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Personal Opinion

The new wave of diamond demand is long-term: Rajnish Verma, MD, Punjab Jewellers, Dehradun

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Dehradun has become a semi-cosmopolitan city. The taste and preferences of the customers are also changing over the last several years. Over the last 4-5 years, I have observed that the customers are slowly moving away from heavyweight gold jewellery to lightweight and fashionable pieces. They don’t want to wait for a big wedding to happen or flaunt chunky pieces before people. They buy jewellery for their enjoyment and pleasure.

That’s why the choice of the customers has started shifting towards lightweight diamond jewellery items. Unlike several years ago, when the customers had little knowledge about diamond jewellery, the new generation up to the age of 45 years in Dehradun are becoming more fond of diamonds.

They no longer perceive diamond jewellery to be expensive or beyond their reach. They buy solitaire jewellery when they have the budget for it. Apart from weddings where people are mostly seen wearing heavyweight gold jewellery, the usuage of such jewellery is slowly diminishing. The demand for this category has almost dropped by 20%.

The millennials are the strongest reason behind the shift. They find gold jewellery to be too bright. According to them, diamond jewellery is more sophisticated and classier. They prefer lightweight diamond bracelets instead of buying heavy gold bangles, for regular use.

As per Hindu tradition, the wife generally wears a mangalsutra. There too, the demand has shifted from heavy and bulky gold to diamonds, which looks more fashionable as a mangalsutra. In rings too, they prefer diamond-studded rose gold, rather than a gold cocktail ring. 

Another reason behind this change is the development in manufacturing technology. If you look at the diamond jewellery designs of the early and late 2000s, there was not much variety. The jewellery pieces were also very expensive and not many people could afford them. Thus, it was somewhat out of the reach of the middle and the lower-middle classes.

However, with the advancement in manufacturing technologies, the current diamond jewellery designs are extremely fine in terms of design and finish. So, rather than just buying yellow gold or plain gold jewellery, the customers are starting to prefer diamond-studded jewellery on rose gold, or even colour stone jewellery. Diamond engagement rings have also become a hit amongst the new generations.

Earlier, customers lacked strong category knowledge. Over the years, these customers have become reasonably informed about the quality parameters.

Customers have realized that gold might be best for investment, but a lot of jewellers have started offering good buyback schemes and policies in diamond jewellery in the past couple of years. So, customers feel quite secure buying diamond jewellery unlike earlier, focusing on its value, and setting its demand for a steeper curve in the years to come.

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