< Trends >
With rising costs of living and punishing gold prices, now is the time to play smart and invest in the sober but classier silver
History has been repeatedly telling us that it’s the lure of gold that has led many a man astray. However, silver has steadfastly stabilised the economy of the world, including the Roman currency way back in 800 AD. From currency coins to utensils and ornaments, silver ruled that world. This went on for several centuries till gold gained momentum with popularity. But now, the wheel of time seems to be turning once again. As inflation rises, this white precious metal is once again gaining a foothold, especially in the world of jewellery.
Says Akanksha Arora, CEO of Jaipurbased Amrapali Jewellers, “Gold has its own place in India but the rising price of gold at such a rapid rate has certainly led to silver jewellery gaining momentum. It is highly possible that in the near future, it will become as popular as gold.’’
The best part of silver, as jewellery designers and customers have realised, is that it can suit any design style — traditional, contemporary, fusion or even tribal. And it can be worn at any time of the day for any occasion: daily wear, office wear, for executive meetings or afterhours parties as also for traditional festivities and celebration. It can be worn as simple white designed metal or with settings of precious to semi-precious stones. Women have found that it goes very well with traditional as well as western outfits. Better still is the fact that men can wear it comfortably without feeling conscious about sporting jewellery, traditionally considered a woman’s domain. Cufflinks and macho bracelets look great on men. The best endorser is probably Hindi film actor Salman Khan who always sports a heavy silver bracelet with huge sapphire set in it on his right wrist.
The price factor is even helping young men offer their girlfriends a diamond ring set in silver while proposing marriage. “Recently we made a diamond ring set in gold plated sterling silver costing ` 25,000 for one of our young clients who was happy that he could still gift such a large stone and make his girl happy. He told us that after getting married, when both of them have money, they would get that diamond set in gold if the girl prefers so,” recalls Richa Bansal, managing director of 21diamonds.in that allows you to purchase jewellery online, as well as pick out preferred metals and gemstones.
This is the discovery of young men and women. They can save a lot of money and get all their desired designs and sizes at a considerably low price; the price of gold is approximately ` 3,200 per gm whereas silver costs ` 62! It has a high density which is why it holds stones very well. Plus, one can give different finishes to silver jewellery: matt, highly polished, brushed or oxidised. And to top this price difference, designers are offering gold plated silver jewellery. In fact, famous designer Manish Arora has teamed up with Amrapali to launch a new gold plated silver jewellery collection which they would be presenting in Paris as part of his 2013 Spring Summer ready-to-wear collection.
Designer Chetna Nanda of Chitih Sparkling Gems believes that Indian women love flaunting chunky jewellery pieces. “Big neckpieces, bracelets and statement rings are much in demand,” she says. “Silver satisfies all these desires. And if there is the added glamour of 18ct gold plating, except for the wearer, no one comes to know that the jewellery isn’t gold. Today, enamel painted in different jewel colours of red, blue, yellow, green and even black help women get the desired jewellery. There is no need to even have precious stones set for these pieces to look great.’’
The only minus point to silver is that it gets oxidised and soon turns blackish. That is also one of the reason why designers are offering gold plated silver jewellery. “Gold plating lasts as long as it is taken care of. It’s important to know basic details like the fact that it should be kept away from soapy water. We use 18ct and 22ct gold to plate with on silver jewellery. But white silver has always been more popular in comparison to gold plated,’’ explains Arora.
In fact, our counterparts in the western world use more of silver than gold or platinum. In India, rhodium-plated gold was being used to add more lustre to diamond jewellery, which always looks greater when set on white background.
According to Nanda, trends are fast changing. “Today more people prefer to use contemporary silver jewellery rather than opt for traditional or tribal pieces,” she says. “Young women desire to flaunt modern-looking pieces with little metal but more stones. American diamonds or the cubic zirconia is very popular among women in the age group of 20 to 30. Set in silver it looks great at a very less price.’’
So why choose to stick to the triedand- tested? Look trendy, don a showstopper of a chunky silver jewellery piece and save some money, while you are at it.