Festivals in India have always been massive gold sales drivers, particularly Dhanteras. This year is no different
Buying gold on Dhanteras is a long-established Indian tradition. The day is devoted to Laxmi – the Goddess of wealth. It is believed that investing in gold, silver and other valuables on the day will ensure year-long prosperity and good fortune.
For a period of six months, from April to September, gold sales volumes were practically zero. In October, demand saw some resurgence as prices of the precious metals fell. Gold slumped more than 5 per cent and put smiles on the faces of customers planning some jewellery shopping.
“Customers are returning to jewellery stores,” says Vani Subhash (Mention who she is). “The demand has definitely increased. We are seeing some positive trends at Amrapali Jewels, our store at Good Earth.”
The uncertainty created by COVID-19 pushed investment in the precious metal. “Retailers saw a huge drop in sales during the 2020 summer wedding season. But Diwali and Dhanteras are bringing back the light. Buyers have started booking jewellery in advance for Dhanteras. Pandemic or no, people believe that traditions have to go on,” says Abhishek Chanda, director, Kalasha Fine Jewels.
Prices are close to Rs. 50,000 per 10 grams now and there’s no better time to stock up. “Jewellery isn’t just decorative pieces. It is a part of our heritage and that is the main reason why it is given so much significance, particularly during weddings and festivals. This has become a part of our lifestyle, signifying that we are not forgetting our roots.
Sellers reduce rates to enable customers to buy,” says Radhika Manne, founder of Radhika Diamonds.
The prices of the yellow metal fell on Wednesday after a brief pullback on Tuesday, and were down Rs 6,000 from the record high of Rs 56,200 in August. “This is the second fall in three days as muted global cues weighed on the precious metal. There is no better time than Dhanteras to buy gold as it is considered one of the most auspicious occasions.," says Radhika.
“I would attribute the dip to intersection of demand and supply curve and speculation,” says Sanjay Gulabani, director, P Mangatram Jewellers. “While there are different myths and traditions associated with buying the precious metal, I believe it is more about aligning the investment or savings to the propitious day,” he adds.
Gold is a hedge against inflation. Indian households take a sentimental interest in buying gold, feels former actress Vasuki Anand. “Our ancestors thought investment in bullion should be made at some time of the year as this is the only investment that can’t go wrong and can be converted into liquid form immediately.”
Entrepreneur Srimani Rao has a different take on things. She says, “Personally I have bought gold whenever the fancy took me. No sentiment, no Dhanteras. But with the new reality, since I have not been stepping out of the house, I have not purchased anything for the past seven months. And spiritually it’s satisfying that I have not given in to my greed.”