COMMENTARY – Platinum jewellery makes headway at high end of Indian market
By David Brough
MUMBAI, August 2019 – Demand for platinum jewellery, such as a new line of chunky men’s pieces marketed by Platinum Guild India, has been reinforced by the relatively low cost of platinum compared to gold, potentially boosting manufacturers’ margins.
“The price of platinum does not diminish the quality of the metal. It has created a huge opportunity for the consumer,” Vaishali Banerjee, head of Platinum Guild India, told reporters at the August 8-12 IIJS Premiere trade show in Mumbai.
The Indian domestic platinum jewellery market has grown tenfold from small beginnings over the past decade, she added.
Platinum jewellery in India is popular in the upper segments of the market, including for weddings, with minimalist and elegant designs for everyday wear, and layering, topping trends.
PGI had a prominent stand in the main hall at IIJS, not far from De Beers’ Forevermark, underlining the importance that the organisation gives to the Indian market, characterised by its huge size, young population, and vast potential for wealth creation.
IIJS Premiere, staged amid tight security, is the leading export conduit for India, one of the world’s leading suppliers of manufactured diamonds, coloured gemstones and jewellery.
Exports of gems and jewellery from India exceed $40 billion a year, with an official target to achieve a lofty $75 billion by 2025.
Indian jewellers at IIJS said soaring gold prices, trading at near six-year highs, could boost opportunities for platinum jewellery manufacturers.
One UK-based manufacturer said privately that he was now contemplating platinum jewellery exports to India, noting prospects for high margins due to the weak platinum price relative to gold.
Prices of gold have benefited from its “safe-haven” appeal, due to worries over the U.S.-China trade war, stock market meltdowns and heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Hong Kong, while platinum prices have been hit by weakening demand for the metal for use in autocatalysts for diesel vehicles.