Stock - Gold
A global banking crisis triggered this gold rush, and could mean prices crossing $2,000/oz for a third time in three years. UAE consumers could use this to go for gold exchanges, if retailers offer making charge discounts. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: UAE consumers are getting another chance to exchange their gold for new jewellery - or straight up cash - as international prices soar to within touching distance of $2,000 an ounce. Currently, the metal’s prices are at $1,988 after rocketing through a $66 increase in the last 24 hours.

The UAE gold rate on Saturday morning for 22K is Dh223 a gram, while the all-time high of Dh235 was hit in early August 2020. Last year too, after the start of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, gold shot up to Dh234.5 in March.

Both times at or around those prices, UAE consumers took advantage to sell some of their gold and pocket a significant profit. (The international bullion markets are closed for the weekend, which means the Dh223 will remain in effect until Monday.) This time though, UAE jewellery retailers expect shoppers to prefer the ‘old for new’ approach rather than pocket cash. “A lot of shoppers were calling in after seeing gold shoot up all through the week,” said one retailer. “Some of the jewellers are having discounts on making charges, and along with the gold price gain, shoppers today would immediately make a profit and get some additional savings too.”

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That could well be what’s on many shoppers’ minds.

For instance, if the consumer is selling gold she bought five years ago, the price gain as today would be more than $600 on an ounce basis. (One ounce is equal to just over 28 grams.) Some consumers might prefer to trade in and pick up gold bars/coins so that they can sell back in their home country. (With Ramadan starting next week and schools out for the Spring break, there will be a sizeable number of residents heading back. Selling in India, for instance would net immediate 10-20 per cent gains.)

‘As the next festive season is around the corner, we introduced a gold rate protection offer wherein customers can protect themselves from further hikes until April 23. They can also avail of 50% and 100% advance facility to block the gold rate for 3- and 6 months too.”

- Shamlal Ahamed, Director of International Operations at Malabar Gold & Diamonds

What’s happening to gold prices

In three words - global banking crisis. If it was the Silicon Valley Bank going off the cliff last week, this week saw more turmoil - check out Credit Suisse’s status - in the banking industry, and enough to spook investors worldwide. The result?

The value appreciation of gold is something barely seen in any other commodities - and customers looking for a safe investment need not look any further.

- Shamlal Ahamed of Malabar Gold & Diamonds

Get into gold ASAP, reinforcing the metals unmatched status as the ultimate safe haven. (Interestingly, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies too have risen from their recent extended deep freeze status.)

Will gold clock $2,000 again?

If gold shoots past $2,000 next week, it would be the third time in as many years that it has done so. The all-time peak for gold remains $2,035 from August 2020.

A lot has changed in 10 days - on March 8, gold was at its lowest point of the year, at $1,810 an ounce (Dh203 a gram for UAE gold rate) and shoppers were hoping to make a few purchases if it slipped to $1,780-$1,790 levels.

Today and through this weekend, gold shoppers in the UAE would be thinking of a different sort of tactic - exchange.

Or sell for cash.