Peshawar            -      The rising gold prices have caused a drastic slump in the jewellery business and rendered hundreds of workers jobless in the city’s famous gold market known as Andar Sheher Bazaar while the trend of artificial jewellery has also set in, according to those associated with the business.

On the other hand, the coronavirus pandemic has also added to the miseries of jewellers who say that they are nowadays not receiving orders for work but instead people come to them from time to time to sell their jewellery due to the economic problems caused by the pandemic in all sectors and trades.

Talking to The Nation, Sarafa and Jewellers Association President Haji Sher Farzand said that there were around 470 shops in the famous jewellery market having skilled workers around 4,000. He claimed that around half of the workers had abandoned the business and started other jobs in recent months.

 “I know several of them, who now drive rickshaws but they also cover their faces with handkerchiefs as they think they are doing something that they should not be doing because they are already expert in the jewellery business that is considered an honourable job. But they have no other option in these situation, as customers are not coming to us due to the rising gold prices,” Farzand added.

While talking to this scribe, a dealer of jewellery, Zahid Khan, said that he knew many skilled artisans of the profession who had started driving rickshaws and even selling daily use items on pushcarts as the business of jewellery had suffered severe decline.

 “I started this business as a worker making jewellery. Later, I switched over to the sale and purchase of the commodity.

During last three months of coronavirus lockdown, I bought jewellery from many people who were in need of money for reasons such as paying house rents and bills and other needs,” Zahid said. He added that many people have now started using artificial jewellery because they cannot afford gold.