Gold tiaras for rent for recession-hit Japan brides

Wed Feb 4, 2009 1:09pm EST
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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Recession-hit brides looking for that something borrowed to complete their outfit can rent gold tiaras from a major Japanese jeweler which unveiled pieces worth over a million dollars despite the faltering economy.

The two 18 carat gold headpieces by Ginza Tanaka include precious stones such as topaz and diamond as well as flower and heart-shaped designs.

Other accessories on display on Wednesday included necklaces and earrings aimed at bringing a sparkle to Japan in a year that is expected to bring even more financial woes.

"We are planning to rent the tiaras instead of selling them with our current price," Noboru Takata, president of Ginza Tanaka, told Reuters. He did not give the price of the tiaras, but the whole jewelry collection is worth some $1.1 million.

"We don't know how much the rental costs will be, but any bride will be able to wear the jewelry collection for just a few tens of thousands of yen."

According to tradition, brides should have "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue" in their wedding outfit for a lucky marriage.

The wedding jewelry fashion show was in collaboration with Japanese designer Yumi Katsura, who is known for her wedding collections and who showcased two elaborate, golden gowns with flowing veils.

Some gold industry officials say prices of the metal this year could top the all-time high of $1,030 per ounce set in 2008, as investors worried about the deepening economic downturn turn to the traditional safe-haven commodity.

In Japan, gold sold for a retail price of about 2,700 yen (about $30) per gram on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Hiro Muramoto, writing by Chika Osaka, editing by Miral Fahmy)