Lightweight gold gains popularity in Indian market

July 23rd, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

By Shilpa Raina
New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Heavy bangles, chokers, chains, elaborated pendants and chandelier earrings in gold that were once a sign of prosperity were sidelined by sparkling diamonds. But after more than a decade, the yellow metal has made a comeback in the new avatar of lightweight jewellery. From the mid 1990s when Tanishq launched its diamond collection, the precious stone came within the reach of the Indian middle class. It truly became every woman’s best friend, thanks to its affordable price.

Later, other brands like Nakshatra, Asmi and Sangini popularised the use of diamonds. But, now lightweight gold jewellery is once again in demand and new age women are increasingly going for it because it suits their pockets and caters to their daily-wear needs.

Chanat Sorakraikitikul, director of a Thailand-based jewellery brand Pranda Jewelry, told IANS: “Yellow metal is surely coming back. It is in the limelight and despite hiked prices, sales have increased.”

Comparing the yellow metal with diamond, Sorakraikitikul added: “Every woman loves diamonds. But white can get monotonous and boring, so for a change women are now looking at gold with great interest.”

Gold has always been closely associated with Indian tradition and culture. At marriages, engagements or festivals, exchange of gold jewellery has always been considered auspicious.

“Earlier, gold only meant heavy jewellery, so the teenagers and youngsters had to seek alternatives like diamonds and silver that were chunky, light and attractive at the same time,” said Michelle King, marketing head, Gili that was launched in 1994.

Realising that change is the need of the hour, gold designs underwent a complete transformation. From heavy to light weight jewellery - from yellow to white metal - gold has done it all.

Today, gold is available in attractive designs and sizes. The lightweight jewellery that is available in market is affordable and funky at the same time.

Lightweight gold bracelets, chains, earrings are becoming part of daily wear of today’s women because of their affordable price, styling and designs.

Sunita Sharma, a workingwoman, said: “Lightweight gold jewellery has changed our perception towards yellow metal. It is no more associated with marriages and functions. Now we can use it as a day-to-day accessory.”

Leading brands like Tanshiq and Gili that were focusing on diamond ornaments have now stepped into this business. Also, small and not so well known jewellers too have understood the need of the hour and are changing for the better.

Ahmedabad based jeweller Santosh Kumar, marketing head of Jewels Plus, told IANS: “Though in our state heavy gold jewellery has always been in demand, but now youngsters prefer to wear light jewellery.”

“We were losing on young customers so we had to foray into the lightweight jewellery business,” he added.

This apart, while the resale value of diamond is very low, this is not the case with lightweight gold.

Mandeep Singh, chief operating officer and director of Reed Exhibitions said: “Gold jewellery has a great resale value in the market and this is the reason why this metal is a favourite all around the globe.”

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