Notes of a jeweller on the latest trends in jewellery and the after-effects of demonetisation.
We all love jewellery!!! Growing up in the 80’s and the 90’s meant that we could see jewellery only during weddings or during the festival seasons. In the absence of google, those events were our single point of reference for latest trends in the market.
But today, we have quick access to information on all the latest trends globally. We know — who wore what, with what and where is it available — at a click of a button. It has become easy to replicate designs at a cheaper cost using different materials and yet look as good as the fashion icon on that magazine cover.
For the exact same reasons, we just cannot ignore the GS (German Silver) revolution happening over the last year. All our traditional gold and silver jewellery designs have been perfectly replicated on this versatile metal. And why not? It is cheaper, stronger and does not corrode easily.
So what is GS?
German Silver or Nickel Silver is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc but the ratio varies depending on the manufacturer and cost. Because of its name and its silvery appearance, people often mistake it for a silver alloy. Thanks to its hardness and resistance to corrosion, it is often used to make tableware, fittings etc.
In recent times, German Silver has entered jewellery too. Tribal, Afghan, ethnic jewellery has been slowly making a comeback from the past year and German silver seems to be the ideal metal to do this as it works well for the price-sensitive Indian.
Does this mean that fine jewellery made of gold and silver with precious/semi-precious stones have lost its sheen? Will the current IT regulations on purchase of gold jewellery dampen the gold buyer sentiment in the near future? I don’t think so. Even if it is so now, the sentiment will not stay for long as slowly the buyer will realise that nothing much has changed; unless you have been buying gold using your stash of black money or undisclosed income.
As per the new regulations, there will be no tax on jewellery/gold purchased out of disclosed income. The amended Income Tax Act will not apply to ancestral jewellery and gold and there will be no seizure of gold jewellery up to 500 gms per married lady, 250 gms per unmarried lady and 100 gms per male in IT searches even if it is bought through unaccounted resources.
We will continue to buy and use gold for the multiple benefits it provides: As a piece to flaunt our style during weddings and festivals, as a symbol of our new-found wealth, or as an investment for the future in the form of either bars or ETF.
Silver, on the other hand, has a very niche audience. As a friend mentions, Silver is for the arty, culturally-inclined connoisseur. I don’t totally agree with this perspective. But everyone has their reasons. I believe that the jewellery market is huge and the demand for unique jewellery for different occasions allows for all styles and materials of jewellery to co-exist. Like me, there are many who would still prefer to flaunt their gold jewellery at weddings, but would go the fashion jewellery route for all other occasions.
The industry is also becoming more innovative. I recently saw a design house come up with jewellery designs, which use gold/silver with ceramics. Innovative and beautiful!
What can we expect as the season’s latest jewellery trends?
The tribal and boho styles continue to woo the jewellery lover and forms a major part of fashion jewellery. The materials used may vary from different alloys of base metals, to ceramics, leather, clay or glass. Wearing a mix of high and low priced jewellery is also trending.
At the same time, global trends in fine jewellery is moving towards more stylish and minimalistic jewellery. The move is to capture a bigger and younger audience, which lives in the fast lane and believes in wearing something different every day. Geometric shapes, flower motifs, single stones are all thrown up when I do a search of latest trends for 2017.This works for the price-sensitive Indian too. Heavy jewellery using precious metals will be created but will be more customised as per the buyer’s preference.
Whatever be “in” thing, I truly believe that accessorising is a personal preference and we, as individuals, are responsible for our “movie star” moments and our “fashion blunders”. Let us live and learn and be “our” kind of beautiful.
Long Live Jewellery!!
By Shrutiza Mohanty
Shrutiza is a member of UT group and a designer – manufacturer of Risham Jewelry. Check out her unique, hand-crafted and time-consuming efforts at Risham Jewelry Page link: https://www.facebook.com/RishamJewelry/