SOARING SILVER prices have led to a gold rush on Dhanteras in the Saraffa Bazar.
Traditionally, silver was the cheap-and-best choice for Dhanteras on affordable price points but its current rally with prices swinging from Rs 18,000 to 18,850 per kg have made it far more expensive than small gold jewellery items. Gold is ruling at Rs 8,000 per 10 gms levels, a leading city-based jeweller told HT Lucknow Live.
He says customers are looking for a better bargain at slightly higher prices in small gold jewellery items than settling for silverware this time round. “The daily turnover of the sarafa bazaar in the past one week touched at Rs 4 crore from the non festive season levels of Rs 2 to 3 crore, he adds.
On the other hand, the sale of gold coins and biscuits from private and nationalised banks touched a new high on Dhanteras while beating all previous records in the Lucknow Circle which includes many towns of eastern UP.
Unofficial figures put the amount of gold sold collectively by banks in the region of 2 to 3 tonnes during the past six days compared to just about a tonne the yellow metal sold during 2004-05 and 2005-06, especially around Dhanteras every year.
The State Bank of India (SBI) with the largest number of branches in the Lucknow Circle took the lead in overall gold sales followed by HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank accounting for sale of nearly 50 per cent of the entire gold sales achieved by all private and nationalised banks during the current festive season in the Lucknow Circle.
Prime reason being cited for the current gold rush is anxiety on gold prices shooting up post-Diwali again which has returned as the most reliable liquid asset and also the rising awareness about buying 999.9 fine 24 carat gold which are available either with the certified jewellers selling hallmarked gold items or banks.