THEY look like gold and look expensive but they are not. They are finery made of cheaper material but are designed like gold jewellery.
With the increasing number of snatch theft cases, people are now opting to adorn themselves with these imitation gold jewellery.
This is especially so for the Indian community whose tradition was to wear gold jewellery.
Customer S. Dharmendran, 28, said not only do thieves rob from people but also steal gold jewellery placed on deities.
He said besides the finery being of good quality, it was way cheaper than gold.
“Therefore I am purchasing a set of imitation jewellery that is of good quality to be ‘gifted’ to a deity at a Hindu temple,” when met at a outlet selling all sorts of accessories and imitation jewellery at Little India Ipoh in Jalan Lahat.
M. Muniammah, 49, concurred with Dharmendran saying that she was too scared to walk on the streets wearing gold jewellery.
The housewife said she kept her gold jewellery at a safer place, and opted to purchase the artificial ones.
“Even during festive period, I usually purchase the imitation jewellery because it is much cheaper with many designs to choose from.
“The bangles, earrings and necklaces look as good as the real thing (gold) that sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the real from the fake one,” she added.
Chennai Collections owner N. Kharthigasu said many people especially the younger generation preferred to wear the trendy imitation jewellery instead of gold.
This he said was because the imitation jewellery came in latest designs and colours.
“Even during Indian festivals, weddings and engagements people are buying such jewellery because they want it to match with their outfits.
“They do not want to wear gold as it sometimes did not bring out the glitter during a function.
“The imitation jewellery ranges between RM10 and RM200,” he said.
Kharthigasu added that his customers had also told him that with the high rate of snatch thefts and robberies, they felt safer wearing the artificial ones.
However, he complained of poor business especially during festive periods, because of roadside traders setting up stalls to sell similar items.
“We need to pay high rental, salary of the staff, and these people just set up a table and tent and start to sell their items,” he said, claiming that some of the items sold were rejected ones.
Kharthigasu owns four outlets selling imitation jewellery, and outfits at the Little India enclave.
Outlet managing director, S. Tamil Selvi, who is also Kharthigasu’s wife, said the demand for such jewellery has been high since a few years back.
As the prices were reasonable, and the items fashionable, it was a latest trend to wear jewellery with colours that matched the outfit.
“However, the older generation still preferred to buy and wear gold.
“Well I guess we cannot run away from the saying - ‘old is gold’,” she added.
Rathi Gold Coverings staff Mohd Faizal Hidayat Hullah said if the customers took good care of the imitation jewellery the colour would not fade off easily.
“The items sold at my shop ranges between RM20 and RM28.
“Business during festive periods like Deepavali and Hari Raya is reasonably good compared to other days,” he added.