Think jadau and images of royalty fill your mind. These beautiful ornaments depict Indian heritage and culture. Jadau jewellery is in a league of its own and is currently in immense demand especially after the celebrity weddings wherein brides like Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, among others had flaunted choicest of jadau sets. Till then jadau was preferred by an eclectic circle, hidden from the glares of the commoners. All the same, history of jadau jewellery in India dates back to the Mughal era.
Heavy weight versus light weight jadau jewellery
Jadau jewellery is basically heavy in weight, because jadau craftsmanship needs purest of 22 or 24 carat gold and uncut precious stones, so invariably they need to be the best quality as they won’t look as attractive as they ought to. People aren’t spending much – considering the pandemic and also gold rate fluctuations – it has become challenging to make jadau in light weight – because in essence jadau needs a good amount of gold.
“We have worked towards making light weight jadau jewellery. In the near future as pandemic subsides I hope demand will improve,” informs Vikas Mehta of Achal Jewels, Pvt Ltd. As gold prices stabilise –demand will also stabilise.
Procuring karigars was a challenge
During the pandemic many jewellery karigars who lived in Bengal and surrounding areas left for their villages and did not return even when the work season began. However, jadau karigars are mostly based in Jaipur where the highest number of jadau jewellery manufacturers are located. “We have fulfilled all orders in time, we had karigars working regularly. Right now, demand for traditional and antique jewellery is high,” informs Ankit Lodha, Jewels Jaipur. Whereas according to Amish Kothari of Rosentiques Fine Jewellery, during July-August procuring karigars was a big challenge as no one wanted to report to work because of the fear of infection. Thereafter, as numbers of Covid19 cases reduced and Diwali orders started accumulating, they were able to get their workers back at work.
“Some workers are local and we started work with help of these local workers. Some were migrant, they went back to their villages and did not return even during Diwali – so they may not come back now. We have gone ahead with our local karigars because export orders had to be completed,” recalls Vikas Mehta of Achal Jewels Pvt Ltd.
Demand is yet to rise up to last year’s levels
Though demand for jadau jewellery has picked up gradually despite the pandemic, it is yet to rise up to last year’s level. “It is challenging but things are surely looking brighter now,” informs Abhishek Ghatiwala, Ghatiwala Jewellers.
The need for jadau jewellery arises only when there is a wedding scheduled. “From Diwali we are seeing a lot of demand for jadau jewellery. There was no compromise in buying jadau jewellery for the bride,” explains Abhishek Raniwala, Raniwala Jewellers. Brides want to look their best and demanded the best jewellery. “Retailers are demanding traditional jadau necklace sets etc in large numbers,” informs Kothari.
Demand is growing. The coming quarter will be exciting then there could be a lull for some months and then again market will rise from September 2021. “Before Diwali demand was good after Diwali the demand has gone down, the pandemic has affected business adversely,” informs Lodha.
Cost no bar when it comes to jadau jewellery
Jadau jewellery has its own grandeur. “A 20 lakh rupees jadau necklace adds so much value to the personality of the bride which perhaps even a diamond set worth one crore may not be able to add. Jadau jewellery holds its own fascination, particularly in the bridal jewellery segment. Jadau jewellery is quite often an heirloom piece,” explains Ghatiwala. According. As wedding arrangement costs have reduced because of the cap on number of invitees. Families are willing to spend on expensive jadau sets for the bride. “Jewellery budgets for other female relatives in the family may have reduced, but there’s no change in bridal jewellery budget,” informs Amish Kothari.
Pandemic pressure peaks
At present, Jaipur seems to be at the peak of the pandemic. Gradually the infection is subsiding—all of this is affecting demand. “People want to buy jadau jewellery but are afraid of stepping out of their houses so at present, retailers have enough stock and aren’t placing new orders. In say a month’s time the situation will improve,” says Lodha. In Jaipur for a long time Coronavirus cases were at the lowest, since October they have steadily been increasing. Now, residents of the Pink City are scared to step out of their houses. “So even if they want to buy jewellery they may not want to take the risk,” informs Mehta.
Exhibitions and lack thereof
The IIJS virtual helped create a stir in the market. “B2B shows are always larger than life and give a manufacturer a window to showcase his work. In absence of such shows, this time no new clients were added to our clientele,” informs Raniwala.
Trade shows affect business of manufacturers greatly. Says Kothari, “Trade shows are beneficial for networking you are able to display latest products and get to know the market better. But we know that trade shows hold a great risk of infection and virtual shows do not give the result of a physical show. People want to see and feel jadau jewellery.”
This time pandemic has affected jadau jewellery manufacturing segment and manufacturers are hoping the coming two quarters will bring a good hike in business.