Diamond are a girl’s best friend? We’ve heard that a thousand times, and we’ve adhered to it for generations. Gold, diamond, platinum – precious metals make us feel precious. Apparently. In this new day and age, where millennials are opting for more pragmatic options in life, like education and career (rather than marriage), is jewellery really important anymore? Does the modern day bride want to be adorned by kilos of gold and diamonds?
I got a lot of gold from my relatives, and my mother in law, but honestly I would rather have had them gift me a holiday – Priya
For many, it is still a status symbol. The more you gold and diamond you give away at a wedding, shows just how rich you are. For some, they are just rocks. Diamonds are usually mined in Africa where they employ child labor and these children are often abused. Would you want a precious rock with such a tumultuous history? According to The Daily Beast, in the wake of a struggling market, companies like De Beers have had to cut prices by 9 percent. If you’ve watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Blood Diamond’, you’ll know what I mean. The movie sent out a message – that many diamonds often have a history of abuse behind them, so why should we wear them as a symbol of love?
A lot of millennials are also opting to travel rather than have a bank locker full of gold somewhere.
In India, wearing gold and diamonds at your wedding is necessary. Priya*, 27, from Bangalore recently got married and said she was happy to wear artificial jewellery at her wedding. She said, “I got a lot of gold from my relatives, and my mother in law, but honestly I would rather have had them gift me a holiday. I want to travel, and maybe buy a house someday. Gold just doesn’t fit into my equation”. Women are also gravitating towards artificial jewellery nowadays. We spoke with Pipa+Bella founder Shuchi Pandya, and she put it quite simply, “There is a definite shift towards artificial jewellery as women today are getting more knowledgable about fashion trends, and value the ‘versatility’ and ‘design’ of fashion jewellery over the ‘status’ and ‘prestige’ of diamond and gold jewellery. If a woman is purchasing for herself, she would prefer to buy jewellery that is trendy, stylish but yet affordable. Fashion jewellery allows for all of those things.”
A lot of millennials are also opting to travel rather than have a bank locker full of gold somewhere. They’d rather have an Instagram account full of pictures from all over the world, than have to carry the burden of gold jewellery wherever they go. This is another reason that gold and diamonds are so inconvenient; they can be stolen easily. Priya also said, “I also don’t want to wear gold in India because chain snatching is so common now, it scares me”. With crime rates against women rising up, I wouldn’t blame her. In fact, I have the same opinion!
Will our society be defined by the amount of gold and diamond jewellery we have? In the coming years, it seems that these precious metals will become just a means of investment rather than a status symbol.
Many women are opting for simple and unique gold designs instead. The age old tradition of bulky gold jewellery during marriages is dying down. Malvika Kudva, from Pune, is about to get married at the end of this year and she tells us that she is quite happy wearing simple designs, “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t really wear gold, but my parents want me to, so I will. I’ve told them the designs should be simple and chic though.” She also made a point about investing elsewhere, “jewellery is a dead investment anyway, so I would rather invest in property or something else.”.
Will our society be defined by the amount of gold and diamond jewellery we have? In the coming years, it seems that these precious metals will become just a means of investment rather than a status symbol. This is a drastic change from the last few decades where jewellery was almost the most important part of marriages in India!
* name changed on request