Here’s why diamonds are sparkling in South India

The trends that are emerging in the domestic market are signalling that there could be an explosion in demand for diamond jewellery.

By Sachin Jain

For several generations now, in India, diamonds have been used as a symbol of ultimate sophistication, to add a spark to a precious memory, to celebrate an achievement. In the many years of their origin, diamonds have sealed a lifelong emotional connection with owners, reflecting a classic timelessness that doesn’t wane away through changing seasons and times. With a legacy, hundreds of years old, we have seen diamonds become a treasured family heirloom, a symbol of elegance and grandeur, an iconic fashion statement, and a proclamation of true love. These precious rare gems, today, have become such a conspicuous part of people’s lives that future generations wait with bated breath to be handed down a piece of this priceless history.

Whether it is diamond solitaire earrings, a beautiful diamond ring, a dazzling bracelet or a pendant that delicately rests on their neck, a diamond symbolizes a special moment in time. In India, a land where the yellow metal, gold has always caught people’s fancy, diamonds have emerged as an equally valuable commodity with its own place among jewellery. In recent times, we have seen a change in consumption patterns and the affinity towards diamond jewellery is on the rise.

Diamonds making a cut into South Indian heritage
Jewellery has great influence in every aspect of people’s lives in South India from weddings to cultural traditions. It also signifies abundance, privilege and prestige. In keeping with global trends, consumption of jewellery in South India now reflects minimalistic, contemporary and distinctive trends that is different compared to other regions of the country. There is also greater preference among younger women in South India for modern and stylish diamond pieces that match their trendy attire. We have also noticed that in South India, women value the diamond’s quality oversize and look for the shine, fire and scintillation of the diamond rather than the caratage. There has also been a shift in consumption patterns where diamonds are no longer just for traditional festivals but are purchased on any joyous occasion including a salary bonus, graduating school or even starting a new job.

With the changing trends, today, South Indian women have taken to diamonds in a determined fashion as they are constantly exposed to women who showcase their independence, their lifestyle and the needs of everday wear, be it for work or a casual day. As women have become more independent, self-purchase is on the rise. Every piece of jewellery that a woman owns tells a personal story or a milestone she ticked off that has made the diamond a treasure to be preserved forever.

Even though the bridal market in the region has been largely dominated by gold, however, when it comes to celebrating or sealing a priceless memory forever, a beautiful, natural diamond is most coveted by new brides. Every bride today aspires to own an exquisite piece of diamond jewellery that resonates with them at a deeper, personal and emotional level. Minimalism in jewellery in South India, is emerging as a key growth driver for diamond purchase.

What does the future hold for diamonds in the region?
The trends that are emerging in the domestic market are signalling that there could be an explosion in demand for diamond jewellery. As more South Indian women are now globally aware of international trends and are becoming environmentally conscious, we have noticed that they are moving towards trusted brands, who offer an assurance of genuineness, responsibly sourced and natural diamonds. These emerging trends mark the beginning of a new era of diamond buying in South India and the love for diamonds is likely to remain strong in the coming future.

(The author is MD of De Beers India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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