A Promising Year For Silver

jewellery magazine

As the silver market continues its upward trajectory, what insights does the market sentiment offer regarding this precious metal? We gathered perspectives from exhibitors at IIJS Signature to uncover more.

Based on the findings of the World Silver Survey 2023, released by the Silver Institute, there was a notable surge in silver jewellery production, registering a remarkable 29% increase in the past year, reaching a record-breaking 7,280 tonnes. This represents the highest level in the series since its inception in 2010.

The driving force behind this heightened demand was predominantly observed in India, where a combination of pent-up demand post-pandemic, substantial restocking by retailers, and a shift towards higher purity standards resulted in a doubling of volumes compared to the preceding year, marking a significant 60% rise from pre-Covid levels. However, excluding India, the global trend indicates a marginal decline of 0.3% in jewellery fabrication.

IIJS Signature

IIJS Signature 2024 has dedicated a special section in BEC, Mumbai, housing over 60 exhibitors spread in more than 100 stalls. Krishna B Goyal, Convener, Silver Jewellery Panel, GJEPC, states: “This arrangement offers buyers the convenience of easily assessing the diverse inventories of various exhibitors without the need to navigate through multiple halls.”

Rahul Mehta, Managing Director, Silver Emporium, notes: “IIJS Signature is one of most important shows of the calendar year. We find great value in our meetings with clients at the show, who come with an open mindset for a constructive discussion on collections. We are looking forward to displaying our new lines which are thoughtfully crafted based on feedback received from customers with focus on functionality and design in line with latest trends.”

Arvind Bapna, Director, Bijoux Argent Pvt. Ltd., expressed the enduring partnership with the IIJS brand since the inception of their journey in 1989. “IIJS Signature has always been an important exhibition and it gives us an early bang on start every year. This year, we expect show to be more exciting as we have positive feedback from customers, who are expected to attend in huge numbers.” They have big buying plan as there are no important shows in the next couple of months ahead.” He noted their substantial buying plans, especially in light of the absence of significant shows in the upcoming months.

© Bijoux Argent Pvt. Ltd.

Silver artefacts

The World Silver Survey 2023 found that silverware demand in 2022 outpaced jewellery with an impressive 80% growth, reaching 2,286 tonnes—a record high in its series since 2010. Like the jewellery sector, this surge was primarily driven by India, where demand soared by over 100% due to the restoration of employment and incomes to pre-pandemic levels.

Silver artefacts and articles used in prayers are on the rise. Silver items like lamps, trays, and more, play a significant role in the religious ceremonies in India, as the metal is considered auspicious and sanctimonious.

Mehta says, “Our silver products are handcrafted by a team of skilled workers who have a love for art and sculpture. Each piece tells a story and is a blend of traditional and modern aesthetics. We are presenting our new collection in the home décor segment. Many pieces are works of art with patterns inspired by regional cultures and aesthetics to appeal to the urban market.”


Market trends are changing too fast based on the likes of millennials. Mehta adds, “We have seen social media being a key factory in demand creation and setting market trends. Silver jewellery and articles have seen a huge demand in the past five years, and it continues to grow at a good pace.” He notes that in the silver jewellery market many direct-to-consumer brands are mushrooming; celebrity endorsement and social media influencers promoting silver jewellery.

Bapna adds, “The market size of silver jewellery is rapidly expanding, and to cope with this increasing demand, we rely on innovation in designing and manufacturing, including 3D printing. We are noticing a new global trend – the widespread use of paperclip chains and jewellery! We, too, are incorporating these concepts in our own way to stay on trend.”

Goyal notes that innovative techniques like 3D printing are starting to make their mark in the manufacturing process, allowing for intricate and unique designs. According to him, sustainability is becoming a crucial point, with a focus on eco-friendly materials, recycled metal, and ethical practices gaining traction. Minimalist designs with clean lines and geometric shapes are popular today. Additionally, personalised, and customisable pieces, often incorporating birthstones or initials, are in vogue.

Bapna reveals that in order to mark their 35th year in the sterling silver industry, they are also unveiling many new lines – the Beaded Jewellery collection featuring diamond-cut and enamelled beads combined with a variety of Austrian and Japanese beads; the trendy Chic Enamel collection; and the Elegance Earring collection, which is one of the fanciest designs we have showcased yet, featuring micron plating.

Handcrafted vs tech

With the advance of technology, how do manufacturers preserve the traditional handcrafting techniques used for making jewellery or artefacts? Mehta aims for practicality and says, “Balance between traditional and contemporary aspects of jewellery is based on functionality, weight, design language, and target consumers decide the right balance of product. We take constant feedback from our customers, which gives us required clarity for product development.”

Bapna feels that the balancing act is one of the most difficult tasks to blend traditional aspects with modern. It’s important to preserve the time-honoured crafts, but it’s equally important to address the young consumer’s needs. “For this, our in-house design teams work to strike the perfect balance so that the 22-year-old working woman as well as the 40-year-old homemaker both get tempted to own the piece of jewellery in silver.”

Challenges & Opportunities 

India stands as one of the largest markets worldwide for silver jewellery and articles, experiencing exponential growth each year. Additionally, there is a substantial global demand for handcrafted jewellery. Mehta comments, “Both factors offer a great opportunity for Indian manufacturers to expand the manufacturing facility and take a larger share of the market. India’s cultural diversity, architecture from different periods, skill crafts and art of different regions – all offer good design inspiration to develop relevant products for the Indian and global market.”

According to Goyal, high shipping and marketing cost, shortage of skilled manpower, especially artisans, and the compliance, procedural hardship are some of the challenges that need to be addressed to take the Indian silver export market to the next level.

Vinayak Dhingra, Director, Manmohan Exports, states that the volatility in silver prices, stringent quality standards, and certification requirements pose significant obstacles. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can impact profitability, and competition from other exporting nations intensifies pressure. Navigating trade barriers, adhering to regulatory compliance, and managing financing risks add complexity to the process. “It’s crucial to understand evolving market trends and preferences, alongside navigating geopolitical and trade relations. Overcoming these challenges necessitates strategic planning, thorough market research, cultivating robust business relationships, governmental support, and innovation to capitalize on export opportunities,” he observes.

Regarding the growing domestic market, Bapna mentions that many retailers are allocating special section within their showrooms for silver jewellery and artefacts, and so are corporate jewellery chains strategizing to open a large number of stores in the tier 2 and 3 cities of the country. Bapna notes, “We are observing a similar phenomenon in global markets as well.”

“What manufacturers need to work on is consistent supply, adaptation of latest technology, regular training of craftsmen and expand manufacturing capacity to meet every growing demand,” Mehta concludes.

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