Su­mit Sawh­ney: Sil­ver Is Af­ford­able, But Chic

Ace jew­ellery de­signer Su­mit Sawh­ney, who re­tails through two ex­clu­sive bou­tiques in New Delhi and Gur­gaon by the brand name ‘Apala by Su­mit, In­no­va­tive Sil­ver Jew­ellery’, talks about sil­ver’s eter­nal ap­peal that cuts across all classes.

Solitaire - - CONTENTS - --By Shanoo Bi­jlani

Why does sil­ver score over gold in some re­spects?

The long­ing for de­signer jew­ellery has only been grow­ing with each pass­ing year in the coun­try. Off­beat de­signer sil­ver jew­ellery of­ten favours the use of un­usual semi-pre­cious gem­stones, which is gen­er­ally not seen in an or­na­ment that is crafted in gold. Also, the shift from gold to sil­ver is be­cause of the soar­ing prices of the yel­low metal. Women are get­ting more style con­scious these days, and de­sign is ul­ti­mately the key to drive sales. Ever since I es­tab­lished my brand in 2006, our jour­ney, in terms of growth, has only been on a north­ward course.

Why did you choose to work with sil­ver?

Sil­ver is a flex­i­ble metal in terms of man­u­fac­tur­ing, and one can

ex­per­i­ment with it by fea­tur­ing dif­fer­ent fin­ishes and coat­ings. These qual­i­ties of­fer creative free­dom to a de­signer. More­over, sil­ver is a pre­cious metal and thus, is con­sid­ered su­pe­rior than cop­per or brass, etc. My sil­ver jew­ellery cre­ations are mostly adorned with ru­bies, blue lapis, sap­phires, co­ral, labradorite, car­nelian and chal­cedony.

What is it that draws cus­tomers to your brand?

My cus­tomers do not like run-of-the-mill jew­ellery and they come specif­i­cally to shop for some­thing that is not clichéd – jew­ellery that sur­prises them, lures them and im­pels them to buy it. For me, cre­at­ing one-off jew­ellery is a fun­da­men­tal need as I like to ful­fil the needs of my cus­tomers, who yearn to own an un­usual piece. So be it a piece worth I5,000 or I50,000, I try to make it un­con­ven­tional.

Do you of­fer buy-backs? If yes, how much and do peo­ple ac­tu­ally re­turn old jew­ellery for new?

We do not of­fer-buy backs, but we em­pha­size on value-added ser­vice. Our 22-karat gold plat­ing on sil­ver comes with a life-long guar­an­tee as we re-do the plat­ing free of charge. Ba­sic re­pairs are also done for free. And I also re­work the old jew­ellery by trans­form­ing the look mostly for the same cost, or by in­clud­ing min­i­mal charges.

A carved Radha Kr­ishna ruby pen­dant en­shrined in gold­plated sil­ver, dec­o­rated with kun­dan-set polkis.

The torque fea­tur­ing the lion, is set on a vadlo or vaidla, made from a sin­gle piece of thick spi­ralled sil­ver wire, is gen­er­ally worn by the women of the Rabari tribe of Kutch, Gu­jarat. The neck­lace has been fused with a cen­tral hand-carved face of a lion. The polki and di­a­mond el­e­ments add an or­na­men­tal el­e­gance to the neck­lace.

The Turquoise Cres­cent Moon neck­lace in­spired from the en­ergy of the cos­mos and the dif­fer­ent shapes of the moon, fea­tures a row of cres­cent shapes set with turquoise and en­hanced with pink tour­ma­lines and kun­dan-set polkis. The neck­lace is fur­ther fringed with fil­i­greed discs.

The gold-plated sil­ver Lak­shmi Aa­mantran neck­lace cen­tres on God­dess Lak­shmi sit­ting on a full­bloomed lo­tus. She is sur­rounded by pink lo­tuses set against an in­tri­cately carved back­drop of fili­gree and retic­u­la­tion.

The Med­i­ta­tive Heights gold-plated

sil­ver bangle high­lights pyra­mids ac­cented with kun­dan-set gem­stones.

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