The Lust for Metal & Stone

Jewellery has gone beyond its usual fashionable aspect and added the consideration of investment now. While the increasing zeroes in price tags may not affect high-profile readers, they won't complain either about jewellery climbing the investment ladder today!

By: Bina Goenka, Jewellery designer

Posted on: July 31, 2012

Jewellery has gone beyond its usual fashionable aspect and added the consideration of investment now. While the increasing zeroes in price tags may not affect high-profile readers, they won’t complain either about jewellery climbing the investment ladder today!

Jewellery in India is given paramount importance. To say the least, right from the day a girl is born, jewellery starts playing a role in her life. Though at one point it would be right to perceive jewellery as a norm rather than a luxury, this perception has swiftly reversed in the recent past.

With gold and diamond prices rising heftily, jewellery is definitely an asset that has grown in value, but this is only part of why it is now considered a luxury. The prominence of fashion and beauty within a woman’s psyche grows with each progressing day, as does the appreciation for art as an investment. Jewellery, with its ability to fuse the above factors in perfect balance, is sometimes considered the ultimate luxury, catering to the desires of women and men alike.

In India specifically, the shift towards jewellery as a piece of art, rather than a complement to a garment, has been observed most recently, therefore consolidating its perception as luxury rather than a norm.

Wear or conserve?
Today when people invest in a passion purchase, they look to own something that adds flamboyance to their lifestyle, along with satisfying their need for a long-term asset. Luxury jewellery tantalises investors as it makes them feel like they own modern art while ensuring that they receive a safe return on their investment.

In India, jewellery will always be considered first a piece of adornment. But with the recent addition of the ‘investment’ tag to jewellery, the consumer now aims to get ‘the best of both worlds.’ Statistics say that though more gold is imported into India to meet jewellery demand, the investment demand for gold is rising to meet this figure. The World Gold Council recorded 567.4 tonnes imported in 2011 to meet India’s jewellery demand, as compared to 366 tonnes imported to meet investment demand. With time, the difference between these figures is quickly decreasing, therefore demonstrating the changing perception of the average Indian, who is progressively seeing luxury and investment as one and the same.

Nevertheless, as with any investment, one should be sure to consider all the factors to ensure that the investment is going to retain value and be an effective manner of preserving future purchasing power. When investing in diamonds, it is important to have a trustworthy supplier, and also an eye for any irregularities. Today, it is advisable to demand GIA certification, as well as be aware of the colour and quality one is investing in. That said, with these above factors considered and optimised, a diamond is capable of being one of the most reliable ways of storing liquidity.

As for the appropriate time to invest, with diamonds and gold, it is important to consider the basics of the supply and demand cycle. These two luxurious commodities are increasing in demand along with a fast-growing percentage of the world’s population. In terms of supply, the quantity that is available for mining is severely limited, and will remain so. As a result, the supply deficit will ensure a rise in price, making now a better time to invest, even in comparison to the upcoming week.

In India, specifically, the peak periods for jewellery purchases used to be dominated by season, relying heavily on when one would need to attend a wedding or even a festival. Though this remains, there is a growing awareness of prices, juxtaposed with a growing need for fashion as part of the daily wardrobe, and not just for key dates within the year. This trend is validated in our day to day dealings with customers too! From one year to the next, I am noticing an increase in impulse buyers. These are those who purchase not with an event in mind, but with an image.

The joy that a new jewellery purchase brings now is coupled with a better bank balance tomorrow. And with the wedding season coming up, I hope you’ll get up right away and select your glittering piece of investment!

Jewellery designer Bina Goenka has an eponymous brand which is synonymous with luxury, exquisite craftsmanship and quality. Having studied her craft for over 15 years, Bina creates jewellery akin to modern art. Bina Goenka’s flagship store is located at Grand Hyatt Plaza Hotel, Mumbai. She boasts an impressive international clientele of distinguished celebrities, diplomats, business people and even royalty. Bina’s list of notable credits includes being a founder member of the WJA (Women’s Jewellery Association) and a spokesperson at a FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) panel discussion on the emergence of designer jewellery and future prospects of the category.

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