Indian Couture Gem-set Jewellery sets your Pulse racing

February 2021

High-end Indian jewellery exporters, who specialise in gemstone-studded jewellery, have always been quick to research and assess markets across the globe. From lavish ornamentation to a minimalist take, Indian brands are famous for creating uber-chic collections encrusted with colourful gemstones. These modern templates offer just a hint of Indian design sensibilities, artistically blended with forms that are refreshingly cutting-edge.

Life is meant to be lived surrounded by all the glorious colours of the natural world, and your favourite piece of jewellery is most likely bursting with colourful gemstones. India’s pink city Jaipur is the world’s number one hub for cutting and polishing emeralds, tanzanites and morganites. But there are several other equally enticing gemstones that pass through the skilled hands of the city’s artisans.

As for the trends, Pantone, of course, plays a big role in the creation of collections. Pantone 2020 belonged to Classic Blue, and so manufacturers even now continue to use tanzanites, kynites, blue sapphires, opals, etc.

This year belongs to Ultimate Grey & Vibrant Yellow, and grey tones are being articulated through grey moonstone, grey sapphires, grey Tahitian mother-of-pearl, and cultured grey pearls. For yellow tones, designers are veering towards lighter citrine tones and yellow sapphires, champagne diamonds, and the more trendy gemstones would be jasper, onyx, and agates.

India is the 5th largest exporter of coloured gemstones with annual exports amounting to more than $400 million. Among India’s major export destinations are the US, UAE, Singapore and the Eastern countries. Although design aesthetics are unique to each market, the Indian manufacturers produce market-specific collections that resonate with what consumers desire.

According to insights provided by leading Indian exporters, US-based high-value clientele are more often than not heavily influenced by art and sculpture, and they generally prefer experimental jewellery and unusual gemstones and gem material.

The jewellery that usually sells in America is more design focused, and Indian design houses that play with gemstones in different combinations do well; such as aquamarine juxtaposed with tanzanite or morganite or tanzanite in the daily and couture segment ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. However, since the purchases are more online driven and spontaneous, the price tickets do not go beyond this range.

Barring coral, all gemstones in pastel shades of pinks, greens and blue are being desired in the US. Black diamond jewellery with hints of emeralds and rubies is also faring well in the price points between $1,500 and $5,000.

In the Middle Eastern countries, the high-net worth individual is more diamond-centric even in contemporary forms with organic shapes, as compared to the West. In Japan, floral patterns dominate and are an integral part of major jewellery designs.

Due to the demanding interests and curiosity of clients, Indian exporters engage in regular market research and include novel gem cuts and settings, techniques and more. Stones like vegetable ivory, meteorite, etc. are processed to unique cuts in some of the exporters’ in-house lapidaries. Spinels and Mandarin garnets in the recent past are in demand internationally as well as in the domestic market.

Designer jewellery featuring Russian and Zambian emeralds, Burmese and Mozambican rubies, African tourmalines are among current hot favourites on foreign shores.

To gain traction in export markets, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is holding a number of virtual buyer-seller meets pertaining to different jewellery and gemstone categories. Vijay Kedia, Convener, Coloured Gemstones and Pearls, GJEPC, notes, “India has always been on top of the game when it comes to cutting and polishing gemstones. That we are the world leaders in emeralds, tanzanite and morganite is well known, but Indian gem-studded jewellery – be it in the couture, daily wear or bridal segment – is unsurpassable. It is time for the world to recognise India’s designing strengths in top-notch jewellery.”