Diamonds are a girl’s best friend... Though that song still lives, and so does the picture of Marilyn Monroe in every man’s heart, one thing has changed: the choice of today’s diamond-loving girl. She definitely does not mind a bank locker stuffed with precious metal and stones, but all that gets a display only when there is a shaadi to attend or a similarly formal occasion. For everyday wear, the modern working woman’s choice is junk jewellery, the kind you can buy an armful of from Janpath for less than Rs 1,000.
Heirloom tale Sangeeta Dewan, head of design at Tanishq, says it depends on your personal style statement whether you want to wear gemstones or oxidised metal. If you have a creative streak, the affordability of junk jewellery means you can have more of it and try various looks. “Junk is in vogue because women have become more innovative. They like to experiment with accessories,” says Dewan. She confirms that the trend is of women buying junk to match outfits.
Sona Sinha, an auditor, fancies semi-precious stones though she has a fair amount of gold orna ments. Is wearing gold then passé? “Gold can never go out of fashion.
It’s just that today, such a wide range of stones and crystals is available that the options have increased,” says Sinha. Her favourite junk pieces are the beaded bracelets or necklaces from Janpath.
In Indian families, gold and diamonds mostly come a woman’s way during her wedding or as heirloom. But beautiful as this jewellery is, it is more often than not too heavy for regular wear. Exceptions are Collection G, a ‘9-to-5’ line of lightweight gold jewellery from Tanishq, and the sleek platinum jewellery available in leading stores. However, soaring prices put these outside most people’s reach.
No to yellow
Says Neha Agarwal, a full-time homemaker and an accessory lover, “The yellow metal is not happening anymore. And with the market coming up with such lovely low-cost funky jewellery, why should I empty my purse on gold and diamonds?” The market is listening. Jewellery stores and designers who still deal in gold are looking at reinventing the metal for fans of funky.
Says Vikas Jain of Popular Jewellery Mart, “Single items of even half a gram [gold] are very popular.” Prices here start from Rs 500. Delhi-based jewellery designer Payal Gupta also has some pieces in which she has used coloured stones and avoid ed gold. But these are not cheap.
Sometimes people turn to junk simply because they feel self-con scious about wearing heavy jew ellery Vandana Patel, a housewife, says, “A gold choker is very elegant.
But few occasions let you flaunt such a piece.” So she keeps her ornaments locked, and wears her Dilli Haat finery to lend energy to her outfits.
Businesswoman Ritu and her partners, Vartika Das and Sheetal Singh, have put away their gold in deference to the climate in Delhi and the safety aspect. “I can’t think of wearing gold in Delhi [most of the year]. And I love semiprecious stones,” says Ritu. For people like Ritu, the alternative to junk is fusion jewellery, wearable with Western formals. Tanishq has introduced a range at Rs 3,500 in diamond and Rs 4,000 and above in gold.
The biggest charm of junk, of course, is its variety “One has millions of styles and colour.” says Anubha Mathur, who sells costume jewellery And when it comes to imitation gold, the quality is so good that a non-expert can seldom tell the fake and the real thing apart.