder, a little sparkling sign of remembrance, not a pool of designs and imagery I use in my work. 

To sum it up, my brand name is a little bit dissociated from my products and is meant to honour the country where my jewelry career started. I don’t think it is helping my brand at all so I don’t think there is any advantage for me there. It’s just my story, and however weird, it still is my story.

My name is Fanny Boucher and I founded Bangla Begum in 2019. I have been designing jewelry for 15 years, first in India where I used to live, then in Paris where I co-founded a fine jewelry startup. A couple of years ago I left my startup and started working full time on Bangla Begum.

My first job ever was being the “eye” of a French jeweller in India. Which sounds way more glamorous than it was: I was basically just sorting and pairing gemstones, managing production with local workshops, and doing export paperwork. After a few years, I started designing my own jewelry, then after a few more years I co-founded a fine jewelry startup called Gemmyo, for which I moved back to Paris. After five years of startup life, I left to launch Bangla Begum.

I didn't! I studied philosophy, literature, history and languages :-) I did study gemmology too, but much later. I also took technical drawing classes (which I did not like at all) and I even did a coding course (which I loved). Well, the coding course didn't help with jewelry design but it did help me launch Bangla Begum! 

Both! I’m in an open relationship with jewelry. I like the way costume jewelry allows us to play and experiment, as customers and as designers, but I also like gold, old cut diamonds and weird gemstones.

I have always been frustrated by the segmentation of the jewelry world: it’s either just gold, or just costume, or just bridal. Even workshops operate like this, even though it’s the same techniques.

With Bangla Begum, I didn’t want to price out anyone, but I didn’t want to limit myself either. And I think people appreciate this. They understand that some pieces are spectacular and difficult to make, hence expensive, and that some pieces are more fun and affordable. In fact, I think customers are highly sophisticated, they get it!

I describe my work as poetico-political jewelry. If you need a more palatable word, I am also fine with literary jewelry! A friend of mine says that I make “jewelry with chutzpah" which I like too.

I do try to put thoughts and humour into my pieces and there is definitely a big narrative element in them. Literature, the written word, is very important to me and it shows - at least I hope.

What is sure is that for me, jewelry is not an accessory. It’s a medium, a shield, a talisman, sometimes a weapon and at the very least, a story. If you want to read more about this idea, my friend Nathalie wrote beautifully about it here.  

Boob ring

I wanted to design a signet ring to make (gentle!) fun of signet rings. And what else than a nipple to twist this very serious jewelry staple?

But when the first prototype came back from the factory, the joke became...something else. Something powerful about women, like a grave echo to my first humorous impulse.

A client told me her Boob ring was her “small totem of everything” - and I love that.

The Boob ring is made in the East of France and in Portugal. 

Sometimes! Unfortunately, demand has now overtaken supply. We keep sourcing these lovely vintage boxes, but we now have our own custom-made boxes too. 

We recommend you to size down: most of our resizing requests are for Boob rings that are slightly too big. If you still need help, just send us a quick video by email or on Instagram and we’ll tell you right away.

Yes, ideally you should avoid putting it in contact with liquids and soap. 

Six to eight weeks.

Order our free ring sizer . We ship it worldwide! If the Boob ring is a surprise and you don't want her to try on a ring sizer, you can always order her ring in a size you deem fit and ask for a resizing afterwards (the first one is free). Just note that returning the ring to us from outside France will be at your expense. 

Not at all, we sell a lot of 41, 42, 43, 44! Please note also that unlike most brands, our metrics is *homothetic*: the overall volume of the ring varies according to your finger size. 

No worries, the first resizing is free! If your ring doesn't fit, just request a return here and contact us to find out which size you need. Just make sure the wax seal you received your ring with is still attached. Without it, we will have to charge you the resizing (sorry).

It’s totally ok - you have 30 days to ask for a refund. Just make sure the wax seal your ring came with is still attached. Without it, we won't be able to refund you.

The Boob ring was designed for the small finger: it is where it fully lives its signet ring’s destiny. But some women wear it on their ring finger too, with as much panache and meaning. Women who visit the atelier to try on the Boob ring have often never worn a signet ring: it is usually why they are hesitating. In 99% of cases, once they try it on their small finger, they are won over. So if you can, why don't you visit us at the atelier

We do keep a small stock of Boob rings at the atelier, so drop us a line at hello@banglabegum.com and we will try to a ccommodate your request. That said, if you need a Boob ring urgently and are not 100% sure of your wife's size, a good option is to gift a visit to the atelier. Your wife will be able to chose the metal she likes and we will measure her exact finger size. She will still have something lovely to unwrap, as we send invitations to the atelier on beautifully calligraphed, gold-stamped cards, gift-wrapped like a present. If you would like to go ahead with this, just send us an email at hello@banglabegum.com.  

