Jewellers in Mumbai are trying various alternatives to attract the attention of consumers who have virtually stopped buying gold jewellery due to the huge rise in its price.
Kamlesh Shah, director of jewellery brand ‘Incollection’, is launching a collection of wooden jewellery for the Indian markets.
“Unlike gold, which needs skilled craftsmen, wooden jewellery is made using a machine.
The effect is smooth and classy,” he said.
Shah has already procured the machine from China, which is the largest manufacturer of innovative jewellery in the world.
“The jewellery costs just a fraction of cost (of gold jewellery) and we expect it to be popular with the younger generation in India,” he said.
A range of jewellery made of mixed metals is also in the works, Shah added. “We are also launching a range of products made from mixed metals, which include silver, gold and platinum that give a yellow gold kind of effect,” he said.
“Unlike jewellery made from silver which turns black, mixed metal jewellery retains its luster,” he pointed out, adding this collection would be marketed in Hong Kong, too.
Prashant Sarawgi, brand director, Episode, a company which specialises in silver jewellery said the company has seen consistent demand for silver jewellery over the last five years. “Compared to gold, silver offers returns to the tune of 10 to 15 per cent year-on-year. We expect the trend to continue in the future as well. With the prices of gold going beyond the reach of the common man, we expect the demand for silver to remain,” he said.
According to Sarawgi, silver products in India have not been marketed well and hence many do not know about the returns they offer. “A decent gift in gold would not come for less than Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. But you can get a decent silver artifact for Rs 5,000,” he said.
The Gitanjali group, which is one of the largest players in the organised jewellery market, had launched the Revv, a collection of jewellery made of alternate metals like stainless steel, tungsten and titanium, as far back as four years ago.
Hasmukh Bafna, president, Gold Chains & Jewellery Wholesalers Welfare Association, said those who buy jewellery made from alternative metal are basically impulsive buyers. “The percentage of consumers who opt for such jewellery is very less, say around one per cent. There is no resale value for such products,” he said.