Despite the growing social-economic crisis in Armenia, when according to the official statistics every third person is under the poverty line, you can still hardly find a free spot at the parking lot of the famous Gold Market in Yerevan. For birthdays, weddings, baptisms and other events in Armenia, the preferable gift of choice is gold, which symbolizes love and respect, proof of the specific valuable attitude towards the individual. “Our nation loves gold” as Armenian jewelers say.
The Gold Market of Yerevan
Gilded stairs take you up to the world of gold. It has the same appearance for many years.
47 year-old Vahagn Mikayelyan, has 25 years of experience in the jewelry business and is always smiling. Despite the happy mood, he says that nowadays the purchasing ability of people has gone down. “Everyone knows about the social conditions of the people. Now people prefer more affordable jewels, as they don’t have money for more.
26 year-old Hasmik Khachatrayn has been in this business for 7-8 years. “The demand for jewels is high from June to August, as more weddings take place,” - says Hasmik, adding, that people usually buy gold rings with only single gemstones as those are comparably cheaper.
57 year-old Arpine Taroyan, says that all the members of her family either make jewels or sell it. “We all are in this business, but it’s not the best time now; the inflation of dram, the fluctuation of gold price and generally the social-economic condition of people have created a lot of problems in our sphere too.”
The harsh situation in the field is best described by the empty desktops. Once, it used to be very busy here.
Dark, stuffy and narrow corridors are full of different kiosks, where one can find every type of service related to gold.
There are also small personal gold workshops here, where jewelers work with patience and concentration.
Vardan Mirumyan is 31 old and has been in this field for 8 years. Vardan is the founder of “Mirumyan Jewelery” a small workshop where young professionals usually work.
"In the beginning I was just putting gemstones onto the jewels; then started to design them and finally I opened my own workshop,” he says at the same time, explaining how the small bars of gold can become a fashionable ornament.
Mirumyan is showing the details from which he will prepare a chess board. He mentions that sometimes there are quite interesting orders.
Here is an Audi logo, ordered by a collector of cars, who owns a 1937 Audi model.
Taron Hakobyan is 27. He says that his love towards jewelry started when he was 19 years-old and he saw how one of his friends was making golden items.
Mostly people order diamond collections, he says. “Sometimes we also have strange orders, for example once a couple ordered a pair of wedding rings, rough like car wheels, but I never betray the “customer is always right” principle - he smiles.
27 year-old Movses Khanamiryan says, that the hardest thing is to work with emerald stones. “They shatter very easily, one must be very careful.”
The entrance and the exit.