As of 2018, the gems and jewelry segment contributed to seven percent of the country’s retail market. It also accounted for the largest share of the value of the domestic personal accessories market that year worth almost 4.4 trillion rupees. Moreover, the value of the jewelry market further reflected a growing trend with estimates between 2018 and 2021 projected to rise by 38.3 percent approximately.
India, as a world-renowned producer of gemstones – with the legendary Kohinoor diamond being exemplary of this legacy, also presently houses the largest diamond processing center. Cut and polished diamonds accounted for the highest share of exports within the country’s gems and jewelry segment in 2019.
Besides a love of jewelry for aesthetic purposes, Indians also value precious metals (gold in particular), as a monetary safeguard and status symbol. In the city of Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, the price of gold averaged 29.3 thousand Indian rupees for ten grams in 2018. Despite high costs, the volume of consumer demand for gold jewelry is consistent, thanks to weddings and special occasions in particular. The Hindu festival of lights, Deepavali, causes a regular spike in sales of jewelry every year between October and November with little exception. However, recent developments within the domestic and global economic spheres have affected the demand for gold.
Silver, while also precious, is termed the poor man’s gold. Even though most of the demand share for the metal came for the manufacture of jewelry and silverware, it also serves industrial and investment purposes. Silverware is often used for gifting and its market demand has increased consistently through the years.
Retail within the jewelry market is a thriving business in India with several small- and large-scale companies in the mix. Some of the biggest names in the sector include Titan, PC Jeweller and Joyalukkas. While these organized players continue to expand and diversify, it is worth keeping in mind that the retailing sector overall is dominated by a large margin by the unorganized sectors. However, organized players grew from only five percent in 2005 to an estimated 32 percent in 2020 within the jewelry market in the country. This indicates an exponential and definitive change in mindset, with stricter jewel standards along with bank-lending norms, and the recent GST and gold import duties acting as catalysts.