There’s bounty in bling

There’s bounty in bling

A Kani pashmina shawl

20 November 2011

EVERY woman desires certain statement pieces that reflect her style. In the UAE, there are two classic ‘bling’ items in which you can step out in style – and make a sound investment.

Firstly, marrying function with finesse, a 100% woolen, Kashmiri handmade pashmina shawl is a must-have. Worn traditionally and now a trendy and celebrity-sported fashion statement, pashmina shawls have become a popular wardrobe staple, worn for warmth, to accentuate an outfit and pass on as heirlooms.

Secondly, a charming way to invest wisely is buying gold to make into an appreciable and attractive piece of jewellery. cashy takes a look…

King of shawls

Kashmiri pashminas, fashioned from the rare wool of Northern Tibetan and Himalayan mountain goats, are known for their softness, versatility and durability.

Intricately hand-worked with embroidery on looms, they have been enjoyed as shawls by sub-Continental and European nobility throughout the ages, conferring the grace and status.

Sudhesh Kachroo, general manager at Pride of Kashmir in Dubai, believes these are the most elegant shawls for long-term wear and investment. Everyday to more exclusive Shahminas and Kani shawls range in price from AED 150 ($41) to AED 20,000 ($54,450).

Shawls with embroidery fully worked throughout the body are also offered as high status gifts to brides and family members in Asia.

Antique Kashmiri shawls, of over 125 years old, can command a price tag of more than AED 1.1 million ($299,500). “Prices rise as high-quality and worked shawls become rarer in the market as herds are reducing and artisan’s skills are being lost due to the fashion world’s demands for trendy designs now mass produced in mixed material varieties,” says Kachroo.

“For this reason, a genuine pashmina is still a most coveted fashion item.”

Pride of Kashmir is able to value shawls and advise on their re-sale.

Golden charm

Gold bars of 24-carat gold with 999.9 purity and stamped by a mint with a certificate of authenticity can easily be bought and sold from wholesale and retail gold merchants globally.

In the UAE, gold bars are available in 1g, 2.5g, 5g, 10g, 20g, one ounce, 50g and 100g values.

In the past year, the price of 24-carat gold price has risen by 60-70%. At present, an ounce costs around $1,660.

A popular purchase for Asians is the 10 Tola gold bar weighing 116.6 grams bought as an investment, to trade and convert into jewellery items.

Zaman Akram, owner Zaman Jewellers, sees a trend for 22-carat Kruggerands (South African gold coins), a single coin of one troy ounce equaling 33.9 grams and other guineas being used for styling pendants and charm bracelets.

“These items of jewellery combine design with intrinsic gold value in a classic wearable piece that can be added to and altered by the owner, with not too much extra cost in UAE labour charges."

Gold bars can also now be purchased by cash or credit card through special vending machines under the ‘Gold to Go’ brand. The world’s first such machine, also coated in a thin layer of gold, was launched at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi and there is another at the top of the Burj Dubai.

The vending machine digitally updates the gold price every ten minutes in accordance with international markets. The machine offers customers 320 items, from gold bars of up to 10 grams to customised gold coins.

Have you invested in some ‘bling’? Share with cashy… comment below!

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