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 FOLLOWING THE LATEST TRENDS


 
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JEWELLERY fashion trends vary greatly among Myanmar consumers and often reflect a buyer's age and economic status, representatives of the gem and jewellery industry say.

Young people are likely to buy lighter and more delicate jewellery, whereas middle aged people tend to prefer heavier, traditional pieces containing large precious stones.

Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine, the owner of the Golden Palace Gold and Jewellery Centre, said teenagers often buy light and thin platinum jewellery that is small and petite enough to be worn everyday.

"Young girls and boys are more interested in things like earrings and ankle chains," Dr Thet Thet Khine said.

"Adolescents like to wear small earrings or studs, and girls wear slightly larger earrings or sometimes studs with black pearls. They also like semiprecious stones like olivine, synthetic diamonds, blue topaz, amethyst and sapphires," she said.

While young women like to wear smaller stones set in modern designs, middle-aged women prefer to wear big rings and necklaces with large stones. The most popular metal among older women is gold set with high-quality diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

The different age groups understandably prefer different styles of jewellery , but people's tastes are also dependent on their budget. Young men and women are likely to choose cheaper jewellery that they can wear every day, while older people collect jewellery for a different reason.

Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine said customers always buy jewellery that suits their budget. Many older people buy jewellery as a means of investment.

"Some of the customers ask for large amounts of gold, for example a 300 gram gold chain when an 80 gram chain is the more stylish, because they want to invest their money and save it that way," she said.

While this may be an example of economic savvy, more people buy jewellery to wear, and when they want to know what is fashionable and what is not, many turn on the television.

According to industry sources, design and style popularity is based on what TV stars are wearing and on the styles and stones that are featured on commercials.

"When we advertised our shop with Htet Htet Moe Oo on television, our ring and pendant designs become very popular as people seemed to take notice of the styles that were being shown," said Mya Kay Khine, the owner of the Shwe Sin Gold and Jewellery shop.

"We produce new designs every month or so and when an actress is seen wearing one of them, they become a popular part of everyday fashion." As the result, jewellery trends change very quickly. The past few years have seen many styles go in and out of fashion.

"Jewellery sets that includesa pendant, ring arid earrings with amethyst, blue topaz and star ruby are very popular at the moment. They are quite reason- ably priced, ranging from K100,000 to K300,000, depending on the gem colour, the cut of the stone and the overall design," said Mya Kay Khine.

Ma Sint, from the Aung Nilar jewellery shop in the Super World Jewellery Hall at Bogyoke Market, said Myanmar people prefer gold accessories to platinum.

"The most popular design at the moment is gold painted red and green in a traditional Thai style," she said.

Myanmar women also tend to choose pendants and earrings that are shaped like rain drops and flowers. Wearing many gold bracelets has also emerged as a new trend,

"The fashion now is to wear at least:20 gold bracelets at once, and some people even wear up to 40. This style came into fashion after 2002 when it was no longer popular to wear small gold chains," Mya Kay Khine said.

Of all the types of jewellery available, bracelets and necklaces are still at the top of most people's shopping lists.

"Everybody who buys jewellery starts off with necklaces and then moves on to buying a variety of different bracelets," Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine said.

Foreigners and tourists make up a large percentage of gems and jewellery consumers and often appreciate different styles.

"Foreigners like single, natural and genuine gemstone rather than brighter ornaments," Daw Shu San from the FMI shopping centre said.

In a bid to give consumers more choice, many retailers and producers are also offering foreign designs.

"We often combine Myanmar traditional style jewellery with styles from other countries to create something new," Mya Kay Khine said.

Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine agreed and said the industry tries to keep up with international fashion trends as well as those within Myanmar.

The industry also provides consumers with the option of recycling their jewellery so that as the fashions change, people can either exchange their jewellery for the latest styles or have their stones reset.

 

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Copyright © 2006 by Myanmar Gems.
Prepared by DPS. Last Modified: 23 May, 2008 (slm)

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