METRO PLUS

Glitter galore

The timing is perfect. With festivals just round the corner, people are sure to throng the exhibition.

The timing is perfect. With festivals just round the corner, people are sure to throng the exhibition.  

ANYBODY WHO loves jewellery is bound to check out the sixth edition of the Jewels of India exhibition. Considering it's strategically timed just before Dasara and Deepavali, it's bound to tempt festive shoppers to loosen their purse strings to snap up jewellery starting at Rs. 500 and soaring to Rs. 4.5 crore.

The largest jewellery retail exhibition and sale mopped up Rs. 30 crore of business last year. A big sign that the IT capital's buying power is going berserk.

Noted jewellers from Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka will participate in the exhibition. "For the first time, we also have foreign participation. Burmese jewellers are bringing in pigeon red rubies that are sometimes more expensive than diamonds," says Sandeep Bekal, convenor of the exhibition being organised by Expoworld. D'Damas, the famed jewellery house from Dubai that has already made inroads into the Indian market, will also participate

Over 110 jewellers and jewellery houses will set up shop at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium with kundan, minakari, handcrafted gold from Kolkata, solid gold work from Kerala, traditional temple jewellery from Tamil Nadu, pearls and more.

People always have that niggling doubt about buying gold and diamonds at an exhibition, but Bangalore, that has already seen five such exhibitions, is disproving this trend, according to Sandeep. The exhibition in Chennai earlier, he admits, was a failure. "Chennai is considered a larger market for gold. But we found it was a conservative market and people would rather buy from their local jeweller." Bangalore, on the other hand has a cosmopolitan crowd that's always looking for something new and the element of doubt is fast disappearing.

"Orra Diamonds is putting on display a Rs. 4.5 crore diamond necklace made of 190 carat natural coloured diamonds. It was worn by stand-up comedienne Joan Rivers to the Oscars this year," says Sandeep.

Over the years, Prema Krishna, Sumalatha Ambarish, and Nafees Fazal have been regular buyers at the jewel bazaar. The exhibition is on from October 16 to 19 and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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The gold gluttons

India is the largest consumer of gold in the world.

* The Indian jewellery market is roughly valued at Rs. 75,000 crore.

* India exported Rs. 52,000 crore worth of jewellery last year.

* India imports 800 to 900 tonnes of gold every year.

* South India gobbles up 40 to 45 per cent of India's jewellery pie.

* The rate of one gram of gold is averaged at Rs. 620 while a gram of silver costs Rs. 10.

But the cost of producing silver jewellery is exorbitant.

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