SMALL IS BIG
Lightweight jewellery demand has grown 20% in the last year. Self-purchases, gifting and work wear drive the demand. Solitaire International interviewed retailers and designers to check out what’s hot in this category.
In the last few years, the quantum of lightweight jewellery purchased has been growing steadily. Today, women prefer to dress up every day even if it is for work, pairing their modern outfits with dainty contemporary jewellery. Also, the notion that jewellery is for the lockers is a thing of the past. Women want jewellery which makes them feel special every day. The government’s decision to bring down the cap on producing a PAN card on jewellery purchases from R5 lakh to R2 lakh in January 2016 amplified the demand for lightweight jewellery.
“Today’s young women and girls are opting for lightweight jewellery as it enables them to opt for subtle styling. The distinguishing feature of this category is that the jewellery is functional and versatile and the wearer can pair it with any ensemble,” informs Sunil Datwani, founder of Gehna Jewellers, Mumbai. “Lightweight jewellery is doing very well as compared to last year – the total sales volume in this category is as high as 30%. The jewellery pieces are typically priced between
R30,000 and R2 lakh,” adds Datwani. Krishaa Ghanasingh, marketing director, Ghanasingh Be True, notes that there has been a tremendous growth in the purchase of small-ticket, lightweight jewellery. She reasons, “The demand for lightweight jewellery is so great, that we even sell such pieces through an e-commerce portal such as velvetcase.com and amazon.in. These pieces work well for the modern woman, who likes to wear delicate yet versatile jewellery.”
For diamond jewellery designer, Leshna Shah of Aurelle, there has been a 20% growth in the lightweight category. “Consumers now prefer lightweight fine jewellery, especially in rose gold, in the price bracket of R7,000 to R35,000. Most of these purchases are either for gifting or to wear while travelling. Work wear jewellery is popular these days. Dainty yet designer neckpieces, earrings, and rings are preferred to add a hint of glamour to one’s look. In fact, more and more consumers, especially millennials, are looking at selfpurchasing gem-studded pieces.”
Carat Crush, a high street fine jewellery brand from Diamantina has also seen a growth of 20% in lightweight jewellery. Aanchal and Arpan, spokespersons for the brand, point out that the popular price range is between R5,000 and R1,00,000,
but majority of the quick moving pieces are between R15,000 and R50,000.
The use of 3D printing technology has boosted lightweight jewellery production. The use of 3D printing machines to create moulds as well as direct printing allows manufacturers to create intricate and complex designs that are lightweight yet affordable. Bluestone.com, an e-commerce website that uses 3D printing, has also reported a rise in lightweight jewellery sales in the last year. “While the company is growing at 70% year-on-year, the average order value on Bluestone.com has grown by 15-20% and is currently around
R27,000. The average price bracket for the lightweight category is in the range of R20,000 to R40,000,” informs Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO and founder of Bluestone.com.
Khushwaha goes on to elaborate on the trends within the segment. “Stackable rings is a noticeable trend as they are extremely functional. One can wear the rings in a stack or separately. Another noteworthy trend is the lariat necklace – an easy and lightweight style that can be worn every day. Both these jewellery trends allow for easy desk to dinner transitions. It is also important to note that there is a slow but steady shift towards demand for lightweight contemporary jewellery. While traditional jewellery has not lost its importance or charm, contemporary jewellery is something that makes for easy daily wear.
“When it comes to gemstones, emeralds and rubies are the most popular gemstones, whiles sapphires come a close third. Our tourmaline collection called The Florentine was very well received. The designs of the collection had a very Renaissance inspired feel to them, and have seen huge popularity with customers looking for something unique,” Khushwaha sums up.
Within the lightweight category, studded jewellery takes precedence over plain gold for Datwani. He informs that 70% of the purchases in the segment are diamond-studded pieces – mainly tennis bracelets, charm bracelets, diamond studs, two-finger rings and delicate long diamond-studded chains. Rose gold is also big this season. It works brilliantly for day, night, the party season and everything in between. “Any piece of jewellery becomes even prettier when crafted in rose gold. It is also very easy to stack rose gold with yellow and white gold thus giving the wearer the option to wear multitone jewellery effortlessly,” says Datwani.
At Ghanasingh Be True, too, coloured stones are in demand. “Our jewellery is mostly encrusted with tanzanites, rubies, emeralds, tourmalines, topaz and garnets. Among the most popular items in this category at their store are modern gold bracelets with charms, including the evil eye motifs, hand of hamsa, the clover leaf, crowns and more. Ear cuffs, single or worn as a pair, are doing well,” says Krishaa Ghanasingh.
An interesting point Krishaa shares is that even though demand for contemporary designs has increased tremendously, the first-time buyer prefers classic pieces. Also, when it comes to pairing delicate jewellery with Western outfits, rose gold and white gold are more popular, while yellow gold works well with ethnic silhouettes. “We have recently
launched the 9 to 5 collection of distinct, fuss-free, work wear jewellery which is intricately designed, lightweight jewellery in 22-karat dual-toned gold set with brilliant-cut diamonds.”
At Carat Crush, personalised jewellery is very much in demand. Even within the category, wrist wear is very popular. “Everyone wants to have a strong and unique stack of different mismatched wrist wear that work together as a whole. A combination of white, yellow and rose gold, diamonds and coloured stones and personalised pieces make for a strong wrist game. Delicate and chunky chokers are also in vogue,” informs Arpan.
While popular jewellery designs have shrunk to fit the new budget, innovations within the sector are well received. “Modern designs with new innovations work better,” Leshna Shah points out. For instance, our flexible Atom collection earrings that have slight movement within each element of the earring, or our sliders that can be worn in more than three ways as well as our gifting Enamel collection that has new innovative motifs and charms are all the rage.”
Gehna’s Durja collection, a tribute to the majestic elephant, is a collection of lightweight earrings, rings and pendants which is doing amazingly well. “Today, the jeweller stands at the threshold of a new and exciting beginning in design and technique innovation. One of the major trends now is the confluence of East and West as the client desires to be different. We need to regularly launch experimental collections with new concepts,” says Datwani.
Gehna Jewellers Ghanasingh Be True
Ghanasingh Be True
Ghanasingh Be True
Aurelle by Leshna Shah
Aurelle by Leshna Shah