Demand Up For Prêt Diamond Jewellery
Since the last couple of years, India’s top jewellery retail houses have been witnessing a rise in demand for trendy, daily wear diamond jewellery that is comfortable, light to wear as well as light on the pocket.
Capitalising on this growing segment, the industry has been going full throttle in developing fresh, fun desk- to- dusk collections that are design and quality driven, and often made with cutting- edge technology. As designs get more global, consumers are welcoming natural fancy colour diamonds and fancy diamond cuts in jewellery. CAROLINE CHORATTIL talks to several leading jewellers about the current market scenario in the diamond jewellery pret segment.
India is seeing a major shift in the diamond jewellery segment, particularly related to daily wear. The younger, net-savvy generation is more open to experimentation and prefers jewellery that is the mark of individual expression. Affordable diamond jewellery is increasingly being seen as a form of casual luxury and people are choosing to wear it to work, rather than only at parties or special events. This perception shift has led to a gradual rise in the demand for diamond jewellery and impelled jewellers to keep up with the demand.
India’s first omni-channel jewellery brand CaratLane — a Tanishq partnership conducted a nation-wide survey early this year and interviewed 800 women to find out new-age preferences and buying habits. Atul Sinha, senior vice president, marketing, CaratLane, notes, “The diamond jewellery market has been growing rapidly. In a recent annual survey conducted by us we found that 49.1% women respondents were more likely to buy diamond jewellery as compared to plain gold jewellery. Women prefer modern and minimalistic diamond jewellery that can be worn on a daily basis. Customers are generally opting for IJ colour, SI clarity diamonds, less than 1 carat in terms of weight.”
Various factors such as age-group, style and taste influence the buying pattern of customers across India. Vaibhav Saraf, director, Aisshpra Gems and Jewels, Gorakhpur, states, “Lightweight pendants, earrings and rings set with round brilliant, marquise and pear-cut diamonds between 0.01 and 0.03-carat starting from R5,000 draw our buyers. Customers mostly prefer the micro-setting in rhodium-plated gold as it lends more shine to the piece of jewellery.” While jewellers agree that white to near colourless diamonds have been eternal favourites, natural fancy colour diamonds, too, are being preferred. Although round brilliants, princess, pear, emerald, and marquise cuts are used to articulate India-inspired motifs, consumers are warming up to geometrical shapes, and therefore, baguettes, portrait cuts, trillion cuts, hexagon cuts among others are finding takers. Clearly, the market has become more mature and consumers are willing to don jewellery that has global appeal. According to Saurabh Gadgil, chairman and managing director, PNG Jewellers, “Consumers are now wearing diamond jewellery in varying carat sizes to office and for other casual occasions. Innovation in the design aspect is a top priority for us jewellers these days as consumers are getting more experimental in the way they dress and accessorise. “Rose cuts, pear and baguette shapes are ruling the scene, while blue, red and green natural fancy colour diamonds are absolute favourites. Other than rose gold and rhodium-plated gold, platinum is the popular choice for diamond settings.” Gadgil feels that it is a good time for the industry as more and more customers are buying from jewellers who sell certified diamond jewellery and have a good buyback policy. “This will be a win-win situation for both jewellers and customers since
jewellers can enjoy better margins and a larger customer base by focusing on quality, while customers can indulge in better designs, products, quality and higher affordability.”
The millennial market share is continuing to grow according to Ishu Datwani, founder, Anmol Jewellers, Mumbai. “We are addressing these needs by designing more lightweight, trendy and wearable jewellery with prices ranging from
R50,000 to R2,00,000. Some of the factors responsible for this shift in consumer preference are the escalating prices of gold, wearability quotient and lifestyle changes.” He adds, “Smaller diamonds work better for casual jewellery and the quality depends on the budget. Round brilliant cut is the most popular shape among customers, but of late, fancy-cut diamonds are working better. Small star melee diamonds along with big ones between 10 and 20 pointers are also preferred. Micro-pave setting is in currently as it gives a brilliant effect. Among natural fancy colour diamonds, yellow diamonds work best for casual jewellery.” Shreyansh Kapoor, vice president and partner, Kashi Jewellers, Kanpur, shares, “Light diamond jewellery with simple, unfussy motifs between R25,000 and R2,00,000 are moving well. Women usually prefer small and reasonable solitaire jewellery pieces such as ear studs, rings and pendants with IJ coloured, VS/SI clarity, and emerald-shaped diamonds between 0.25 and 0.5-carat. Our consumers look at the fire and cut of diamonds that sparkle and lustre to the overall piece.” Chitwn D Malhotra, lead designer and founder, Dillano Luxurious Jewels Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, says, “Other than round cuts, emerald-cut diamonds have become a huge hit among our clientele. In natural fancy colours, intense yellow is trending, while the prong setting is the most preferred for small diamonds.” Abhishek Chanda, director, Kalasha Fine Jewels, Hyderabad, believes that awareness about natural fancy coloured diamonds in India is low, but for cocktail jewellery, customers do pick pieces set with yellow diamonds. “In the South, close-set diamonds are popular for daily wear jewellery as chances of the stone getting
misplaced from the piece are low. Miracle or illusion setting uses smaller diamonds held together to make it look like a solitaire.”