Yes, sure! I’m really interested in putting sex into jewelry, so there will be more boobs, and erotica in general, in the future. 

Yes, the Boob ring is full: you feel it on your finger. During prototyping, the factory wanted to make it hollow but I said no. I like this slight weight that makes us never forget it. Even the 18kt version, I didn’t want to hollow out: it’s in the Boob ring’s nature to be full of matter. Like us.

Yes :-) 

General

Yes. We give you the option at the time of checkout to pay the full price or in 2 or 3 interest-free instalments. Our payment partner, Alma, accepts cards from the following countries: France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. 

We do. We use DHL for non-EU deliveries and we are insured separately for all our shipments. So if anything goes amiss, we’re covered. 

Subscribe to our Back in Stock alerts! You can also contact us at hello@banglabegum.com. We can sometimes accommodate emergency requests on sold out pieces!

Online only! But you are welcome at our atelier in Paris' 11th arrondissement. All you have to do is book an appointment here.  

Our atelier in Paris is open during the week by appointment and on Saturdays without. Book your slot and come visit us! You can try on everything, find out your ring size, or just pick up an order you placed on the site. 

You can buy the original Palermo earrings (green + orange) either as a pair or by the unit. The other color combinations are only available (for the moment) as a pair.

The Heidi earring is a clip-on and the August earcuffs are...cuffs, which means they can be worn on unpierced ears!      

We use 18kt gold and 9kt, which contains 75% or 37,5% of pure gold (75% of 24kt = 18kt, 37,5% of 24kt = 9kt). 

The delivery window for each piece of jewelry is mentioned on the product page.

The Boob ring, the Marcellus ring, the Magic ring, the Carl Gustav Dante necklace, the Travel vase and the Ada earrings are produced on order. 

The rest is produced regularly, but in small quantities.

 

Ethics

We make most of our jewelry in-house, in our Parisian atelier. But we also work with other French ateliers. Our gold and silver plating as well as our paint and varnish work is done just outside Paris. Our enameller (we love her!) is in the Vendée region of France. And the Boob ring is made in the East of France and in Portugal.

We also order eveything we can, from chains to clasps and small metal bits, from local suppliers. A few specific findings come from China and some of our chains come from Germany. 

The Magic ring is made in Italy because glyptic (the art of engraving gemstones) doesn't really exist in France anymore. 

Our packaging is our pride and joy :-) We use jewelry pouches made of old linen and boxes cutom-made for us with paper made of recycled coffee cups. Also please note: all our paper boxes are made in Spain.

Our shipping boxes are made of unbleached kraft paper and come from Austria. As for our cards, postcards, and the shredding inside our shipping boxes, they are all 100% recycled. 

For our precious pieces, we use a mix of vintage jewelry boxes from all over the world and intricate boxes custom-made for us in Asia.

Ethical means many different things!

Technically, to claim a metal piece as ethical, the whole cast cylinder used to make the piece needs to be filled with ethically sourced metal. Unfortunately for the moment, our production is too small to fill a whole cylinder, and there isn’t enough ethical metal available for our main factory to switch entirely to ethical metal. And trust me, we've been asking them to!

That said, French factories already comply with stringent standards of metal tracability and waste water treatment which is, if you ask me, the truly important issue at stake in jewelry manufacturing (but significantly less glamorous than labelling your metal "fair"). 

For me, producing respectfully, in small quantities and with local ateliers we pay fairly, is an real (and sometimes tough) choice, and definitely an ethical one.

Good question! For me, no industry extracting metal and gemstones from the earth will ever be ethical. 

But with Bangla Begum, I'm trying to make it a gentler process. We produce very small quantities of very small objects that you will keep for a long time.

We also designed a client experience with the lightest possible carbon footprint.

And we give back 1% of our revenue to environmental causes. 

We do. Begum is a member of 1% FOR THE PLANET, which means we donate 1% of our revenues to environmental causes. 1% FOR THE PLANET was created by Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard to connect companies with approved environmental groups.

We do. We try to shoot our jewelry on a cast as diverse as possible in terms of race, age, gender and body type. Internally, we also want to be a team as diverse as possible. We are still very small but we will get there!