Jammu: With gold prices sky-rocketing for the past few years, the women of Jammu have found a new love in form of artificial jewellery. The steep surge of sale of artificial jewellery in Jammu is a testimony to the fact that women rather than burning a hole in their husband’s pocket are going for an option which is cheaper and more pragmatic.

With a bigger collection of designs and colours to woo women, the artificial jewellery market of Jammu has shot up by more than 200 percent. Meanwhile, in wake of the ever-increasing price, gold has slowly but surely lost the charm amongst the females.

To make the situation even worse, gold rates have gone up by more than 100 percent for the past few years. The prices of yellow metal were at Rs 12, 000 in September 2008 but within one year it increased to Rs 14,000. In 2011, the bullion prices are consecutively escalating since January.

Presently the customer needs to pay Rs 28, 000 for purchasing 10 grams of gold.

As a result, the artificial sets have completely taken over the markets. Available in all sizes and designs, they are the best option for middle class women in Jammu. This year, the artificial jewellery market has done a business of Rs 50 lakh ahead of the festive season.

“Observing the huge demand of artificial jewellery, the manufacturers are introducing attractive features like increasing the warranty period or improving the design,” said an artificial jewellery businessman, Satish Kumar.

Expressing annoyance over the incidents of chain snatching and price hike, a middle class house wife, Neha said, “Artificial jewellery is such a relief for women like me. I prefer wearing these ornaments rather than expensive gold.”