I am a great believer in investing in quality jewellery that become family heirlooms and last for generations.
Like most young Asian women, I was married in full Asian tradition with 22ct gold jewellery gifted to me from both my family and my in-laws. This was added to my pre-wedding collection of items that my parents and grandparents had gifted to me over 25 years.
Picture: Some of my wedding gold, mixed with bangles gifted from my parents and grandparents. ©EyeSpyBeauty2012
Gold prices have shot up in the past 5 or 6 years. You only have to look at the mass of ‘Cash for Gold’ leaflets that arrive through your letterboxes every week. And those are prices quoted for western 9ct and 18ct gold. 22ct is almost pure gold, just imagine what the value of Indian gold is for thieves. If you can’t imagine the extent of the gold price rises, below is a graph tracking 24ct gold prices over the past ten years.
Banks no longer accept Indian gold in safety deposit boxes. Some banks are closing waiting lists, some are cancelling waiting lists, while others are withdrawing safety deposit boxes altogether. If you still have a legacy safety deposit box, please hold onto it and use it!
Why? The risk of theft is too high. Even in banks. Unfortunately, the temptation becomes too great for some and burglaries of Indian and South-Asian homes is on the rise. Following a burglary at my home in 2011, I lost all of my 22ct gold jewellery. This was to be my childrens’ inheritance.
Picture: This was the damage in just one room, post-burglary. It took hours to catalogue what was missing and clear-up. ©EyeSpyBeauty2012
After losing so much and knowing that I can’t replace those family memories, I am less attached to designer jewellery as heirloom pieces. I now tend to mix my high-end and high street pieces. The more you have, the more you stand to lose. That’s why a former high-end jewellery lover has also embraced the more disposable imitation/ non-gold designs.
Picture: Amrita Singh bangle sets. ©www.eyespybeauty.wordpress.com
The Great British high street is wonderful for Indian-inspired bling, but for wedding I head to the heart of East Londons Asian community, Green Street. There are hundreds of stores on Green Street, ranging from small stall-like outlets in arcade-type mini-malls, to large clothing department stores like Daminis.
My favourite places to head for jewellery are Gallery of Glamour (204 Green Street) and Glitters (238 Green Street). The shop names are as fresh as they come, but the jewellery is always good quality, service impeccable and prices are negotiable.
Picture: Kundan stone set from Glitters, Green Street, E7, London. ©www.eyespybeauty.wordpress.com
Picture: Kundan stone set from Glitters, Green Street, London, with saree belt (centre, right, and far right) from House of Glamour, Green Street, London. ©www.eyespybeauty.wordpress.com
Kyles are amazing but a little out of my price range for regular party or wedding wear. The bridal jewellery and couture pieces there are truly amazing and worth the money. Their service is also amazing and they have a great after-care policy.
Picture: Kundan stone hand pancha from Glitters, Green Street, London, ©www.eyespybeauty.wordpress.com
Picture: misc earring sets bought from Diya online & Rupali. ©www.eyespybeauty.wordpress.com
I am saving up to buy some traditional and timeless pieces for my children’s future. All in the hope that I can gift my daughter and my future daughter-in-law some gold jewellery on their respective wedding days.
Top tips for protecting your Indian gold
1. Take gold jewellery out of the red velvet boxes! Any thief or burglar knows that those little red velvet boxes contain gold. They don’t need to open it to check. Don’t make their task easier for them.
2. If you have a safety deposit box, use it. The inconvenience of checking items in/ out before/ after parties and weddings is far easier to bear than the loss.
3. Insure your gold. The key mistake that most people make is they insure it at purchase value. If you insure at purchase value, you will receive purchase value upon settlement of a claim. This will NOT cover the replacement value. You must re-appraise the value at every renewal date to make sure that you are fully covered. You can expect your premiums to rise every year in line with gold prices.
4. When keeping jewellery at home, store in a hidden, fitted safe. Either fitted to the wall or in the floorboards. You can buy good quality safes from £200 from Amazon and other online stores. Let’s be honest, £200 is nothing compared to the thousands you could lose if your jewellery is stolen.
5. Fit a burglar alarm and use it. Make sure it is connected to the security service.
6. Store jewellery in a secure place at a friend or relatives house when you go away. Make sure that whoever you choose has a burglar alarm and a safe.
7. If you are going away and leaving jewellery with others, make sure that your insurance will still cover jewellery not held in your home. The chances are that you’ll invalidate the insurance if you don’t inform the company that the jewellery is with someone else for safe-keeping.
8. Keep an inventory of all of your gold, including the gold weights, purchase date and purchase value. Keep any certificates of authenticity as well. Remember, if you’re Muslim and paying zakat on your gold, you have to pay zakat on cu