Looking for just the right wedding set, the Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of Shaadi Style Magazine (www.ShaadiStyle.com) goes online to check out the world of internet jewelry. Will it be up to her standards or a just a bunch of junk?
These days you can buy just about anything online. From magazines and movies to couches and cars, web shopping has grown at an incredible pace. Yes, I admit I am an internet junky. My husband and I were one of the first users of Kozmo.com (a now defunct internet delivery service that specialized in satisfying those 2 AM Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey cravings). These days, my personal favorite is online groceries – no more supermarket lines. Perhaps with all of the stay-in-your-pajamas convenience we won’t ever need to leave the house. But seriously, I believe these services leave me a lot more time to do the things I really enjoy. Like going to weddings!
Many small business owners worry that internet shopping will hurt their businesses as foot traffic continues to decrease. While this has happened, the web has also opened doors for many other “Mom & Pop” internet stores. These new stores give access to goods and services that people would not typically find available.
I got to thinking about how the internet has affected wedding shopping. The local markets and stores that are so commonplace in India and Pakistan are just not as readily available in the States. Traveling abroad for your trousseau is ideal but few of us always have the time and resources. We are either too busy or trying to save for the all important honeymoon or perhaps that first house. What options does that leave us with?
If you live in metropolitan areas with large South Asian populations there might be a decent number of shops to choose from. However, for those of us who don’t live in New York or Toronto; perhaps the web can open those faraway doors. Granted, there won’t be an aroma of pani poori in the air but you can light up some incense and have a cup of chai while you double-click!
As I began my search, I found that the internet has many sites with both casual and bridal clothing, but since my cousin was recently engaged I focused on what so many future brides do…jewelry. I looked for online shops with selections comparable to what I might find abroad, at a price that was reasonable.
Using a search engine and the keywords Indian jewelry I found a number of sites but they were not applicable. The mostly silver and turquoise pieces I saw were of the Native Indian tradition and while exquisite, just not what I was hunting for. A few other sites offered traditional Indian jewelry, but the selections weren’t quite intricate enough to be appropriate for wedding ceremonies.
Undaunted, I returned to my search engine and added the keyword 22KT. Nearly half of the results generated were either for Gold Palace Jewelers or sites that referred to Gold Palace Jewelers. This seemed worth investigating so I got out my credit card and ventured on.
The Gold Palace home page displayed a variety of jewelry items from simple gold earrings to intricate sets. Within the sets I found a range of options appropriate for a bride to wear on her wedding day as well as any receptions to follow. I found the light to medium sets most appealing as they possessed a beautiful Indian style without being terribly heavy and ornate. I hoped to find a piece that my cousin could wear long after her wedding, something also appropriate for a night out on the town or an intimate dinner party.
When it comes to shopping for 22KT jewelry in North America, people instinctively think that they are going to end up paying two to three times the amount they would abroad. Speaking from experience, I have often felt the same way. On a recent trip to India, I did a quite a bit of jewelry shopping. Visiting jewelers that my family has dealt with in the past, I was dismayed that I was seeing the same styles over and over from shop to shop. The prices I paid were based on the day’s gold prices in addition to labor costs. While the price of gold fluctuates I still have a good idea of what I paid relative to the jewelry I purchased. That being said, I was even more drawn to Gold Palace for their deals. Not only was there a great selection but prices were similar to those I had paid in Bombay and Delhi. In retrospect, I had less variety to choose from in India and while I like to think of myself as a sharp negotiator if I hadn’t had my cousin to help me bargain I could easily have paid more than I should.
As I continued to explore the Gold Palace website and its wide array of jewelry I found that their sets came not only from India but Pakistan and the Middle East as well. The majority of selections on the site are 22KT gold, but there were many diamond, semi precious stones and pearl sets as well. I found each to be unique and beautifully crafted.
The icing on the cake, or should I say the diamond in the mangalsutra; any order can be delivered within 24 hours so if you are a last minute shopper like me you are safe. Gold Palace will also customize or special order items upon request.
My opinion on internet jewelry shopping…Gold Palace is a Gold Mine!
Saaima Saiyed is the Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of Shaadi Style Magazine (www.ShaadiStyleMagazine.com), the premiere South Asian wedding and fashion magazine for today’s modern woman. Shaadi Style Magazine is dedicated to providing our readership with timely editorial information on bridal and party fashions, jewelry, catering, DJs and photography, as well as arming them with the resources they need to plan their dream wedding with a traditional flair. More importantly it is about how to combine those traditional values and customs with your 21st Century life. See for yourself, order your copy today.