Vladimir Zboykov: New times have come for jewelers

How a personal collection of minerals was thrown on the scrap-heap, who is behind the destruction of gemstone consumption culture in Russia and why jewelers will soon have to choose between business and prison – all this was told to Rough & Polished...


Changing preconceptions in the diamond and financial markets

Eli Avidar is a man on the move…literally. In April, the former Israeli diplomat stepped away from the CEO’s office at the Israel Diamond Exchange, a position he had held for more than two years, and from the Israel Diamond Institute, where he had been...

13 august 2018

Chasing a dream…

Elina Chan, MD of Shenzhen Shi Qing Yu Zhubao Ltd completed her higher education from Xiamen University and Master’s degree from Hong Kong University. To achieve her dream to start a business, Elina gave up numerous job opportunities in Hong Kong and...

06 august 2018

Pangolin Diamonds using termites to find kimberlite indicators in Botswana

It is not a secret that the rate of kimberlite discovery in Botswana has dropped considerably and research has shown that termites can help diamond explorers have an understanding of the transport mechanism of kimberlite indicator minerals from the kimberlite...

30 july 2018

In another fifty years, we’ll have a different scale of valuation, and all those items of natural origin – including diamonds – will sharply increase in price

Within the framework of the Qatar-Russia 2018 Year of Culture, the World Diamond Museum hosts an exhibition of the Qatar Museums at the State Historical Museum in Moscow – "Pearls: Treasures of the Seas and the Rivers," that opened on 11 July...

24 july 2018

There's a unique bond between Jewellery and the Indian millennials...

14 may 2018

Millennials in India are no different to millennials anywhere in the world. Whether it's their lifestyle or consciousness on the environment or even social awareness they identify with global youngsters. Therefore, when it comes to jewellery preferences, brands concerned about environmental issues, strong in philanthropy, charity and society oriented, etc., find loyalty among the Indian millennials. But, as they show distinct behavioural differences in matters related to 'investment', jewellery happens to play an important part in their purchases...

The millennials, due to improvement in purchasing power, are redefining the consumer story in India. Their savings account for 10 percent any incremental income. With 34 percent of the Indian population belong to this "Gen-Y", they are the chief wage earners in the household. In majority of Indian homes, up to 71 percent of income is contributed by millennials. India is estimated to have about 440 mn millennials among its 1.3 bn population.

So, if any jeweller wants to be relevant, millennials are an important customer segment and understanding their purchase habits is vital. India's Gen-Y shop jewellery using a mix of online and offline modes, compare prices and when they shop in a regular store.

Also, millennials in India are better educated and more connected to the world than their predecessors. They are also willing to try out new things in the luxury sector. So jewellery, especially the diamond studded jewellery, has caught the fancy of the millennials, but again they are also increasingly placing greater emphasis on ethical brands. They are basically conscious of where the jewellers have source their inputs or raw materials from and what practices are deployed to convert them into finished products. In other words, millennials view brands from a holistic angle and place greater reliance on the ethos and value system of the brand.

Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds has his own take on Indian millennials and said: “Millennials are interested to buy jewellery for daily wear and use. For fashion-oriented designs, small sized diamonds albeit lower quality is preferred and for classic solitaire-based designs, millennials demand top quality diamonds"

"We have seen an increasing trend in demand for diamond jewellery in last 5 years. And demands in terms of gold versus diamond studded jewellery received by our company could be around 90:10 - Gold: Diamond", he added.

India is the world’s second-largest gold market, but Indian millennials are changing the way the gold-crazy country buys jewellery or how their parents bought jewellery. Though jewellery is competing with designer and luxury fashion, smartphones and so on, it has a strong position in India. Due to cultural reasons, jewellery has always been an important part of traditions... from weddings, religious ceremonies, and other rites. The point to notice is that when millennials buy jewellery for the same reason, they are going in for modern, contemporary designs in diamond-studded jewellery to go with their attire and lifestyle.

K Srinivasan, Founder-Chairman of Emerald India, a jewellery manufacturing company in Coimbatore said: "Yes, in South India millennials have the interest in diamond studded jewellery. Preferences by and large are for the entry level during their casual purchases and expensive ones are for the occasions. They also prefer VVS EF-GH in quality and sizes they like are stars and melees most."

