Will India embrace demi fine jewellery?
Demi fine jewellery is a new rage in the international market. More and more women are warming up to this in-between of fashion and fine jewellery. However, it remains to be seen, if India is as welcoming as any other nation, to this new category of jewels.
Fine jewellery is for keeps. They are everlasting jewels. But yes, at the same time, they are expensive too. However, fashion jewellery is just the other way around. You can buy them more often. They wear out faster than you think. So, how about something in-between. Something that offers the best of both worlds. You can stack them for long as well as buy them often. So, here’s presenting to you the demi fine jewellery.
Yes, demi fine jewellery. Just so you know, while demi fine jewellery are made of solid gold and silver and the adornments used are of affordable range. With that, the overall cost is customer-friendly. Not to mention, the design variety too is vast. No wonder, the world is enthusiastically taking a shine to this brand new range.
Internationally, this segment of jewellery is making waves. There are a number of renowned brands that are into trading it. E-commerce platform Net-A-Porter that forayed into demi-fine jewellery in late 2016, has since grown the number of demi-fine brands on the site by 250 per cent.
“Demi-fine jewellery sales are performing incredibly well. We’re constantly reordering as so many styles sell out. We still see a lot of opportunity within our demi-fine business and we are growing our investment in this sector,” shared Elizabeth von der Goltz, Global Buying Director, Net-a-Porter.
“With demi-fine jewellery, less people care about investment and more about trend. Customers want to wear jewellery that they can wear day-to-day and can complement their different looks and ensembles. They want to keep changing their style depending on occasion. Demi fine jewellery gives them the option to do so.” Akanksha Chowdhry, Founder and CEO, Nayirah
Today, the concept of accessible luxury in jewellery is an expanding phenomenon just as in the fashion space. Demi-fine jewellery is also referred to as accessible luxury as it hits the sweet spot between fine and costume jewellery.
Demi-fine jewellery uses gold and silver but of a lower grade (for example: using 14 carat, 10 carat or 9 carat gold, not 18 carat). Using metals of lower caratages in gold plated silver or gold fill form, demi fine jewellery is long lasting and gives a luxurious feel of wearing gold. Lower caratages gold jewels being less expensive than 18 carat, the price of each piece is considerably lowered while maintaining the quality and appearance of fine jewellery.
Is India ready for it?
But how about India – the country obsessed with the purity of gold. Will it be received with the same enthusiasm as abroad?
“Demi fine jewellery sits somewhere in between fine jewellery and fashion jewellery. Yes, it is still in a very early stage of awareness and has started to create an interest especially in the younger generation who are looking to express themselves with colourful semi-precious stones and fancy shape jewellery,” explained Darshan Dave, founder, Diosa.
According to Akanksha Chowdhry, founder and CEO, Nayirah, there is a growing consumer base for demi-fine jewellery in India. “Yes of course. Most women in today’s time purchase jewellery to accessorise because it’s trendy and in vogue. Unlike in earlier times when jewellery was considered an investment that could be passed on from one generation to another as an heirloom. However, customers want good quality stylish jewellery that are not outright imitation but at the same time, easy on the pocket too. That is where demi jewellery comes into the picture,” she revealed.
She goes on to add further: “Minimalist pieces, crafted in gold with precious gemstones like opals and diamonds, are aimed at customers who want to invest in quality, heirloom materials but does not want something that looks ostentatious. This is where Nayirah jewellery differentiates itself as wearable trendy and affordable jewels.”
Resonating with the new-age women
Modern women are loving the rise of demi-fine jewellery, as these emerging, trendy and minimalist pieces are allowing the wearer to mix and match and create a personal style. “As the market has been evolving for quite some time now, the popularity of demi fine jewellery would definitely be determined by the women in their 20s and early 30s who are just beginning to experiment various styles of wardrobe and are more exposed to fashion trends on social media platform like Instagram, Facebook, etc.,” shared Darshan Dave.
“Demi fine jewellery in gold will surely have a buy back value, as gold can readily be sold in the domestic market and therefore, as compared to the semi-precious stones which do not have any buy back value, demi fine jewellery crafted in any caratage of gold will definitely find takers here.” Darshan Dave, Founder, Diosa
For Akanksha Chowdhry, the target audience for demi fine jewellery is huge and varied. “Customers want to wear something that looks smart and elegant and most importantly, that which is trendy. More and more people, especially women, have a disposable income that they want to invest into something they consider worthy. With demi-fine jewellery, less people care about investment and more about trend. Customers want to wear jewellery that they can wear day-to-day and can complement their different looks and ensembles. They want to keep changing their style depending on occasion. Demi fine jewellery gives them the option to do so. They can buy jewellery that does not look fake or something that will fall apart. All this at an affordable price point. The trend has grown with the rise of self-gifting especially within women between the ages of 20 to 40 years old,” she said.
What about investment value?
In the international market, demi fine jewellery ranges between US$ 40 and US$ 400. Affordability is a huge draw while growing their jewellery collection. But in India, where investment value is an important factor in purchasing jewellery, will demi-fine jewellery fit the bill? “Demi fine jewellery in gold will surely have a buy back value, as gold can readily be sold in the domestic market and therefore, as compared to the semi-precious stones which do not have any buy back value, demi fine jewellery crafted in any caratage of gold will definitely find takers here,” answered Darshan Dave.
When asked that what should be the marketing strategy to compel the Indian consumers to buy demi fine jewellery, Darshan Dave replied. “It is important to create a story around the brand which will resonate with the younger generation. By making it look more trendy and personalised – something with which the Indian women can experiment with, the brands can amp up its appeal,” he said.
But Akanksha suggests playing up the USPs of this segment. “The USP of this segment is the choice of designs and affordability. Therefore, it is these factors that must be promoted. Quality is another significant aspect that must be highlighted,” she pointed out.
Demi-fine jewellery is produced cost-effectively and hence, inexpensive to buy. However, one thing that must have crossed everyone’s mind is that can demi fine jewellery become a threat to both fine and fashion jewellery. Answering this moot question Darshan Dave said: “Neither fashion nor fine jewellery would be threatened, as the demi fine range will become a bridge between the two. Women who start with fashion jewellery in their early teens would graduate into demi fine jewellery in their 20s and early 30s before they enter into the realm of fine jewellery in their mid-30s and thereafter.”
However, Akanksha has a different view. “It is the fashion jewellery segment that will have more to worry about with the growing popularity of the demi fine jewels. The demi-fine market has been evolving for the last few years. Women in their 20s and 30s are the most popular clients for the segment. Consumer interest is slowly but steadily moving towards semi-luxury jewellery,” she added.
Truly! Counting on women’s unconditional love for sparkle and shine, jewellery of all shapes and forms can co-exist and thrive and therefore, it can be safely said that the same will hold true for this new contender – demi fine jewellery, too.