Chanda notes that his customers, too, go for lightweight diamond pendants, ear studs, bangles, bracelets and rings of 0.75 to 30 carats in round, cushion and heart shapes, priced between
R15,000 and R1,00,000. The diamond jewellery market is in a good place, believes Chanda, owing to political stability and positive macro-economic factors. “With the increase in demand for work wear jewellery, a new market has emerged and evolved, which is here to stay.”
According to Pradeep Jethani, founder, Jet Gems, Mumbai, women are opting for simple, easy-to-wear diamond jewellery for daily wear costing under R1,00,000. Diamonds in various carat sizes set in yellow or rhodium-polished gold or silver, with prong or pave settings are best preferred for casual wear. Moreover, G-H colour diamonds of VVS quality, especially in the round brilliant cut are the likely choices. Emerald cuts, princess cut and heartshaped diamonds are in fashion.
“The younger generation is more concerned about quality over quantity, so they prefer to buy smaller, simple, classy products with better diamond clarity,” he notes.
Tanya Rastogi, director, Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers, Lucknow, reveals, “Since the last five years, our customers have been veering towards lightweight diamond jewellery, especially solitaire ear studs and engagement rings, priced from R50,000 to R3,00,000. Diamonds set in rose gold are a popular choice for everyday jewellery, while traditional buyers still prefer the diamond and yellow gold combination. Smaller, round brilliant cut diamonds less than 1 carat in white, pink and champagne are best for casual jewellery in cluster settings.”
Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers, Mumbai, adds, “Work wear diamond jewellery, starting as low as R15,000 up to R2,00,000 is the emerging segment. Low-end diamonds in white, black and champagne colours are accepted in this category. The main draw is that the diamonds are real and are available at affordable rates and good designs.
“Detachable jewellery, fusion jewellery, nose pins and armlets, cocktail rings, solitaire rings set with diamond totalling1 carat and above, and couple bands for engagements and weddings are the current major trends. Apart from the round fine brilliant cut, princess, Asscher, pear and marquise are popular.”
All eyes are now on this new “work wear” diamond jewellery category. Abhishek Maloos, head of marketing, TBZ-The Original, which has showrooms across India, notes that diamond jewellery in gold and platinum with prong, illusion or pave settings are in demand.
“Consumers have now started showing interest in cuts such as pear, cushion, oval, rectangular, princess, emerald, heartshaped, marquise and Asscher. Although white diamonds are widely preferred, fancy coloured diamonds such as yellow, red, pink and blue are making their place in the game too.”
Maloos concludes, “The diamond jewellery sector is seeing changes in consumer preferences due to the acceptance of Western lifestyle, higher spending capacity and emerging simple lightweight designs. In another two years, the industry will continue to capitalise aggressively on the growing desire for diamond possession.”
This drive for utility-based, creative designs, quality and affordability will be beneficial to the diamond sector in the long run, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved. n
Two-toned floral pendant necklace. By CaratLane
18-karat organic gold ring accented with diamonds. By CaratLane
Floral ear studs crafted in 18-karat gold studded with baguettes and pear shaped diamonds. By Kalasha Fine Jewels
Floral ear cuffs festooned with white and yellow diamonds. By Aurelle by Leshna Shah
Geometric 18-karat rose gold earrings lined with round brilliant diamonds. By Anmol Jewellers
Leafy gold earrings studded with natural fancy colour diamonds. By Tanya Rastogi for Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers
18-karat rose gold ring set with round brilliant diamonds. By Anmol Jewellers
A multi-toned gold ring set with fancy-cut diamonds. By Jet Gems Intricately crafted bracelet in 18-karat gold studded set with fine-cut and rose cut diamonds. By Aisshpra Gems & Jewels 18-karat gold bracelet set with rubies, rose cut diamonds, marquise and dropshaped diamonds. By Anmol Jewellers
Elegantly crafted dual-finger lightweight cuff in 18-karat rose gold studded with diamonds. By Tanya Rastogi for Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers
The tri-colour 18-karat gold ring is studded with diamonds replicating fancy shapes. By Aisshpra Gems & Jewels
The 18-karat rose gold statement ring is graced with invisibly set diamonds in marquise shapes. By Tanya Rastogi for Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers Floral inspired 18-karat rose gold pendant set studded with diamonds. By WHP Jewellers
Cocktail earrings crafted in 14-karat gold set with fancy-cut diamonds. By Aisshpra Gems & Jewels