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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014
Why Gold is Old
Veenu Singh, Hindustan Times
November 10, 2012
First Published: 18:35 IST(10/11/2012)
Last Updated: 19:10 IST(10/11/2012)

Going for gold on Diwali and Dhanteras has always been perceived as auspicious. But in case you want to break away from those who dig just 24-carat gold, there is a range of lightweight alternatives available in the market, too.

Of course, the tradition of buying jewellery, particularly gold, is meant to usher in good fortune in the festive season. Even as gold continues to appeal to the traditional investor and the aficionado, with festive frenzy rising to a fever pitch in the run-up to the wedding season, you can also acquire the gilded edge with substitutes in silver, platinum and lightweight 18-carat gold.

The Race For Style: A navratna gemstone silver neckpiece from Apala by Sumit could give gold a run for it style. Price on request

In its purest form, the yellow metal is still the most preferred. But monotony has set in among many urban buyers. "Every year on Dhanteras I pick up a piece of gold jewellery, but this year I am looking for alternatives," says Delhi-based HR consultant Shubha Srivastava, 39.
 
On The Lighter Side
Fortunately for Srivastava, brands such as Tanishq have festive collections that focus on lighter styles and metals that can be worn every day. "Our Mia range of 18-karat jewellery is spread across earrings, finger rings, pendants and bangles," says Tanishq COO, CK Venkatraman. "Lightweight bangles and chains are in demand and we have options to suit everyone's pocket," adds Rahul Gupta of PP Jewellers.

For women professionals such as Sapna Saxena, 42, owner of a Delhi-based travel agency, lightweight jewellery works best. "I don't want to feel decked up like a bride on Diwali. So, wearing a light chain with a pendant or a light bracelet is better than a necklace. It is safer, too," says Saxena.

Also, compared to gold, silver and diamonds offer that unmistakable white-on-white look which can be carried off well by most people, says Varda Goenka, owner of Diagold Jewels.

Say it with silver and diamonds
Delhi homemaker Shivani Sharma, 35, has always preferred silver over the yellow metal. And she is happy about the shift towards the shinier white alternative. "This Diwali I will wear silver with ethnic clothes and no one can question me about not wearing gold," she states.

"Breaking away from conventional gold jewellery is exciting but also profitable," says Sumit Sawhney of Apala Jewellers.

Put a ring on it: This floral silver ring from Safeera Jewels makes for a bright, festive statement. Price `5,700
The Italian collection by jewellery portal CaratLane, for instance, keeps the use of gold at minimal levels while still managing to look chunky.

People who still hanker for gold can always get their silver jewellery gold-plated. "Silver in its original form is beautiful and sometimes easier to handle than gold, but I still get customers who want to buy silver with gold-plating as it is less expensive than actual gold," says Mamta Gupta, designer at Zariin Jewellery which offers innovative jewellery options with 22-carat gold plating.

The Platinum Guild, too, has launched a line of easy-to-wear diamond jewellery. "It is 30 times rarer than gold, exclusive and distinctive," says Vaishali Banerjee, country manager India, Platinum Guild International. "Recent research indicates that the desire to own platinum is growing."

A new, non-gold trend which is catching every designer's eye is floral jewellery. Fresh flowers, combined with jewellery in various designs, can accessorise formal Diwali outfits better than gold. One way of sticking to the Dhanteras tradition of buying jewellery in the festive season without breaking the bank is to pick up pendants, rings, or earrings rather than elaborate neckpieces. So the purchase is just a token. Or, buy gold and silver coins from established players such as reputed jewellers and trusted banks.
Don't let the dazzle of gold blind you to the sparkle of other lightweight options this Dhanteras

Think different
* Alternative jewellery - silver, gold-plated or diamond - goes well with most outfits, be it traditional or Western
* The white-on-white look (silver and diamonds) works well for weddings and other special occasions 
* Don't match every piece of jewellery with your clothes. Mix a little, experiment a little. Contrast is key
* Instead of decking up like a Christmas tree, wear a single statement piece - whether it is a neckpiece, earrings or a bracelet
* Take as much care of your alternative jewellery items as you would your gold ornaments
* In case of gold-plated jewellery, make sure you buy it from a certified brand, which offers the best value
* Look for a guarantee on the polish

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From HT Brunch, November 11

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