MUMBAI (Commodity Online): And you thought India is a country which loves to buy only gold. Till the beginning of the 21st century, the image of India was that almost all Indians want to buy gold as far as precious metals are concerned.
But the reforms initiated by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has changed the dreams of the younger generation with many of them now eyeing other precious metals like platinum. Even diamonds have also become a favourite for young women and men.
With reforms boosting the income of the GenNext people, more and more youngsters are flocking to jewellery shops to buy platinum and diamonds as they believe that gold is passé and platinum and diamonds are the in-thing.
According to reports, platinum, perceived as the preferred choice for delicate contemporary jewellery, finds almost as much demand as traditional gold jewellery in Chennai, making Chennai the largest domestic platinum market.
The white metal is finding patronage not just among women; men too are drawn to the simple designs that characterise platinum jewellery.
Engagement rings and simple pendants are best sellers in Chennai.
Even among women, what sells best is the simple line of jewellery: rings, pendants or delicate chains in the Rs 1-2 lakh category.
In China also, there is a platinum boom. China's consumption of platinum was up 66 per cent in 2009 year on year to 2 million ounces and about 1.75m ounces of it went into jewellery against 850,000oz in 2008. And, in the first four months of 2010 saw a huge jump in platinum jewellery sales.
If the trend continues in China, platinum is all set to beat all other metals in the price race.
Jewellery shops across China and India are adding up platinum jewellery items, as consumers are these days demanding all kinds of ornaments made with the white metal.
A bullion dealer in Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai says there is an increasing demand for platinum jewellery. Platinum sales across India have gone up as many upmarket jewellery stores are selling platinum like hot cakes. Platinum has become a status symbol for many weddings.
According to the Bombay Bullion Association, India consumed around 940 kgs of platinum metal in the fiscal year 2008-09. India, the largest consumer and importer of gold in the world, imported around 400 tons of gold during the same period.
Gold, diamond and platinum jewelleries are integral part of Indian weddings, especially among the rich and upper classes. Now people are hesitating to buy gold and embracing platinum thanks to the zooming price of gold.