ISLAMABAD: In view of enormous rise in gold prices, artificial jewellery markets in Pakistan are witnessing a boom. Artificial jewellery is becoming more attractive for women, as it is inexpensive with variety of designs and colours. A significant drop in the sales has been observed in the yellow metal for the past few years.
A shopkeeper in Gulf Market in Islamabad said, “The core factor behind the rise of artificial jewellery is reduction in the purchasing-power of the customers, who cannot afford to buy gold.” It is cheap, safe and in fashion, and women feel secure to wear artificial jewellery instead of gold ornaments, he added.
Crafting of artificial jewellery has become an industry as thousands of people are earning their livelihood from this sector. Increase in the demand for artificial jewellery has also resulted in the rise in its prices. According to traders, artificial sets are even being bought for wedding purposes. Heavy bridal sets are very much in demand.
Given the rise in demand, artificial sets have completely taken over the markets. Available in all sizes and designs, they are the best option for cheap weddings, customers said. “They are much cheaper, and we can get any design on order,” said Rahila Khan.
Nazia Ali, shopping for her wedding scheduled in December, said that owing to the high price of gold, she would buy an artificial set for her marriage day and a small necklace or locket set of gold for her dowry.
A normal artificial set can be made of silver, 18 carat gold or of brass, copper, 2 per cent silver, semi-precious and artificial stones. One heavy bridal set usually costs Rs20,000-35,000 on average, said Salman Sher, a gold dealer at Gulf Market.
Besides, there are varieties even in artificial jewellery. Those sets that are heavy are cheaper while those that are lighter in weight are expensive. Usually imported sets are more expensive than local ones.
Dealers and traders import artificial jewellery from India and China. The material coming from China is cheaper because of comparatively less transportation cost.
“We do not import jewellery directly from India. Rather we do it via Dubai, which increases transportation cost,” said Imran Salim, an artificial jewellery dealer having a shop along Benazir Bhutto Road.
“A set that previously cost Rs250 in retail, now costs us Rs350 in wholesale and we have to sell it for Rs450,” he added.