Increasing acceptance of lower caratage jewellery

Daily wear/ fashion jewellery accounts for 45-50% of the market. Unlike the bridal segment, which is primarily 22-carat, daily wear products cover 22-, 18- and 14-carat. Even so, 22-carat remains dominant with more than 80% of the market, and 18- and 14-carat combined account for a 15-17% share, with both having increased over the last decade.

14-carat jewellery has only emerged in the last two or three years and, as it stands, only a small number of retailers currently offer this lightweight, relatively low-carat product. The daily wear category covers a wide range of items, including earrings, rings, chains, mangalsutras, bangles and bracelets, ranging from 5g to 30g.

The growth in lower caratages has been driven by three factors, 1: the growing popularity of modern designs; 2: the increase in rupee gold prices; and 3: the growth of studded diamond jewellery. Studded diamond jewellery is predominantly sold in lower caratages (14-carat and 18-carat) for two reasons: first, the studded diamond jewellery is purchased for adornment rather than investment. Second, lower carat studded diamond jewellery is typically harder and so lends itself to stone-setting better than softer alloys. It is also easier to make thinner and more delicate designs in harder alloys, which again works better when the designer wants to set stones.

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