The annual festive season is sparkling with silver this year, because glittering gold is a tough option. Jewellers are hoping that somehow the yellow metal will honour its centuries-old tradition by the time the upcoming wedding season warms up, but then, they are in a different world than the one they are used to.
The ongoing festival season has also failed to push people into buying gold ornaments yet. Jewellers located along the bustling lanes Dariba Kalan and Koocha Mahajani areas of Delhi’s traditional Chandni Chowk area say gold is losing its sheen with buyers. Some say sales are stagnant while others have seen a fall.
"Our gold sales this year have gone down by almost 30 to 40 per cent. This year, more people are buying silver — showpieces not jewellery," Dixit Verma, who runs Punjab Jewellers in old Delhi’s crowded Chandni Chowk bazaar area, told Hindustan Times.
International gold prices touched $770 an ounce last Friday, hitting a 27-year high. In 1980, it had crossed $800. The current price is about Rs. 9,860 per 10 grams. A year ago, gold cost about $595 an ounce, or Rs. 7,619 per 10 grams. Over the past year, gold prices have moved up by 30 per cent. Silver has held relatively steady.
The closing international price of silver on October 19 was $13.83 per ounce and $11.62 on the same date last year, up 20 per cent. However, within India, silver prices have been constant at Rs 18,050 per kg since last year, according to the All India Sarafa Association. On Monday, gold closed locally in Delhi with a loss of Rs 55 at Rs 9,910 per ten grams.