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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Indians obsessed to Gold reports Chinese Peoples Daily

The one common passion for Indian women irrespective of their age, creed, status or anything else – is the lure for the yellow metal.  Today [30th Aug 2012] 10g Gold costs Rs.28596/-  (22 Ct) and Rs.31195/- for 24 Ct.  Statements like ‘Gold touching new high’ would have no meaning as the price of yellow metal continues to spiral up.   The  dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal with the symbol Au and atomic number 79 means different to different gender……  for men it would be the yellow bar or biscuit while for women it is the Jewellery in different patterns made out of Gold.  The fashionable metal carved out to different forms  makes superb style statement and has the quality of never going out of style.

Without gold nose ring, Indian women won’t go out. Recently Indian government planned issuance of “paper gold” that is to encourage  people to purchase gold reserved in banks. Though buying  “paper gold” doesn’t mean you can really  take physical gold  in hand, many Indian  still scramble for this  which reflects Indian affection and reliance for gold.

In India it will be considered impolite if women go out without any  jewelry.  Among allkinds of jewelry, Indians prefer gold ones. Indians have black skin and wearing gold jewelry can highlight this feature. Indian women wearing gold earrings and necklaces can be spotted everywhere. Even those little girls who beg along the Roadside  with anunkempt appearance have a god nail in the nose.

In India it is also very common that men wear jewelry. Many Indian men wear three rings with large pieces of jewels  on them. In wedding  ceremony, parents usually choose gold ornaments as daughter’s dowry, which not only set off the beauty of the daughter but can also serve as a kind of property in married life.  Friends and relatives also present gold ornaments to show their blessings.

Because of the affection of Indian people towards gold jewelry,  jewelry shops are everywhere in India. No matter  in metropolises or small cities all the most luxuriously decorated and brightly illuminated  shops are selling jewelry.

If the above post enraged in some manner, what appears ‘highlighted above’  is simply a reproduction of an article in Chinese newspaper Peoples Daily :

But before you voice out anything, read this newsitem also :  A village in Hubei Province began sending each of its villagers a gift gold bar worth more than 36,000 yuan (US$5,666) in gratitude for their contributions as the village celebrated the 20th anniversary of its inception.  The fairy tale-like story has stirred up a range of emotions, including envy, online.

Yujiatou Village in Wuhan spent about 34 million yuan purchasing the gold bars made-to-order from Shanghai two weeks ago. Each gold bar weighs 100 grams. Each of Yujiatou’s 1,001 residents will receive a bar engraved with their name and specially designed auspicious patterns.   It is the village - Yujiatou  in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province;. Each adult villager is a shareholder. Villagers have authorized the village authority to use their land to operate businesses, build commercial projects and rent space.

Getting back to ground earth, India consumed 125 tonnes of gold in pure jewellery form in the April to June quarter of 2012.  According to World Gold Council that will be more than what the entire US market will consume this year. 

A few decades ago, people used to make jewelry and ornaments from the local Goldsmith – then came the age of specialty shops – in Chennai you have Vummidi, GRT, Lalitha, Saravana  etc., where you find jostling crowds throughout the year.  Now it is the age of branded players like Tanishq, Nakshatra, Nirvana and more.  The top brands market their logo, designer patterns, certificates and more to lure the customers towards branded market.   While buying Gold, the first criteria is its purity – most jewelers have a device known as ‘Caratometer’ – some say that it does only surface testing and can fault based on thickness.  The globally accepted method, including by BIS, is fire assay i.e., melting and testing the gold, which innately may not be possible.  The easiest method is to go by the Assaying certificate that accompanies your purchase when you buy branded gold. 

If one were to treat buying Gold as an investment, it would make better sense to buy Gold coin /  biscuit or bar and wiser still to buy ETF and paper gold. That may please the men but not the womenfolk……..
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Aug 2012.

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