* Threat of burglary, high prices of gold prompting most women to switch to artificial jewels
* Jewellery manufacturer says there is very little difference between gold, artificial jewels
LAHORE: The trend of purchasing artificial jewellery is on the rise among women of the city, as the constant threat of burglary and the ever-rising cost of gold is encouraging them to opt for cheaper options when buying accessories.
Women of all social classes, whether rich, poor, educated or uneducated, are opting for artificial jewellery because it comes in a variety of designs that are currently in vogue and are considered an attractive option as compared to the traditional designs available for most gold jewellery. Each new artificial jewellery store endeavours to make its mark upon the world of fashion by introducing newer, more eye-catching designs. Designers have also started to use a wide variety of materials, including beads, feathers, silver, leather and plastic, to make their products unique.
Similarly, the appeal of artificial jewellery has increased as women lose interest in wearing expensive and heavy jewellery. The days when heavy gold chains, necklaces and bracelets were the height of fashion are long gone and the people preferring to wear gold, silver and diamond jewellery are now in the minority. The prohibitive cost of buying a new article of jewellery is also limiting. An 11.66 gramme bar of 24-karat gold now costs Rs 23,800 and most signs point to the price rising much more before it stabilises. Several women told Daily Times that considering the high cost, it was better to opt for artificial jewellery rather than real gold. “I cannot afford to give expensive gold jewellery to my daughter for her marriage, so I am opting for artificial jewellery electroplated with 30-karat gold instead. This way I can save over Rs 490,000,” a shopper told Daily Times.
Minimum difference: Similarly, Faraz Ahmed, an imitation jewellery manufacturer, said that the difference between the prices of gold and artificial jewellery was causing the surge in the artificial products’ popularity. “Many brides even demand imitation sets made with stones and beads,” he added. “There is only a minor difference between gold and artificial jewellery. To give artificial products a more ‘traditional’ look, they are usually electroplated with either 22-carat or 80-carat gold,” said Muhammad Saeed, an artificial jewellery salesman.
Several women also prefer to wear artificial jewellery on special occasions such as Eid and the upcoming wedding season. “It is too expensive to wear gold and artificial jewellery is much more affordable for the middle class. Similarly, imitation jewellery is almost the same as real jewellery with there being only a microscopic difference between the two types,” HM Munir, the owner of an artificial jewellery shop, said. “The trend is gaining momentum due to the expense of most ceremonial functions,” he added.
“I need lots of different sets to wear to match all the different types of clothing I have. Therefore, I prefer to purchase a wide variety of cheap artificial jewellery for different parties and occasions,” said Arshia Tariq. She said that the trend of wearing artificial jewellery was becoming very common at weddings, as brides had also started to wear artificial jewels in addition to gold ornaments.
“Artificial jewellery is much more fun to wear. There are so much variety and so much to choose from that I can’t stop myself from buying as much as I can afford when I enter a shop,” said Nabila Malik, a teacher.
Source: Daily Times, 7th September, 2008