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Silver, the New Gold

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The gems and jewellery industry plays an important part in the Indian economy, constituting almost 5–6 per cent of the overall GDP. Today, the overall market stands at Rs. 4,50,000 crore of which the domestic market is estimated at Rs. 2,50,000 crore and exports at Rs. 2,00,000 crore. The domestic gems and jewellery industry is estimated to reach Rs. 7,20,000 crore by 2018. The sheer size of this industry provides direct employment to roughly 2.5 million people and has the potential to generate additional employment of 0.7–1.5 million over the next five years.
Today, the silver jewellery industry in India has already reached a market potential of Rs. 15,000 crore and is expected to grow by 300 per cent to reach Rs. 45,000 crore in the next 3–5 years. Even within the export category, GJEPC has reported the fastest growth in silver jewellery exports. The exports for silver jewellery have doubled in the past couple of years, owing to the trending demand for silver jewellery in the international market.
So what is driving the change and growth in silver jewellery market?
Post globalization, the jewellery market in India has evolved and is growing in its jewellery consumption pattern. It is a well-known fact that India is a young country where over 50 per cent of the population is less than 25 years of age. So the country is divided between people born prior to 1990 and post 1990. The young consumers born post 1990 are born in the digital age with computers, internet, social networking sites, -iPads, mobile phones, smart phones/televisions with over 100 channels to choose from, etc. This has brought a paradigm shift in their lifestyle and purchase behaviour. Today’s young consumers explore products on the web and are comfortable making purchases online. They are looking for great designs in jewellery at affordable prices. The costume jewellery is unbranded and has generic pieces at less than Rs. 2,000, but has a poor finish. On the other hand, fine jewellery with gold and diamonds starts at Rs. 20,000. So there is a huge gap between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 20,000, and that is where silver fits in well and has a great acceptance from the young audience.
Nowadays, it is believed that “the way you dress is the way you get addressed”. The contemporary Indian women today adorn jewellery as an expression of their individuality and attitude. Changing lifestyles has presented an opportunity for women to dress differently on various occasions. A woman sports different looks for social events, parties, family functions, weddings, and other important occasions. So it may be a casual, sporty, classy, traditional, and sexy or any other look. For every look she needs to adorn herself with complimenting jewellery. Silver jewellery provides her exactly with these options at affordable prices.
Silver being cheaper gives excellent scope for creativity and design innovations. It presents opportunities that are not possible with gold and diamond. Design has become the key differentiator in the affordable jewellery segment. Consumers today prefer jewellery that they can adorn and make a personal statement. The young believe in adornment and in indulgence unlike the older days, where jewellery was meant more for securing in lockers than for wearing purposes.
Growing e-commerce or online market and steep fashion jewellery demand is driving the push for silver jewellery in the upward trend. A number of big brands are venturing into the BIS 925 sterling silver jewellery segment.
Silver is projected to be the new gold in the next five years with respect to investment and personal jewellery preferences. The trendy silver jewellery that a woman adorns is expected to give a substantial appreciation in the coming years. So it is time you make your personal style statement with sterling silver jewellery.

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