Seema Phuge, NCP corporator from Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune, has literally got a man in a shining armour after her husband Datta Phuge acquired a shirt made of 3.5 kg of gold for Rs 1.27 crore.
Now popularly referred to as the ‘Gold Man’, 42-year-old Phuge said he was attracted to gold since he was 20 and has acquired gold ornaments since then. Though Seema doesn’t share his yearning for gold jewellery, she sees his craze for gold as a wise investment.
Phuge, who has a significant land bank and runs a co-operative credit society and non-banking financial institutions, said his jeweller suggested the dazzling idea of a gold shirt.
“The idea came up during a chat with Tejpal Ranka of Ranka Jewellers from Pune on doing something different in gold as I already had several gold chains, rings and bracelets. I wanted something which no one would have. Ranka suggested a gold shirt and I liked the idea but was sceptical about how it could be made,” said Phuge.
Ranka Jewellers engaged 15 goldsmiths from West Bengal who toiled f0r over 18 hours a day for two weeks to get the shirt ready. The shirt sports 14,000 gold spangles that were interwoven on specially imported velvet with the help of 1 lakh gold rings. As ordinary buttons would be out of question for such a shirt, the jeweller used Swarovski crystals instead. The ensemble comes with a 325 gram gold belt.
With this gold shirt, Phuge has about 7 kg in gold assets, which include three chains of 700 gram each, six bracelets, 25 rings, a pen, and wrist watches.