“Our sales saw a huge increase this Diwali and revenue surged 2.2x (120% increase) compared to the year-ago period,” said Pooja Sheth Madhavan, founder of Limelight Diamonds, the largest LGD brand in the country.
“The acceptance for LGD jewellery has significantly increased and jewellery studded with bigger solitaires, namely 2 carat plus, was trending in the metro cities,” said Madhavan.
LGDs, which emerged as a new category and an alternative to the pricier natural diamonds, became more popular in this year’s festive season as prices plunged to less than half year-on-year. Prices of LGD rings with 1 carat solitaire fell to ₹80,000 to ₹1 lakh from ₹2 lakh last year, a fraction of about ₹5 lakh for 1 carat natural diamond ring.
“We have seen a significant ramp-up in sales of pure solitaire-based jewellery even in tier-2 cities through our point of sales. This category will flourish and we plan to open 10 additional stores in the coming months,” said Madhavan.
Smit Patel, director of Greenlab Diamonds, a business-to-business player in the LGD segment, said his firm’s entire stock was lifted by retailers. “I am left with no stock of LGD. Last year there were a few LGD retailers. This year the number has gone up to 4,000 retailers and there was huge demand for LGDs.”Patel’s company had manufactured the 7.5-carat LGD that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted to the first lady of the US, Jill Biden, during his state visit in June.Avg-ticket Size for Customers
Digital gold too saw a sharp uptick in sales during the Dhanteras-Diwali period. Digital gold platform SafeGold, which allows consumers to lease individually accumulated gold to jewellers for the purpose of income generation, said it registered 50-60% year-on-year growth.
“This year the highest investment in our digital platform was ₹3 crore, which means the person who invested had accumulated 4.7 kg of gold with us. Last year, the highest figure was 1.5 kg gold,” said Rhea Chaterji, head of the consumer business, SafeGold.
“The average ticket size was ₹13,000 for repeat customers and ₹ 17,500 for new customers. We sell digital gold through different platforms. We have seen people investing ₹1,500-2,000 through payment platforms and ₹9,000-13,000 through the banking platforms.”
Chaterji said the customers were a mix of older millennials, young parents and financial advisors, who typically allocate 7-10% of their portfolio to gold and lease the gold subsequently.