Platinum sales
A salesman displays platinum bangles for the camera at a jewellery showroom in Mumbai April 17, 2012 [Representational Image]Reuters File

Diamond-studded or platinum jewellery is leading the trend this festival season of being the preferred choice amongst women. A survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) reveals that women now prefer wearing jewellery rather than investing in gold.

High gold prices and innovations on the part of jewellery firms, especially the large houses is seen driving the change in the fashion trend. The trend is seen bending towards low-cost variables. Smaller items such as earrings, rings and light bangles are seeing heavy demand.

In a bid to tap the changing preferences of consumers, the survey (which comes on the eve of Dhanteras) reveals that 79 percent of jewellers are now focusing on platinum-based diamond jewellery over traditional pure gold and silver ornaments.

This season, the demand for diamond jewellery is estimated to have grown by 30-35 percent year-on-year, while platinum too has seen an excellent growth of 25 percent during the year, the survey noted. It covered 350 jewellery-makers based in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Dehradun.

Assocham interacted with 500 working and non-working women in the above mentioned cities to get an idea about their shopping habits during Dhanteras. With a higher import duty and increased base price, the investment oriented consumers are seen less in the bullion market, while the business oriented consumer is moving towards wearable jewellery, easy on the pocket.

"That is the real challenge. Can they (jewellers) sell some decent jewellery for say Rs 5,000-10,000 or between Rs 15,000-20,000? That is where the demand lies," the chairman of the Assocham gold council said on Friday.

The overall share of platinum and diamond-based jewellery in the market is expected to take on significant share of gold jewellery sales in the future, according to reports. One of the primary reasons why jewellers are losing interest in the yellow precious metal is high-level of policy regulation and tax issues such as mandatory quoting of the permanent account number of income tax, the survey added.

Sale of gold and silver along with other metals is expected to rise during the festival of Dhanteras.