A wider selection of platinum jewelry, along with the perception that such jewelry is “available and affordable,” is resulting in higher demand for the precious metal, Business Standard recently reported.
“Platinum is increasingly becoming a metal of choice for weddings and engagements. The white lustre brings out the sparkle of the diamonds. Every year, we introduce new designs,” the news outlet quotes Vijay Jain, chief executive of ORRA, one of the world’s largest platinum jewelry retailers, as saying.
It’s young people in India who are primarily interested in this jewelry, according to Vaishali Banerjee, country head of Platinum Guild International. She told Business Standard that they “buy/gift platinum for special occasions; it is established as a precious gift of love.”
Amongst those young people, platinum jewelry is gaining particular popularity among upper middle class Indian men from 25 to 40 years of age, The Economic Times states, with software professionals and non-resident Indians emerging as big buyers.
“Love bands” and diamond-studded platinum bracelets and rings seem to be the most popular, but ”[e]ven platinum cufflinks have become popular these days,” Joy Alukkas, chairman and managing director of Joyalukkas Group, told the publication.
Jain explained to The Economic Times that in addition to the factors mentioned above, their interest stems from the fact that they “feel that the metal talks about their personality” and find platinum “more contemporary and global” than gold. Similarly, another Business Standard article quotes Banerjee as saying, “[t]he look of platinum and its weight appeals to men as it is understated, yet sophisticated and elegant and those who own it are considered ahead of the curve.”
More of the same in 2014?
Thus far, the result of this increased demand for platinum jewelry has been that 2013 brought “30% same-store growth in platinum,” as well as growth of 35 to 40 percent in the men’s ring category, as per Jain. All in all, men’s jewelry now “contributes to 12% of the overall share of platinum jewellery sales,” The Economic Times quotes Banerjee as saying. “From two manufacturers and 15 retailers in 2000, the number has increased to 15 manufacturers and over 860 retailers.”
Moving forward, Banerjee is confident that “the market should see higher growth” as “awareness and knowledge” about platinum jewelry grows. Her view is supported by the fact that news agencies have been reporting for the past couple of years that platinum might eventually outrank gold in popularity in India.
Her prediction, combined with platinum’s positive outlook for 2014, suggests that a good year is in store for the metal.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.