New Delhi: Be it a small diamond pointer or an over two-carat solitaire - men now love their engagement and wedding gold bands being decorated with precious stones just as most women prefer.
"During weddings, earlier people just used to wear bands. But now along with a band, they want it to be set with a diamond," Vijay Jain, CEO of diamond jewellery brand ORRA, told reporters.
Said Udit Sehgal of Blues Jewellery Company (BJC): "A lot of men give solitaires of three or four carats to their wife-to-be on their engagement. So the least they expect in return is a solitaire - even if of just a carat. That`s how diamond and solitaire rings are becoming popular among men."
Karan Sarda, 28, is not a jewellery freak, but he is eagerly waiting to wear a ring regularly after his engagement in December.
"Women still have the sindoor to signify that they are married, but men have just their engagement rings to denote their relationship status. I think whether or not men like jewellery, an engagement ring is something that all of them should wear as a mark of commitment for their partner," said Sarda, who has chosen a diamond ring for himself.
Such is the demand for diamond rings that ORRA came up with a special range of platinum couple rings.
"The range has his-her diamond rings, and the response has been very nice. It is something special because the couples get to wear something common," added Jain.
Weddings notwithstanding, diamonds have become quite a style statement for men.
"Men have also become fashionable. It was earlier said that diamonds are a woman`s best friend, but men are also opening up to the idea of sporting the precious stone and increasingly seeing this as a style statement," said Rohan Begani from Mumbai-based Begani Jewels.
Men`s penchant for jewellery is not a new trend in Indian society. The royals have since time immemorial flaunted kundan or pearl neckpieces, rings, broaches, kadaas and earrings.
History is repeating itself with professionals flaunting accessories with precious jewellery.
"If you look back, the maharajas used to wear precious stones to add poise and elegance to their personality. It faded over time, but now men have become curious to add accessories to their personality on a day-to-day basis. And what better than diamonds? They look classy!" said Jain.
Designer Sehgal, 23, who is also founder- managing director of BJC, says men opt for diamonds either as a status symbol or to make wise investments.
"People in metropolitan cities have become so status-conscious and fashion-conscious, especially those in the upper class, that diamonds are a small thing for them. It is only solitaires for them," said Sehgal.
"A lot of men in the upper class buy solitaires to make big money small because even a small diamond can hide a lot of money," he added.
Bollywood actors are a source of inspiration for others and Salman Khan is one of the popular stars who has often been spotted flaunting bracelette with a blue stone.
Sehgal feels wearing real gold and diamond jewellery is a trend prominent among men over 35 years of age.
"Eighty percent of our clientele is women and out of the remaining 20 percent, only 10 percent men come to buy jewellery for themselves. Others either accompany their wife and daughter to foot bills or invest in diamonds," said Sehgal.