Buying gold is considered auspicious during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. But industry experts believe that a few checkpoints can go a long way in making your purchases fruitful.
“Buying gold jewellery is similar to buying a designer dress with lots of embroidery,” said Sonia John Paul Alukkas, director of Joy Alukkas (international operations), a gold retailer in the UAE. The more intricate a jewellery design, the greater the making charges — cost of the craftsmanship — for an ornament, she added. “Firstly, you need to find out what’s the weight of gold that went into the piece you love and then find out the labour charges for making it. If you choose an intricate piece, then the charges are likely to be higher,” said Alukkas. Generic pieces made by local goldsmiths are likely to be cheaper than the ones that have been exclusively designed.
The other factors that should influence your buying are your budget and whether you want to wear it for a party or stash it away as an asset in your bank locker.
“I would always suggest buying jewellery. The gold bars or coins [that have no or minimal making charges] will only remain in your locker and can never be worn. So, buying a gold ornament gives you the double pleasure of owning an asset and wearing them at the same time,” said Chandu Siroya, vice-chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group (DGJG) — the trade body comprising members of gold trade including bullion, manufacturing, wholesale and retail — and managing director of Siroya Jewellers. Asking yourself if your Diwali purchase is going to be a long-lasting family heirloom or a way of investment will also make it easier to set a budget.
“It’s customary during Diwali to buy gold because the logic is that it brings good luck home. Older generation prefer to buy gold, but of late there’s a shift in buying trends. Now, buying diamonds and precious stones set in gold is very popular. If your purchase this year is purely investment, then buying coins makes sense. But if it’s going to be a family heirloom or a legacy ornament, then you need to look carefully for what you love and whether it meets your needs. Value add-ons like instalment schemes that allow you to pay monthly for your purchases can also be looked into,” said Alukkas.
During Diwali, local gold retailers introduce a host of promotions to lure buyers. Zero making charges for eight-gram gold coins and raffle draws where you stand to win 30kg of gold or more are often introduced. However, Siroya warns buyers not to let their purchases be dictated by festive offers alone.
“Don’t get carried away by promotions. Promotions are a part of Diwali, but you need to be sure of what you are going to buy … For Diwali, traditional jewellery is often bought because people want to wear traditional clothes such as sari and salwars. Gold pieces suit them well,” said Siroya, adding that any time is a good time to buy gold.
Another plus of buying the precious metal in the UAE is that consumer confidence is at an all-time high here in this region.
“When you are buying gold here, purity is always guaranteed. So, therefore, your eye should be on the pricing and the variety that’s available, so that you can compare,” said Vinay Jethwani, a partner of Meena Jewellers group. Keeping aside time to check out the various stores across Dubai in order to compare variety and prices will also help.
According to experts, fluctuation in gold prices hasn’t always dictated Diwali purchases.
“For Indians, there’s a belief that should be some gold in a house. It’s a tradition. I haven’t seen people stop buying gold, when prices rise. Prices of gold have been volatile for ages, but people are buying after they set aside a budget — even if it means buying a bangle for Diwali. Prices are an encouragement, but not the deciding factor,” said Jethwani.
Chirag Vohra of Bafleh Jewellery feels Diwali is considered to be a festival of giving and hence the jewellers usually end up giving the profit amount back to the customer in the form of a free gift.
“Jewellers usually bring out their best collection during this period and a new range of designs are specially designed and launched for Diwali. A common success in the recent times has been fixed price point diamond, polki and ethnic jewellery. Most companies have started developing these fixed price items which give the consumer a comfort zone while purchasing”.