"In last 5 years demand is increasing for diamond jewellery. Demand received by our company is about 95 % and 5% respectively for Gold versus Diamond in terms of value," Srinivasan added.

Indian jewellery companies like Titan and Malabar Gold launched sub-brands such as Mia and Starlet targeting young women. These products are typically light-weight and more stylish. In addition, new marketing and advertising strategies are also being deployed. Also, online retailers like Bluestone and Melora are opening up the market for younger women aged between 25 and 35. In May 2016, for instance, Titan announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Carat Lane, an online jewellery retailer--- all focused on the millennial buyers.

A jewellery specialist and blogger, and a millennial herself, Preeta Agarwal can clearly gauge what Indian millennials are interested in: "The interests of Indian millennials in diamond jewellery has certainly increased over the years. The interest has though shifted from expensive occasion wear to a more everyday wear. Having said that, it doesn't mean the sizes of the diamonds used have decreased. The size of the products preferred might have dropped from big necklace set to ear studs and bracelets but the carat size of the diamonds used has increased and that too in good clarity and colour. This millennial generation believes in quality and not giving in to low quality just to get a big size. They believe in splurging on themselves and want the best for themselves."

Today’s Indian millennials, who are professionally inclined, are spoilt for choice, especially in different varieties of jewellery.They have moved from traditional mindsets of securing future, to living in the moment. They are following their own mind and shunning stereotypes. Millennials are moving away from mass to classy affordable bespoke jewellery, according to market studies.

Indian millennial women are investing in jewellery and they take charge of their hard-earned money. Women in general have always had a soft corner for jewellery, be it gold, diamonds or platinum. Purchasing gorgeous pieces not just satiates their style appetite but also serves as a great investment option for the millennial women.

"The demand for diamond jewellery has increased considerably in the last five years. It is proportional to the disposable income and with a steep rise in the disposable or surplus income of millennials, their interests have shifted to luxury items and what better than the sparkle of diamonds." says Preeta.

Women today want to buy minimal and dainty pieces that work well with their business suits and traditional attire. Daintier pieces are not only easier to wear, but also are versatile and go with most outfits. The presence of many online jewellery sites not only offer a good range of sleek and modern designs but they also have many attractive discounts that make shopping on these sites irresistible.

The Diamond Insight Report-2016 published by De Beers Group said: " the millennials spent over $2 billion on diamond jewellery in 2015 in India. From all the four largest consumer market in the world, millennials in India have a strong desire for diamond jewellery. Around 50 percent of the diamond jewellery sold in India was claimed by the millennials. In the top four markets, which account for 73 percent of global diamond jewellery demand, the potential millennial market for diamond jewellery is more than 220 million people."

Studies say that the millennial generation in India is not expected to reach its most affluent life stage for another 10 years. This demographic also represents the diamond sector's largest growth opportunity, which works out well for the industry on the whole. Millennial consumers also display particular purchasing trends. For example, self-purchasing of diamond jewellery is an important and growing acquisition route among millennials in India.

Taking an overall view of the purchasing pattern of millennials, Preeta Agarwal says: 'I think they are all inter-related. With more stress on education for the women, comes an increase in working women which leads to confidence in self -buying and rise in purchasing power. One thing leads to the other, the resultant has been very beneficial for our diamond jewellery industry. It now easier for women to buy smaller price bracket jewellery, just by themselves, without any consent of a husband or a family. Yes, when it comes to wedding jewellery, Indian family values still guide the woman but there also it is often seen only the women of the family coming to shop and that too more for helping to choose the most befitting design. As far as fashion consciousness is concerned, I believe that most women are fashion conscious depending on their spending power. And, with the help of social media and bloggers, latest trends are at your fingertips guiding you through every fashion and fad."

As of today, in India, it is the young Indians who drive diamond jewellery sales. Indian millennials, who are also known to splurge on fancy gadgets and vacations, have emerged as one of the most important consumer segments buying diamond jewellery in India. In fact, millennials account for close to half of the sector's overall revenues showing that the diamonds has not lost its sheen among the youth.

The gold to diamond shift in India is been happening for a while now, though gold is rooted in the Indian culture and represents a collective mindset. Diamond, on the other hand, is more about the individual and personal taste. Having said that, one can conclude that the millennials represent a compelling opportunity for the Indian diamond industry... and waiting to be explored.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished