Diamond jewellery and accessories craftsmen at a famous jewellery shop in Athwalines in Surat, Gujarat, are embellishing a pair of shoes with 12,000 sparkling diamonds.
"We are designing one of the most expensive pairs of shoes. Each shoe will have 6,000 diamonds and the pair will be ready in two months," said Dilip Shah, the showroom owner. "This is going to be the first bejeweled pair of shoes we are making," added Shah, who is executing the order for a Dubai-based client.
Diamond-studded gadgets are being lapped up across the world. But this is the first time in Surat that shoes are being studded with gems. Moreover, the demand for diamond-studded accessories in India is also rising fast and Surat is cashing in. Orders for diamond-studded fashion accessories - belts, buckles, shoes, pen-drives and now crockery - are rising.
Recently, Vikas Juneja, a jewellery designer, made a shoelace clip for a Delhi customer. "The clip had more than 300 diamonds worth Rs 2 lakh," he said.
"A coffee mug worth Rs 150 can cost up to Rs 15,000 once it is studded," said Praveen Nanavati, owner of a jewellery showroom in Mahidharpura.
"People in the West are fond of diamond-encrusted accessories. The trend is catching on in India too. It is time for the diamantaires to look for local opportunities," said Chandrakant Sanghavi, regional chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Jayesh Sutaria, a diamond manufacturer, uses a diamond-studded mobile phone. "There are more than 700 smalldiamonds on my phone, which now costs Rs 4 lakh."