The rise of the rupee against the US dollar has made imports of precious and semi-precious stones cheaper, bringing down the prices of stone-studded Jaipur jewellery.
"Most of the raw material is imported from African countries. Almost 85-90 per cent of roughs (uncut stones) are imported and with imports becoming cheaper the jewellery have started to cost less. According to my estimates, stone-studded jewellery prices have come down on an average by 7-10 per cent," Dinesh Khatoria, director, Valentine Jewellery (I) Pvt Ltd, told IANS.
"Yes, prices have come down. Stone-studded jewellery, once a prerogative of the rich and famous, is now coming within the reach of the common man. The difference in prices from January to December this year is almost 10 per cent," Vivek Kala of city-based Kalajee Jewellers said.
"Such has been the difference that a 500-carat necklace made of red-coloured tourmaline, a semi-precious stone, that used to cost over Rs 50,000 a year ago is now available for less then Rs 45,000," another jeweller said.
"It really makes me happy. With prices declining, I have bought one citrine-made ring for myself," Ashima Singh, a housewife, said.
Jewellers say prices would further come down as the rupee is expected to harden further against the dollar.
"I see a further drop in stone-studded jewellery prices as industry expects a further drop in the US dollar against the rupee in the near future," Ajay Kumar, a local jeweller, said.
Jaipur has emerged as one of the leading centres in the coloured stones segment of the gems and jewellery sector. The industry in Jaipur is over 300 years old.
Jaipur also happens to be one of the world's largest centres for gemstone cutting and polishing. Around 80-85 per cent of the emeralds worldwide are cut in Jaipur.
The total value of gems and jewellery exports from Jaipur is estimated around Rs 1.3 billion ($32 million).