Coimbatore: Masks made of gold and silver on sale see high demand

Coimbatore, Tamil NaduWritten By: Sidharth MPUpdated: Jul 17, 2020, 06:16 PM IST


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The experience gained over the years in making clothes out of precious metals is what led to the thought of making masks that are made of precious metals. 

With protective masks having become a part of daily accessory, now masks made of precious metals such as gold and silver are gaining popularity. “Why not use a mask as an ornament for now? Later, you could get it melted into and still obtain the same value or get other jewelry made,” says Radhakrishnan, the owner of RK Jewel Works in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. 

A traditional goldsmith, Radhakrishnan has worked in various functions in the jewelry-making field for over 35 years. It was about three years back that he started making and selling clothes made of Gold. Yes, you read that right!. Most of these were made to order for special occasions, for adorning deities, for children on their birthdays etc. 

The experience gained over the years in making clothes out of precious metals is what led to the thought of making masks that are made of precious metals. 

“We can make them in 18K, 22K hallmark certified gold and the purity is guaranteed. When it comes to silver we can make it only in 92.5 sterling silver. The metal weight would be about 50gms and the cloth part of the mask would weigh 6gms or so. Silver options are priced at $200 (INR 15,000) and upwards whereas the gold version start at $3,668 (INR 2,75,000),” the shop owner says. 

Despite owning the shop, he claims to have kept his form of work closely guarded. Ninety per cent of the process is said to be handwork and he makes these precious items himself, often taking help from those in his family. From start to finish, it takes about seven days of intricate work to get these shining masks ready. 

“We draw gold wires that are 0.06mm in thickness and this is the only machine work. After getting these fine and flexible wires, we use them for knitting and weaving. We have received orders from Bengaluru, Hyderabad and several places up north. But the farther the distance, people refuse to buy due to the issues involved in logistics. So far there are nine confirmed orders and we receive a lot of enquiries on a daily basis,” Radhakrishnan Sundaram Acharya, the shopowner and goldsmith told WION.

When asked about how it would feel to wear one for long hours, re-use it, besides the protection it offers, he says that his masks have a cloth-like feel. “The portion on top is made of metal and inside it we have the multiple layers of cloth material which are used in mask-making. It can be washed and re-used, but twisting it for any reason it is a strict no. If required later on, one can even get a goldsmith to replace the cloth material with a new one for the sake of better protection” he says. 

It’s just been a little over a week since the gold and Silver masks were introduced, but Radhakrishnan is overwhelmed with the response as a few customers are preferring them as gifting options and even jewelry. In case one prefers more personalisation and customization, they even offer to engrave names.