Sep 6, 2008

Business - Rock On! with these

Shopping for a rock and looking perhaps for a stone that will be just perfect? When it comes to De Beers diamonds, the “Forever” mark is an assurance that the stone in question is indeed top-of-the-line in terms of not just size but also colour, clarity, origin and so forth.
Only one per cent of all diamonds produced are marked as such and thus, as far as a certificate of exclusivity goes, this one is certainly it.
Now, the Forever mark is available in India too — on luxury jewellery by Amaris Regalia, a new brand that launched this week and one that is now positioning itself as “the first” Indian luxury jewellery brand of its kind.
A joint venture between Delhi-based Khanna Jewellers and M Suresh Co, one of De Beer’s biggest site-holders in the country (importing roughs and cutting, polishing and mostly exporting finished diamonds), Amaris promises exclusivity not just in terms of design but also in the quality, size and colour of the stones used.
Exclusive stores are planned to retail the jewellery, the first of which opens at DLF Emporio, the new luxury mall in Delhi, tomorrow.
“We felt this was the right time to extend our expertise to the luxury segment. We intend to take our brand to top metros like Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai, and expand to international markets like London and Dubai,” says Manoj Khanna, CEO.
So, what can you pick up? For one, there is a nine carat ring with a “Forever” mark, so exclusive as to merit a price tag of Rs 2 crore plus though Khanna only gives an estimate, reluctant to really pin it down further.
There is also a bracelet in natural golden diamonds pegged at Rs 35 lakh, as also an entire set in natural golden-coloured diamonds. Khanna says that the full range of jewellery will be offered —from traditional Indian bridal to contemporary.
“The finest in solitaires and designs with the eye-catching natural coloured diamonds will also be available.” Rings are available for Rs 2 lakh plus while larger pieces obviously command higher prices.
In addition, there are limited edition jewelled articles and accessories such as jewelled kripans (daggers), navratan pooja thaalis, belts with diamond-studded buckles, cuff-links and so forth.
If you are looking for more exclusive jewellery, designer Divvya A Bhasin has some very unusual pieces. Bhasin has long been known for her trunk shows all over the world, participating in exhibitions in Basel and Las Vegas. She has high-profile buyers, including the high-flying Emiratis (the royal family in Dubai) but primarily operated through word-of-mouth till now.
Recently, however, she has opened her store in Delhi’s Archana Arcade. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)-trained designer is known for her use of natural materials with precious stones.
So don’t be surprised to find wood, beads, leather or suede with polkis in her work. In fact, she has also put together old traditional kundan with fabric, corals, sea shells and even fossils bought in Greece!
This season, amongst the hottest picks are dressy “Om” cocktail rings made of wood. These are carved with the motif and studded with gold and uncut diamonds (polkis), making for eyecatching pieces. What’s more, they are affordable too.
“The more you pay, the better will be the quality of the stones, but jewellery can even be something that is worn on a string. It is what appeals to an individual,” points out Bhasin.
Another interesting buy from her collection is fossil earrings, embossed with gold and polki, apart from very chic navratan cufflinks in an abstract theme.
The Om ring is priced at about Rs 25,000, the cufflinks for Rs 35,00, while the earrings are more expensive. Bhasin’s collection ranges from Rs 15,000-20 lakh. And in case you want her to customise something, she could do that too.
“If you have an old wedding lehnga or your grandmother’s brocade saree, we can take a bit from that and form it into jewellery so that it has some sentimental value too,” Bhasin says.
Meanwhile, The Gem Legacy, an exclusive coloured stone jewellery brand that was launched by designers Gaurav and Ritu Khanna some time ago, is now expanding and going all over India. The pieces have a touch of Western styling to make them suitable to go with both Indian and Western wear.
New here is the Zambian Emerald Collection, which presents an extravagant range of necklaces and ear pieces made with emeralds. Every piece is crafted individually and adorned with diamonds in white gold.
One of the magnificent pieces here is the ring of oval Zambian emerald married with the brilliant cut of diamonds (Rs 2.15 lakh). You can also buy a necklace of marquese diamonds, with Zambian emerald drop, in white gold and teardrop emerald earrings (Rs 5.3 lakh).
Besides these Indian brands, there are a few international ones that have recently launched in the country too. Interestingly enough, you now have a Thai company, Pranda, launching a brand of 24 carat gold jewellery here.
Pranda is primarily a South-east Asian manufacturer, with clients among some of the top jewellery brands in the world. It’s also got some brands of its own, and launched its campaign in India with its best known one — Prima Gold.
The company has picked on three collections after an 18-month long research of the Indian market, reveals its managing director Vinod Tejwani, “Classic, which has geometrical shapes and straight lines and makes for elegant designs; the more conventional Natural collection inspired by flowers, leaves, butterflies and so on; and the two-toned Modern collection in 24 carat yellow gold fused with 18 carat white gold. The progressive, sophisticated middle-class market is our target.”
Pranda is tying up “TRJs” — trusted retail jewellers — for distributing Prima Gold. At the moment, the network takes in eight states but it’s soon going to spread to the rest of the country, promises Tejwani.
A store in Jewelworld, the jewellery mall in the vicinity of Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar will also open later this year. “But that will be more for the trade,” says Tejwani. Prices — Rs 4,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
Finally, if Swarovski is what you are fixated on, this would be a good time to buy a couple of pieces from their new collection of jewellery — where the motifs are all “swan” dominated. The swan has been an instantly recognisable symbol of the brand since 1989.
Now, this year, it has been reinterpreted and given the name “Swanflower” by Nathalie Colin-Roblique, creative director. The motif is the star of a new line of jewellery and accessories. Buy that rhodium bangle with bicolour pave crystals now.

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