In the last few years, trends have been changing at a phenomenal rate. With new ideas, technologies and young minds coming to the forefront, the jewellery industry has transformed phenomenally.
According to a report by India Gems and Jewelry (Market Report 2022), in January 2022, India’s overall gems and jewellery exports grew at 23.66%. They have also predicted India’s gems and jewellery exports to reach US$ 40 billion in 2021-22 growing at 6.5% growth over pre-covid levels. While gems and jewellery in the country are often associated with luxury gifting and considered a status of wealth; a large percentage of the population is opting for fashion jewellery as well.
The India Costume Jewelry market size was valued at $1,788.6 million in 2019 and is estimated to reach $2,126.3 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 7.0% from 2019 to 2027 (Source: Report by Allied Markert Research).
India is currently experiencing a boom of jewellery designers foraying into the world of fashion jewellery with new designs and techniques. However, the prestige associated with fine jewellery will never cease to exist.
Luxebook spoke to Karishma Mehra, Founder and Designer at Joolry by Karishma Mehra; Roma Narsinghani, Founder, Roma Narsinghani, and Nilofar Jaques, Founder, Anayah Jewellery to know more about the changing scape in the industry.
The youth are joining in on the hype, almost making it a world full of fashion jewellery and the question is — is it taking over fine jewellery? “When you compare fine jewellery and fashion jewellery side by side, there’s no question which one is the better choice. Fine jewellery is created to last a lifetime, something that can be passed down for generations and is financially valuable,” shared Nilofar.
So then what is the real reason people opt for fashion jewellery? Karishma Mehra says, “Quick changes in style and trends plus the ease of not having to take care of something precious,” is one of the key reason individual prefer fashion jewellery over fine jewellery. “Fashion jewellery is a fast-moving and trend-driven market, much like fashion apparel. Consumers purchase fashion jewellery to accessorize an outfit, reflect their style, emulate fashion icons and stay abreast of the trend,” points out Jaques.
Delving deeper and understanding the psyche of the human mind, Roma shares her opinion on what drives a customer toward fashion jewellery. “It’s always an emotional response. You buy something when it excites you. What drives consumers evolves every few years/seasons. About three themes that will continue to drive consumer behaviour towards fashion jewellery now and in the near future are: above the keyboard dressing, people are still spending a lot more time digitally and will continue to do so, easy small studs that move indoor to outdoor easily.
She shared that the third sentiment was the ‘Let’s Party’ mindset after people spent such a lot of time indoors. ” The overarching theme is the alignment of jewellery purchases towards meaningful, conscious personalized design. Consumers want to make these pieces they buy on their own, this could be with their zodiac signs, initials, or motifs that resonate with each individual.”
While spending on fine jewellery is seen as an investment, fashion jewellery is more pocket-friendly (and trendy). Hence one of the major challenges is staying relevant in the market — and given the immense competition, it only makes it tougher.
It’s not easy to survive but every field is competitive and it’s survival of the fittest said Karishma. For Roma focusing on the brand, craft, and communication is her only focus. She further said, “The only way to compete is with your own last collection. You are as good as what you did last.”
At Anayah Jewellery, Nilofar keeps experimentation and technique as her focal point. “Fashion jewellery is more economical and gives scope to experiment with. It is crucial to stay up-to-date with ever-changing industry trends in order to generate new jewellery designs and remain relevant. We recently launched a limited-edition collection, Syra. Each pattern and stone cut was influenced by the geometry seen in Islamic art and architecture, and can’t be replicated easily,” she adds.
Key differences between fashion and fine jewellery
With improved craftsmanship and technique, some people are unable to tell fine from real jewellery. But if you are a true jewellery enthusiast some key markers will make it easier to identify. “Fashion jewellery is often made out of brass, copper, aluminium, textiles and even jewellery plated with precious metals is considered fashion jewellery. The quality of crystals and stones used is another way to differentiate.
According to Nilofar, the characteristics of fine jewellery on the other hand are that fine jewellery is made of precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and expensive gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Further, she said, “Fashion jewellery usually weighs lighter than fine jewellery, since the metals used are non-precious, and the faux gemstone weighs heavier and sparkles less than the precious gemstone.”
It’s safe to say that fashion and fine jewellery have their own place, but the niche that fashion jewellery has carved for itself is worth the attention. “Fashion jewellery is progressing rapidly, with the use of semi-precious stones and quality that appears to be comparable to fine jewellery. People want more alternatives and fresh styles for every occasion, which is difficult to achieve with fine jewellery, making fashion jewellery a sensible choice since it combines the best of both worlds,” states Jaques.