Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gold and India

Can you distinguish between a 14,18,22 Karat Gold ornament ? I can't.

I ask the question to many of my friends and most of them tell me they can't either just by looking. ( Honestly I can't even distinguish the different varieties even if I feel them ).

That said, we all know that India is the maximum consumer of Gold in our World today. And Indians never go near what is branded as less than 22 Karats.

How many stores in India sell authentic Gold ? I've heard and read a lot that most of the Gold sold in India is only 18-21 Karats..though they are branded 22 karats.

I know there are a few stores like Tanishq who have an instrument to check the quality of Gold , not sure if it's available everywhere.

My questions here:

  1. Why are Indians still crazy after 22 / 24 Karat Gold ?
  2. Will Indians ever come out of this Gold craze ?
  3. If India reduces Gold consumption will the prices fall ?
  4. Would that be a good thing ?

PS - I hear and read about a lot of breakins into Desi homes here in the USA because it's common knowledge that most have a lot of Gold !


TC Ratnapuri said...

I think in the olden days it was more of an investment approach. With the right attitude and discipline it was a great approach especially for the illiterate common man. Even now, anyone who invested in a "precious metal" mutual fund in the past few years would have made more money than any other category. But obviously it has been carried over blindly in India without questioning the validity of the approach and habits in this era. I don’t even think a lot of girls prefer 22k gold jewelry in India anymore. But for some mysterious reason all the Jewelry shops in India are crowded around the clock. GO figure.

Rajaram S said...

i have asked the same question to my mom many times. the standard answer is that it never loses it if she buys an ornament now, if she gets bored of it, all she has to do is to get it melted and remade into a new ornament ..
Also, she says that having gold is good enough as cash for an emergency, but hastily she adds that selling gold for cash is a bad omen!!

Kishan said...

I never understood the fascination for gold and probably will never do. Even as an investment option, I will never go for it. It is such an uninteresting thought, that somebody should invest in something like gold. May be it will give good returns but I would rather invest in stocks or in real estate which will broaden my knowledge and keep me interested.

I am not sure if gold has any other value other than using it for ornaments. So, I wouldn't care even it their prices come down.

Sumi said...

Buying gold is certainly a good investment, whether we like gold or not. It had been a great financial security, more for Indian men rather than Indian women from time immemorial, becos men have and they still do manipulate in different ways with their wive's jewellery. If you really want to appreciate the investment in gold, talk to a mother or her kid who has sold her gold and raised her kids, given them the best education and raised their social standing to a creamy layer in the society. Those kids will know what gold means to them. I dont know why Americans are not crazy about gold, but dont rich Americans go for diamond studded platinum things? I am not crazy about gold, but if I buy I certainly wont buy 14 or 11 or whatever,doesnt matter whether it looks like 24 or even better than 24, its the purity and originality I love in any stuff and I hate all fake stuffs. If I cannot afford I would rather buy original silver or original copper rather than 14 carat gold!

prabukarthik said...

I think Gold was preferred those days since we never had a credit card for any kinda 'avasara selavu'..

With gold, all you need to do is take to the nearest bank and pledge in case of emergency..

i did even as late as last year due to some unforseen expenses.

what's more it appreciates in value.

Any idea what was the gold rate 10 years back and whats the going rate now?

I know a lot of business communities who still get 1000s of sovereigns during marriage.

apart from the now obvious dowry, i think this system should've come about from capital/security angle