Platinum jewellery to drive growth in 2012, say diamantaires

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 04, 2012 19:42 hrs

Price fluctuation in gold, silver prompt consumers to change preference.

Diamond jewellery makers in Gujarat are looking at unique mix of strategy to sell jewellery in the current fluctuating market conditions. Jewellery makers are increasing focus on platinum-based diamond jewellery over the traditional gold and silver jewellery to tap the changing preferences of domestic consumers.

"There is an increasing interest among domestic consumers for platinum jewellery. Frequent price fluctuations in gold and silver seems to have drew attention of jewellery buyers towards platinum-based diamond jewellery. However, the trend is at its nascent stage, but we can see this trend rising over a period of time," said a Surat-based diamond jewellery maker.

According to industry insiders, the share of platinum jewellery in the over all diamond jewellery has increased significantly over the past one year and is likely to reach about 25-30 per cent of the total diamond jewellery sales in the year 2012.

"The platinum-based diamond jewellery is picking up pace in India, though the awareness among the consumers about the 'white gold' is less compared to western market. But we can say that diamond studded platinum jewellery has almost similar demand as diamond studded gold jewellery," said Govindbhai Kakadia, founder and chairman of Sheetal Diamonds. The company is one of the leading diamond polishing company and sells diamond jewellery under Kiah brand.

Gold prices were quoted at Rs 27,706 per 10 grams on Wednesday for the most-active February contract on the Multi Commodity Exchange.The prices of the yellow metal had crossed Rs 29,000 mark during calendar year 2011. Meanwhile silver prices too had shown a fluctuating trend during the year.

On the other hand, industry experts anticipate gold prices to continue fluctuating for some more time as the rupee remains weak against the US dollar. Rupee value holds importance for determination of the dollar-quoted gold. Rupee was quoted at Rs 53 to a dollar, on Wednesday.

"We are seeing increase in sales of all types of diamond jewellery. On a year-on-year basis, our diamond jewellery sales have grown by around 12 per cent. There is an equal growth in the high-end diamond jewellery, which we sell under our Carbon brand as well as for cheaper diamond jewellery," said Pranav Dalal, head - retail sales, Forever Jewellery.

The demand for gold jewellery has slowed in the fourth quarter of the calendar year 2011, which is evident from the fact that India's gold imports during October - December quarter has fallen by 56 per cent to 125 tonnes.

"Gold imports to India fell by about 8.4 per cent due to high prices. Consumers refrained from making fresh purchases due to fluctuating prices and high interest rates regime in the country," said an Ahmedabad-based bullion expert.

As a strategy for 2012, diamond jewellery makers have increased their focus on platinum jewellery, which is likely to gain momentum among young consumer class.

"With gold prices rising, jewellery makers' business would rise too, but on the value front, while number of units sold may not rise. White gold or platinum is the new craze among the domestic consumers. Hence there is increasing focus for platinum jewellery in the new year," said Savjibhai Dholakia of Harikrishna Group, which owns a diamond jewellery brand, Kisna.

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