Surat: It seems the coronavirus pandemic and skyrocketing gold prices has changed the preferences of diamond connoisseurs in the US and Europe. This is evident from the fact that the export of diamond-studded silver jewellery has witnessed a rise of 61% in April-November compared to the same period last year when the exports of other valuable items including diamonds and gold jewellery went down.
The export statistics provided by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) show that diamond-studded silver jewellery export rose to Rs 10,000 crore between April and November this year from Rs 6,000 crore during the same period in the previous year.
Unlike diamond and gold, silver-studded jewellery remained solid performer in the overall export basket of the gems and jewellery from India. The silver jewellery exports witnessed an increase from 56% to 228% between June and November. During the same period, the export of polished diamonds and gold jewellery contracted by 45% to 68%.
Silver jewellery export from India is bound to US and Europe. About 60% of the silver jewellery is manufactured in Surat, followed by Jaipur and a little share is from Mumbai.
“The high gold prices in the international market is also one of the main reasons for the change in preference of consumers in the US and Europe,” said Vipul Shah, vice-chairman, GJEPC.
“Jewellery manufacturers in Surat and Jaipur are equipped with the latest equipment to manufacture designer jewellery studded with diamonds. Soon, India will give tough competition to the two major silver jewellery manufacturing countries China and Thailand,” he added.
Colin Shah, chairman of GJEPC said, “Consumers in US and Europe are demanding diamond-studded silver jewellery as it is cheaper compared to gold and if studded with diamonds, it looks more appealing.”
Nainesh Pachchigar, director of Indian Bullion Jewellers Association (IBJA) said, “The export market for silver jewellery is increasing. If suppose a gold studded article costs Rs 1 lakh, the same is made in silver design for Rs 50,000. Many jewellery units in Surat do diamond-studded silver jewellery job work for the companies in Mumbai.”