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Products to watch : Gen X and Y are collectors and they look for designs based on fashion and style says Peterson, noting that they may buy several items a year at $ 500 each over one big piece once a year for $ 1500 as their boomer counterparts would do. "It's frequency over size", she says, emphasizing that having more of a variety of affordable items does not mean compromising standards. She cities the success of stainless steel and diamonds as an example of fashion luxury in fine jewellery that doesn't sacrifice quality for lower prices. Wholesale Dichroic Glass Jewellery

Particularly popular with the X and Y generations is gem -set jewellery. "The curve of colour is huge right now" reports Douglas Hucker executive director of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). "However, fine retail jewellers have been slow to move in this direction".

Hucker reports that although retail price points vary, the key market is in the $ 500 to $ 1500 range. Self -purchasing women are driving the markt, notes Hucker. Fashion diamond jewellery is also gaining momentum. "We've seen a huge exposition of original design in diamond fashion jewellery", proclaims Sally Morrison, director of the Diamond Information Center in New York City. "For too long the category was sedentary with studs and solitaires. But recently we're seeing a movement among young designers, who've perhaps worked in earthy, natural, more casual materials, adding diamonds to their jewellery. They're helping to make diamonds more accessible from both a price and fashion standpoint by expanding the age and income of the demographic".

The biggest trend in engagement rings is size, reports Rosanna McCollough, editor of Wedding "The average diamond is 1.4 carats and the average price is about $ 5000. Round stones reign as the favourite (43 per cent) with pricess cuts following (31 per cent)".

Brides spend on average $1080 for their wedding bands, while grooms have simpler tastes, spending about $ 643, reports McColough. Men prefer plain bands, with clean, simple lines and a strong, masculine look, says designer Scott Kay of Teaneck, New Jersey. Gents bands with a foreged look are popular in white metal and their interest in platinum and diamonds continues to grow. Wholesale gemstone pendents by weight

Four thousands of years, Indian jewellery has remained unchanged with design dictated by regional and religious traditional. Over the last few years, however, it has begun to bubble with change economic reform and the impact of television have suddenly opened the doors and the latest global trends have found favour Fashion is now an important new sales driver and jewellery manufactures are scrambling to adjust their product design to cater to this segment. A host of variables - the buying occasin the wearing occasion the economic strata of the target segment and the effect of regional and religious influeces on all of them - are now being juggled to find the winning mix.

A recent study of youth in India, a segment consisting of those under 35 - constituting a colossal 54 per cent of the Indian population - with high disposable income and a propensity to spend showed that young Indians today, despite, being a part of the global fraternity, would gladly choose to stay connected with their cultural roots. This study makes it abundantly clear that connecting tradition with trends is one of the keys to success in the Indian market.

So how does one go about designing jewelery for the new Indian market? Himani Mantri, who teaches the fashion and lifestyle accessory course at the National Institute of Fashion technology (NIFT) in Ahmedabad, starts by asking the basic question - what is design? In her view design cannot be looked at isolation.

"IN integrates many aspects for the tangibles to the intangibles and is evolved out of an environment - from purpose, material, technique, production, user, economics, to aesthetics, value, perception and time. No matter where and when a designer cannot proceed without considering all the aspects involved in turning a concept to an actual product on the counter".
According to Her, change is an integral part of society and traditions need to be reinterpreted and restated with subtle modifications to suit the changing time. She illustrates the changes by pointing out that payasam, the traditional sweet-dish of the south, is now served at northern weddings while the sangeet or music ceremony, a northern tradition, features in southern wedding.

Shimul Vyas of the National Institute of Design (NID)in Ahmedabad thinks that the jewellery industry hasn't yet got around to really understanding the consumer. "The concept of design is still new to India", she says, "and I'm not quite sure if serous, systematic efforts are put in by Indian designers and companies to understand what the Indian jewellery marketis about, who the Indian consumer is and what she really wants in a piece of jewellery". She amplifies this by adding, "The NID holds design workshops for companies and they are often a complete revelation to most of the older generation who attend them. One can understand trends and design, but you can not simply put the two together. A design is created keeping in mind one's production base, corporate identity, marketing and packaging efforts branding and the like".

Change in Perception Wholesale Labradorite Jewellery
Vyas is of the opinion that in the globalized era, jewelery in India, like many other traditional product segments is undergoing an astounding change of perception. While it continue to enjoy the position of being an 'enhancer of beauty' and 'means of security', the new -age consumer perceives jewellery as a personal accessory that manifests the wearers attitude, personality and lifestyle. According to her it is imperative for jewellery manufacturers to recognize this shift and adopt new, innovative approaches in the creation of jewellery.

This, she feels is what will enable them to establish an edge over their competitors.
On the other hand, a glaring reality is that the traditional jewellery sector constitutes a significant chunk of the jewellery market. this jewellery in most instances, is handcrafted and bought from the family jeweller.
This segment has a strong socio-cultural bias, as the jewellery is bought for auspicious occasions like weddings engagements and rituals. The decision to buy a piece of jewellery is more often a family decision than an individual choice. Jewellery in this segment is also a means of investment and future security - traditionally constituting the wealth that a bride takes with her to her new home.This traditional segment, according to Vyas, offers the biggest opportunities to designers. 'we need to understand that traditional jewellery emphasizes a deep symbology and earning - socio-cultural, religious and psychological - that places it way beyond its sole functions of adornment. There is an unimaginably vast opportunity for us to leverage this by packaging the context of tradition and culture in design that are universal and contemporary in their aesthetic appeal." According to her this blending result in a product that stands out in today world where globalization has resulted in products being massively homogenized and consequently losing their individual cultural and regional identity.




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